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recovery from c section (planned) tips & questions!


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#1 PandoBox

Posted 24 August 2017 - 01:37 PM

Hello

I have a scheduled C section and I am after your best recovery tips. Sorry I know these are very first time mum questions and i have a lot of questions.

My c section is at 7.30 am (If all goes to plan) - is it realistic for me to aim to stand up that same evening ? What about have the catheter out? I don't know why but I am creeped out by the catheter and sleeping with it

Does *everyone* have swelling in the legs, feet, ankles, face etc post c section and if so how long does this last?

Would you shave down there before a c section? I have read conflicting information. Some  sources say don't shave as it increases risk of infection/ ingrown hairs. Im considering just trimming and leaving it up to the professionals to make their decision on shaving.

Can anyone who has used those belly bandits / wraps/ recovery shorts comment how soon after c section they have used them?

Has anyone managed to successfully nurse straight after c section (while still being stitched up?). I really want skin to skin straight away and the hospital has confirmed that if bubs is OK I can do skin to skin straight away..and try and nurse.  What can i do to increase my odds of nursing quickly post c section? Will a midwife help me?

Should i ask for stool softeners straight away to ensure i have  BM within 3 days or wait to see if i go naturally?

Any other tips to make recovery as smooth/quick as possible? I know its a major surgery and I know it takes time. I have help arranged for the first 2 weeks.

#2 PaperCats

Posted 24 August 2017 - 01:50 PM

I had c-section at midday and was back in my room by 1.30. I had skin to skin in recovery and baby nursed there. Yes the midwife will definitely help you to do that.

I didn't shave as I went into early labour, but the midwife shaved me (just the top inch or so really) and I didn't care.  Given I couldn't really see down there over my belly it was probably easier that someone else did it. Maybe next time I'll do it myself though.

I did not have any swelling at all. I was pretty numb from waist down for the rest of the day, (but it may have also been the shock of early and quick labour and the bandages) they took the catheter out first thing the next morning and I got up. I couldn't feel the catheter at all.

Take the drugs as often as the nurses will let you.

#3 Amishtador

Posted 24 August 2017 - 02:06 PM

Two planned c-sections here!

With my first, I was up and out of bed (by choice) in eight hours or thereabouts. Catheter and cannula had to stay in overnight but I was able to have a shower and get wheeled down the hallway in a wheelchair to feed baby (in special care).

With my second, I had a different ob and he was supportive of me being up and catheter out ASAP which was after about six hours. Nurses were not so happy about this but called the ob to confirm and agreed as my husband was staying with me and could help get me in and out of bed of needed (which it wasn't).

First c-section I was shaved by a nurse during pre-admission clinic the day before. They didn't recommend waxing which was my preference. Second, at a different hospital, suggested waxing so I went with that as usual a few days beforehand.

First I wasn't able to feed straight after as she went to special care, and the hospital wasn't supportive of it as a general rule due to staffing numbers. Second was skin to skin and feeding immediately after and baby stayed with me through recovery and back to the ward. Midwives, pediatrician and theatre nurse in recovery all helped!

Despite our rough SCN start I had said I didn't think the separation affected my breastfeeding relationship with my first at all but now, having a second to compare to, I have to say it has been about a thousand times easier. Could just be second baby syndrome but our second latched on immediately while I was being stitched, and has pretty much stayed there for the past three months which is entirely different to our first!

I didn't take stool softeners or use recovery shorts/bands - I didn't feel I needed them. I was puffy in the face for both for about 24-48 hours afterwards. Second I was also horribly itchy for three days because of intrathecal morphine.

Other than that - I would just say that you might have some post-baby euphoria for the first week or so - don't overdo it during this time even if you feel like you could move mountains. Like you've said - it's major surgery! Good luck!

Edited by Amishtador, 24 August 2017 - 02:11 PM.


#4 Kattikat

Posted 24 August 2017 - 02:06 PM

I'm booked in for a planned c-section on Monday. I had my first baby via emergency c-section and this one is breech so here I go again! For a major op, is surprisingly OK, possibly because you have crazy baby hormones and adrenaline getting you through.

Mine was at 730pm and I was up the next morning to shower. I was pretty numb and drugged up (had been through 15 hours of labour prior to the chop) but that shower was the best one I've ever had in my whole life and I was able to move around OK, if a bit stiffly. I did have swelling but had had a bit while preg probably due to the fact it was middle of summer.
I will be having a wax in the next day or two, but last time they just shaved and it was fine.
I fed DS in recovery, midwife was brilliant at helping with this magical moment. Didn't seem to be any issues with my milk but this time, as I won't be having any labour (woohoo!) I've been massaging,/trying to express colostrum to make sure it's all good to go (Google 'antenatal expressing')

Skin on skin was lovely, we'll be putting a nappy on bub this time though as that meconium poo is like crude oil. Gross.

There was a physio on the maternity ward and she gave exercise tips and the stretchy belly bandit thing out I think day 2 or so. I found it very comfy but hot because it was summer. I've bought myself some cheap shape wear from kmart too this time to see how that goes.
The nurses gave me stool softeners on my day of discharge (after 3 nights), hallelujah, the drugs really play havoc and it's kind of scary to push with a wound if you know what I mean...

All the best, it's actually fine!

