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Caesarean Section Recovery: 6 Things Nobody Tells You

Caesarean sections can also put you at risk for what is called venous thromboembolism if blood clots develop in your veins, SELF previously reported. When these blood clots appear in your arms and legs it is called deep vein thrombosis, and when they get into your lungs it is called pulmonary embolism, which can be life-threatening. So if you notice any swelling, pain, warmth, or redness in your limbs, or if you have difficulty breathing or pain that worsens when you cough or take deep breaths, it is definitely worth calling your doctor.

2. Walking and drinking water can help with mild swelling and constipation.

Dr. Jones recommends getting up and walking and drinking water as soon as possible after surgery to help with swelling and constipation. Excessive swelling that feels warm and painful can be a cause for concern, but it is quite normal for your feet and legs, and even your hands and face, to swell after any type of delivery, and especially after a cesarean section. “Between this and all of the IV fluids you received during labor and / or at the time of your caesarean section, that fluid has to go somewhere,”

; says Dr. Jones.

And when it comes to pooping – or rather not pooping – there are a few potential culprits for postpartum constipation. “Pregnancy hormones tend to make things digestive, and things don’t miraculously normalize immediately after delivery,” says Dr. Jones. “So if you had problems with constipation during pregnancy, they probably won’t go away spontaneously once your baby is born.”

3. You may also need to stock up on stool softener (after talking to your doctor).

Complicate the constipation problem? These pain relievers. Many have a side effect of constipation. While it is undeniably difficult to get up and move around, just a short walk through the hospital floor can help get things moving again (ask for help if you are feeling lightheaded). You can also try a stool softener like Colace ($ 9, Amazon). According to the Mayo Clinic, Colace is safe to use if you are breastfeeding. However, you should still check with your doctor before trying new medications during pregnancy or after giving birth.

4. When you are breastfeeding, hold your baby like a soccer ball.

“It can be difficult to get your newborn into a position that you can comfortably hold for over 20 minutes when you have a cut in the lower abdomen,” says Dr. Quimby. “I encourage my patients to play around with different positions.” Many find the soccer grip, which you literally stick your baby in like yup, a soccer ball, along your forearm to your chest, is the most comfortable section after your caesarean, she says. (Confused? See if your hospital has a lactation advisor who can help.) You can also purchase a nursing pillow like the Boppy Bare Naked Nursing Pillow and Positioner ($ 60, Amazon), or a stack of soft pillows of various sizes and try shapes to get the baby into a good position.

5. Adjust your expectations for a good night’s sleep.

You just had a baby and major surgery, possibly after hours of work, so a good night’s sleep is inevitable, right? Not so in most hospitals. You will have your vital signs (including blood pressure and temperature) checked every few hours, likely for the duration of your stay. And if you gave birth in what is known as a “baby-friendly” hospital, your care team will likely be careful to get breastfeeding established as quickly as possible, which can make hospital sleep even more difficult. Not to mention taking a newborn home with you, which is obviously linked to a whole host of other sleep disorders for the parents.

6. If you experience signs of postpartum depression, seek support.

Physical changes are only one aspect of the postpartum experience. Parenthood also brings with it mental changes and changes. While lack of sleep and changing routines will inevitably bother you (baby blues is real), chances are you are struggling with postpartum depression as well. And if you had an emergency caesarean section or planned to have a vaginal delivery but still needed a caesarean section, it could have particularly serious implications for your mental health. In fact, a 2019 study was published in the Journal of Health Economics found that pregnant people with an unplanned or emergency caesarean section were 15 percent more likely to have postpartum depression.

If more than two weeks after your Caesarean section you have symptoms that make it difficult to care for your baby or live your life, such as intense sadness, loss of appetite, mood swings, increased anxiety, and lack of joy The Mayo Clinic suggests yourself to contact your provider. If you feel uncomfortable reaching out to your doctor, you (or someone you love and trust) may consider other types of support, such as: B. a postpartum doula or finding a qualified therapist. You can also seek out support groups and online communities that can make you feel less alone.


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