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ELCS: How long does it really take to recover?
43

Miller2021 · 05/05/2022 12:03

Hi everyone. I've had some really conflicting advice about elective sections and the recovery time, so I was hoping you could help me out with your experiences.

If you had an elective caesarean, how long was it until you could:

  • Leave the hospital
  • Do day-to-day things without significant pain (regardless of whether you had to keep taking painkillers regularly to do this)
  • Stop taking painkillers altogether
  • Pick up anything heavier than your baby
  • Drive
  • Have sex
  • Anything else you feel is significant?

I know there are various guidelines about times when you can do certain things, but I'm wondering about when you actually felt ready and comfortable.

Many thanks in advance for your help!
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icecreamcart · 05/05/2022 12:11

Hi, I think it was 2 weeks before I could do anything meaningful. Another month before I wanted to go for a short work. Worked it up from there. I was out of hospital within a day and healed better at home but I couldn't walk just.

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1940s · 05/05/2022 12:12

Up and walking the same day.
In pain moving and sitting up for 6/7 days.
Slow walk outside 'comfortably' by day 10.

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mynameiscalypso · 05/05/2022 12:14

I left the hospital the next day. I was told off by the nurse for carrying my baby in the car seat. The following day, I walked to the supermarket and did a light shop and made dinner etc. I had paracetamol and ibuprofen for a couple of weeks which I took religiously which helped - I think that's really key.

I don't drive but was cleared to do light exercise at my 6 week check and could run etc by 8 weeks.

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AmbushedByCake1 · 05/05/2022 12:18

Mine was a breeze. Up and walking same day. Discharged from hospital day after. Took my painkillers religiously. Out for a walk at about 3 days post section.

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MrsSugar · 05/05/2022 12:20

So I was having elective section but ended up going into labour on my own and had an emergency section. Now I’d say recovery is so so varied. I had horrific SPD so really struggled getting about and I had hyperemesis which also was hard so my recovery felt much easier than the pregnancy.

i stayed 2 nights in hospital. Mainly only stayed the second night as my baby spent first night in neonatal unit as he pooped inside me.

i had painkillers in hospital but when I got home I just took them as and when needed. My iron levels were so low my mouth was all ulcered and tbh I was mainly taking painkillers for that. I’m not one to shy away from painkillers either I’m right on cocodamol for a headache usually but I wouldn’t say I was ever in any severe pain.

I tried to only lift my baby up but I could do this fairly easily and he was over 9lbs. When he was 2 weeks old I carried him in his car seat to his hearing test from the hospital car park…. Looking back that was right stupid of me but at the time I just kind of did it as I was carried along with everything at the time. I was slow don’t get me wrong

the morning after my section I walked to the shower, dressed myself and walked to neonatal very slowly but I did it all myself

I didn’t drive until my baby was 6 weeks old

I had sex just over 5 weeks post partum and it was totally fine. Obvz just mindful of my scar being a sensitive area

ppl go on about first poo post c section. This for me was again totally fine !

as I said my pregnancy was tough so maybe that’s why I didn’t find it so bad. I think it’s different for everyone. Tbh I think I would have struggled massively recovering from a vaginal delivery.

good luck with it all ! Everyone loves to tell a horror story about how bad it all is but honestly everyone is different !

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Dinosauratemydaffodils · 05/05/2022 12:22

My second was a semi emergency section.
I left hospital the next day. The day after that I went out for lunch. 6 days later I was wandering around a castle in Edinburgh.
I didn't take pain killers apart from those given in theatre.
By the start of week 3 I was walking 3 miles with the buggy to get dc1 from preschool.
Sex I think was 7 weeks.
Was doing gentle pilates by week 4.

It obviously varies a lot but I also bounced back from my 1st emergency section after a very long labour, pushing and failed forceps.

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PollyDarton1 · 05/05/2022 12:27

Hey!

  1. I left the hospital after 5 days but this was a) my DS lost a lot of birth weight and b) I had a UTI infection - so somewhat skewered. I was walking within 12 hours of the section.

  2. Honestly, I was doing pretty day to day things (e.g. not just sitting in bed) by day 3. By the time we went home on day 5 I was fine and had to do the majority of everything anyway!

  3. I think within a week? I couldn't tolerate oramorph (morphine) and can't take ibuprofen so I was just on paracetamol. I think I may have even skipped a few doses in hospital.

  4. Not too sure on this one - I'd definitely say by day 5/6

  5. I didn't drive at the time so can't comment on that one.

  6. 4 weeks for sex.

    One thing I will recommend is if you need to sneeze, get a cushion or a pillow to soften the sharp movement you make! I got caught out with that one about day 2 after my section and that was probably the most pain I've felt.
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Apple333 · 05/05/2022 12:30

I have had x2 c sections (emergency and elective)

I left the hospital both times after 24hrs stay. The first week - 2 weeks were the worst for me, in terms of pain. But I have awful a pain threshold so I'm sure this will vary person to person.

