Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Recovery from a caesarean birth

I get quite a lot of search engine queries about recovering from a caesarean birth so I might as well write about this since I had two caesarean births.

I can't remember much about the recovery process, only about my feelings so thats what I shall write about.

My first was an emergency caesarean under general anaesthetics.

  • I remember feeling very tired and groggy the first day after the delivery. I'm not sure but I think its probably due to the medication and painkillers I was given. All I remember is drifting in and out of sleep. I could hear baby crying in the background. Luckily hubby was there. We had paid for the use of a double room so he could sleep on the other bed and look after the baby.
  • I remember hubby urging me to get up quickly to walk about because he had read this: How long before I can get out of bed?
    At first you'll probably feel as though you'll never walk again, but as soon as six hours after the birth your midwife will probably cajole you out of bed. However hard it seems, do try to move - the earlier you can, the better for your circulation and general recovery. Also, you'll have to try it sometime - and once you've got out of bed once, next time will be easier. Read more here. I was afraid to, but I managed eventually.
  • I remember the discomfort of lying in bed with a catherer and urine bag for urination and the relief after it was removed.
  • I remember the relief of having a sponge bath by the nurses and graduating very quickly to the bathroom to wash myself up. Washing up was both a relief and a pain. A relief to get clean especially since there was the lochia to clean up from and a pain to stand up straight so soon after the caesarean operation. Luckily there were handle bars at the hospital bathroom to cling on to. I got aid to get to the bathroom and managed to wash up on my own.
  • I remember hubby was eager to go home since he only had 2 weeks off from work and he wanted us to settle home with the new baby as soon as possible. I was terrified because I still did not know how to breastfeed. At the hospital at least there were nurses to show me how and nurses to check on my condition etc. At home, there was no one accept us. As a first time mum, I was terrified and almost had a fight with hubby because of it. In the end we agreed we would ask the doctor and if she said ok, we would go home. I delivered at 2am, 21st May 2002. I was dischared at 12.00pm on 23rd May, 2002. Yes, I was terrified! But I coped.
  • I remember the pain when laughing and coughing or passing gas but passing gas was good according to the doctor as it meant that I was on the road to recovery

My second was an elected caesarean under epidural anaesthetics

  • I remember being much more alert after delivery as compared to the caesarean under general anaesthetics.
  • I remember the recovery to be much faster too (or perhaps it was because I was more experienced now)
  • The only more painful memory I recalled was when I had some infection near the wound area and was prescribed medicine that gave me severe gastric. I remember feeling sore all over from gastric pain, breast pain from poor breastfeeding and caesarean wound pain all at the same time. Then, I truly understood the term "double up with pain" for that was exactly what I felt like doing. "double up in pain" I could hardly sit or stand up straight from the pain.

Oops! I hope this post hasn't been too negative. It helps to hold on to the wound area while walking or coughing. And remember not to lift heavy things for a while. I remember I was given the green light to drive about 4-6 weeks after the caesarean and was able to drive myself for a checkup when my period returned around that time.

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  1. Similar to you, I had 2 c-sect. However for me, there was no pain at all, even when I walked. The nurse only allowed be off the bed the next day.

    However I was real hungry because I could only eat after 24 hours.

    Once I was at the nursery when the doc came to visit me. I had to return to my wad. Doc said, "Wow you can walk faster than me." :lol:

  2. michelle,
    Lol! You surprised even your doc eh?


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