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specific dos and don'ts after c-section

(60 Posts)
titferbrains Thu 18-Aug-11 09:21:58

Am still very upset about needing a c-section (bad tear, breech baby, OC).

Accidentally ended up reading about people who are still feeling funny/pain a long while after the op. This is the part that scares me the most, the poss that someone could make a mistake in the op or that I might heal badly.

Am hoping to get some help for first couple of weeks but hope to be a bit better after that as it's ELCS. Going to do as little as poss initially except feed baby, walk a bit and rest.

DD is at nursery about 10-12 min walk away. When should I be able to take her myself?? Really, REALLY don't want to overdo it and wreck stitches etc. Obv with drop off at nursery total walking time will be about 20 min - or longer I guess, as i'll be moving more slowly.

V difficult to work out what extra help I'll need as she is at nursery 3 times a week, needs to go to playground/get out and about every single day, and our bath is extremely awkward - I would say it will be several weeks before I'll be able to turn it on by myself as the taps are at a funny position and at the far end of a corner. Not even comfortable to do when pg!

Please try to give specific info about what I should definitely avoid doing. And how many minutes walk per day from beginning constitutes "keep moving around so your muscles don't seize up?"

icravecheese Thu 18-Aug-11 09:25:21

sorry, can't offer any advice... but am watching this thread with interest as I too am likely having a c-sect in 8 or so wks due to previous bad tears etc. DS1 starts school on 5th sept (10min walk from home) and DD1 goes to nursery 3 mornings (DH will have to drive her). No idea what I should / shouldnt be doing in the weeks after the section.....

Petesmum Thu 18-Aug-11 09:36:17

no first hand experience to offer but I'm keen to hear others input as I too am waiting for ELCS in 10 weeks time. I have been reading up on CS recovery on the internet and the most common advice I've seen is: don't lift anything heavier than your baby for 4 weeks, walking with pushchair to lean on is generally more comfortable, no driving for 6 weeks...a friend a work said that getting over a CS was easier than the stitches she had with her previous births, atleast she could sit down! good luck ladies

titferbrains Thu 18-Aug-11 09:39:15

I still can't understand how to feed baby comfortably at night. All sounds like a bloody nightmare. Cannot believe I have to do this.

icravecheese Thu 18-Aug-11 09:49:40

titferbrains, so sorry you feel so upset about c-sect, I totally understand your concerns. This is my 3rd baby & so far i've had 2 x 3rd degree tears & I really don't want to risk another nasty tear, so I've actually requested a c-sect even tho' I agree its a scary prospect. I've spoken to lots of friends who have had elective CS and they all say that recovery isnt actually that bad at all - you will need help for 2-3wks max after birth, but most friends were driving by 4wks post-op and coping just fine.

I'm planning on BF baby lying down - I managed to do it with my daughter from when she was about 3 months old & we'd gotten latch sorted etc (was heaven at night - just latch her on lying down then back to sleep, she unlatched & went to sleep too). Some friends have said you can BF lying down from birth, so i'm going to ask every midwife on postnatal to help me get that sorted, and co-sleep with baby from birth. Thats the plan... whether i'll manage it! Hopefully someone will be along soon to answer the c-sect Q's about recovery etc.....

TennisFan Thu 18-Aug-11 09:53:27

I had an emergency CS with my DS and after 5 nights in hospital i was home and able to do most things. Admittedly it was my first, but really maybe i was lucky, my stitches were no trouble - the only thing painful was laughing

4 years later i had an elective CS, which was obviously more relaxed as planned for it. Again i stayed in hospital for 4 nights i think, and once home just took it easy.

By that i mean, I didnt worry about the housework etc, took any help going from family.

I was out walking and driving though after the week on both occasions - felt fine and no midwife, doctor of physio said it would do me any harm.

You will konw yourself how much you can do - everyone is different. Just like any other operation or procedure, some people recover quicker or just want to get on with it; others will take their time.

There is no medal or prize awarded, just let your body tell you when its ready; if you feel like a walk then go out for a walk.

good luck and dont worry

nunnie Thu 18-Aug-11 10:00:14

I had an EMCS with DS 10 months ago so I can answer a couple of questions but you have to bear in mind everyone is different so my experience may be much different.
I was released after 48 hours on a Tuesday DD was at pre-school on Tuesday morning Wednesday all day and Thursday mornings at the time. I took her the following tuesday could have taken her sooner but DH was only off for the week and he doesn't get much chance to take her to school so he wanted to.
As for bathing my DD got herself in and out and I dried and dressed her from day one of my release. Turned taps on myself but they aren't in an awkward position.
I sat and had cuddles with DD from the moment I came home.
After DH returned to work the following monday my mum caught the bus in the morning and my Dad picked her up in the afternoon, she did the housework and ironed which was great, then the following week I returned to doing everything but at a slower pace. I got the go ahead to drive at 4 weeks.

