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As with all health-related issues, please seek advice from a RL health professional if you're worried about anything.

Postnatal health

C section advice

4 replies

ReadyToPopPop · 19/04/2018 11:21

I had an emergency c section 2 weeks ago and have not had much advice on recovery. Do you have any advice or pointers on where to find info on recovery and how to get active again?

I am a very active person and worked out throughout pregnancy. Now I can’t even walk to shop or tidy the house. Not helping my anxiety which has come on post birth. Not sure if I should be doing anything to help healing in correct way.

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BurningGubbins · 19/04/2018 11:26

You’ve had major abdominal surgery. It will take longer than 2 weeks to recover. Take it easy, don’t push yourself too hard, it won’t speed things up.

Air out the wound as much as you can, that’ll help on the outside, but your insides are bruised and swollen from the op and from having a baby (congrats!). It takes time!

(I’ve had 2 c-sections).

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Esker · 19/04/2018 11:28

Do you have any more follow up with midwives? If so definitely ask them.

I have had 2 c sections- one emergency and one planned. After birth I was told to get up and move about as soon as possible. Not to over do it of course, but to avoid just lying down all the time to recover, as that will actually slow you down.

Has pain relief been ok?

I definitely felt worse for longer after the emergency section. So that could be a factor.

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leily · 25/04/2018 18:09

ReaduToPopPop - I'm so sorry you've had a hard time recently! I was active before pregnancy and haven't been able to do things for about a year now and it's SO frustrating! (Pelvic problems and 24/7 sickness stopped me during pregnancy)

I don't know where to get advice on that other than from your nurse or doctor, despite looking. But here some thoughts on recovery in general (bearing in mind I'm not a doctor so not giving medical advice! This is just based on my experience.)

Wash the scar every day and pat it dry after. Even a few months on this made such a difference!
Avoid use of stairs, walking far and driving for the first 6 weeks
Don't lift anything heavier than the baby!!
If it's sore then ease back on what you're doing for a day or so
Get as much help with lifting the baby as you can
As far as possible, don't do housework. Especially not hoovering or things that involve reaching a lot. If you need tidiness for your mental health (I know I do) then just have one room which you keep relatively clean and hang out there a lot - you can deal with the rest when you're better.
Work up your activity slowly, and really don't do anything more taxing than walking for a while
Three months is probably the earliest point you're going to be able to do actual exercise, and it might more realistically be 6 months
You could try something gentle like pilates, yoga or tai chi instead (but be careful on the stretching!)
Don't overdo it even though you miss being active! It will just take longer for you to heal so you'll not be able to do things for much longer
If people tell you you should be doing more or recovered more already, they can shove their advice somewhere dark and tight. You just had major surgery. Even worse, emergency surgery. If you'd had a hysterectomy you'd be on bed rest righy now, and not allowed to lift anything for three months! Instead you're lifting a hefty weight constantly and not sleeping enough. It's going to take time to recover.
Drink plenty of fluids and eat regularly
If you're breastfeeding, try breastfeeding lying down on your side with the baby next to you, and also try rugby ball style. If youre sitting then you can put a cushion or something under the baby to stop them hurting the wound.
You can use a cushion and press it against the wound if laughing and coughing are painful
Take painkillers as much or little as you need them. It's hard looking after a baby without also having to deal with lots of pain!
Make sure you get a 6 week check. Apparently they don't do that everywhere? You may need to ask for it and also ask them to check the wound and to give you an iron level test (if you lost a lot of blood and/or were anaemic during pregnancy)
Call the doctors' if you're worried. You can get phone appointments.
I've found that medical professionals who have actually had c sections were much more helpful and realistic....
Wear high waist clothes and/or dresses! I didn't own any so I borrowed gypsy skirts from my mum until I could get some. Charity shops are probably good for those if you can get out; eBay if you can't!
Online shopping.
Oversized high waist knockers are a must. A Mumsnet user gave me a tip on leggings (thanks!) to go up a size - I went up two sizes on high waist leggings and that's been good. Poundland are selling them at the moment! Failing that, a lot of jogging bottoms are high waist.
I don't know what you were into activity-wise but I do martial arts and the high waist Gi trousers also work really well!
If your baby likes kicking you in the wound then nappy change them sideways!

If you've had an emergency section then go easy on yourself. It's major surgery, like I said. Your body has been through a lot so give yourself a break. You're doing amazingly well to just be doing what you're doing! Well done!!

I was told that there'd be a sudden improvement at about 6 weeks and at about 3 months and I found that to be the case. It was really really bad up to 6 weeks and then over a couple of days suddenly improved! So that is a definite possibility, don't lose heart. I've been told as well there's another improvement around 6 months but I've not got that far yet to confirm it!

I had an emergency section with two separate incisions after being in labour over a day so my recovery is taking a particularly long time... I think if you've had it more straightforward it'll be easier on you :) I found those first 6 weeks so so difficult for the same reasons you are. But you're already 1/3 of the way through it, go you.

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ReadyToPopPop · 28/04/2018 12:07

Thank you ladies.

I’m three weeks down and slowly feeling a bit more normal. Actually able to take pram out on my own....not going far but slowly building up walking distance a little bit each day.

Currently sitting in the cafe at the gym breastfeeding and eating cake whilst the hubby is having a workout....if I can’t work out I may as well have some cake to compensate ;-)

Patience is not my forte but I guess motherhood need this in buckets so it will serve me well to try to practice it more ;-)

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