Congratulations!! You are finally a mother. However, things did not go as planned as you had to undergo an emergency C-section. It is estimated that one in three American babies are born via C-section. As per a CDC report published in 2020, 25.6% of the low-risk category had a C-section.
C-section or caesarean is a major surgery that requires proper aftercare. Though it does not cause any major complications, it can affect your overall health and wellbeing if proper care is not taken.
When Can I Start Bending After C-Section?
You should not be bending over for the first 4-6 weeks after a c-section, or until you can do these movements with zero pain and discomfort. Stretching, straining, or carrying anything more than your baby should be completely avoided for the first 4-6 weeks.
You doctor will give you the best advice and course of action for a quick c-section recovery, but we’ve also compiled a list of the best tips and what to expect. Keep reading for more…
What Happens During A C-section?
During a cesarean section, the skin, fatty layer and fascia of the lower part of the abdomen is slit horizontally. The baby is then pulled out from the uterus in a head-first position. The fatty layer and skin are then stitched together which then joins and heals.
A C-section may be conducted in the following situations:
Medical condition: If the mother suffers from high blood pressure, high blood sugar, heart or kidney disease, then vaginal delivery might become risky. In such a case, a C-section may be recommended.
Infection: In case the mother suffers from an infection like HIV or herpes, a C-section may be recommeded.
Baby’s position: If the baby is in a breech position with the feet or bottom near the cervix, the doctor may recommend a C-section.
Multiples: If you are carrying twins or multiple babies, delivering them through the vagina can be difficult. In such a case, a c-section may be recommended.
Weight: If you are obese, it increases the chance of having a C-section as you might develop other complications because of your weight.
Besides the above condition, if the cervix does not dilate properly or if your fetus becomes too exhausted then also a C-section may be recommended.
Bending After A C-Section
The initial days after the c-section you are expected to stay still and not bend or move around too much. Pain medication will be prescribed by the doctor so that you can slowly get back to your normal routine. Always remember to go slow and take extra time to do the task.
You should avoid bending for the first 4-6 weeks or until you can do the bending without any pain. In case you need to manage on your own, here are a few hacks you can consider.
- Use something to grab on to while bending.
- Before you start breastfeeding, keep all the necessary things handy. This way you need not get up multiple times and move around.
- While getting in and out of a chair, use your arms for support.
- While getting up from the bed roll to the side first and then slowly get up.
When Can I Start Walking After C-Section?
Doctor will encourage you to start walking a day after your C-section. Walking can be painful initially. But as the days go by you will feel things getting better. Walking helps to lower post delivery complications like blood clot. It even helps to release gas and normalise your bowel movement.
It is best to have your partner or parent by your side to help you during the initial days. Some mothers feel giddy and might lose balance. Having someone with you provides you with the much needed mental and physical support.
C-Section Recovery Tips
It is very important that you keep the wound area clean so as to avoid infection. In additon the below tips will help you in a speedy recovery.
You should not lift anything heavier than your baby for the initial few weeks. Similarly, you should not bend to lift things up. You can seek the help of your partner or a family member to get things done. You should also avoid high impact exercise for the first six weeks.
While feeding, you should prop a breastfeeding pillow or other supportive pillows so that you are seated comfortably. While coughing or sneezing you should provide support to your belly so that you do not exert pressure.
Prepare A Recovery Space
It is very important that all unnecessary movements are minimised while you are recovering. Thus, all things you need for breastfeeding the baby like breastfeeding pillow and water should be kept at hands reach. Diaper supplies, snacks and even your phone should be easily reachable.
Eat A Balanced Diet
A nutritious diet is highly essential for speedy recovery. Make sure to eat fiber rich food that helps in proper digestion and excretion. Also drink plenty of water to make up for the water loss from your body.
Take Plenty Of Rest
Though doctor recommends walking as soon as possible to get back to normalcy, you also need plenty of rest. Having a baby around can interrupt your sleep and make it very difficult to rest.
You should seek the help of your partner, family members and friends in cooking, laundering and taking care of the baby. This way you can ensure that you get ample sleep.
Take Pain Relieving Medicines
Taking care of a newborn is a demanding job. And there is no need to suffer pain along with that.
You can take pain relieving medicines after consulting with your doctor. If it does not give any relief you should get a proper check up done to rule out infection.
When Should You Call A Doctor?
You should consult a doctor if
- The incision is red and swollen and leaking discharge.
- The pain in the incision is getting worse.
- You develop fever which is higher than 100.4 F
- You have swelling in your hands and feet.
- You have a bad headache that does not go away.
C-section is a major surgery that requires proper after care. In the absence of it, complications are likely to develop.
You should take proper rest after a C-section and do not attempt to bend or lift weight for sometime. This ensures that your scar heals fast and you can return to your normal activities soon.