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Not feeling right after C Section - is this normal?

(13 Posts)
MollyTheMole Mon 24-Oct-11 17:22:43

Im worrying (albeit only a little bit) people, please help!

Had an ELCS 3 weeks ago, no problems that I know of, however recently I seem to be going backwards WRT healing and wondered if its normal?

eg. I had burning type sensations 'inside' which I assume is all the internal bits and bobs healing, this seemed to fade away by about week 2 but its come back again on one side, I think I might have pulled my stitches but is it possible Ive burst some internally? Surely Id be in agony?

I stopped bleeding by about week 2, it faded to a really pale browny colour but now its come back bright red, not loads but enough for me to wonder if its normalfor it to go and then come back (cant remember if it did with DS1)

Ive only been out a couple of times just for a bit of a walk around the shops for about half an hour a time, no problems up to now but today I was getting the most intense pain inside but very low down, felt like a cross between wind and my fanny falling out hmm, at one point I was nearly dragging my crotch on the floor of Asda blush

My skin on the outside is still numb, but painful to touch if that makes sense? No it doesnt, what I mean is half of the skin near the outside wound feels numb, and the other half feels very sore to touch. I appreciate my skin has been cut open so its probably the nerves but has anyone else had this? It just doesnt feel like it should still be this sore on the outside.

Finally, just in general as I say things seem to be going backwards, just when I thought I was able to pull myself up in bed etc my stomach muscles wither away again and Im back to just feeling generally 'slow' to move around.

I should say I feel fine in myself, no temperature, stomach isnt swollen anywhere but not having had a section before, and no real knowledge of what to expect, Im just wondering if all of this is normal?

I might not get a chance to reply tonight as DS2 is a demanding cluster feeder at night (nice) but any advice or experiences would be very appreciated just to either put my mind at rest or make me speak to the Docs to check all is ok

Meglet Mon 24-Oct-11 17:34:41

I've had 2 cs's and TBH you don't sound quite right. Especially the bit about your fanny falling out. My cs's were painful and tender to recover from but the only bit that hurt was clearly where the wound was, no pain anywhere else. I did take about a month to stand upright after my EMCS but my planned cs was ok, but I did far less and let myself recover.

My bleeding did stop and start though, usually if I over-did it. And it's still a bit numb 5 and 3 yrs on, I think that's normal.

It wouldn't hurt to call the GP (even out of hours if you're really worried).

And do as little as you can for a few days, ready meals, takeaways, no
housework, just gentle pottering and feeding your baby. Get as much help as you can and be as lazy as you can get away with, you'll be ok in a few weeks but give your body a chance to heal up properly.

TheOriginalNutcracker Mon 24-Oct-11 17:38:56

I would def get checked over, but it could just be that you have overdone it slightly and set yourself back a bit.

I've had 3 c sections and with the first one all was fine until I decided to go xmas shopping 5 weeks later with a big pram. I came home in agony, like little electric shocks we going through my scar, and the scar itself was bright red and angry looking. I rested again for a few days and it went away.

Oh my bleeding came and went too.

MollyTheMole Mon 24-Oct-11 17:42:46

Thanks Meglet, I must admit because I started to feel ok I have done a fair bit of housework, no hoovering or anything too strenuous but stuff like bending down to pick bits off the floor, fannying about the house, washing, cooking etc so I think I might have overdone it a bit which expains the bleeding.

I feel a bit irresponsible now, I know I should still be taking it easy but I read alot of posts on here about others who were driving after 3 weeks, going out etc so assumed Id be the same [daft]

TBH the main things worrying me is what happened today, and the strange sensations on one side both inside and out. Actually the other night I forgot about the CS and was half asleep and did a massive full body stretch which might explain the burning feeling on one side.

I'll try and get an appointment tomorrow I think just to check, but in the meantime do you think if I had burst any stitches Id be in more pain? Thats the main thing Im worried about, I really dont want to have to go through an op again sad

MollyTheMole Mon 24-Oct-11 17:46:17

Nutcracker - thanks for your post also, I definitely think Ive set myself back by doing too much too soon. Its easy done though isnt it? Like I said I think I have just felt alot better than I actually am. Must admit I enjoyed being looked after for a change instead of being the one to look after everyone else so I wont be too sorry to go back to being a bit lazy again.

At what point though do you know you are ok and fully fit again?

Meglet Mon 24-Oct-11 17:57:53

I don't know how you'd feel if you burst anything.

It's better to get checked out and they say you're fine than ignore it.

I was at the gym at 12 weeks but doing a very easy workout (old lady level!). I did start training for Race for Life at 5 months post cs and my stomach really pulled /stung so I had to slow down a bit.

ShowOfHands Mon 24-Oct-11 18:14:09

Get it checked to be on the safe side but it sounds to me a lot like you've overdone it.

Bleeding stopping and starting for 6 weeks is absolutely normal. It can go brown, then sort of yellowy, then back to bright red again. You have to look out for temp, smell, abnormal pain etc but the stop start bleeding is normal.

I had my 2nd emcs 2 weeks ago and did too much. My wound started to reopen and I was reassured that you heal from the inside out so the inside bit is usually taken care of and well knitted (it's v well stitched) by the time the outside bit starts to heal. They said if I'd torn it inside it would be more obvious to me (pain, bleeding much more than normal lochia).

I've found this time round that I had odd soreness on my stomach. Around the wound is numb but above it just the lightest of touches felt like electric shocks/burning. It's caused by nerve endings knitting back together and is normal.

