Read on for a basic care guide, post C-section
C-section is a major surgery. So, it is very important to take precise care of yourself so as to speed the healing process and to avoid complications. Here is a brief care guide post C-section.
Before going home
Your doctor and nurse will give you a whole set of instructions before you go home. Make sure to clarify any doubts you have regarding self-care or baby care. Before you leave the hospital, try and get comfortable with walking. Use the bathroom. The basic idea is to get used to your incision before going home. Move slowly. Initially, you might experience dizziness when you walk. Do not over exert yourself but do not stop walking either. Talk to your doctor about medicines to relieve pain, the changes that you can expect in your body and ways to speed up healing process.
The color of lochia changes depending on your physical activity.
It is common and nothing to be worried about.
It is a myth that certain kinds of foods are not suitable. Balanced meals should be the criteria.
Coming home with the new baby requires certain changes at home. One of the first things to do is to shift your room downstairs so that you will not have to climb the stairs. Ensure that the bed is comfortable and that the wardrobe is stocked with all essentials including baby feeding supplies, clothes and diapers.
After going home
Walking should be made a daily habit, despite the initial discomfort. Be active when you are not sleeping. You should ensure that you never lack sleep because most of the recovery process takes place when you sleep.
Do not undertake strenuous activities such as jogging, lifting weights, cycling or aerobics. You should indulge in light physical activities for at least 6 weeks because firstly, ***lochia*** persists for up to 6 weeks after delivery and secondly, your body needs energy to heal the surgical incisions. Dissipating energy through exercise can be a deterrent to the healing process.
Driving is also not recommended in the first six weeks. Take a lot of care not to strain your abdominal muscles. When you cough or breathe deeply, hold a cushion to your stomach so that there is no pressure on the incision. You will also feel less pain when you cushion your stomach. Bathing can be done normally. However, after you bathe, pat the incision with a soft towel to ensure that it is completely dry.
Increase intake of fluids. Do not smoke or consume alcohol. Avoid spicy, oily and sugary foods and foods that have artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. Foods that are rich in proteins, carbohydrates and dietary fiber are recommended. Since a lot of women experience constipation in the weeks following delivery, high fiber foods can be very helpful in avoiding the problem.
You are emotionally vulnerable during this time and might experience mood swings, depression and anxiety. You can listen to soothing music and use aromatherapy candles or room fresheners to sooth your emotions.
Intercourse can usually be resumed after six weeks. However, doctors might suggest you to wait if healing process is not progressing as it should. While having sexual intercourse, consider positions which avoid pressure on the surgical area. Vaginal lubrication might be a problem. You can consult your doctor for artificial lubricants.
When to call the doctor
Swellings, fever, pus in incision, blood in urine, foul smelling vaginal discharge, losing consciousness, troubled breathing, painful breasts, severe depression or anxiety, sharp abdominal pain, excessive bleeding, discharge of large blood clots and allergies should never be ignored. Rush to the doctor in case you notice something that is not normal in your body.
Finally, remember that your body has been through the mill. Nine months of pregnancy and a C-section can leave you completely drained out. So, be kind on yourself and do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it.