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C section - How long does recovery really take?

(35 Posts)
Dontbsicily Mon 21-Oct-19 11:55:59


I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl 5 days ago by emergency caesarean and I’m just wondering if anyone can advise how long it took them to recover?

I know all of the midwives and websites etc just say ‘up to six weeks’ but I’m wondering how long people usually notice a difference with the pain? I don’t mind the bleeding as I’m finding that manageable at the moment but, I’m really missing being able to cough, laugh, sit or stand up without pain!

Thank you smile x

ChocolateRaisin Mon 21-Oct-19 12:08:22

I was feeling much better pain wise within about 10 days. To feel totally back to normal a lot longer, but pregnancy and major surgery is a huge trauma to the body which takes a long time to fully recover from.

Rest, do less than you think you should and you’ll soon feel a lot better.

thenightfury Mon 21-Oct-19 12:11:26

About a 7-10 days to feel a difference in pain and be able to sleep on my side again (heavenly😂) but much longer than 6 weeks to feel 'normal' again. DS has just turned 1 and I'm just getting back to my normal self now!

Kimberleigh Mon 21-Oct-19 23:25:44


Im 7 weeks into recovery.

From 3 weeks i felt alot more comfortable and stopped taking my meds.

I'm annoyed at all the things i've read about it being 6 weeks.

Yea its 6 weeks for wound to heal over and to hey back driving, But its at least 3 months for the internal healing.

My 6 weeks doctors check was an anticlimax because of all the things id read about it being weeks.

Hope you're feeling ok.

AnneLovesGilbert Mon 21-Oct-19 23:34:02

Congratulations on your baby!

I had an EMCS and internal and external scars and it took a few days to walk up or down the stairs without crying but when I started feeling better it sped up quickly and I was doing most things without wincing within a couple of weeks. The bleeding lasted about 5 or 6 weeks, felt like fucking forever! Looking back, while I thought I was resting as much as I could I was wrong and trying to “get back to normal” which is load of bollocks. You’ll never get these days back, do nothing but gaze at and cuddle your baby. Accept all offers of help, get people to bring you food. Don’t try to change the bin or do any laundry...

If you have any pain in random places from trapped wind take peppermint pills, they really help.

Jenbot78 Fri 25-Oct-19 15:24:48

Hiya, I’m pleased I found this thread as I’ve been wondering the same. Hope you don’t mind me hijacking this and posting an additional question don’tb but how long did people’s bleeding last? I am 3 weeks post elective c section (breech baby) and still very sore. On top of that I have bright red bleeding, not loads and loads but steadily throughout the day. It’s the colour that’s bothering me. I thought it would taper off and change colour by now. Anyone got experience of this?

Also I have a DD aged 2.5. Does anyone have experience of picking up toddlers after a c section?

Thanks everyone! Xx

2teenywee Fri 25-Oct-19 18:46:15

Hi. I'm 4 weeks post elective section and was ok pain wise last week but the last couple days I've felt very tight and bruised below my scar, not sure why.
I'm still bleeding a little but not much.
I've a 19month old too so counting the days down until I can lift him safely and play with him again!
I've been driving again for the last week and back to walking decent distance today but might have sightly over done it today with 2.5miles 😅 I'm useless at sitting still!

fellyjish Fri 25-Oct-19 18:50:31

I had an EMCS in June.

I'd stopped taking the coedine based mess after 4 days and then took paracetemol/ibuprofen for a couple of weeks.

I found it took me 3 weeks to be able to walk to town and back (20 mins each way) comfortably without stopping. I then built up my walking stamina.

6 weeks later I was doing gentle exercise, quite static stuff, 10 weeks back to high impact exercise.

Make sure you are massaging your scar, no one told me to but it's important otherwise you might get tethering if layers!

Try not to overdo it and your recovery will be quicker...!

And congrats on your scrummy new baby! Xxx

fellyjish Fri 25-Oct-19 18:52:19

Also, my car insurance didn't actually put any restrictions on driving so I was driving at 4 weeks after when I felt ready - focussed on emergency stops and being able to twist round to see blind spots.

mylifenow27 Fri 25-Oct-19 20:39:55

It was much faster than I expected everyone said 6 weeks but by 6 weeks I'd totally forgotten I'd even had it.

We stayed in hospital for around 4/5 days as my little one was jaundice. Before I left hospital I was off the strong painkillers I was on, and just on ibuprofen by day 7 I was collecting the other children from school with my partner but taking it steady. By about two weeks I was all fine, I've had no infections or issues but I believe it's because I kept moving.

My midwife said afterwards it's rare for it to take someone 6 weeks to recover. Especially after a planned c sec like mine. She was my 4th baby though but first c sec an I thought it would take much longer to heal.