A cs is major surgery and it sounds like your body is telling you to calm down. It takes 12 weeks for your abdomen to be fully knitted and capable of supporting you to do more than regular exercise and day to day moving around.

Stretching really stings doesn't it? It's just pulling at the raw tissue and the tight stitching round the outside. it feels that way for a few months if you go for a big body stretch having forgotten.

Please get it checked out because you're worried and experiencing discomfort. I assume you've stopped taking painkillers too? This will make a difference, you're feeling it in a way you didn't before. You must get checked over but what you're feeling is not outside the bounds of normal cs healing. But it can sometimes be something which needs checking, so worth ruling it out.

ShowOfHands Mon 24-Oct-11 18:17:18

You know you're ok and fully fit btw because you just feel yourself again. No twinges as you stand too quickly or roll over in bed. You must wait 12 weeks before doing any kind of working out or strenuous activity. Walking/swimming etc is fine but you need to be v careful for 3 months. You'd be surprised to how long the numbness from the cs lasts. It takes weeks sometimes to wear off and coupled with the painkillers you can feel better than you actually are and do too much. The adrenalin and hormonal highs wear off too. This can make you more sore and more anxious.

ShowOfHands Mon 24-Oct-11 18:24:39

And the trapped wind can carry on for a while post cs. Not only has everything been squashed for 9 months, they really pull your insides about during a cs and you end up with quite sluggish digestion as your insides repair (the meds cause constipation too which doesn't help). Peppermint capsules or peppermint tea in an evening will help.

QTPie Mon 24-Oct-11 20:39:17


I agree with the others - sounds like your have over-done it, but NEVER hurts to get these things checked out...

Bleeding can start and stop - partly because of "over-doing it" and partly because sometimes you get a blockage (since your cervix hasn't naturally dilated during labour) and you can get a build-up and it restart again (mine finished within a week and then restarted, with a gush of clots, about a week later - pretty scarey at the time sad ).

Agree about the possibility of trapped wind - I drank loads of peppermint tea and that really helps.

Are you taking Arnica tablets? I took them - not sure how much they helped, but they certainly didn't hurt!

Rate of recovery will depend on a number of things: fitness before delivery, genetics, skill of surgeon etc. I was walking about a mile a day by 3 weeks, driving at 4 weeks and back in the pool/gym (light exercise) at 7 weeks. BUT - other than that - I did nothing (apart from breastfeeding and changing the occassional nappy.... but as few as I could get away with ;) ). Fortunately I had a cleaner, MIL stocked the freezer with enough meals to last us about 7 weeks and DH did the bathing etc. If I did over-do it (by walking too much) I did get sore and my tummy did swell around the scar.

I had numbness - around the top right of my scar - for some months after the surgery. It eventually, but slowly, wore off.

The worst thing I found was lifting DS in the infant carrier carseat (was doing that from about 4 weeks, when I started driving).

Don't rush things - take them easy. A C Section is major surgery.


kitstwins Mon 24-Oct-11 21:28:47

I would imagine you've probably just overdone it as it's not uncommon for bleeding to go up a notch if you've done too much.

However, I would get it checked. I didn't feel right after my (emerg) c section this time. Burning pain, tender to touch and general incapacitation. It felt like a pulled muscle on one side and it hurt to do anything like roll over in bed. I definitely felt as if I was regressing. I went back to the postnatal ward & then to A&E twice and got told I was overdoing it. At five weeks I was still struggling to walk my daughters to nursery and at six weeks my stomach flared up one evening - brick red, hot and sore to touch. Turns out I had an infection in the muscle which had just bubbled away. My scar was fine and perfectly healed but the tissue beneath obviously had an infection in it that they just hadn't picked up on. I took antibiotics for 10 days and it sorted me out brilliantly. I was fine after that.

Not trying to spook you but the burning pain could be a sign of infection and I think it's worth getting it checked.

Hope this helps. Caesareans are hard core so take it easy. You will heal.

MollyTheMole Tue 25-Oct-11 12:44:59

Oh I feel alot better now, thanks SOH, QT and Kits. I feel alot better knowing that it could just be that Ive overdone it and nothing more serious and that others have felt similar. I said to my mum before actually that it would be a great idea for the hospital to hand out leaflet type things with FAQs / comments from women who have had CS and what they experienced afterwards because I have been told absolutely nothing about what to expect, would have been very comforting to have read these sorts of comments at the time.

I had stopped taking my painkillers regularly SOH, I didnt think that maybe Im just feeling what Id feel normally without them. And yes that pain Im getting on the outside is like a burning /electric tingling pain also.

I have got arnica tablets somewhere, are they ok to take if bfing?

Ive got to call the docs later today for an appointment to get checked over and I am definitely goint to take it alot more easy than I have done.

QTPie Tue 25-Oct-11 13:37:43

Yes arnica (little pastilles) are fine with BFing, but avoid taking them at a similar time to peppermint tea, peppermint capsules or brushing your teeth (the MW told me that the peppermint stops the arnica being effective....).

Worth taking the arnica and the peppermint tea (for wind) - nothing to loose! Get lots of rest and eat REALLY well (pregnancy takes everything that your body has, then breastfeeding takes even more!).

I agree that hospitals could give you more information on likely post-CS after effects.... But, if in doubt, get it checked out...

Congratulations and enjoy smile

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