It's a c-section!

A panicked mother's guide to the almighty cesarean

Home Recovery

Healing time varies for each individual. Baring complications such as infection, swelling, or other illness, you can anticipate to be completely back to normal within 6 weeks. I felt I had complete mobility after five days, but the site of my incision was still painful if I made sudden movements or bent down. After two weeks, that pain decreased to pressure, and I was pain free after five weeks.

Pain Management

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According to Tiffany Gwartney, ARNP, patients can anticipate a menagerie of options including Tylenol with Codeine, Vicodin, Ibuprofen, Percoset, and Fentanyl. ITalk with your doctor about breastfeeding, as some medications can be passed to your baby or contain dehydrating agents that limit your milk supply. I am sensitive to pain medication, so I ended up taking half a pill at a time and Aleve between doses. Always consult your doctor before you take anything in addition your prescription. Over time you will develop ways to avoid painful movements. I found that when I coughed I automatically tensed my abdominal muscles, but if I held a pillow to my abdomen to brace for the cough, it helped relieve some of the pressure.


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As with any surgical procedure, you will be limited in your ability to utilize the muscles involved in the c-section. According to Gwartney, patients can expect to be able to walk without assistance, sit and stand from a sitting position independently and perform most of the infant care required before they are discharged. Bending at the waist can be very difficult, and it is suggested that you not lift anything heavier than your baby. I did my very best not to lift anything other than my baby. But the biggest limiting factor, which came as a shock to me, was that my doctor recommended I refrain from driving for six weeks. While that seemed extreme at the time, the first speed bump on the way home showed me why that was the case. I could feel every bump in the road right into my stomach. From a medical point of view, even after a few weeks of healing that slight pain could slow your reaction time and cause an accident.