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Recovery after c-section - help!

(18 Posts)
comtessa Thu 30-Dec-10 22:34:53

Hi, I had an emergency c-section 3.5 weeks ago and it's only now that I'm recovered enough to stay awake enough to type this! I didn't receive any information from the hospital about recovery after c-section, what I should and shouldn't be doing etc. Can anyone recommend a good website for info please? I've searched but all I can find is about emotions post c-section. Just really want a list of what to do and what not to do.

Thanks for any pointers.

Megletitsnow Thu 30-Dec-10 22:44:17

IME just rest as much as you can, especially if it hurts.

Walking is fine but don't over do it.

No heavy lifting!

My hospital recommended no driving until your 6 week check, although from what I've heard this varies between hospitals and insurance companies.

TBH I didn't rest much after my em cs and was in pain for weeks, I rested after my planned cs and it hurt far less. I did zero after my hysterectomy and didn't even need paracetamol after day 3.

If you are able to get help and keep life simple for a few weeks then you will probably heal up better.

If it cheers you up at all I was back at the gym 12 weeks after my cs's and hysterectomy. I just had to slow down for a bit.

ShowOfHands Thu 30-Dec-10 22:47:42

You do what you feel comfortable with. They do recommend doing something though. Getting up and about, albeit gingerly, is very good for recovery and as soon as possible.

But there's a huge range of normal. I was up and about a few hours post emcs and doing most normal stuff though at a slower pace. My v good friend was still finding it very difficult a few weeks in.

There's no right or wrong in terms of how you feel.

My midwife just said listen to your body, no hoovering and eat lots of chocolate.

AliBellandthe40jingles Thu 30-Dec-10 22:49:39

Hi Comtessa

I went really slowly after mine. You can start with some walking, and you can do your pelvic floors but that is it until you have your six-week check.

How are you, how is the baby?

My advice is really to not try and do too much too soon. If it hurts then stop, if you feel too tired then stop.
As your baby gets heavier your muscles will naturally strengthen. If you are out walking with the pram then make sure you are standing up straight and holding your tummy in gently and that will help your core come back together.

I did too much too soon after I had DS and my scar still wasn't fully closed 7 weeks post-birth. I am planning an elective this time, and I will be taking it much more slowly.

AliBellandthe40jingles Thu 30-Dec-10 22:50:46

I realise I've contradicted myself there. What I meant to type was 'I healed really slowly after mine'.

earwicga Thu 30-Dec-10 22:55:17

I was in pain for months. Take it as easy as you possibly can to let healing happen. I couldn't as I was on my own with twins. But hey ho, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger

lucybrad Fri 31-Dec-10 13:12:54

aww so sorry to hear you are suffering. I think there is a wide variety of normal. i had my csection last thursday and am not in any pain at all. Mine was elective, not sure if this makes a difference. I would ring the midwfe and ask.

Poppet45 Fri 31-Dec-10 14:01:09

Most hospitals should send you home with a physio leaflet on what you can and can't do so do ask your HV for some advice. My booklet had pages on how to get out of bed, get out of chairs. All sorts. And I found the recovery pretty tough too. Even now after 16 months I miss the strength of some muscles when hefting DS's buggy over kerbs.
Lucybrad: there's a night and day difference between an elective and an emergency c-section, both in terms of recovery and mortality. Very different ops. And I say this as someone who ended up in a high dependency unit after a massive bleed following my emcs and a 19 hour labour. I'd do labour again like a shot but wouldn't wish an emcs on my worst enemy.

comtessa Fri 31-Dec-10 15:04:22

Thank you all for your posts. My EMCS followed after a 26-hour labour and failure to progress.
Thankfully I'm not in any pain now but my scar is still weeping on one side. Am on antibiotics from GP so will be making another appt once these finish. I think the thing I'm most unhappy about is not being told or given any information on things like how to get out of bed/chairs. It's only now that I'm starting to feel better that I'm realising how little information I was given and that there are things I should be doing/not doing to help myself recover.

(Waves to Ali) LO is doing really well thanks, just bad nappy rash which MW thinks is due to my antibiotics going through her from breastmilk. I'll be feeling better once my in-laws have gone home - only a few days to go!!

Showofhands liking your MW's advice!

NewYearNewPants Fri 31-Dec-10 15:11:36

Take painkillers for as long as you need to - don't be a hero! If you need something stronger than paracetomol, ask the doctor for it.

Finish the anti-b's, but if they don't work on the infection, go back to the doctor, or A&E even. Infected wounds can be nasty.

Rest as much as is humanly possible, but with small bursts of light activity in between (I mean light - a short walk is enough!). Try not to bend/lift/contort into awkward positions when getting in and out of bed etc. Don't lift anything heavier than your baby (and even then, proceed wit caution). Do NOT go shopping and carry heavy bags, or lug your buggy into the car boot etc.