Teachermaths Fri 25-Oct-19 20:43:40

You're all so lucky, I took 5 months to heal after a pretty bad infection. My wound re opened and it was hellish.

feelingsicknow Fri 25-Oct-19 20:43:49

Recovered very quickly, drove a car on Day 4. I had a longer recovery when I had abdominal surgery 2 years earlier.

welshweasel Fri 25-Oct-19 20:46:33

I think it’s very variable. I was pretty much back to normal - pain free, driving etc after 10 days.

Stroller15 Fri 25-Oct-19 20:47:23

I had an EMCS with my first and then a ELCS with my second. I would say about 2 - 3 weeks I was taking it very slowly and still had quite a lot of pain - stuck to my paracetamol/ibuprofen medication schedule religiously. By 6 weeks I was fine.

Congratulations on your baby OP - I hope you feel better soon!

user1493413286 Fri 25-Oct-19 20:50:09

I would say that by 3 weeks I was able to manage without painkillers and felt fairly normal although I pushed myself a bit hard and ended up needing to take painkillers again in week 4 so I would say that it’s important to take it easy for the 6 weeks.
I was probably sitting up and moving around easily by a week and a half

hariboismydrug Fri 25-Oct-19 20:52:19

About 7 days to feel like me again but to be honest I was out shopping 48 hours after my c section.
I found a natural birth with stitches down below to be much more painful.

whatswithtodaytoday Fri 25-Oct-19 20:53:02

I had an ELCS. It's 8 months ago so the memory is fading, but I'd say 2-3 weeks to feel much better/no longer post-op, not taking painkillers. I know by 6 weeks I still didn't feel recovered, but by 8 I felt so much stronger and was far more able to do normal things. It took a while to get back to my old level of fitness - probably 6 months tbh.

Take painkillers if you're in pain and for goodness sake don't lift heavy things for a while - I changed a full bin after a couple of weeks and really hurt myself, I could feel everything pulling inside.

whatswithtodaytoday Fri 25-Oct-19 20:54:29

Just to add - my lower stomach still doesn't feel back to normal, I doubt it ever will. It feels uncomfortable when I press against something like a sink.

Sleepyhead19 Fri 25-Oct-19 20:58:49

It took about 6/7 weeks for my wound to heal and the bruising to fully disappear but much longer to feel well enough for days out or anything strenuous.
You have had your uterus sliced through as well as muscle which obviously you can’t see. It takes time for that to be back in full working order.
I hope you feel better very soon.

meow1989 Fri 25-Oct-19 21:04:21

I was up and walking around town on day 5 no probs. I never really had any pain though. I didnt drive till 8 weeks when I had the ok from my gp at my check.

Take it easy, dont try to do more then you feel comfy with, you'll get there.

Dontbsicily Tue 29-Oct-19 23:03:13

Hi all! Thank you so much for your replies.

I’ve noticed my wound is a bit smelly today. I’ve been cleaning in the shower every day but following instructions from MW, no soap and just putting the shower on it for a while to clean and then letting air dry with the help of the hairdryer. It doesn’t look or feel sore or infected so, I’m wondering if now, 12 days post section, I should be cleaning more thoroughly or, if I should maybe speak to MW or GP about poss infection. Anyone have any similar circumstances?

Thanks again! smile

Kimberleigh Thu 31-Oct-19 17:48:19

Hi @Dontbsicily

My wound was still open slightly in the first week. i went to the docs and they took a swob, and popped another dressing on it. All was ok though and its healed now.

I've also started physio to help my abdominals. I have a very small separation so shouldnt take long to knit back together.

KNMom Wed 06-Nov-19 04:59:33

Emergency C-section here. I was lucky in that initial recovery was very quick: mobile the next day, post op pain and bleeding gone within 2 weeks. I was taking walks and doing housework from 1 week. Sex from 4 weeks.

However, full recovery took much longer - 6 weeks to stop feeling ‘weird’ internally and low grade pain around the scar. About 12 weeks to return to normal-ish level of physical activity and flexibility. I am still not 100% at 13 weeks and suspect the last bit will take months if not a year.

CatShapedCushion Wed 06-Nov-19 05:14:19

Another one here who was up and mobile next day- same as @KNMom with post op pain and bleeding gone within 2 weeks.. i really had forgotten all about it within a month as i had DC abroad and had no help(in the days before shopping/ delivery &mumsnet!) so kind of had to just get on with it and muddle through solo.
Im grateful it all panned out so well - couldve been so different in hindsight..It certainly wasnt the nightmare for me it is for some poor ladies.

SunflowersNKittens Thu 07-Nov-19 01:49:46

I found things pretty smooth. Never needed anything stronger than paracetamol/ibuprofen. Driving by day 12. Made sure my pain relief was strong enough to be gently walking about as soon as spinal wore off.

Careful with hairdryer, much better to dry wound with a clean cloth as the hairdryer can blow dust at the wound.

I’ve had a few slightly oozy scabs but daily shower and a bit of savlon have sorted.

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