How long does it take to recover from a c-section?

How long does it take to recover from a c-section?

In the United States, about one in three babies are delivered by cesarean birth, also known as c-section, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

During a c-section, a baby is delivered through incisions made in the belly and uterus. Like any major surgery, there is a recovery process. But with a c-section, you need to not only care for yourself but also a new baby.

After returning home from the hospital, Dr. Brian Dobbins, an obstetrics and gynecology physician at Aurora BayCare Medical Center’s Women’s Center, says you can expect to have some decreased mobility. He suggests having several meals planned or premade to help with the recovery process while adjusting to life with a new baby.

Dr. Dobbins also suggests the following to help with the recovery process at home:

  • A heating pad
  • Good nutrition
  • Rest and be willing to receive assistance from a loved one
  • Accept help from family and/or friends

“There is a lot of individual variation in pain people feel after surgeries,” he explains. “We have learned new techniques for reducing pain after an operation and treating pain in the last few years in an effort to reduce the need for prolonged narcotic use. Since deploying these lessons, we have found many patients that use little to no narcotics after their cesarean section.”

This doesn’t mean you won’t experience pain, but Dr. Dobbins says that the pain can be well controlled with medications like Tylenol and ibuprofen.

“Many people will use these routinely for five days after surgery and then move to using them as needed,” Dr. Dobbins says.

Taking medications to prevent constipation after surgery can also reduce pain and discomfort, he says.

Activity can progressively increase in a commonsense matter following the c-section.

Dr. Dobbins says if there are any concerns on how the c-section is healing, you should contact your doctor.

“There are higher risks for infections, and rare problems with cesarean delivery, so in general if something does not seem normal, we want our patient to message us or call,” says Dr. Dobbins.

Are you trying to find an obstetrics and gynecology physician? Look here if you live in Illinois. Look here if you live in Wisconsin. 

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  1. I highly recommend any women who will be having a c-section or recently recovering, to look into Expecting and Empowered (can google or find them on Instagram). So many practical and functional tips for daily living (i.e. how to get out of bed or a chair). This was a godsend prior to my second c-section. Also GetMomStrong on Instagram has a great work-out program to very safely heal and strengthen your core post c-section.

    • I completely agree with this. They do a great job of providing information to strengthen the pelvic floor.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.