Week 1 was awful but i pushed myself (not OTT though) to get back to normal. I had to sleep on my settee sat up right most of the week because I couldn't sit up from laying without being in pain.. the same as laughing or sneezing or coughing during this week was an absolute nightmare but it passes. After week 1 I was able to take less pain meds and went for short walks out of the house, again just knew my limit. And it was better every day after.

After my elective I had a 19month old at home so picking up anything heavier than baby was a hit and miss rule for me - I tried to not do alot but sometimes did, avoiding heavy lifting in the first few weeks anyway. I don't drive so cannot advise on this!

Sex was just before the 6wk mark when I wasn't of course bleeding 😂

I had terrible gas pains when I got home too and peppermint tea really helped (or spearmint I can't remember) with that. I also used let my scar line dry out as much as I could, and luckily both times had zero trouble with healing down there and had zero infections.

Hope this helps and good luck with your CS ♥️

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nearlyspringyay · 05/05/2022 12:33

Emcs at 2200, catheter out and up walking to the toilet and to have a shower at 0800, discharged the following morning.

I didn't have any real pain, but I kept on top of painkillers, don't wait until you are in pain to take them if that makes sense.

I was pretty much back to normal within a couple of weeks.

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TulipsGarden · 05/05/2022 12:33

Leave the hospital - three days

Do day-to-day things without significant pain (regardless of whether you had to keep taking painkillers regularly to do this) - probably a week? I went for a slow walk at around a week-10 days. Until then I was basically in sick mode - in pyjamas all day.

Stop taking painkillers altogether - around 3 weeks I think. The main thing is to keep to your pain relief schedule, do not miss a dose because it's hard to then get on top of the pain. I had oramorph for the first few days which I personally think was essential. I had my tablet schedule written on the painkiller boxes so I knew what I needed to catch up or get back on track if I slept through a dose.

Pick up anything heavier than your baby - no idea, but I remember finding it really hard to unstack the dishwasher because the plates were so heavy and twisting was impossible.

Drive - I didn't drive then

Have sex - literally months, I felt very uncomfortable even after I'd healed because my stomach felt different and my scar was still uncomfortable.

Anything else you feel is significant? - I still feel a difference in my body three years on. I was 37 though, if you're 27 you might recover more easily. Also I remember nipping off to a shop on my own while we were in town a month after the surgery, and realising I couldn't 'nip'. I couldn't walk fast at all, everything still felt very tight. That improved quickly as I started going out more, but it was a shock to realise how much I'd been affected.

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TulipsGarden · 05/05/2022 12:39

Three more things.

  1. Don't try to lie down flat on a bed afterwards. You'll need lots of pillows to prop you up to sleep for a while.
  2. You'll bleed more if you overdo it. It's a sign that your body needs to recover. Stay active, but take it very easy.
  3. Make sure you dry out your scar after a shower (once the wraps are off). You need to lie down and let it air dry. You're sitting scrunched up so much with a new baby when you're feeding, your scar needs that time to breathe.
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Littlegoth · 05/05/2022 12:43

Leave the hospital - 5 nights (due to baby needs)

Do day-to-day things without significant pain (regardless of whether you had to keep taking painkillers regularly to do this) - day 6, I went home and made a buffet platter! DH would have done it but I insisted. I had terrible spd in pregnancy and felt brilliant in comparison.

Stop taking painkillers altogether - day 6


Pick up anything heavier than your baby - a week

Drive - day 14 (spoke to insurer and gp before to confirm I was ok to do so)

Have sex - could have probably done by day 14 but was too knackered


Anything else you feel is significant?

side sleep - 3 nights
Belly sleep - 7 nights

was very happy with my recovery

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DinosaursEatMan · 05/05/2022 12:51

Recovery from elcs was a breeze. They wouldn’t let me out of hospital for two days, which was massively frustrating and I suspect down to disorganisation on their part, as I would have been fine on day one. Was lifting dc straight away and off painkillers in under a week. Driving I think was 6 weeks because of insurance maybe? In comparison my previous ‘normal’ birth took the best part of a year before I felt vaguely human.

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Insertdeadcatsnamehere · 05/05/2022 13:01

24 hours for all except driving and sex. Waited a couple of weeks to drive, largely as there was no pressing reason to. Sex...erm about a year tbh but that's cos I just didn't fancy it, would probably have been good to go physically once I'd stopped bleeding... 5 or 6 weeks?

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eurochick · 05/05/2022 13:13

I was up and showering the next morning - about 10 hours after I came out of theatre (watched by a midwife in case I keeled over).

I left the hospital just over 36 hours after my section.

I was walking a reasonable distance (across the car park and hospital to visit my baby who was kept in) about 60 hours post section.

Drugs - not sure, a few days.

I checked I could operate the car on day 10 and got permission to drive on day 11.

However I went for a run at 7 weeks (with my consultant's permission), could feel all my organs jiggling, hated it and sat on the sofa for a good while afterwards despite being a gym bunny before pregnancy.

I was still getting odd pulling feelings around my scar for about two years and even nearly eight years on I get pain that takes my breath away around ovulation some months (I suspect scar tissue adhesions).