Some people will say they drove when they were ready and their insurance company were happy, but I don't think it is as simple as that personally. As if you were told not to drive for 4-6 weeks like I was and god forbid you crash and it is realised that you have recently had surgery anywhere, the Police and the court will contact the person who carried out the procedure and ask what advice your were given and if it becomes apparent that you have gone against medical advice it will be frowned upon obviously. So I decided to wait and contact GP at 4 weeks and get them to give me the all clear, then it was on my notes and the onus went to them to explain their decision if that makes sense.

As for feeding I can't help on BF as I FF DS due to personal issues surrounding his delivery.

TennisFan Thu 18-Aug-11 10:01:43

Forgot to say the elective CS was sheer bliss - it really is very nicely done and everyone is taking so much care of you.
It was a bit of a shock to me how many people were involved actually - loads!
For mine I had to eat my last meal the night before going in - then after checking in I just walked down to the theatre (just assumed i would be on a trolley for some reason). I was the first one in with my consultant, so was lucky that there were no emergencys ahead of me.
They numb you really quickly, and i think there was an anti-nausea thing too - then its all over really really quickly. You dont get to see very much as there is a screen put up.
In the recovery room you get all the skin to skin contact and first feed etc - honestly I had the best experience.
I think I was bed for that whole day, and the midwives at my hospital would either keep the baby in the nursery and bring her to me when she needed a feed; OR you could keep baby in your room and call for help when she needed a feed during the first 24-36 hours.

After that i was well up for a bath, and they had a lovely kind of walk-in sit down bath. The next days i just had a shower.

Good luck

nunnie Thu 18-Aug-11 10:03:04

As for walkign around, I walked around the house and once a day sometimes twice would pop DS in his pram and go for a walk round the village which took on average 20 minutes (small village).

TennisFan Thu 18-Aug-11 10:03:33

My car insurance said i could drive whenever i liked

nunnie Thu 18-Aug-11 10:09:34

Now see my understanding is some crashes involve more than just insurance companies imput. And if you have gone against medical advice (which some people aren't given so it isn't a problem, I was) then if the crash was your fault in can become a more serious issue, and the argument is that insurance companies aren't medical professionals and don't really have a say when it comes to serious incidents.

Mandyville Thu 18-Aug-11 10:11:15

Agree to 'try not to worry'... My recovery from an emergency section was actually fine. My scar is very, very neat and my wound healed really well.

My first one mile walk was at about four weeks post section, I think, but I could have managed it at three weeks (but MIL was staying and she doesn't like going out). If you CAN, set yourself up some help. If you CAN'T, I'm sure you'll make it to nursery and back at two weeks - just take it really slowly. Also, I used a sling not a pushchair - twas fine, and I think more comfy. Personal choice, I guess. I also carried a weight heavier than my baby (my baby in a hefty carrycot) at two weeks and didn't damage myself in any way.

Re: night feeding... I did find it hard, but part of that was because she was my first. My 'trick' was to feed lying down and shove multiple pillows behind me so I didn't have to use any muscles to support myself. DH didn't get much bed! DD was mostly comfort-feeding, so I didn't have to change sides very often, fortunately. I actually found feeding while sitting more comfy most of the time, so I just propped myself up in the corner of the sofa with DD on a pillow on my lap.

You asked for dos and don'ts... I was extremely nervous about coughing. After a few days my mum found an NHS leaflet telling patients that they should cough if they needed to, and put a pillow against their wound if they felt the need for extra support. By that time, though, I was quite congested. So my 'do' is cough if you need to! Bit minor, I guess, but it bothered me!

nunnie Thu 18-Aug-11 10:20:52

Should say I am not saying you shouldn't drive it is personal choice and how you feel. I was just giving my personal experience and I do know lots of people who were never given any info about no driving after theirs so it doesn't seem to be a standard policy for all hospitals.

I 2nd the coughing, sneezing thing, I don't know what i expected 1st time but the build up to a sneeze was quite intense, but once it was out and I relised I hadn't split in two it was a relief.
Wear big knickers also then there is nothing rubbing there.

titferbrains Thu 18-Aug-11 10:21:02

Am not a driver so will be relying on others/bus/cab if I really need to get anywhere.

Tks so much for previous posts. I am just very anxious about how DD will cope, I am v reluctant to get help from someone she doesn't know well as she will already be coping with new baby, me not being able to move much and 2 other people she knows caring for her on a monday and tues, and poss a friday too.

Should I try to get someone for Weds and Thurs for week 3? I really don't think it will be a good idea for me to take her (3yo) to playground as a lot of stretching up and bending over... she is pretty confident but still needs a bit of help occasionally.

Georgimama Thu 18-Aug-11 10:21:27

I had an ELCS on 29th July, so three weeks ago tomorrow. Of course everyone is different but I have been amazed at the rapid recovery I have made. The first 72 hours are a bit rubbish (felt quite guarded of the wound, although I am sure there was no need to) but far from the worst I have ever felt in my life. I'd say recovering from my third degree tear with first delivery was worse. Breast feeding has been no problem at all - the incision is very low in the pubic hair area so my baby is nowhere near when in normal sitting or reclining BFing position.

