Seven things to know after a Caesarean
Feature writer Cathy shares seven things you might not expect after a Caesarean.
Whether you’ve been advised to have an elective Caesarean or have to have an emergency C-section, you’ll be faced with a different recovery to a natural birth. Here are seven things you might not expect after surgery.
1. Get up and about as soon as possible.
A Caesarean section is a major operation, but unless you’re advised differently by your midwives and doctors, try to get out of bed for a walk as soon as you feel up to it. The first stroll will probably feel exhausting, and it’s a good idea to have someone accompanying you, but the sooner you start moving, the sooner you can have your catheter removed and the sooner you’ll be able to go home.
2. Invest in some big pants.
Underwear might not be the first thing on your mind but chances are you’ll discover that whatever you’ve packed in your hospital bag will rub on your healing scar. The only solution is to wear some high-waisted knickers to avoid irritating the area. Telling yourself they’re retro 50s style is more likely to cheer you up than thinking of them as granny pants too…
3. Be prepared to stay numb.
As the anaesthetic and adrenaline wears off, you’ll start to get sensation back to your middle after the birth, but don’t be surprised if some areas of your stomach stay numb for weeks afterwards.
4. Try not to laugh.
Or cough. Or sneeze. It will hurt. If you can’t avoid it, press your hands or a pillow against the scar as you chuckle or clear your throat, although there may not be time before a sneeze!
5. You have the perfect excuse not to change nappies.
For a few days at least. Which, helpfully, coincides with the black tarry meconium which makes up your baby’s first poos. After all, you’re advised not to lift anything heavy and to avoid unnecessary effort for the first six weeks.
6. There’s no reason it should affect breastfeeding.
You can still expect your milk to come in on day three or four, although you may need to choose positions carefully to start with, to avoid having feet resting on your scar.
7. You’ll discover how often you really use your stomach muscles.
Sitting, standing, lifting and carrying will come as no surprise, but who knew you instinctively clench your core to open a stubborn jar or screw cap?