Recovery from a c-section can take weeks or months, to ensure the speediest recovery possible we have some general tips and community share their c-section experiences. Don’t miss our tips on preparing for a c-section.
You will stay in bed until your anaesthetic wears off and then you will be encouraged to get up with the help of your midwives. You will have a catheter in your bladder and a drip in for a few days.
Medication post c-section.
Pain relief post c-section can take several different forms including oral, patient controlled analgesia (PCA) or injectable. It is important to try to stay on top of the pain to make your recovery quicker. Pain medication will slow down your bowels and can cause constipation (along with the fact you are not moving as much as normal), so it is also important to take regular medication to prevent this.
Scar post c-section
Your incision site will be checked by your medical team regularly during your stay. Any pressure on your wound will hurt eg coughing, sneezing, laughing and going to the toilet. A pillow held over your scar can help to reduce this pain.
Your midwives will get you up either the day or or the day after your c-section. While you are in bed they will give you exercises to do. Moving will help recovery, help prevent blood clots and help reduce constipation. If you are in pain, taking your pain relief 30 minutes before you need to move may help.
Community Tips: c-section experiences
I am booked in for a caesarean next week just wondering of other people’s experience and tips of what to expect?
- Lean forward and hold a pillow over your scar if you have to sneeze or cough because it hurts! Don’t be afraid to ask for pain relief. I‘ve had 2 c sections both out of hospital in 3 days. First time I didn’t require pain relief besides Panadol, second time I needed something stronger. If you think you need something stronger ask for a script before you’re discharged because that first car trip afterwards can be uncomfortable enough without having to swing by the Dr’s on the way home.
Communication with your anesthetists is important! Tell them how and what your feeling, your legs go warm and that’s normal, sometimes spinal blocks can make you a bit nauseas and they can sort that out for you if needed.
Don’t get out of bed unaided. And don’t get up till the midwives say you can. Once you can get up, move as much as possible without causing yourself any pain.
A Little FYI you will have a catheter! I was mortified when I got out of my first emergency section to discover a bag of wee sitting next to my foot. Courtney
- Get up and about as soon as you can. (next morning,) Your recovery will be a lot quicker. Bree
- It’s scarier than it seems. I was really anxious when my doc said it was necessary, but it was all fine. My advice is get up and about as much as you are physically able as soon as they will let you, make sure that if you don’t have a support person staying the first night that you ask the nurses to take bub while you sleep and bring them back for feeds- because you can’t get up to them and there’s nothing worse than not being able to fix whatever is wrong! Hold a pillow to your tummy if you need to cough, sneeze or laugh. I actually found the most comfortable way to sit during the day in hospital was cross legged (like you used to sit at primary school) with the back of the bed propped up with a pillow on my lap. Ally
- Have someone who you can rely on to help you as much or as little as you need. Take one day at a time and don’t be to to proud to ask for help if you need it. (I was a bit). Rest when you can you will heal better. BIG granny knickers (black). Beth
- If you have people willing to help you out then let them smile emoticon my mum would come round and wash some dishes and put some laundry on. My step dad made some bulk foods for us. Stock up on essential stuff now as you won’t be able to drive and if your partner goes back to work (or if you are like me, your husband doesn’t drive) stuff like toilet paper, pads etc. keep a rolled up towel handy pretty much in every room (to hold on your incision for coughing, sneezing and laughing). I spent most my time in “my spot” on the couch with bub, I had a mini table next to it with everything I needed on it from water and snacks to spit cloths etc. but don’t forgetting to keep moving as well. Congratulations and good luck. Samantha
- I was expecting weeks of pain. In reality, the week in hospital was painful but at home it was just tender. I took precautions getting up and down from bed/chair but otherwise I felt like I had it fairly easy! Cassie
- Mine was awesome, I was back to normal in about 3 weeks, but took the 6 weeks as told by doctor. My mum stayed with us for the first week and did the washing. We had room on the vanity unit to place the baby bath so that it was elevated- its still there and bubs is 5 months. I hired a cleaner to come in once a week to vacuum, wash floors and bathrooms.
