Baby Hints & Tips

Overdoing it after a C-section

A C-section or caesarean is major surgery and appropriate recovery is important to allow optimal wound healing.  During a c-section a cut is made through the abdomial wall and the wall of the uterus.

Initial recovery is usually 3-5 days in hospital followed by six weeks of at home recovery.   Take all the help that is offered, including people who offer to cook meals to stock your freezer.

Community Question

I know everyone heals differently but just curious as to how much/little activity/chores mums did after a c section? How do you know if your overdoing it (before you get extra pain from overdoing it)

More tips can be found in this guide by King Edward Memorial hospital.

overdoing it after a c sectionRest after your c-section and don’t carry anything heavier than a baby

  • You have had a major operation. Rest, care for your baby, don’t carry anything heavier than the baby, so no capsule with Baby no baby bag and baby, no groceries. Do not lift the pram , in or out of the car. Don’t drive for a few weeks. Don’t carry the washing basket. Don’t go to the gym. Walk only flat , and short distances after a few weeks. Take pain relief med as you need it. Do not pick up other children. Lifting restrictions for six weeks. Fiona

Your body will know

  • I didn’t do anything for the first week after my caesarean, except care for myself and baby. The second week.I left the.house.for.short.trips to the.store with my.husband. Now 3 weeks pp, I pretty much.do.whatever. I can.tell I am overdoing.it.when I start to feel tired. My body will get stiff, amd my incision will get sore. Brittany

Take it easy and accept help after a c-section

  • I did little things like load the dishwasher (one dish at a time) and cook after 2 weeks but I tried to vacuum the livingroom after 4 weeks and nearly killed myself, I only got half way through and had to take pain killers and lie down for a couple of hours. Take it as easy as you possibly can, accept help and focus on your beautiful wee baby. Jenni

Can take 12 months to fully recover after a c-section

  • My OB told me that it takes up to 12 months to completely heal after any major operation, and a C-section is no different, so keep that in mind. Try to take it easy and don’t lift or reach! You’ll find in the early days that your bleeding (downstairs) will be heavier on days that you over do it. I had my bub 4.5 months ago and I still have days where my tummy muscles will ache or the scar site will be sore. Lauren

Keep moving and accept help

  • Hubby was home for 4 weeks after I had my caesarean, so he did most of the cooking and cleaning. I did some stuff like dishes, ironing, some cooking but I found as I couldn’t handle standing up for long periods of time and lots of moving otherwise I would get pain. It’s good to move around a bit as it helps you heal. AshNash

I felt pain when I over did it in the afternoon after my c-section

  • I found when I was over doing it I felt the pain in the arvo…I basically just didn’t lift anything heavier then bub for a few weeks I did dishes, general cleaning, ironing etc starting first week but just did things that weren’t strenuous first 2 weeks, week 3 a bit more and by week 6 was doing everything the same as before…week 8 I was back working as a registered nurse on a medical ward…I also have a toddler I just made him first few weeks use the stools and stuff to get in and out of things with me steadying him etc…all best Hun everyone is different as I was out of hospital after 12 hours my cousin was recently in for a few days post c section so do what is comfortable for you Danielle

Take it easy, you may not know when you do too much

  • I had a c section and they say not to lift anything other than your baby and no driving for 6-8wks. I felt fine 2wks after and here I was lifting washing baskets and hanging etc. A week later I was in agony. It also took me more than 8wks to feel better. Doing dishes were fine but I couldn’t do much else. So I would say take it easy lol you don’t want to regret it like I did. Good luck. Sharna

Only do what you need to and avoid driving

  • Only do what you absolutely have to do. I have had two c-sections and over done it both times. Even don’t go in the car in the first 6 weeks if you don’t have to. I have learnt now if we have another child Natalie

If you feel any pain stop immediately and rest

  • I’ve had 2 cesareans, 15 months apart and taking it easy wasn’t possible. I had a 15month old and a newborn to take care of. I still did everything as usual once I was home (although the hospital kept me in for 5days with the 2nd one). If you feel pain when trying to do something then stop and rest. Trust me you will feel it straight away if you’re not supposed to do something. But having to breast feed a baby means you get to sit and relax for an hour every 3-4 hours so you actually don’t have time to overdo it. Lol. Sophie

First 6 weeks are for healing post c-section

  • I had 2 c sections 10 months apart. Try not to do much for the first 6 weeks you need to heal, don’t lift anything heavier than your bub. After my first one I started doing light slow walks on the treadmill and after my second one I started boot camp after 6 weeks but only light stuff. I had my mum come and stay with me for a couple weeks to help with all the cleaning and cooking etc plus my partner had 4 weeks off as well to help. Amy

You may do damage even when you feel fine

  • You’re not supposed to do anything for 6 weeks after a c-section. I know I vacuumed like 2 weeks after and I got in trouble because even though it feels fine, you can do damage on the inside. I didn’t do anything for 2 weeks then cooked after that and that was pretty much it. Michelle

Ask for help after your c-section

  • Definitely organise help for when you are home if you can. Don’t lift anything other than baby for a few weeks. Rest as much as possible in the beginning Daile

Avoid reaching up and bending down

  • I felt like I was going to pass out if I pushed it too much. I could do standing up chores like helping with washing up, putting things away. As long as it wasn’t reaching up, or bending down, I was ok – but that cut out a fair bit of work for a few weeks. Jade

Take care of baby and leave other jobs

  • I had an emergency C section in April and I made sure I was taking it easy for six weeks. Still took care of my baby but didn’t vacuum, mop, hang washing out or drive. Now, I can tell when I’m starting to do too much, feels like a bit of a burning sensation in my belly and then I know to sit down and rest. It is major surgery, take time to let your body heal. Sarah

Avoid stretching

  • They will guide you in hospital about recommended activity post c-section.  Its recommended to do nothing that will stretch eg pegging cloths on the line, reaching for things on high shelfs. Also check your insurance to see when you can drive again. Some won’t cover you if you drive before 6 weeks. Sally
  • I didn’t really withhold from much at all – as much as I should have. My partner went back after 1 week with my first so I did have to do a lot. After my second my wound came apart in hospital (due to blood thinners, not me doing anything strenuous) and I did have to try and hold back a bit there, but partner had 4weeks off so it was a bit easier Nat

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