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Old 09-13-2012  
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Default Recovery After a Cesarean Section

Recovery after a Cesarean section is definitely long. Part of it requires recovering from a major surgery while the rest of your recovery will be spent dealing with normal postpartum issues like lochia and engorged breasts as your milk comes in. Here’s a look at what you can expect after a C-section.

Recovery After a Cesarean Section : Immediately After Surgery
Immediately after your C-section, you will most likely feel nauseated and groggy. This can last up to 2 days, although you may receive medication to help relieve these post-surgery symptoms. If you received narcotics, your skin may be itchy and tingly all over.

Recovery After a Cesarean Section: Pain Relief
You may be prescribed morphine, which is added to your spinal or epidural before the procedure. This offers effective pain relief after the procedure for up to 24 hours without grogginess. Afterward, you’ll get acetaminophen and sometimes a narcotic. Ibuprofen and stool softeners can also help with postpartrum pain relief. If you received general anesthesia during your C-section, you most likely didn’t get morphine so you’ll receive systemic narcotics, either from shots administered every 3 hours or a patient-controlled analgesia system that allows to yu push a button when you’re in pain so medication can be delivered through an IV. Don’t be afraid to speak up if your pain medication isn’t working well enough.

Recovery After a Cesarean Section: Breastfeeding
If you plan to breastfeed, you may find it challenging for the first few days after your C-section. You’ll still have pain at the incision site so you may want to speak with a lactation consultant to teach you effective strategies. You can, however, start breastfeeding in the recovery room after your surgery if you feel up to it. A football hold or a side-lying position is the best choice after a C-section to avoid pressure on the incision site.

Recovery After a Cesarean Section: First Week
During the first few days, your scar will be raised and puffy and you may have soreness at the incision site. Pressure on your stomach will be painful for the first few days but gradually gets better through your first week postpartum. Holding a pillow to your stomach when you need to cough or sneeze can help a lot. While you’re in the hospital, your nurse and doctor will check in with your frequently and check the amount of vaginal bleeding. As with a vaginal birth, you’ll experience discarge called lochia, which is made up of tissue, blood and bacteria. Your IV and catheter will be removed shortly after surgery and you can start eating and drinking within 6 hours. You’ll probably have bloating and gas pains for a few days as your intestines move slowly after surgery. Walking can help to relieve this. You should get up and walk a few times the day after your surgery and every day thereafter to speed up recovery. Your sutures will be removed on the third or fourth day at the latest.
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