When caesarean sections, or c sections, are necessary they save lives, however as with all births, recovery and the time it takes varies from person to person.
During your c section operation the large stomach muscle that supports you has been weakened so you’ll need to take extra care when moving about and lifting things.
What can I expect for my c section recovery?
- Taking it easy, your body needs to mend and it needs rest and nourishment to do this. Eat healthily and arrange for help with normal day to day things
- Avoiding lifting heavy objects – again, as the stomach muscles have been significantly weakened you may cause future back and abdominal muscle problems by lifting anything too heavy.
What happens with my dressing?
You dressing helps to protect the healing environment of your wound so don’t be tempted to remove it until the day you were advised to. Once your dressing has been removed you should be able to clean and dry it as normal and baths or showers are advised daily. You can then start using Spritz for Bits on the wound to help keep it clean, prevent infection, soothe irritation and heal, providing it is dry.
Will my stitches need to be removed?
Most wounds are closed using dissolvable stitches so they shouldn’t need to be removed. Occasionally staples may be used or single stitches and they are usually removed around 7 days after your c section operation.
What problems can I expect?
- Pain - a certain amount of pain is to be expected but this can usually be controlled by pain killing tablets that your midwife or doctor will have given you. If you notice that your pain is increasing speak with your midwife or GP straightaway; you may need a course of antibiotics.
- Poor abdominal strength - this is caused by the weakness of abdominal muscles caused during your c section operation. You should avoid using your stomach muscles to sit up; roll onto your side and walk your arms in order to sit up or use your arms. A physiotherapist can guide you as to appropriate exercises to strengthen them but please ask professional advice before exercising.
- Wound infection - We know this isn’t a nice subject to read about but it is really important that you understand about wound infections and how seriously ill they can make you, if untreated. They are more common than you think so please don’t be embarrassed about it; Here’s what to look out for: Any oozing of fluid from the wound, be it blood or yellow fluid, and especially if it smells should be assessed straightaway so contact your midwife or GP. Wound infections can be treated relatively easily provided they are caught early but you don’t always see the infection, sometimes it can within your womb so any increase in pain, bleeding, smells or redness and irritation on the skin should be seen to straightaway by your GP.
Thank you to Ellie from mybaba.com for providing us with the image of a healing c section wound.