Know what to expect post C-section and ways to manage it best
The entire gestation period along with the delivery process and post delivery period is fraught with high emotional and physical demands for every woman. These demands are more for women who undergo caesarean delivery. Here are certain things that you ought to know about post C-section.
Immediately after delivery – the first 24 hours
The first 24 hours after delivery are crucial and you will be kept under observation in order to ensure that no complications crop up. Immediately after surgery, you will be transferred into the Recovery Room or Post Anesthesia Care Unit where you will remain for 2 to 3 hours. If you were give general anesthesia, you will not be awake until the effects wear off.
Practice deep breathing so that you have a high influx of oxygen after C-section. It helps in healing
Walking after C-section promotes blood flow and protects against blood clots, constipation and pneumonia
Women who have had regional or epidural anesthesia will be awake but might want to rest due to exhaustion. Once you are able to move your legs and can shift yourself onto a bed from the stretcher, you will be moved to your ward in the hospital. Your baby might be shifted to your side in the Recovery Room. Make it a point to hold the baby close to you. This is the time when sub-conscious bonding takes place between mother and child outside the womb. The baby learns to recognize your smell. You can breastfeed the baby in the Recovery Room.
After the first 24 hours
After the first 24 hours, you will be allowed to walk short distances. Women who suffer gas build-up in the abdomen after the surgery can obtain relief by walking. If you feel excessive discomfort, do not force yourself to walk. However, push yourself slightly to move. Another minor problem that you can expect is constipation. If you find the problem to continue for two days or more, talk to your doctor about taking a laxative. However, never strain or exert pressure to pass stool since the stitches in the abdomen can burst open due to the force. Abdominal pain caused due to the severe uterine contractions that take place during childbirth can last up to three days.
Initially, your uterine fundus will begin to harden. If this does not take place, the nurse will massage your abdomen to aid hardening. Fundus check is done from the first hour after surgery. Bandages are removed 24 hours after the surgery. The catheter inserter in your bladder is also removed within 24 hours
You will only be given liquids and if you are comfortable, you can have bland semi-solid food. You will be administered some analgesics, anti-nausea medication and antibiotics. Some medication might also be given to control vaginal bleeding, if it is excessive. You will continue to be monitored for appetite, liquid intake, bowel function and infections at the surgical site. You will remain in the hospital for between three and five days post operation. Spend the first few days after childbirth resting and gaining back your strength.
The incision takes around 4 weeks to heal. Emotionally, you might experience mixed feelings – elation for having a baby but guilt and disappointment for not having a vaginal birth. So, be prepared for a flood of emotions.
During the following months
Before you leave the hospital, you will be given complete instructions about baby care and how to care for yourself, including recognizing signs of complications. During the first year after birth, you might experience pain in the abdomen. Pain in the lower back is common in women who undergo C-section under regional or epidural anesthesia. Enjoy the first few days with your baby. It can be extremely therapeutic and aids in the healing process.