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Recovery after emergency C-section

An emergency c-section can be an overwhelming experience, and it's important to take care of yourself during the recovery process. Asking for help and support early on can ease the processing of the experience and promote a quicker recovery. Download the LEIA Health-app additional support on emergency C-sections.

Why emergency C–section?

An emergency c-section is performed when there is an immediate risk to the mother or the baby during childbirth. It can result from various complications such as sudden deterioration of the fetal heart rate, issues with the placenta, or other urgent medical situations.

For many women, an emergency c-section comes as a surprise and can lead to feelings of fear, anxiety, and disappointment about not being able to deliver vaginally. Managing these emotions and processing the experience is an important part of the recovery process. Having support from a partner, family, and healthcare providers can be crucial in managing these feelings and getting through the physical recovery.


Recovery after a c-section

After a C-section, it is common to stay in the maternity ward for 2–3 days, but some may need longer. During this time, various physical and psychological changes may occur.

After the surgery, there may be vaginal bleeding, known as lochia, which is normal and can last for 4–6 weeks, varying in intensity. The surgical incision begins to heal immediately but may take several weeks to fully heal. Despite the pain, it's important to stay physically active to promote healing and reduce the risk of complications.

You can shower as usual, with or without bandages. Carrying the baby is allowed, but heavy lifting should be avoided in the first few weeks. Pelvic floor exercise can be started a few days after delivery, while abdominal muscle exercises should wait at least a month.

To access LEIA Health's pelvic floor exercise program, download the app.

During the bleeding period, it's important to avoid bathing and to use a condom or female condom during vaginal intercourse to reduce the risk of infection. It is also recommended to eat fiber-rich foods and drink plenty of water to prevent constipation. Although complications after C-sections are rare, there is an increased risk of infection in the uterus, urinary tract infection, and blood clots.


When to seek medical care

Contact a midwifery clinic if you experience discomfort after a C-section. Seek immediate medical care at an emergency room or gynecological emergency room if you:

  • Get fever and have pain in the lower abdomen

  • Notice redness, swelling, or discharge from the incision

  • Experience swelling and tenderness in the calf

Before leaving the maternity ward, it is common to discuss the c-section with a midwife or doctor. It can be an opportunity to process feelings about the birth and understand why it became an emergency c-section.

''I had a traumatic childbirth and had to undergo an emergency C-section. With the help of LEIA Health, I received support in my recovery and through the pelvic floor exercise program''

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