Surgery! There is always this sense of insecurity and fear related to this word, isn’t it? Well, it’s obvious to get anxious over it. Surgeries do involve a tedious procedure both pre-operative as well as post-operative. Talking about surgeries, did you know Caesarean Section is the most common surgical operation performed in India? Well, that was no surprise. C-section could be an emergency or it could also be elective if the couple opts for their own reason. Be it elective or emergency, you might be prepared well before for the surgery but what about after? What to do and what not to post C-section delivery might be a question on your mind.
Understand that, C-section is a major surgery performed either under epidural, spinal or sometimes in complicated cases general anesthesia. It has its risks and hence during the post-op period, one has to be very vigilant.
What happens post C-section delivery in the hospital?
Post C-section Delivery, Day 0-5:
- Hourly checking of the pulse, blood pressure, temperature and urine output by the duty doctor in-charge on Day 0.
- You’ll have a catheter so that the urine is collected directly in the urobag without you having to get up and move to the washroom.
- Breastfeeding will be started in about 1-2 hours post surgery. This is essential as breastfeeding is good not only for the baby but also for the mother. It helps in releasing hormones that play a role in timely ‘involution of uterus’ which means helping the uterus size to reduce back to its usual normal size with time.
- Take plenty of rest because your body needs time to heal from the stress.
- There will be pain as you get out of the anesthesia but don’t worry about that. You’ll be taken care off by the specialized staff.
- The catheter is removed usually the morning after the operation about 24-36 hours later. So, you are no longer bed-ridden and have to move across up to the washroom.
- You are asked to mobilise a little mostly from the second day onwards. The earlier you start, the speedy the recovery it is.
- Your blood hemoglobin and urine tests will be repeated post-surgery to diagnose in case of Anemia or any infection.
- In case you are bleeding more than usual, inform your doctor as soon as possible.
- Your scar site dressing will be removed on day 5. If staples are used, they too can be removed. No need to worry if sutures are put since absorbable ones are generally used. Any wound gape or blood or pus oozing will be noted.
- Based on the scar and your general condition, you will be discharged post C-section delivery day 5 or 6.
- You will be asked to report for a follow-up mostly after 6 weeks.
C-Section Delivery vs Normal Delivery
Do’s and Don’ts Post C-section Delivery Period
Take Plenty of Rest
The first and foremost step is to take as much rest as possible. Even though you feel you are a strong, tough and confident lady who is fully fit to resume your daily chores, don’t. You have undergone a major surgery. Your body has been through a lot of stress both physical and mental. Rest is the best healing power to it.
Do Not Lift Heavy Weights or Use the Stairs Frequently
The scar is a transverse scar and is most vulnerable during the first month. You need to give it time to heal and prevent any wound gaping. Lifting heavy weights cause a major pressure on your abdomen which will ultimately provide undue tension over the suture area. Same is the case with walking up and down the stairs frequently. Try avoiding it as much as possible.
Keep the Wound Clean
One major factor of wound gaping is the infection. Keep the wound area clean. In case you see any blood or pus oozing out, consult your doctor immediately to treat it in the early stages.
Have a Nutritious Diet
This is important as you are lactating and your baby’s only source of nutrition is you. Hence, eat healthy and stay healthy. It not only helps in better recovery but also helps in the newborn’s nutrition.
Express Your feelings With Your Partner or Closed Ones
Sometimes the whole parenting situation becomes very stressful. In that case, talking about your feeling helps tremendously. Feel free to ask your doctor any questions. Clear your doubts. If you are feeling low for quite a long time, talk, discuss and sort out the priorities both with your partner and family. In extreme cases, discuss with your doctor. Postpartum period has an era of fluctuating hormone levels that is responsible for all the mood swings. In some few cases, it can go beyond the normal level and may require medical attention. Do not shy away if you feel the need to share. Emotional health too needs healing here.
Consult your doctor in case of any such problems-
- Excessive bleeding from vagina
- Redness, pus oozing from the wound site
- Severe pain around the wound site
- Pain in the breasts
- Swelling in your legs
- High-grade fever
Do go for regular follow-up and ensure proper healing. Also take advice on contraception because, post C-section delivery, proper spacing of pregnancies are very important for a mother’s health. Next pregnancy should ideally be after 3 years. Contraception plays a major role post-surgery here.
Don’t worry. It’s just a matter of time when you will be back to feeling your old self again and the surgery will be your distant faint memory. Follow the doctor’s advice for a speedy recovery.
Till then, Keep Calm and enjoy Motherhood!