Healing from a C-Section

My baby never flipped so I had a planned c-section, I knew what I was getting into, but as a new mom everything takes you by surprise.  The main thing to keep in mind when healing from a c-section is NOT to lift anything over 12 pounds until you are cleared by your doctor at 6 weeks postpartum.  That means carrying the baby is okay, but not the baby in the car seat.  Plan for help during doctor visits!

When you have a c-section (planned or unplanned) you can plan to stay in the hospital for 2-4 nights, pending healing.  At the hospital they will give you handouts for what to watch out for.  The main things to monitor at home are:

  • Amount of bleeding.  During the surgery they will clean out your uterus so bleeding should be minimal.

  • The color of the incision (a nurse will visit you after being home for a day or two, she will take a peak and reiterate what's normal and what's not).

  • Wear compression socks for the first week at home to help avoid blood clots (this was a major surgery).

  • Stay away from exercise and exertion until your 6 week visit! You don't want to be ripping open any stitches!

Scar Size

Does your scar seem huge to you?  Well remember a baby needed to fit out of there, but as it heals it does shrink too!  A year later mine was almost half the size, and I know other women who's shrunk to a couple inches.

Water Retention

Do you also feel super swollen everywhere?  Well labor is intended to help clear the water your body has been retaining during pregnancy.  So for planned c-sections your body doesn't get that luxury.  Some people lose the water relatively quickly (weeks) and others take months.  I didn't lose all my water retention until my daughter was 9 months!  I bought new "fat clothes" and accepted the fact that I would have kankles for life.  Then literally one morning I woke up and my old clothes fit again.  Sometimes this happens when you stop breastfeeding, sometimes there's no indication and it just happens.