So a speedy initial recovery but some lingering effects.

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Weathergirl1 · 05/05/2022 14:29

I think it really depends. I was in hospital longer than I should have been because they messed up and didn't give me pain relief on time causing a cascade of further issues. I was so angry about it because I hated being in hospital and was desperate to get out. Next time I would self discharge.

We don't have a car so I didn't drive until after the 6 week check when we drove to my parents for Christmas, but I was able to cycle lightly on the turbo trainer at 4 weeks and could have easily done it after 3 but was so knackered I didn't feel like it (low iron too after elcs).

Was in hospital for 4 nights but by the time I was home I wasn't needing to take paracetamol regularly and I think I may have even stopped by a week. Left the house at a week to get baby's tongue tie sorted but that was all in a friend's car. Walked to a coffee shop the next day and was fine section wise, but knackered!

Sex was an issue due to breastfeeding related tightness which lasted for months - apparently this is a known hormonal thing that can affect some women, so can't comment on the elcs effects.

I wore a belly bandit wrap once I was home and that really helped I think. Made me feel much more supported and stopped me feeling like my insides were loose. Would definitely recommend.

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tuliplover · 05/05/2022 14:48

I've had two fur medical reasons. The first I was in hospital for four days, but once out was feeling pretty good and went out to a restaurant the next day. I kept to the six weeks no driving and so walked quite a lot.
The first 48 hours are the worst, after that not bad at all. We resumed 'relations' after two weeks!

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Franca123 · 05/05/2022 15:11

Up and walking the same day. Left hospital the day after. Able to do everyday tasks. I took ibuprofen and paracetamol for about a week after. I was out for short walks within the first week. I could easily have driven but didn't need to and never got round to calling the insurer. Signed off for exercise at 6weeks but no time to exercise with a newborn! Sane goes for sex! Does anyone have sex with a newborn in the house?! Pain was really minimal.

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EatingToast · 05/05/2022 15:35

  1. 24 hours
  2. 3/4 days
  3. Did not take painkillers after leaving hospital as didn't have any (this was a mistake)
  4. 5 days but only out of necessity and probably too soon
  5. 6 weeks but could easily have done at 4
  6. 4 weeks
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MrsPelligrinoPetrichor · 05/05/2022 15:37

1940s

Up and walking the same day.
In pain moving and sitting up for 6/7 days.
Slow walk outside 'comfortably' by day 10.

About the same for me too. I was in hospital for 5 days afterwards.

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doadeer · 05/05/2022 15:55

I was in hospital for 5 days as I had a big bleed and had very low iron and then my milk didn't come in so went home day 6. I was still struggling but I managed the stairs to flat no bother. Think I took pain killers for another week. Went out to a cafe near home etc on about day 8, went to baby cinema on day 14. To walk longer distances maybe a good month but I had really severe pelvic girdle pain so I was a bit of a mess.

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Amz6219 · 05/05/2022 15:58

I was on ‘enhanced recovery’ so I was up and about in 6 hours and back home about 24 hours after birth

Having had a previous emergency section I knew I’d have to be right on top of painkillers for a few days so I just took something every 4 hours whether I felt ok or not in that moment so I wasn’t too bad

Was obviously sore but off painkillers on about day 3/4 then little shuffles round the block within the first week. I was driving at about 4 weeks and totally back to ‘normal’ by 12 weeks.

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ShowOfHands · 05/05/2022 16:06

Mine were emcs but...

Catheter out and mobile within 3hrs. Discharged the next morning.

I didn't need painkillers and with my second, was doing the school run on day 4 (2 mile walk and a bus ride).

I waited a month to do exercise and built up to running again by 9 weeks.

I resumed normal activities within a few days, albeit slowly. I was fine to cook and do light housework for example.

I don't have sex when dealing with a newborn (hormonally and physically, it doesn't appeal) but likely could have done as soon as I stopped bleeding. This was 6 weeks with my first and 2 weeks with my second.

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ShowOfHands · 05/05/2022 16:06

Mine were emcs but...

Catheter out and mobile within 3hrs. Discharged the next morning.

I didn't need painkillers and with my second, was doing the school run on day 4 (2 mile walk and a bus ride).

I waited a month to do exercise and built up to running again by 9 weeks.

I resumed normal activities within a few days, albeit slowly. I was fine to cook and do light housework for example.

I don't have sex when dealing with a newborn (hormonally and physically, it doesn't appeal) but likely could have done as soon as I stopped bleeding. This was 6 weeks with my first and 2 weeks with my second

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vitahelp · 05/05/2022 16:10

Leave the hospital - 1 day (but stayed in a week due to DD having infection)

Do day-to-day things - 2 days

Stop taking painkillers altogether - 5 days

Pick up anything heavier than your baby - 3 weeks (but I waited longer just to keep to guidance)

Drive - 5 weeks

Have sex - Probably 10 weeks, but I probably just generally didn't want to due to bleeding/tiredness and normal childbirth things.

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