C-section Recovery & Tips for Healing
It has been 4 months postpartum now so I thought it would be a good time to talk about my recovery process and healing post c-section.
In early pregnancy, undergoing a c-section wasn't how I thought I was going to deliver my baby. I was afraid of going through a c-section due to the horror stories I have read online including having a permanent scar, longer healing process and inability to exercise or lift heavy things for some time. After experiencing a c-section I now realize the hardship endured for every person varies and the experience is also different whether its a scheduled cesarean versus an emergency cesarean. I was fortunate enough to be able to schedule my c-section since it was known that my baby was breech with potential risks for a natural delivery. A scheduled c-section is less arduous in that you don't have to go through labour pains prior to surgery which can cause more pain and distress.
My experience after cesarean surgery
The surgery lasted about an hour and I was taken into the recovery room for the rest of my hospital stay. For a c-section delivery, the expected stay in the hospital is 2-3 days. Post-surgery it was hard for me to move, I mean they did just cut through many layers of skin! (The thought of it is pretty frightening but I am glad I didn't have to see any of it) To help with the pain, the nurses gave me Tylenol and Ibuprofen every four hours. Let me tell you how without the medication, I would be screaming! If the medication the nurses provide you is not strong enough to alleviate the pain, there is a stronger medication that you can take but in my case I didn’t need it. The catheter that is placed during surgery stays on until the next day. I thought that it would cause me discomfort but I didnt feel it at all. The next day the catheter is taken out and you have to pass a peeing test or they place the catheter back in. Yes guys I passed thankfully :) When the catheter is out, you are encouraged to start walking around as that helps with the healing process. I had to hold on to my scar as I moved around because of the discomfort but it didn’t stop me from getting out of that hospital bed.
I was released from the hospital after two days and I couldn’t be happier. I continued to take the medication for the next few days to help with the incision pain and instead of 4 pills every four hours, I began to reduce it to two pills every four hours until I no longer felt like I needed to take anything. In the first week, I was able to go up and down the stairs at home, which I didn't expect I would be able to do. It was great!! By week two I felt like I was fully recovered but the doctor said that even if I felt this way, its best to take it easy until the full six weeks have passed for recovery period.
Here are some tips that have helped me recover from a C-section:
Drinking lots of water is so important after recovery especially if you are breastfeeding. I always kept a water bottle next to my bedside and carried it around with me in the house to remind myself to keep myself hydrated.
2. Get Rest
I cant stress how this is probably the best way to recover quickly. The more rest you get, the better you will feel. How is it possible to get rest with a newborn? I was thankful that my mom and sister were staying with me for a few weeks to help out and my husband took two weeks off of work so they would take care of my baby when I wasn’t able to physically, help cook and clean. Everyday I had breakfast in bed which was a blessing!
3. Avoid Lifting Heavy Objects
The rule is not to lift anything heavier than your newborn. Its a simple rule to follow and you should to avoid your c-section scar from re-opening.
4. Healthy Eating
Nutrition speeds up the healing process post surgery and improves your energy levels after the C-section. Avoid carbonated drinks and fried foods, which produce gas. Eat fiber rich foods to stay away from constipation.
5. Get Some Help
Whoever it may be, help is the best thing that can happen to you post-delivery. Whether its family staying with you, or a friend dropping off a home cooked meal.
After a c-section, you're left with a scar forever. I thought the incision would be too big to bear looking at but its not and it under the bikini line so it doesn't show either. Also, there are ways that can help you with healing the scar and reducing its visibility. I have been using the following:
1. Silicone Scar Sheets
I have been using these scar sheets for 3 months now and I already noticed a difference in my scar visibility. It looks a lot lighter and less noticeable which is amazing! This is definitely worth trying out. You can get it from the pharmacy section of your local drugstore.
2. Take your Vitamins
A multivitamin that contains vitamin C and E works. Vitamin C is essential in helping boost your immune system post surgery and Vitamin E is great for healing.
Your skin will thank you. It is still possible to get stretch marks after delivery. Moisturizing your skin will keep your skin hydrated. I have been using bio oil since pregnancy and haven’t stopped to avoid any stretch marks. For me, it actually worked!
I hope you found my experience and tips for recovery and healing after a c-section helpful! Let me know in the comments what you thought about these tips and if you have any questions about undergoing a c-section or recovery process, I'd be happy to help! :)