Mother and Baby

10 Steps To Recovery After A C-Section

Make sure you look after yourself after your c-section. A caesarean section (or c-section) is a common operation. ‘But it’s important to remember it’s also quite a serious one,’ says Elizabeth Duff, senior policy adviser at the NCT. ‘You have an incision through your abdomen into your uterus, so although most women recover quickly, you do need to follow the advice you’re given.’ Follow these top tips: 

10 Steps To Recovery After A C-Section Expand Image 10 Steps To Recovery After A C-Section

Move about

Move about (go gently!) as soon as you can. This is good for your circulation and will also mean your bladder catheter can be removed earlier.
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Alter breastfeeding positions

Try different positions for breastfeeding, which may be uncomfortable to start with because of your stitches. Your midwife will be able to help you get into the best position.
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Cotton all the way

Wear loose clothes and roomy cotton underwear to help you feel comfortable.
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Fluids and fibre-rich foods

Drink plenty of fluids and eat fibre-rich foods like fruit, vegetables and oats, to help prevent constipation.
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Wash your wound

Wash and dry your wound carefully. The dressing will normally be taken off the day after surgery, and after that it’s important to keep the area clean. It’s okay to use soap if you rinse well, and be sure to pat rather than rub the skin.
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Don’t drive

Get someone else to do the driving. You won’t be able to drive for up to six weeks, so plan to have someone take you to clinics, and so on. ‘If you’re having an elective c-section, it’s a good idea to arrange all this in advance, but it can be more difficult to organise after an emergency c-section,’ says Elizabeth. ‘This is the time to call in favours from friends and relatives.’
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Have people on standby

Arrange help with other children. If you have other little ones , the weeks after a c-section can be tough, as you won’t be able to carry them and play with them as usual. Have people on standby to help out, if possible.
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Keep an eye out for infection

Watch out for signs of infection in the week or so after your c-section. If you feel feverish, your wound becomes more painful, looks angry or inflamed or leaks pus, you have smelly discharge or heavy bleeding, or you notice pain or discomfort when you pee, you should contact your doctor.
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Take a painkiller

You’ll be given painkillers, so take them. ‘You will need these for at least the first few days after the c-section,’ says Elizabeth.
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Accept help

Enlist help at home. ‘You can hold and breastfeed your baby but you’ll need help with picking her up,’ says Elizabeth. ‘You won’t be able to pick up toddlers or anything heavy, such as shopping bags. So get help around the home from friends or relatives.’

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