The rate of cesarean deliveries, better known as a C-section, has been on the rise in recent years. Now nearly 32% of all births in the US happen with the help of this surgery. The global rate is around 18.6%. There can be no doubt that this procedure has saved millions of lives every year. However, it’s also true that it’s a major surgery that has its inherent dangers and can be hard to recover from. Fortunately, you can speed up your C-section recovery with the right care and some simple tools.
How Does a C-Section Affect your Body?
A C-section is a surgery where doctors make an incision into the mother’s womb to extract the baby. Like any surgery, it’s risky and does a lot of damage. The most dangerous side effects of this procedure are:
- Blood clots
- Internal organ injury (incurred during the procedure)
The more common and less dangerous complications include bowel problems (usually constipation and ileus) and nausea caused by medications administered during the procedure.
There is also a very small level of risk of damage so severe that future pregnancies will be impossible. However, this is an inherent danger for any birth. In case of a complicated delivery, the chances for both survival and successful recovery are higher with a C-section.
4 Tips That Will Help You Speed Up Your C-Section Recovery
1. Compress the incision area lightly
The use of a binder of some sort can be a great help for both reducing the swelling and pain in the area of the scar. This will also have a side benefit of reducing the scar itself. Note that it’s very important not to compress the area too much. Therefore, you should only use specialized bindings that fit your body perfectly, like a panty for C-section recovery.
These panties are flexible but provide very gentle compression and a layer of extra support in the area of the scar. The compression naturally eases the pain, which is essential as you can’t take any painkillers while nursing.
2. Start walking as soon as you can
It’s important to understand that while aiming to speed up your C-section recovery is a noble goal, you can’t push it too much. This has the potential to backfire and rip your stitches.
The optimal recovery procedures will have you stay in the hospital for the first three days after the delivery. However, you can and should start walking after the first 24 hours. You’ll need a nurse’s assistance at first and your walks should be short (5-10 minutes). Build up to 30 minutes when you return home.
Walking will boost blood circulation and help prevent some of the nastier C-section complications, such as constipation and blood clots. The boost to blood flow is most important because it will enhance your natural healing processes.
3. Nurse your baby
As soon as the drugs used during the surgery clean out of your system, you should start breastfeeding your baby. This process will naturally trigger a reaction that will have your uterus contract back to its original size. This will also help you bond with your baby and reduce the stress that might slow down your C-section recovery.
Note that you should seek assistance with positioning your baby for nursing at first. This will ensure there’s no extra pressure on the wound and no risk of injury.
4. Rest frequently and sleep for 8 hours
To speed up your C-section recovery, you need to have someone around who will help take care of your baby. The human body heals better during sleep, so you should do everything possible to have those necessary 8 hours of uninterrupted rest. During the day, you should also lie down when your baby is napping and give your body a chance to do some more healing.