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How To Care For Your Wound After A Cesarean Section

scar removal after Cesarean Section

After a cesarean section delivery, you would have to stay in the hospital for two to four days. The recovery from a c-section takes longer and therefore getting help is important for the first few weeks.

What to Expect after a C-Section Delivery

Medication

You may be given various medication during the surgery, including epidural or spinal. Sometimes morphine may be added which can help to relieve the pain for about a day after the delivery. You may be given medication to help with the pain, nausea and also itch after the surgery.

WoundBreastfeeding for first-time mothers

During the hospital stay, there should be a nurse who regularly checks on you, including monitoring the amount of vaginal bleeding and the incision site. The incision site may feel numb and sore. The scar is darker, puffy or raised from the normal skin. Check with your doctor or nurse how you can support the incision when coughing or sneezing. On the third or fourth day, your sutures or staples will be removed. Although it is usually done before discharge, it may also be done at the subsequent consultation if more time is needed for the wound to heal.

Breastfeeding

Similar to natural birth, you can start on breastfeeding after delivery. However as the incision may hurt, ask the nurse or lactation consultant to show you how to nurse in the side-lying position or football hold to reduce the pressure on the incision. You may also experience cramps when you start breastfeeding but that is normal as the uterus contracts.

Food

Your doctor will recommend when and what food you can eat, likely a light diet six to eight hours after your surgery. Drink enough fluids to prevent constipation.

Other parts of body

For the first two days after the c-section delivery, there may be gas and bloating. Try to move around and also ask for over-the-counter medication (simethicone) to help expel the gas. Try stretching your legs and also ask the nurse for help to move around. Moving helps to minimise blood clots and prevent constipation. Urinate regularly to prevent a full bladder which can put pressure on the wound. You may also be asked to cough or do deep breathing to clear the lungs of accumulated fluids after the use of anesthesia.

8 Recovery Tips after a C-Section Delivery

#1 Rest

This is important. Rest is essential for the body to recover from the c-section delivery and for the wound to heals. Enlist help and plan ahead for hired help if possible. Enough rest also helps with your breastfeeding efforts.

#2 Support your abdomen

blood cord-banking 2Hold your abdomen near the incision if you anticipate sudden movement like coughing or sneezing. When getting out of your bed, support your abdomen and slowly roll yourself out by the side. Hold yourself in good posture when walking to reduce pressure on the back and wound.

#3 Hold your baby without pressing on wound

Experiment with a few holding positions such as the side-lying position and the football hold. Consider using a support pillow or use a chair with broad and low arms when breastfeeding.

#4 Fluid intake

Drink enough to help prevent constipation and also help your breastmilk supply.

#5 Fibre intake

Similar to fluids, fibre also helps to prevent constipation.

#6 Light exercise

Walk around to prevent blood clot, constipation and also to promote healing of wound. Walking also helps to relieve the build-up of gas during surgery.

#7 Pain medication

If you’re worried how medication affects your breast milk, check with your doctor. There are several pain medication available that are safe for breastfeeding.

#8 Supplements

Check with your nurse on nutritional broth or supplements to take for wound healing. The more common ones are bone broth and glutamine.

8 Things to Avoid after a C-Section Delivery

#1 Pressure on the wound

The incision will get better daily and it is important not to put pressure on the wound. Do not carry heavy things including lifting your baby in a position where it hurts the wound (for instance, bending down to lift baby from bassinet). Avoid heavy housework.

#2 Scratch the scarbaby sleeping

After about six weeks, the scar will look less raised and puffy. The incision is about 10 to 15 centimetres and as it slowly heals, its colour will also be closer to your skin colour. It is usually very low on the abdomen and therefore below the waistband and not visible. The wound and the appearance of the scar will change during the first year. As the wound heals, it may feel itchy. Do not scratch the scar and the skin around it as it can hurt the wound and worsen the scarring.

#3 Friction on the wound

When showering, do not scrub or rub on the wound but instead allow water to run over it. Pat your skin dry (instead of rub or scrub dry). If there is pus, redness or severe pain that is accompanied by fever, call your doctor.

#4 Heavy exercise

There are many stories of celebrities returning to their pre-pregnancy body shape, almost right after delivery. Do not be pressured to resume your body shape by going for intensive exercise, such as running, aerobic exercise and weight lifting. Wait at least two months and check with your doctor first. Also limit the use of stairs and do not do sit-ups.

#5 Sex

Talk to your doctor on when you can resume sexual intercourse.

#6 Public pools and hot tubs

Avoid public pools and hot tubs as these increase the likelihood of your incision getting infected.

#7 Driving

It may be painful for your wound if you have to make an emergency stop or you may simply not feel comfortable turning and twisting to check mirrors. Check with your doctor first and also check with your insurance company to ensure that your policy does not exclude coverage during this postpartum period.

#8 Doing it all on your own

If you feel you need more rest or you feel depressed, talk to your spouse, family and doctors. Do not try to do everything on your own and always remember that you just had a major surgery, you deserve the rest!

Written by Mei

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