Post C-section Pain Explained

birth trauma burst stitches c-section pain c-section recovery c-section stitches caesarean pain infections pain killers pain score painreleif wound infection Dec 08, 2021

There is a common myth is that Caesarean birth is easy, but I'm about to debunk that once and for all!!

Many C-section mamas are accused of taking the easy way out, however, let me tell you from both personal and professional experience nothing could be further from the truth. Whilst all pain is treatable, the six weeks it takes for the stitches to fully heal and immobility during that time account for a slower and more uncomfortable recovery than from vaginal birth.

Pain can be experienced at a variety of points and intensities after a surgical birth. I conducted a recent poll on how many pain points could there be associated with a caesarean birth. The choice was between 1,5 and 10. The majority felt only 5 whilst 2 selected 1 and 2 selected 15. As you will see from the list below 15 is closest to reality.

The pain will often also vary for emergency or scheduled c-sections.

Surgical birth impacts all three human dimensions, body, mind and spirit to varying degrees in each individual.

There are in fact 15 potential pain points post-C-section and commonly strong  pain relievers are needed during the initial period post-caesarean section.

In addition, there are several complications that can exacerbate pain such as wound infections, burst stitches, haematoma or blood clots and sepsis.

Let's look at the potential pain points.

  1. Headaches may be felt as a symptom of a pre-existing condition or the epidural anaesthetic.
  2.  Shoulder tip pain may be felt like a sharp stabbing sensation in one or both shoulders.
  3.  Throat soreness may be experienced if a general anaesthetic has been used.
  4.  The intravenous site may become painful.
  5.  Breast or nipple discomfort
  6.  Back pain. the back may be tender from the spinal or epidural puncture 
  7.  Abdominal pain from wind
  8.  The wound area will be tender from the surgery and possible bruising
  9.  Wound infection wound breakdown
  10.  Shock, grief, emotional trauma 
  11.  Spiritual distress especially after a traumatic emergency c-section.
  12.  The urinary catheter into the bladder may cause discomfort
  13.  Calves may become hot and swollen
  14.  Ankles may be tight and uncomfortable.
  15.  Mental health issues, postnatal anxiety & depression

Whilst the list seems enormous of course naturally not everyone will experience them all. It is however important to be aware of the possibilities and be prepared.


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