What to expect from your C-section recovery after having a baby

Having a baby is going to be a very exciting life change, but what if your birth doesn’t go exactly as planned? For everything you need to know about C section recovery to put your mind at ease, read on…

Having a baby is an extremely exciting and poignant time in anyone’s life. Whether it’s your first baby or your eighth, or you’re having a baby boy or girl, this will be a life-altering experience for the better, I’m sure of it.

Before the big day, I’m sure you’ll have everything ready. Your baby’s nursery will be decorated, your nappy bag is packed, and your birthing plan is typed up and filed away. But, what if everything doesn’t go as smoothly as you’d played it out in your head?

If your C section was caused by medical negligence, you can acquire legal advice on medical negligence from a number of sources. Or, if your C section was planned, or just needed to happen to get the job done, you may be wondering, “what next”? Well, when it comes to the physical and mental recovery from your C section, I’m sure you’ll want some peace of mind. So, for all your questions answered, read on…

Why Might I Need a C Section?

Firstly, it’s important to get the nitty gritty details out of the way, so you can understand a little bit about why C sections occur. This way, you can be prepared for the eventuality, or just have some inside knowledge so you feel less unawares.

So, starting with the facts and figures… C sections occur in around one in every four births, which is actually a growing amount! This comes as no surprise, however, when we consider advancements in medicine, as well as developments in giving women more choice and autonomy over their birth plan. Some of the key causes of C sections include:

  • Foetal distress.
  • Prolonged labour.
  • Birth defects.
  • Abnormal positioning during delivery.
  • Multiple children, e.g. twins, triplets etc.
  • Umbilical cord prolapse (when pieces of the cord come out first, reducing blood flow to the baby).
  • If you’ve had a caesarean before (some women who’ve had c sections already may need one again for their next birth, but this is relatively rare).
  • If the mother has a chronic medical condition.

What’s more, if you’re having a baby at 40, or even having a baby at 35, complications can arise from natural births. In fact, women over these ages are actually almost twice as likely to require a caesarean. Because of this, a C section might be written into your birth plan to avoid any nasty complications.

C Section Procedure: What to Expect in Hospital

After having a C section, you’re likely to remain in a hospital, such as Guys & St Thomas, for an average of three to four days. When you’re there, you’ll be monitored accordingly, and will be encouraged to:

  • Take painkillers to relieve any discomfort;
  • Move around as much as possible, within your comfort levels;
  • Eat and drink;
  • Make contact with your baby;
  • and even start breastfeeding.

When it comes to going to the toilet, you’ll be fitted with a small catheter for relieving your bladder during the first 12 hours. Then, if things are looking good, you’ll be able to go to the toilet on your own from then on.

C Section Recovery

After these few days in hospital, if all is well with you and the baby, you’re likely to be sent home. The doctor should equip you with all the information you need before you go; remember, this is a pretty routine experience, so you’ll be in good hands.

The time it takes to fully recover from your C section can be anywhere between a few weeks to a few months. It really depends on the person, so don’t be hard on yourself if it takes a little longer.

What is C Section Recovery Like?

Right now, if you’ve just had a C section, you might be wondering how long the pain will last. Well, according to the NHS, most women feel discomfort for a few days after their caesarean. But, for some, the pain can last for a number of weeks, including cramps and direct pain from the incision.

On leaving the hospital, they’ll equip you with painkillers to take as and when you need to combat this. You may also experience some vaginal bleeding, which is also completely normal. Using sanitary pads – not tampons – is the best way to deal with this.

The Wound

You may also be wondering what the c section healing inside your body looks like, and how long this will take too. After all, you don’t want to jump the gun, and cause any more damage to your body by becoming active too quickly.

When you get a C section, you’re likely to have a long wound around your womb area, and usually on your knicker line. In order to keep infection at bay, you’ll be advised to clean your wound every day, wear loose-fitting clothing, and take painkillers when necessary. It may also be wise to massage your wound with moisturiser once a day to help healing, and avoid scarring too obviously.

It’s unlikely that your C section recovery pain will last a long. However, it’s important to bear in mind that a caesarean requires two cuts; one on your skin, and another on your womb. So, it’s really a case of patience, and ensuring you give your body the time it needs to heal.

What Complications Can Arise from a C Section?

It is very unlikely for you to have any complications from a C section. Naturally, if you follow the guidance provided here and by your doctor, you shouldn’t experience anything out of the ordinary.

That said, it’s important you know what risks are attached to it, just so you can be aware. The main potential problem that may arise is infection. So, if you experience any of the following symptoms, heading to the doctor should be your next port of call:

  • Redness and swelling, as well as pain around the incision site, or your thighs
  • Any oozing pus or smelly discharge from the cut
  • Fever
  • Heavy bleeding from the vagina
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pains
  • Pain during urination

When Can I Get Back to Normal?

So, when will everything get back to normal? You’re probably wondering when you’ll be able to drive, go for walks, head back to the gym, or even have sex again.

It can vary from person to person, but it’s all about how your body feels. If you’re in pain, and not up to it, then by all means, don’t leave the house. For some, it can take up to six weeks for the body to get back to normal!

Just be kind to yourself, and bear in mind that your body has been through a lot. Use this time to relax and spend some time with your new baby – you deserve it.

5 Top Tips to Promote Your C Section Recovery

Although, right now, you may feel as though things will never get better, they definitely will, just so long as you follow some rules to promote a speedy recovery. So, here you’ll find some really effective home remedies for C section recovery

  1. Rest, rest, rest: for any sort of surgery, rest is a key element of recovery. Stay in bed when you can, and try not to leave the house too often during the early stages.
  2. C section recovery exercise: mild exercise is a key way to aid your recovery. This way, you can ease your body back into normality.
  3. C section recovery belt: this is a really great tool to help you recover more quickly. It sits around the incision, to avoid your clothing rubbing against it too much, and helps to avoid infection.
  4. Eat well: nutrition really is one of the best ways to keep yourself happy and healthy. By eating a balanced diet, full of delicious proteins and vegetables, your body will be able to heal your wound more easily.
  5. Take it easy: it’s so important to bear in mind that your body has been through an ordeal, and it will need time to recover. Be kind to yourself, and don’t get frustrated that you can’t do everything straight away.

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical or mental health advice, diagnoses, or treatment. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.


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