To accelerate the recovery process from a caesarean, you should use a postpartum bandage to prevent the accumulation of fluid in the scar area, which is a called a seroma, and ingest about 2 to 3 liters of water or other fluids a day. In addition, it is also important to eat foods rich in proteins because they may make healing faster and avoid exertion.
The total recovery time from a cesarean delivery varies from woman to woman. Some some women can stand up, just hours after surgery, while others need more time to recover, especially if there was some kind of complication during labor.
Post-cesarean recovery is not easy because it is a major surgery and the body will need about 6 months to recover. After 10 to 12 hours has past from the cesarean section a nurse will help the woman to take a shower, which can be apparently difficult. The woman will probably need help and the nurse or a chaperone may be needed.
You will need help getting in and out of bed, so it will be easier if someone can stay with you to give you the baby when he cries or wants to nurse.
Hospital admission time is generally 3 days, and after this period, if the woman and baby are well, they can go home, but in some cases the two or one of the two may stay a few more days in the hospital to recover from a situation, which can occur if the baby has jaundice, for example.
10 great ways to recover from a c-section faster
After discharge, women should recover at home and, therefore, it is recommended to:
- Get extra help, especially in the early days: A woman should avoid exertion, focusing only on her well-being, breastfeeding and baby care. Household chores should not be a priority and so any help is welcome.
- Wear a brace: It is you use a postpartum brace to give you more comfort and lessen the sensation that the organs are loose inside the abdomen and to decrease the risk of seroma in the scar. It is also necessary to use a night absorbent, as there will be bleeding similar to a strong menstruation, which can last up to 45 days.
- Putting ice helps to reduce pain and swelling: It may be helpful to put ice packs on the cesarean's scar as long as it does not become wet. One should place the ice wrapped in a plastic bag and napkins leaving it to act for about 15 minutes, every 4 hours for pain and discomfort relief.
- Exercising: About 20 days after the c-section it is possible to do light physical activity such as walking or jogging. Abdominal and hypopressive plank exercises can help strengthen the abdominal muscles faster. See how to do hypopressive exercises to strengthen the abdomen and fight urinary incontinence.
- Avoid taking picking up weight and driving: It is not recommended you do any exertion or pick up weights before 20 days have pasted. When the woman has another child and needs to pick them up on her lap, she should sit down first. It is also not recommended you drive until 3 months after the cesarean so that you are more alert and less worried or in pain.
- Use healing ointments: After removing the dressing and stitches, the doctor may indicate the use of a cream, gel or healing ointment to help remove the cesarean scar, making it smaller and more discreet. When applying the cream daily it is important to massage the scar, with circular movements.
- Eating well: You should prefer foods that may help with the healing process, such as eggs, chicken and cooked fish, rice and beans, vegetables and fruits that make digestion easier like papaya. This type of diet besides helping to maintain your health, will boost the production of high-quality breast milk. While the baby breastfeeds you should not diet to lose weight because it can hinder milk production.
- Sleeping on your side or belly up: The most suitable position is belly up, with a pillow under the knees to better accommodate your back. If you prefer to sleep on your side you should put a pillow between your legs. Whenever you get up from bed you must imagine that you are trying to suck something with your vagina and should only let go when you are standing.
- Contraceptive method: The pill should be initiated 15 days after delivery but if you prefer another method you should talk to your doctor to see your options and which one is best suited for you. It is important you choose a contraceptive method so you can avoid a new pregnancy before 1 year, because the risks of uterine rupture increase and it can be a very serious problem.
- Drinking Diuretic teas to reduce swelling: After a c-section it is normal that you become swollen and what to decrease this disorder. Some good teas that can help with the swelling are chamomile, which may help to calm the mother and the baby, and milk thistle tea, which also helps with the production of breast milk. You should avoid ginger tea because it can be very stimulating and may make the baby more alert. It is important for you to drink about 2 to 3 liters of liquids, including unsweetened teas throughout the day.
It is normal to become more sensitive in the area around the cesarean scar, which can become numb, provoke a pinched or burning sensation. This strange sensation can take 6 months to 1 year to decrease in intensity, but it is normal for some women not to recover completely, even after 6 years of a c-section.
How to look after you c-section scar
The stitches of the scar should only be removed 8 days after the c- section and it can be washed normally during your bath. If you are experiencing a lot of pain, you may take a pain reliever prescribed by your doctor.
During bathing it is recommended not to wet your dressing, but when the doctor puts on a waterproof dressing, you can bathe normally without risk of watering. You should make sure the dressing is always clean and if you notice a lot of secretions, you should go back to the doctor to clean the area and put on a new dressing.
The recovery of c-sections is slower and there are always greater risks with this type of delivery because of the possible complications during and after surgery.
How long should you wait until you have intimate contact
After childbirth you need to wait about 30 to 40 days to have intimate contact again. This waiting time is important so that the injured tissues can heal well and you should avoid intimate contact until you have a full medical examination so you can avoid vaginal infections and other complications.