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Your recovery after a planned c–section

Congratulations! The baby is finally here, and the little one was born through a planned c-section, a procedure you as a mother now need to recover from at your own pace. Download the LEIA Health-app to read more articles and get access to the pelvic floor exercise program.

Allow yourself the time for the best possible recovery after your planned c-section. Here are 5 tips:

1. Hospital stay and recovery time

After a c-section, it's common to stay in the hospital for 2-3 days, but you may need to stay longer.

2. Bleeding and wound healing

After the operation, there will be vaginal bleeding. This bleeding occurs from the wound created when the placenta detaches from the uterine wall. The bleeding, known as lochia, is common for 4-6 weeks after the procedure. The first few days may resemble a heavy period, which will gradually decrease. When you're active, you may experience a bit more bleeding, including blood clots, which is entirely normal.

The incision from the c-section starts healing immediately, but it may take several weeks for the wound to fully heal. The level of pain in your abdomen after the c-section can vary, but it's normal to experience some discomfort around the incision area. However, it's important to remain active as it promotes faster healing and reduces the risk of blood clots and constipation.

3. Hygiene and bandages

You can shower as usual, with or without bandages. Before leaving the hospital, you'll be informed about when to remove the bandage and whether your stitches need to be removed or not.

4. Physical activity and exercise

You can carry your baby, but avoid heavy lifting for the first few weeks. Around two weeks after the procedure, you can resume your usual activities.

Pelvic floor exercises can be started a few days after delivery. However, wait at least a month before starting abdominal exercises, and initially, don't exercise too intensively; your body needs time to recover gradually.

5. Preventive measures and when to seek care

To reduce the risk of infection while bleeding:

  • Avoid bathing, either outdoors or in a bathtub. Showering is fine.

  • Use a condom or femidom during vaginal intercourse.

  • Avoid using vaginal menstrual products such as tampons or menstrual cups.

It's good to eat fiber-rich foods and drink plenty of water to prevent constipation.

Complications after a c-section are rare, but there's an increased risk of uterine infection, urinary tract infection, and blood clots.

Contact a midwifery clinic if you experience any discomfort after a c-section. However, seek care immediately at an emergency department or gynecological emergency department if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have a fever and simultaneous lower abdominal pain. It feels tender when you press on the uterus.

  • You become swollen and tender in the calf.

The time with a newborn is both demanding and euphoric, but your recovery is equally important to regain your strength and energy for yourself and your family

''My son was delivered via a planned C-section, and I knew nothing about the recovery afterwards. Thanks to LEIA Health, I got the information and advice I needed.''

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