Even though common, cesarean section is major surgery and comes with many risks. Cesarean is done when there is a difficulty or mother faces challenge during baby’s birth. After any delivery mother needs to give rest to the body and both internal and outer wounds must be healed without any complications. Ideally this would be no or little house work and little movement. Special consideration must be given to take care of mother.
With nuclear family and little help available it is hard for new mom to give attention to her body. If the mother undergone cesarean to deliver the baby, then she must consider taking care of her body and mental health in a proper way. If not, the consequence of not taking caring oneself can lead to several health issues in future. Parents of new born must try to organize the life. Get support from family, community, new mother group or a helper. Support system will help body to recover fast.
Care at hospital:
- After cesarean surgery in hospital itself nurses will encourage you to use bathroom and this itself is a starting process that helps you to stand on your feet. If they have used staples, generally it will be removed from incision before leaving for home.
- Talk to your doctor about how to deal with pain. If needed get prescription and information about side effects for both baby and you.
- Walk slowly and hold onto something if you feel light headed.
Care at home:
- Uterus will start shrinking (involution) and sometimes it might cause heavy bleeding. Keep extra menstrual pads with you. Do not use any type of tampons during this time.
- Do not lift heavy items and reduce activities. Do not lift anything heavier than your baby.
- Keep feeding supplies and changing station for both baby and yourself close to you.
- Drink plenty of warm water to avoid constipation.
- Practice walking inside home. Walking slowly for few minutes helps to heal the wound.
- If cold, wear warm clothing to avoid any type of infection, fever and allergy.
- While taking shower, cover cesarean wound for about a week. Do not swim or use bathtub. In case there is bleeding in incision do not have bath.
- Avoid driving at least two to three months. Before going on drive talk to your gynecologist and get checked for wound healing.
- Do not have intercourse for three months or until your doctor says it is safe
- Do not use stairs often
- Get good sleep, eat nutritious food, avoid junk food.
Emotional health care:
- After cesarean body feels worn out and mentally mother might feel drained. Getting good sleep everyday for 8-10 hours helps. Sleep when baby is sleeping. That is the best solution for your sleep after delivery.
- Bond with baby, talk to baby and play with her.
- Talk to new mothers – discuss about birth experience. It will help to deal with negative feelings that you might have about your surgery.
- If you have anxiety, practice meditation for few minutes a day.
- Ask for help, any help that you get takes away the overwhelmed feeling, loneliness and emotional burden.
Call your doctor or seek doctor’s advice immediately if you have
- Temperature above 100 F
- Severe headache
- Severe abdominal pain, burning sensation
- Foul odor in vaginal discharge
- Pain in incision area and pus discharge
- Swollen red area in the leg and rash or hives
- Blood or burning urination
- Extremely heavy bleeding within an hour and passing large clots.
- Sore, painful breasts with flu like symptom
- Feeling high anxiety, panic or depression
Whether it is cesarean or normal delivery – mother has to comeback to normalcy after proper and organized recovery process. If not, the consequences are many. If the recovery process is not taken care the way it should be, it can lead to other health issues in the future – back pain, hernia, depression, anemia, fatigue etc. To avoid such health issues, mother must be taken care well after delivery. Cesarean wound healing is a long process – it might take up to six months. Do not rush and push body heal. Take body through proper healing process to get back lost strength.
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: March 18, 2019