Tips for Recovering from a Cesarean
A cesarean section is major surgery.
The first thing to remind yourself after having a Cesarean birth is that your
recovery is going to take a bit longer than a typical vaginal delivery. Here
are some things to keep in mind in the days and weeks after your Cesarean:
- It's common for some women
who've had a Cesarean to feel disappointed in themselves because they think
they should have been able to have a vaginal birth-to bring their baby into
the world the "natural" way. These feelings are normal, and they
generally go away as time passes. But if you really do feel bothered about
it, tell your doctor. It's always helpful to share thoughts and feelings
that are bothering you.
- Being very tired is normal.
Remember, you've had a big operation. That alone makes you tired. And if
you were in labor before you had your Cesarean, you're probably feeling
even more tired. You need your rest now, so be sure to count on everyone
around you for help.
- Gas pains, shoulder pain and
constipation are also normal right now. After abdominal surgery, your intestines
don't work normally. The pains are a sign that things are getting back to
the way they should be. Avoiding carbonated drinks for about 10 days is
a good idea.
- There's no way around it-incisions
are sore. If you need the pain relievers your doctor prescribes, be sure
to take them. Studies show that suffering from pain can slow recovery. When
you hurt, it's harder to relax your body. So don't feel like you need to
be "tough" and bear the pain. Relief is good for you.
- Breastfeeding is good right
now, for you and your baby. It can help you to get over any disappointment
you may be feeling about the Cesarean, because as you breastfeed, you deepen
your bond with your baby and realize that in the long run, it doesn't much
matter exactly how this precious bundle entered your world. If you have
pain from your incision while you breastfeed, try putting a pillow over
your abdomen or nursing your baby while lying on your side.
- Drink plenty of water. This
is an important part of your recovery