C Section Recovery

Recovering from a cesarean section

After a cesarean section, you will need quite a bit of time to recover and return to your normal activity level. The pain from a c-section can be troublesome in the days following the operation, and your body will need time to heal even once the pain is under control.

After your c-section, you will be kept in the hospital for a few days while your pain gets under control, and to ensure there are no infections or blood clots forming. To assist in your recovery, the hospital staff will encourage you to get up and walk around. This can prevent blood clots as well as the constipation that often accompanies the post-operative period. While you're in hospital, your doctors and nurses will instruct you on self-care for when you go home, and can help you prepare to overcome the breastfeeding difficulties that some mothers experience after a cesarean section.


Home Care After a C-Section

It is normal to feel achy and tired after a c section, and it will take between four and six weeks for the incisions to heal and the c-section scars to form. Later, you may want to consider laser treatments to reduce the appearance of your c-section scars, but for now, you should just focus on recovering:

  • Get plenty of rest and don't lift anything heavier than your baby.
  • Keep your mid-section supported, and be sure to stay in proper posture when sitting and standing up.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid intercourse until your doctor clears you to resume sexual activity.
  • Avoid baths, pools and hot tubs until your incision has healed.

Talk to your doctor about when you can begin to exercise after your c-section. It's generally recommended to weight six to eight weeks before doing anything more than gentle walking. Remember that a cesarean section is major surgery, and you need to give your body time to recover. If you choose to breastfeed, this can help with losing weight after a c-section, and it also helps to stimulate your uterus to contract and return to its usual size.

If you recover from your c-section without complications, you may be able to have a vaginal birth after a c-section (VBAC) should you become pregnant again.

Complications to Tell Your Doctor About

Certain complications should be reported to your doctor immediately. If you have a bad-smelling vaginal discharge, experience pain during urination, have red and tender breasts accompanied by a fever, experience severe pain in your abdomen, have any signs of infection on your abdominal surgical incision or have swollen or painful legs, call your doctor right away. Do the same if you have heavy vaginal bleeding, particularly if there are clots.