What else - I'm not driving yet but plan to start at the end of next week after the nod from my insurers (the surgeon didn't say anything about when I could drive and the community MW who discharged me said I could drive when I felt genuinely capable of an emergency stop and my insurance co were OK with it) as I live in a very isolated area and am getting quite bad cabin fever. I stopped taking any kind of painkillers after a week. I've been out a couple of times walking around the shops with DD in a sling and that hasn't been a problem.

Also agree with whoever said ELCS was lovely - it really really was a positive experience. Only draw back was being elective I had quite a long wait because on the day mine was booked in the delivery suite went mad with emergency sections and I had to wait from 7.30am until 4pm to go down to theatre, nil by mouth the whole time (they put a drip up so I wasn't dehydrated). But at least I wasn't labouring!

titferbrains Thu 18-Aug-11 10:21:41

Extra help would be from a nanny agency.

Georgimama Thu 18-Aug-11 10:22:44

Oh yes, buy some giant old lady pants so they sit well above the incision. You don't want anything rubbing. I have continued to wear my maternity jeans for the same reason.

oranges123 Thu 18-Aug-11 10:24:29

I had an EMCS and, TBH, after hearing some stories about VBs and tearing, I think the CS was the easier option in some ways, at least for me. I think what causes a lot of horror stories post-CS is that people who have EMCSs often have also had tears or episiotomies at the same time so have to recover from both. That means you can neither sit nor lie comfortably which must make feeding a nightmare. You won't have had that problem, as I didn't, so you should be able to sit in a reclining position and feed that way, or lie as suggested above.

Also, I suspect it is far less likely there will be any mistakes made in the op with an ELCS as they can do it at a relaxed pace with no panic, unlike mine where it was all done at 100 miles an hour with lots of faffing as to whether it should be GA or a top up of epidural (caused by me BTW, not the docs). And still they did a great job and 20 months on it is all good - the tiniest twinge sometimes after a long time in high heels (possibly because I rarely wear them) and that is it.

I was stuck in hospital for 10 days after the birth (because of the baby not me) which slightly hindered the amount of walking around I did and I think being at home you will move around more which will be better. As a guide, I think you could expect to be back to almost normal re walking by about 4 weeks but before then you should take it easy and rest when you feel tired or if your scar hurts. Like TennisFan says, everyone is different and you should just do as much as you are comfortable with.

Take all the help that is offered though and ask for any that isn't - getting your DD to nursery might be something someone could do for you in the early days or if you can afford it, take a taxi.

I realise my experience is a bit unhelpful because you have an older child to look after. As far as possible, avoid lifting her - cuddles when you are sitting down if you can. It's hard I know and I am sure loads of people end up doing more and are fine. Again, you will know if it is too much - if you feel a twinge, stop what you are doing and rest.

Do keep an eye on your scar in the early days and if it looks at all red or weepy, run it past the midwife who will visit you or the GP - the GP may give you antibiotics but they can always give you ones which are compatible with bf-ing. Keeping it clean is the main thing but infections still happen.

For me, the most painful thing I suffered was not as a result of the op but from the iron tablets they gave me afterwards. They gave me such awful stomach cramps my lovely doctor told me to stop taking them and take Floradix instead. If you suffer in this way at all, don't just accept it and think it is just something you have to put up with. Go and see the doctor and refuse to leave until they sort you out!

Here endeth the lecture.

Best of luck and hope it all goes brilliantly.

titferbrains Thu 18-Aug-11 10:24:39

I've got the grannie pants. Plus extra hi yoga pants, hope 3 pairs will be enough!

nunnie Thu 18-Aug-11 10:26:10

I was taking DD to the playground and I think she fell off the climbing frame once, but picked herself up came for a cuddle then ran off again, she did know that I couldn't hold her on the monkey bars though but she doesn't like me doing it anyway apparently Daddy is better think it's because he doesn't panic like I do. I did push her on the swing.

I suppose it depends how you feel but you're not going to know that until the time sadly, and how independant your DD is, mine is quite independant so it makes it easier.

Meglet Thu 18-Aug-11 10:27:18

Bookmarking (at work). Had 2 cs's. Back later!

nunnie Thu 18-Aug-11 10:28:10

3 should be enough, no one expects you to dress up and make up thank goodness because I don't do that pre pregnancy wink

titferbrains Thu 18-Aug-11 10:30:29

Great, thanks for that orange.

Think I might get laughed at if I get a taxi to her school, it's really very close but could just be a bit tiring to walk. Will see if there is someone at nursery who might be able to help out for first few weeks. Am a bit shy so haven't made mummy friends yet, more just on hello how is pg going sort of terms. Guess i will have to swallow shyness and speak up!

Also how often did you all visit GP after op? Again, GP is about 15 min walk away but down a steep hill which isn't great on the way back... Can book a cab I guess but it will take all of about 3 min in a car! It is much more awkward to get to GP by bus and walking and will take a lot longer.

titferbrains Thu 18-Aug-11 10:32:08

DD v independent, just don't want to do something silly and hurt myself. I guess asking for help is more important here.

nunnie Thu 18-Aug-11 10:32:14

I visited the GP once after I had been dscharged from the midwife and became unwell (water infection). Apart from that I didn't go again until 6 week check.

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