Most pregnant women hope they will deliver their child vaginally, which is the most natural way of delivering a child. However, not rarely, there are medical reasons that make vaginal birth impossible and doctors then suggest or even order a c-section.
A C-section (or cesarean) itself is not a complicated procedure, but it does include significant recovery time, and it is always good to know what to expect in that process. Recovery time begins as soon as the baby is delivered. There may be some pain, but usually morphine is administered to relieve it. If the mother is feeling well and if the baby is healthy and doing well, the mother can hold or even breastfeed him or her right away.
There might be some discomfort after the procedure. This includes fatigue, nausea, pain and gas. In the first couple of days, there will be a red or bright colored discharge, possibly with some tissue material. This is perfectly normal. Walking will make a new mom feel better, and she can do it with help of someone as soon as the doctor or a nurse approves it. Three or four days after the c-section, the doctor will remove stitches or staples from the wound.
In this period, a new mom needs all the help she can get, because she needs a lot of rest. Walking promotes healing and prevents blood clots, and after six to eight weeks after the surgery, it will be alright to exercise moderately and to continue sexual activity. The scar will start to shrink and its color will become more similar to the natural skin color. If the incision site starts to swell or if there is any discharge from it, along with a fever, the new mom will need to see a doctor.
Other problems may include constipation and pain. Lots of water will help with the constipation, and over-the-counted medication can be taken for the pain. However, this too should be discussed with a doctor, as some drugs, like Aspirin, are not good for the baby, who can take receive them through mother’s milk.
Hormonal levels usually change in this period, so some mood swings and highly emotional states are to be expected. In case the mother is feeling very depressed, alienated from the baby, having thoughts of hurting herself or the baby, it may be a case of post-partum depression. This is a very serious mental condition and if a person close to the mother notices signs of it, they should report it immediately to a medical professional.
In the period after the delivery, mothers should avoid physical and psychological strain, they should try to enjoy the new baby as much as possible and every now and then, they should find time just for themselves. Eventually, a c-section will not be remembered as a painful and stressful event, but rather as one that gave life to a wonderful new baby.