Postpartum Recovery for Cesarean Births
Physical recovery after a cesarean birth can take some time, but with the right care and resources, the process can be made smoother. A cesarean delivery is when a baby is surgically removed from the mother’s uterus. After a cesarean birth, the mother’s body will be healing from the surgery, so she needs more time and rest than a mother who has had a vaginal birth.
Care for Your Incision
The cesarean delivery surgical wound needs to be taken care of. To prevent infection, it is best to:
- Wash your hands before and after touching the area.
- Keep the incision clean and dry. Avoid direct sun and water from your shower.
- Keep the incision covered with a clean, dry dressing to protect it from rubbing of clothing.
- Watch for signs of infection , such as redness, swelling, warmth, odor, and drainage.
Get Rest and Recovery
It is important to get plenty of rest during postpartum recovery. The body will be healing from the surgery, so more time and rest will be needed than a mother who had a vaginal birth.
- Take it easy —avoid strenuous activities like housework or yardwork.
- Eat a healthy diet —high in protein, iron, and fiber.
- Take a daily walk —as recommended by your healthcare provider, a slow walk around the block is a great way to get some exercise and sunshine.
- Ask for help —be sure to let family and friends know how they can help with household tasks and childcare.
Follow Up Care
Your healthcare provider will likely suggest a follow-up appointment. This appointment will include checking the incision site, discussing any concerns with recovery, and getting a physical exam. Be sure to get any necessary tests or screenings that are recommended by your healthcare provider.
Recovery from a cesarean birth can take time, but with the right care and resources, it will become easier. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t be scared to communicate with your healthcare provider. Finally, make sure to follow all your doctor’s postpartum instructions and care for your incision properly.