Recovery from C-section birth - First 24 hours

Oct 28, 2020

Once your doctor has stitched your wound up you and baby and partner will be transferred to the recovery room for 30 minutes to an hour providing all is well.

After you leave the recovery room you will be transferred to your post-natal room, usually 30 - 60 minutes after the birth.

On your return you will be offered ice chips and fluids, and asked to let your midwife know when you feel ready for food.

The stretching and internal bruising, along with tenderness of the incision, are the main sources of post-operative pain. It is important that you accept regular medication offered by your nurse or midwife to control the pain. While you will not be pain-free in the early days, the medication and cold-pack application should keep you comfortable.

Your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, vaginal blood loss, and wound will be checked regularly in the first 12 -24 hours after surgery, then lessen to three times per day.

The urinary catheter will usually be removed the morning after baby’s arrival, after which two measurements of urinary output will be needed in the container provided by your midwife.

A point to remember is that whilst you may feel fine for visitors on the same day, a C-section is in fact major surgery. I have seen so many women become overwhelmed by excited visitors on day one—so do consider conserving your energy for at least 24 hours. You will be glad you did.

In the immediate post-operative hours, deep breathing and leg movements are important to keep circulation moving and avoid blood clotting from immobility. Circling ankle movements are also advisable hourly until you are up and about.

When pain is adequately managed it is advisable to be helped out of bed as a soon as possible and to become fully mobile. The first shower after a caesarean is particularly comforting. From personal memory that first shower was the best the soothing effect of hot water on the skin is heavenly.

Supporting the wound with a splinting device is vital to a comfortable recovery. A splint, cushion or rolled up towel held gently against the wound as a support will give you added confidence as you move about, cough, laugh and exert any pressure on the lower abdominal muscles.

Wind pain caused by trapped gas and side effects of pain medication can cause severe pain, I found peppermint tea and yoga style deep breathing helped as did a modified version of the cat stretch on all fours.



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