How long does it take to recover from a c-section?

After a Cesarean section, it is important to realize that you have not only given birth, but you have undergone major surgery.  There is a lot involved in this procedure.  Not only does your incision have to heal, but even the nerves around your incision need to regenerate.  This particular process can take as much as nine months!  However, the healing process does begin much more quickly.

It is likely that after your c-section you will stay in the hospital from 3 to 5 days, assuming there were no complications.  During this time, you will have access to pain medication as needed, and your physician can keep an eye out for infection or other difficulties.  You may have gas pains, difficulty urinating and other pain during this time.  If you choose to breastfeed, you may have some difficulty getting into position to make it happen. 

Your incision will take up to six weeks to heal completely.  During this time, there are precautions you will need to take:

-  Avoid lifting anything that weighs more than your new baby.

-  Avoid or limit trips up and down stairs.

-  Do not drive for two weeks, or until your doctor gives permission.

-  Wear comfortable clothing.

During this time, it is important to rest as much as possible.  Focus on your well-being and that of your baby.  The housework and the laundry will still be there when you’re feeling better, so don’t worry about them!  Put your family and friends to use as you continue to heal, and gradually increase your physical tasks.

Some studies indicate that women who undergo a C-section are at a greater risk for postpartum depression.  If you find yourself exhibiting any of the classic symptoms of depression, you will want to seek help from your doctor. The prognosis for recovery is excellent, but it’s important to seek treatment early.



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