Basically, you want to get good quality physical and mental rest and recuperation, but not lie down so much that you seize up and walking becomes difficult.

Press a pillow gently against your scar if you need to cough.

Try to follow all of this until your six week postnatal check-up.

When the scar has dried up and is no longer 'raw', you can use arnica cream to reduce swelling / scarring (seek medical advice before doing this, though).

How are you feeling emotionally? Emergency sectio can leave you in a state of shock, so do take care of yourself, and be honest wiyh your loved ones / health visitor etc if you feel your are struggling at any point.

Oh, and congratulations! smile

NewYearNewPants Fri 31-Dec-10 15:12:14

excuse typos!

kitstwins Fri 31-Dec-10 16:14:38

Tip for getting out of bed is to roll onto your side first and then lever yourself up onto your elbow and then push upright. Don't try and do the normal trick of just sitting bolt upright - it will really hurt your stomach muscles.

Do your pelvic floors. Plus, you can do a gentle core exercise to encourage your stomach muscles to heal and come together. Basically, lie down (you can do this standing or moving about, but it's a nice excuse to lie down!) and breathe in slowly, pulling your belly button towards and 'past' your spine as you do so. Release gently and repeat. You can build up the repetitions and do it several times a day - it really helps with gently improving the strength of your core muscles and helps increase the blood supply to your poor old tummy muscles (which encourages healing).

Keep on with the antibiotics until the weeping scar has cleared up - if this lot don't do the trick then do back to your GP for more. In the meantime, get plenty of air to your scar and bung some tea tree oil and salt into your baths (several drops of tea tree and two good handfuls of salt). I also used to bathe my scar a couple of times a day with cotton wool balls dipped in warm salt water (with a few drops of tea tree in). My scar was open at one end and weeping blood due to a haematoma and this helped to keep it clean and dry it up.

C sections are crap. Some people are lucky and bounce back really quickly, but EMCSs are pretty hard going in terms of recovery. If it helps, it's only around now that you'll start to fully heal. I couldn't walk to the end of my road at 3.5 weeks and yet by 4 weeks I literally woke up and felt 100 times better and was 90% back to my old self. My consultant said that this was because before 4 weeks it was just superficial healing - after 4 weeks all the deep level trauma had healed, although obviously you still need to take things easy.

Listen to your body. Your health visitor should have a leaflet on post-c section recovery so you could pop along to your health clinic or ask for one at your next weigh in.

Found the following leaflet on Google that gives some good advice on the phsyicalities (or lack of) post caesarean.
http://www.northdevonhealth.nhs.uk/patientinformat ion/obstetrics/after_your_caesarean_section.htm

Congratulations on your baby! You will recover. I felt like I'd never walk again after mine but I've ran marathons and done all sorts of strenuous crap and your stomach muscles do come back/recover.

kitstwins Fri 31-Dec-10 16:15:29

Meant to say - when you do the gentle core exercise, bend your knees when you're lying down. It puts less pressure on your lower back.

comtessa Sat 01-Jan-11 15:26:57

Thanks for the new postings. It really is amazing how tired I'm feeling, and that's not even due to the LO as she's very kindly sleeping for six hours at night. A short walk to the supermarket followed by lunch at a local cafe tired me out yesterday.
My next MW appt is Friday so I'll ask some more questions then. I'll also be seeing the GP this week if scar hasn't healed when I finish the anti-biotics tomorrow.
Baby sleeping so I will take all your excellent advice and go to sleep again.
Thanks for taking the time to post, I really appreciate it.

comtessa Sat 01-Jan-11 15:27:57

PS NYNP emotionally am all over the shop.

mosschops30 Sat 01-Jan-11 15:37:46

hi comtessa i had a spectacularly bad cs recovery so can give some of my tips.

- do nothing, other than getting up and dressed and eating welland enjoying your baby.
- no driving for 6 weeks
- no heavy lifting at all
- take as many painkillers as you need, I had regular paracetamol and dicolfenac with tramadol for breakthrough pain and I took those for a while (at least a month)
also if you still have pain it may be worth getting a vaginal swab to see if you have a uterine infection

AliBellandthe40jingles Sat 01-Jan-11 16:55:51

Comtessa what ABs have they given you? If this lot don't clear it up then ask the Dr to do another swab and get the microbiologist at the hospital to check what kind of infection you've got before they prescribe. You don't want to be taking pills for weeks unnecessarily.

I hope you've had a lovely sleep this afternoon

comtessa Sat 01-Jan-11 23:12:04

Thanks Ali, I hadn't thought of that. IKWYM about the pills, LO now has horrible nappy rash and I'm suspecting that the ABs in her urine aren't helping with that. Lovely sleep thanks, now off for some more before LO wants her midnight feed...

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