*This is a guest post
Following a cesarean section, your body will take a longer time to recover than those of women who have given birth vaginally. Due to the long incision necessary to remove the baby from the womb through C section, your lower abdomen will require a little caution and TLC for a few weeks.
Waiting to get back up to strength can be difficult, especially with a newborn to look after, but it’s essential for both you and your baby that you rest and follow your doctor’s advice in order to heal properly.
Take a look at these tips to help you to recover.
1. Get plenty of rest
Recovery at home after C section is the usual course of action as long as there are no complications, so at least you’ll be comfortable in your own environment.
Make sure to rest as much as you can. Ask for help from family and friends around the house so you don’t have to worry about things not getting done.
2. Get up and walk around
While it’s important to rest, you also need to make sure that you get up and walk around from time to time. This will help to prevent blood clots and will keep you feeling more energetic.
The longer you spend inactive, the more difficult it will be to get back up on your feet once you’re all healed, but don’t overdo it. Start off gradually and do a little more as and when you’re able. Avoid taxing housework or heavy lifting, as these will put strain on your incision.
3. Talk to your doctor
Make sure to go to regular checkups with your doctor. They will be able to advise you on how you’re healing, as well as when you’re able to exercise, return to work, use tampons or have sex.
You’ll be sore at the incision site, but if you notice any unusual symptoms such as a fever, foul-smelling discharge, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or swelling at the incision site, go to see your doctor.
4. Be patient
Post C section recovery time can vary from woman to woman. A cesarean is a major operation, and you’ll likely need up to six weeks to heal, and up to eight weeks to get back to your regular self.
As frustrating as it may be to feel like you can’t do anything for these first few weeks, following your doctor’s advice is the best way to fully heal. If they opted for C section as the safest way to deliver your baby, just focus on how much better off your little one is thanks to the procedure whenever you’re feeling restless.
5. Don’t drive until you’re fully healed
One of the most common questions asked by mothers after the procedure is “Can you drive after a C section?” Healing times vary from woman to woman, but the general recommendation is to refrain from driving for six weeks after the cesarean operation delivery.
The risk involved with driving after a C-section is more to do with the potential for further injury to the incision site rather than a concern for the mother’s capability to drive. Use public transport or get someone else to drive you while you’re recovering.
6. Check your medication when you start driving
Driving after C section is only recommended when you’re fully healed. Once you’re ready, be sure to read the labels for any medicines or painkillers that you are taking to ensure that they won’t impair your ability to drive.
If this is a risk, refrain from driving until you are no longer taking the medication, even if you’ve fully healed after your cesarean. If you are breastfeeding, speak to your doctor about how your medications may affect this.
7. Eat properly
Pregnancy, giving birth and undergoing surgery are three of the hardest things you can put your body through, so you need to make sure that you’re getting plenty of nutrition. Not only will this help your body to recover, it will also ensure that your baby is well nourished if you’re breastfeeding.
Eat a healthy, varied diet including lots of fruits, vegetables and whole foods, and make sure to drink plenty of fluids, particularly water. For breastfeeding mothers, remember that whatever you eat, your baby eats too, so steer clear of alcohol and caffeine.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
There are plenty of other things to be taken care after cesarean delivery, and your regular life will be very different than it was before the birth. The most important thing to remember is that it’s okay to ask for help.
Whether you need somebody to pick up some groceries, or your current medication isn’t keeping the pain in check, there are plenty of people around you to help. Family, friends and healthcare professionals are all there to pick up the slack and to keep you as comfortable as possible while you’re recovering.
About the author: Riya is a writer who enjoys decorating her home, crafting, trying new recipes. She is also a runner who likes to enjoy the morning breeze. Her Twitter, @sanderriya.