A C-section is a safe procedure, but like all surgery it has some risk. Find out how to take care of yourself after bringing your baby into the world via C-section.
It’s important that you take care of yourself properly after a C-section. It’s a safe operation, but there are risks of complications afterwards. Before we begin, let’s talk about what the operation involves.
What is a C-section?
A C-section (or Caesarean section) is the delivery of the baby through the mother’s abdomen by making a cut through the abdominal wall and uterus. C-section consists of a laparotomy and a hysterotomy. Hence its complexity and consequential risks.
C-section becomes necessary when complicated conditions are putting the lives of the mother and baby in danger. However, because of its success and because of technological advances, most women, especially first-time mothers, are opting for this method of delivery.
Risk factors of a C-section
The associated risks of C-section are greater than with a vaginal birth. While it’s a very safe operation, there are possible complications, mainly for the woman. Risks factors may include: urinary tract infections, severe bleeding, infections from the cut or incision, and complications from the anesthesia.
How to take care of yourself after a C-section
A mother may probably be worried about taking care of her baby and herself after a C-section, but you’ll also experience symptoms like nausea and drowsiness. You should let your doctor know how you’re feeling so that they can prescribe medication if needed.
After 24 hours, you will be required to get up and move around. They’ll also probably recommend bathing around the third day to prevent infection in the wound.
Most women leave the hospital two or three days after a C-section. That will give the doctor time to do what’s necessary to care of you after the surgery. The following are guidelines that will be useful once you get home.
After your sutures are removed, you still need to be very careful not to push yourself too much, or else you could cause the sutures to open up. Take short walks to speed up your recovery.
Don’t do housework or carry anything very heavy, except your baby. That means you’ll need to get all the help you can from family and friends. When you need to cough, sneeze, or laugh, press a pillow over the incision site. As the weeks go by, your doctor will tell you when and how to get back to your daily activities.
READ ALSO: Risks Of Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)
Nurse your baby correctly
Feeding your baby after a C-section may appear simple, but the anesthesia will have worn off and your incision will hurt.
The doctor will show you how to hold your baby when breastfeeding so your child doesn’t press the wound on your belly.
Be patient while your uterus regains its normal shape
Your uterus starts the process of recuperating to its original size and shape. To do that, your body will discharge a fluid made of blood and dead tissue from your uterus called lochia.
It may last six weeks or less, and during this time you can use the pads that your hospital provides, or your own. The color of the lochia will change over time until it ends up clear or yellowish.
Drink sufficient water
Drinking sufficient water will keep you hydrated and prevent constipation. But you’ll need to urinate often, else your bladder will fill up and press on your incision which may cause it to rupture.
Doctors recommend waiting for about 6 to 8 weeks after a C-section to have any form of sexual activity. You will need to ask your doctor because they’re the one that knows your particular condition and can tell you the right amount of time to wait before being intimate again.
Watch out for signs of infection
A study has outlined some of the most common problems after a C-section. One of them was infection of the incision and another was endometriosis caused by microorganisms like Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.
Although infection rates are going down due to technological advances in medical procedures, keeping an eye out for infection is a vital way to take care of yourself after a C-section.
Some signs of infection are:
- Increased pain
- Dark-coloured urine
- Severe leg pain
- Reddening, pus, or a hot feeling around the incision
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge