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Emergency c-section recovery - what's normal

(16 Posts)
ThinkPinkStink Thu 27-Oct-16 06:52:21


Another early morning worry, and I'd love some insight into whether I have anything to worry about.

Eight days ago I had an emcs to give birth to a beautiful daughter (the reason I'm awake at 6:40am).

I'd loosely looked into c-sections prior to the birth, just in case... But I hadn't given it a huge amount of thought. I've done a fair bit of online research since, but there are so many horror stories differing views online. So I'm wondering if my recovery is 'normal' for eight days pp:

The outer wound is sore and tight feeling. A bit stingy, mainly achy, but manageable day to day with paracetamol.

The inner wound is sensitive to touch and feels a bit lumpy. Again manageable with paracetamol.

The outer wound is weeping a tiny bit (mw and doc have both seen it this week and are not worried). The weeping is almost transparent, slightly pink, localised to one section of the wound, there's not a lot of it, it's only visible when dabbed with kitchen roll. I shower each morning, wash with mild soap, spray with diluted tea tree oil and then dab with kitchen roll. I think dab the wound several times a day to ensure it's dry under my very sexy 'apron' of baby flab.

Lochia is ongoing, mw keeps asking if it smells - it kinda does, but then again so do periods - still quite red, but far less of it than a week ago.

My big fears are infection (internal/external), or wound 'degradation' (thanks internet for that one).

If you've ever had a c-section, please tell me, does my recovery sound normal to you?

Sorry to be an early morning worry wart...

TheChineseChicken Thu 27-Oct-16 06:58:58

I didn't have any weeping but definitely still had pain at that point. I was uncomfortable for weeks and it took quite a while for the wound to stop feeling tight and pulling. Actually I was surprised at how long it took me to recover and how long I needed pain relief. It was probably 6 weeks before I felt relatively normal again.

Congratulation and take it easy!

BlackeyedPetitsPois Thu 27-Oct-16 07:03:00

Firstly congratulations on your baby daughter!!

I've had 2 sections and what you've described sounds perfectly normal to me. It's tough recovering from what is actually major abdominal surgery especially when you've got a little one to look after. The wound will weep and as long as you keep it clean and dry (which you sound like you are doing) then it should be fine. If you get any redness or smelly discharge from it then get it checked out. Same if you get any pain that can't be managed with paracetamol.
Lochia may continue for a while -mine lasted around 6 weeks.

You're doing great flowers

BikeRunSki Thu 27-Oct-16 07:18:38

I have had 2 cs and this sounds normal. First one, I had bounced back pretty much back to normal after 4 weeks (considered to be v quick) and went length swimming at 6 weeks. Second time was nearly 9 weeks. (bit too long, practice nurse getting a bit concerned). Sounds like you are doing just right for 8 days.

Loulou2kent Thu 27-Oct-16 07:21:00


I was pretty similar at that stage too. Bit stingy & pulling on the side they took baby out of the incision & was on paracetamol which did help.

My wound was a little weepy. The doctors said it was fine & it got checked twice. It then started getting really hot & then I was given a cream to use. As PP said clean & dry is the most important.

I found it hard to air it. I'm not sure if your BF but I found being stuck on the sofa BF for what seemed a lifetime with a baby on top of me made me quite hot & sweaty. So afterwards I would lie flat & let the air get to it. This was probably made worse by the fact I used a pillow under him to prop him up.

Just remember to rest loads & don't push yourself. I was pretty much back to normal after 3 weeks & back to work at 5.

Very jealous of your newborn snuggles. They're the best! Enjoy & take care of yourself!

Capricornandproud Thu 27-Oct-16 07:24:45

Well done OP! All sounds ok to me. I had a a small infection on the left of my incision and it started to gape, so you'll see it if it starts to open. I would steer clear of the soap to be honest and use something like sterile dressings instead of kitchen roll as it can give off a 'fluff' and the last thing you want is something sticking to the wound. I wonder does anyone have any experience of taking arnica tablets after a section and if it made any difference? Hope you're managaing some sleep!!

ThinkPinkStink Thu 27-Oct-16 07:48:24

Thanks so much - super reassuring!! And thanks for the congratulations.

DD really is lovely, generally very relaxed and easy going (so far), she takes two food three hour naps during the day but is wide awake at night (longest nap approx. An hour). DH and I are sleeping in shifts to make sure we each get a good 5.5 hours at night - then we can top up the odd hour here and there during her daytime naps.

The tightness is a bit scary, it feels like one false move and it'll pop open (of course I'm over thinking it!). I probably over think every twinge - not least because it'd be a nightmare to have to leave DD for further surgery.

