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Your stomach and how you felt after ELCS

(16 Posts)
redviolin Wed 29-Oct-14 23:44:02

I have an ELCS coming up due to health problems during pregnancy. I really want to put myself in the best possible position to recover well and regain my connection to my stomach muscles. There are just a few things I want to ask:

I have read some advice sites online which say that you should try and take as few painkillers as you can (no morphine etc) because of breast feeding and constipation. Also it said on the site if you are more aware of the pain you are in, you are less likely to overdo it in the first few days/weeks. Was this your experience? Could you just not take the painkillers? Was it bearable? I have a high pain threshold but maybe I am totally kidding myself.

What did your stomach look like straight after ELCS? And several weeks after? I usually have a very flat stomach and very strong stomach muscles. Am I suddenly going to have a pooch?

Did any of you try bellybinding? Did it work? And how soon after ELCS did you do it?

DIYandEatCake Thu 30-Oct-14 01:02:15

Hope all goes really well. Everyone's different so you'll get lots of different replies! With pain relief you can wait and see how you feel. For what it's worth, I had painkillers (morphine for the first couple of days and then ibuprofen) and I don't think it affected breastfeeding. In the first couple of days the baby is taking only tiny amounts of colostrum. I like to think I have a high pain threshold too, but the combination of pretty brutal surgery, zero sleep, and the demands of a constantly crying newborn made me happy to take whatever drugs were offered when it came to it.
My stomach was a complete mess for a little while. Swollen, sore, bruised up to the belly button, saggy... I couldn't bear to look in the mirror. I think after about 3 months it started to improve, maybe 9-12 months before it anywhere near resembled its pre-pregnancy self (I didn't do any targeted exercise though). Some people ping back remarkably quickly - look at Victoria beckham!
I didn't try belly binding.

fatpony Thu 30-Oct-14 15:39:26

Hi, I am 20 days post csection and my tummy is almost back to normal. But I did a lot of exercise during my pregnancy. I do have a little 'pouch' above the scar but it doesn't show with clothes on.

On the painkillers front I think I did overdo it in terms of movement, especially during the night (picking up the baby etc)... And felt it the next day.

woodsies1975 Thu 30-Oct-14 15:43:40

I had diclofenac and some paracetamol for a few days, didn't have any issues with bf or pooping! I definitely overdid it but I had a 2 yr old as well, so it was inevitable. I think scar and pooches depends on the surgeon as well as genetics and previous fitness. I have a neat scar with no overhang. I have never heard of binding so can't give any advice on that.

cantmakecarrotcake Thu 30-Oct-14 18:14:04

I had an EMCS and I'm pretty sure I only had paracetamol and ibuprofen afterwards - even in hospital (I think, I was pretty dazed after a long failed induction). I BFd ok and had no constipation issues.

re tummy recovery, I never really had a flat stomach but I returned to normal. I have a small indentation/overhang where my scar is but nothing too visible.

The more annoying bit is having a bit of numb skin above my scar where the nerves were cut.

cantmakecarrotcake Thu 30-Oct-14 18:19:15

I would suggest taking the painkillers and perhaps let them wear off slightly if you want to judge how much it hurts. You'll know how much pain you can handle while still functioning enough to take care of your new baby.

I don't recall too much bruising after the section. It healed quite nicely and my scar had faded from pink to white by about a year.

Borttagen Thu 30-Oct-14 18:27:30

I had diclofenac and paracetamol for the first couple of days and one morphine tablet on the second night - it was really painful that night and I think it was just things knitting back together. I went home then and took some paracetamol when needed but to be honest found the recovery easy compared to my previous VB. The problem I had was overdoing it with housework as I felt so good and then getting pain and getting paranoid I had ripped stitches. Stomach wise mine wasn't flat to start off but was back fairly to normal afterwards once I lost the weight. HTH

Wednesbury Thu 30-Oct-14 19:49:22

I have had two EMCS and will be having an ELCS in December. I was a size 10 pre pregnancy with a fairly flat stomach and both times went back to that with no real effort or exercise. I also had masses of drugs, morphine, codeine not forgetting the GA drugs second time round, and breastfed both dcs with no problems for over a year. That sounds a bit boasty, it isn't meant to be, I didn't really think about it all at the time. I was given lactulose along with the codeine so didn't suffer with constipation. I did find I needed the painkillers though probably for the first week.

The one thing I did find awful was the trapped wind after the operation. It was too painful to eat. I'm planning on taking peppermint oil to make peppermint water (apparently they aren't allowed to give it to you anymore) and ribena cartons to keep my energy levels up if that happens this time.