On the day itself, one of the nurses took photos for us of the whole thing- amazing to look at! Kellie
- I personally was in extreme pain. I was on 3 Endone every 4 hours. Getting up to pee was impossible. I was in a wheelchair for the first day as my bub was in ICU for the first 7 days. I was on a walker days 2 and 3 and then day 4 only just able to walk with my husband assisting me. It’s different for everyone but my experience was not good at all. Kiri
- I had Arnica Tablets from the health food shop with my second ceaser and they were fantastic. They help heal internal bruising. I was off pain relief so much quicker. Kristy
- Granny knickers r the best cos they don’t sit on the wound & r comfortable. U won’t want to get up & move cos it seems sooo difficult however it’s the best thing 4 u. I never thgt I’d stand straight again LOL Every bump when being a passenger in the car u’ll feel so hold the tummy. Wishing u all the best!! Deanne
- Pillow over tummy to support wound when moving/coughing/sneezing smile emoticon Also you still bleed for a while after the birth- I assumed they suctioned it all out the first time I had Caesar haha x Elizabeth
- Fantastic experience, brilliant OB, very calming, everyone in that room is making sure you’re all good and don’t miss a thing. Don’t be afraid to ask the midwives for help at anytime, my partner stayed for the 5 days too, big help also.
I was off medication by the time I came home, just had to change dressing.
Healed very well, one year on and my scar is very faint.
You’ll be great, just listen to your body. Melanie
- Ignore the horror stories, the first time out of bed is terrible but moving around helps immensely! I was out of hospital within 3 days and able to do most things within 2 weeks but do take it easy good luck! Also as my obstetrician said panadol can’t work if you don’t take it so don’t let pain build up. Rachel
- I have had all of my babies caesarean and the first 2 weeks is the hardest I was driving by week 4, but do get up on the second day it does help recover but take it easy. Good luck. Melissa
- SRC recovery shorts are amazing. So helpful with the pain. While quite painful to get on in the first few days, once they are on you feel held together. I cannot rave about them enough. Take all the pain relief you can get. 6 months on, you can hardly see my scar. Good luck. You can get the shorts at a lot of physios, or look them up online. They are quite pricey at about $180, but I pretty much only took them off for washing for the first 6weeks. You can wear them at night in bed as well, so great for helping you turn over etc. I also have a bad back and they helped support that too. With winter coming I think you can also get long ones. Lesley
- Expect the front of your body to feel like it’s on fire when your milk comes in (about 3 days after). Take it easy- no heavy lifting, or hanging washing, etc. See the hospital physio during your stay and get one of those stretchy bands you wear around your tummy and learn some gentle exercises. You may even wean off the painkillers earlier than you thought. Best of luck and congrats. Kristy
- Like others said, get up and walk around in the days following op. and don’t be afraid to ask for pain relief when you need it. The hardest part for me was accepting that I couldn’t do things, so if you can organise someone to help around the house for that first 6 weeks it’ll be easier on you. Enjoy the rest period and use that time to bond with your new baby. Tracey
- The only issue I found after a c was getting to all my/bubs appointments without being able to drive. Joey
- Don’t expect the worst. I know ladies who’ve had such rough natural deliveries that they’re ended up more mentally and physically effected than I was! I was off pain relief before I left hospital after 5 nights. I found I had to be mindful of where I sat (particularly to feed) because it’s hard to get up. And it’s hard to adjust yourself in bed. Good luck! I Angela
- My Cs was planned. It was calm, loving and peaceful. Best decision for me and my baby.
Try to relax, and speak to your anaesthetist about how you are feeling.
Remember to ask for skin to skin and get someone to take pictures of your first moments together. Good luck and congratulations. Deanne
- A few things I’d suggest a few others have said, like granny knickers (I went a size bigger than normal), take the pain relief on a regular basis and have someone to help out if you need. I’d also say that do stuff in your own time, so if you feel fine lifting a half full clothes basket of washing out to the line then do it. Just take everything slowly. Tegan