It's so annoying not being able to see the wound first hand, poor DH spends a lot of time describing it to me. From feeling it in he shower it feels pretty neat, not too puckered, not too warm. It smells slightly, but not a pus smell (more like the gross smell of the inside of your belly button) which is what I'm trying to avoid by keeping it dry (capricorn
good point about the kitchen roll! I might revert to (very clean) hankies).

Taking it easy is HARD, though, isn't it? Especially as my pregnancy was pretty straight forward so I've been used to being quite mobile (the birth made up for any good pregnancy luck, it was effing dire!!).

Thanks again!!

ThinkPinkStink Thu 27-Oct-16 07:52:54

* two three or four hour naps...

TheChineseChicken Thu 27-Oct-16 07:59:20

Taking it easy is hard but worth it. I was strict with not driving or lifting anything until 6 weeks (including pram etc.) and I didn't have any problems with my scar. If you overdo it too early I expect recovery will be longer overall.

Make sure you go for a walk every day, even a short one.

Ditsy4 Thu 27-Oct-16 08:08:33

Mine was infected for four months! Another consultant said he would have taken me back into surgery to see" What the bloody hell was going on." So I can't really say other than I actually had a small hole with grunge coming out. I was certainly sore and tight at that stage.
I later on had a normal delivery and was advised Calendula cream for stitches and midwife couldn't believe how quickly I had healed up. She took the box so she could recommend it to other new mums so maybe worth a try as it would ease the tightness.
Congratulations on your gorgeous baby.
By the way I went on to have three normal deliveries but had to fight for first one.

alwayshappy101 Thu 27-Oct-16 08:28:22

You're fine and what you describe sounds was my second cs.

My first emcs though was not,I felt pain that I can only describe as feeling like a thousand wasps were stinging my tummy then a cup of boiling water was poured on there.ouch.
I also had extremely smelly discharge and weeping.

Try to take it easy as recovery will be quicker for you.

Congratulations flowers

YouAndMeAreGoingToFallOut Thu 27-Oct-16 20:29:15

I had an EMCS wound infection: the wound was red and hard, the redness spread along the length of the wound and there was yellows gunge weeping out. It cleared up after two weeks of antibiotics. I don't remember it as being excessively painful, just disgusting!

ThinkPinkStink Thu 27-Oct-16 21:28:36

Thanks all...

Based on what youandme and alwayshappy have said, it seems that if I'm infected, I'll know - it'll either be horribly painful (always you poor thing, that sounds awful) or horribly stinky... And even if it does get infected it's not necessarily a terrible disaster (hooray for antibiotics).

You've all be great, thank you!!

HyacinthFuckit Sun 30-Oct-16 11:34:14

I wasn't weeping but yes was still fairly sore, though the pain relief was annoying me by that point so wasn't having that much of it. So, sore enough to feel it but not to need the big guns of pain relief, if that makes sense. It was more of a burning sensation than anything else. Don't recall a smell. I do tend to heal pretty well from cuts and things so that may make a difference. The weeping would concern me and I'd have discussed it with MW, as you have.

Was still having quite a bit of lochia by then, although less than with my VB actually. But you would expect to still be bleeding at 8 days postpartum however you gave birth. That's normal.

SpookyPotato Sun 30-Oct-16 15:44:26

This sounds normal OP for 8 days in, I was still very sore at this point. I think the pain really subsided by 2.5/3 weeks and that's when I felt normal! My lochia went on for 6 weeks and my wound leaked for a good 4 months before fully healing. But these last two things didn't bother me as the pain had gone!

ThinkPinkStink Mon 07-Nov-16 11:44:12


I'm now 20 days pp - the small girl child and I are getting to know each other, so far I've learned that she is a delight, except in the wee small hours when she is a shouty little beasty.

I've been pretty worried about the section incision, I've shown it to every medical professional who'll look at it (4 midwives and a doctor in the last 20 days) all during legitimate visits, don't worry I'm not pillaging NHS resources.

It's gone through a few phases, including a slightly weepy phase, everyone who's seen it says it looks good. But today I can see there are a couple of little openings (maybe 1cm each) on the right hand side and they are weeping a bit more, and the fluid is a bit bloody. I can't tell how deep the openings are as I'm a bit too squeamish to pull it around.

It smells a bit gross (not poisonous, just a bit bloody, like AF or lochia), but it doesn't hurt.

I am washing it once daily with very mild soap, drying a few times a day and spraying with diluted tea tree oil when the wound feels right and sore (not specific to this area).

Our frenemy friend Dr Google suggests all is fine... Does anyone have any experience of the same?

Thanks in advance!

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