Wednesbury Thu 30-Oct-14 19:52:13

My stomach also looked awful for the first few days especially with the trapped wind! I was upset that some people didn't realise it doesn't shrink back immediately the baby is born! It does go back to normal though.

Rantymop Thu 30-Oct-14 19:55:58

To sections here. Take as many painkillers as you can without killing yourself.

Take lactose -start now- and fiberfel to make the first poo afterwards more bearable.

But for the love of God, morphine, anything.

Can't conment I stomach as I was overweight to begin with lol.

Please though, don't skimp on the painkillers, you need them.

Rantymop Thu 30-Oct-14 19:56:21

Two sections, Obvs!

Rantymop Thu 30-Oct-14 19:57:44

Yes to peppermint capsules to help with wind. Second section was terrible for that, I farted non stop for two days, luckily they were silent.

eurochick Thu 30-Oct-14 20:02:13

I had a CS 15 weeks ago. My consultant said ok to exercise after 6 weeks but no abs work until 12 weeks, and I've stuck to that.

My stomach is a bit flabbier than it was pre-preg but really not too bad, and I still have 10lbs to lose (I've abandoned weight loss attempts for now as it was affecting my milk supply). I'm only managing pilates at the moment as tougher abs work still hurts and I don't want to do any damage. I'm confident that I will get back to my pre-preg state (or something very close to it) so I don't feel panicked into rushing it. I was dreading the state of my belly after pregnancy and a CS but I am pleasantly surprised considering how little effort I have put in in terms of diet and exercise so far.

In terms of drugs, something they gave me in theatre made me throw up and burn up in recovery, so I declined anything other than paracetemol and ibuprofen after that. There was some pain but it was bearable and I found it preferable to vomming with abdominal stitches!

porcito Thu 30-Oct-14 20:48:16

I took drugs but they didn't disguise the pain enough to overdo it - it still felt uncomfortable and I knew ehen I'd gone too far.

Where I am, they automatically bind you and I'm so glad they did. Days when I left it off were so much harder so I'm a fan.

I'm 5 weeks and my stomach's almost back to how it was, just a bit bigger. No overhang but I think my scar's quite low. It's also numb which feels strange.

Good luck op!

Topsyloulou Thu 30-Oct-14 21:41:51

I had emcs 5 weeks ago. Stomach was completely flat before I was pregnant. I've still got a little bit of a belly left but it's mainly where the skin is still tightening up after stretching to accommodate my 9lb9 little man. I don't think it will be too long before it's a lot flatter, hoping to start exercising again after my 8 week check & that will help.

I had morphine in theatre but after that I had ibuprofen & paracetamol. The trick with the pain killers in the first few days is to take them regularly so you don't ever really feel the pain to its full extent. To begin with you don't need to worry about them masking the pain do much that you overdo it, they definitely help but you will still feel a level of discomfort.

The worst pain I felt was actually the trapped wind which went into my shoulders & was agony. Stupidly had a can of coke & made it 10 times worse. When I mentioned it to the nurses they gave me some mint tablets, they were amazing. When I went home they told me to eat mints containing peppermint oil regularly & that really helped too.

Good luck.

Molotov Sat 01-Nov-14 18:01:55

I had an ELCS in April 2012 for dd2 (dd1 was a VB in 2009).

I took every painkiller going. I was on morphine after the spinal anaesthetic wore off amd took that until day 3 - I moved onto codeine and paracetamol after that. There was NO WAY I wanted to feel any pain.

Re constipation: take your lactose in the morning for the first couple of weeks. Eat lots of fruit and veg. Drink plenty of water and orange juice and you should poo just fine.

I didn't have any issues with toileting. DD2 breastfed like a dream within moments of her birth (we only stopped when she was 4mo).

My tummy wasn't as bad as I expected post-CS. I had swelling above the incision for about 6w. I did post-natal pilates that helped to get my core strength back. I would say that I was looking more like my pre-pg self by about 12w, but it took about 9m to fully get back to 'normal'. Maybe that's because she was my second baby, rather than the CS?

I had an odd, numb feeling for a long time above the scar. Feeling gradually came back and now, 2.6 years on, everything feels as it did. My scar is well hidden within my pubic hair; you can't really see the fine white line it has become.

If I am pre-menstrual, I do get a bit of swelling above the scar but it isn't visible.

In my opinion, just take yoir painkillers immediately post-CS and just move with caution. You don't need to feel the pain to know to take it easy. That just sounds like martyrdom to me. I did all of that 'no thanks' to painkillers when I went through a 31 hour labour on just gas and air.

You don't get any bravery prizes. You will probably cope better with painkillers than without. Why suffer?

Good luck to you smile

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