#5 Matty's Mum

Posted 24 August 2017 - 02:07 PM

Following with interest as I am in the same boat with this pregnancy
Just with the shaving/waxing - my little note from the OB with details of my scheduled CS says "Do NOT wax or shave your pubic area for one week prior to your surgery" and its even highlighted so obviously a big no no for this particular hospital :laugh:

#6 FlamingoG

Posted 24 August 2017 - 02:15 PM

Honestly, I did no prep and just showed up for my planned Caesarean. The nursing staff were so efficient and knowledgeable, I just did what I was told and followed instructions. (I had NO expectations for anything going in, I just wanted the baby out...)

You will be pretty drugged up, I doubt you will even notice the catheter. I was up the next morning, no swelling and bowel movement happened within two days without softeners as far as I remember.

I didn't shave - the first thing my OB said to the nurse was 'can I get a shave over here', it still makes me laugh. Let them worry about that - it's quite hard to attend to beneath a gut shelf anyway.

Your baby may be like my first, more interested in the process of getting out than feeding - then just enjoy the skin to skin and don't put pressure on yourself to feed immediately. My second came out and went straight for the nipple, after roaring a bit - it made no difference between them in the long run. Please don't fret about that.

I never wore shorts or bands, that region was super sensitive for me and I would have hated any pressure on it. Everything has gone back to normal regardless.

My tips would be take straws or a water bottle, really hard to drink lying down. Remember you can't drive for six weeks after.

Best of luck OP, I really enjoyed my C/S's because they were calm and orderly and your baby is almost here! Amazing.

#7 theboys2

Posted 24 August 2017 - 02:45 PM

I have had two planned c/s and recovered really well with both of them.


first was 5.5 years ago and didnt do skin to skin and honestly didnt even think to ask for it. Bub was actually taken down with hubby to our room while i was in recovery for about 45mins.

When i had my second was when i asked about that not happening this time. it hadnt bothered me at the time but it did by then lol.

Second bub i fed in recovery. I had excellent BF journeys wth both so i dont think the non skin to skin affected DS 1.

I was up and walking the next day (1st c/s was 10am 2nd was 9am) i had the catheter in the whole time. Honestly didnt even know it was there. didnt bother me.

Waxing i always had scheduled before hand so i was def waxed for the c/s i think my first i had to be reshaven a little as i was 10 days overdue so i think my wax may have started to regrow lol.

My OB was letting me drive from 4 weeks.

i was a little stiff the next day and tight in the stomach but all in all pretty good. went home on voltaren for a few days.

I wore big high undies as i didnt want the undie band sitting on the stitches? fancy ahahh but atleast they also held the maternity pads in place.

I also got thrush the first time with DS1 i think becuase 1. i wasnt use to wearing pads 2. being so busy i dont think i changed them as often as i should have.
Just thought i would mention that.

goodluck!

#8 FretfulMum

Posted 24 August 2017 - 02:50 PM

I've had 1 emergency CS & 1 planned. Both were totally fine in terms of the surgery & recovery. DS1 was born at 30wks though so spent a long time in NICU.

Both mine were in the morning & I had the catheter out the next morning. I actually loved having a catheter - why ever waste time going to the toilet! I was walking fine the next morning too.

Take regular painkillers & stool softeners - my OB prescribed them for 3 days regularly then just as needed. This way I was up & about as much as possible which I think helped my quick recovery.

I wasn't at all swollen post op the 2nd time (1st time I was swollen from severe pre-eclampsia).

DS2 was placed on my chest (wrapped in a blanket) whilst they stitched me up then I put him on th breast in recovery (the nurses will help you).

I didn't shave/wax for either CS (1st time emergency & 2nd time, well couldn't be bothered). My scar healed fine both times.

I didn't really use any support garments either time. I tried tubigrip & control briefs from target with my 2nd CS (as DS1 was 2yo so I would be picking him up a bit). I just found it annoying & hot. I've not had any problems with abdominal muscle separation.

I successfully breastfed DS1 & DS2 is 4months old & don't feel that having a CS affected my milk supply/bonding at all luckily.

I was feeling pretty well recovered after 2 weeks. I started driving at that time. I had a bit more help after my 2nd CS though as I didn't want to be picking up my toddler.

Good luck!

#9 Meelah

Posted 24 August 2017 - 03:14 PM

I have had 2 CS, 1 not planned and 1 planned.

First came after I had laboured all day but DD wasn't moving, decision was made at 10:30pm to go into theatre, she was born at 11:00pm.

I was up having a shower at 8am the next morning, although the midwives did make me sit on a shower chair.

Second was planned and recovery was just as good.  We left hospital 48 hours later and drove 3 hours home!

About the driving afterwards, just check with your insurance company.  Mine was really good and had no set policy so I was driving 3 weeks after both deliveries.

I would suggest getting up and about as quickly as you can as I really believe this helps a lot.  Also drink heaps of water.  Take the pain meds every 4 hours whether you think you need them or not as once they wear off it takes a while to get them back up to the right levels!

Invest in some big granny undies so the waistband isn't sitting on your wound site.  Added bonus is that they are so comfy!

Good luck, I was so fearful of CS's before my first but now that I have had 2 excellent recoveries I have no qualms about my next one happening in February next year :)

#10 HolierThanCow

Posted 24 August 2017 - 03:38 PM

I had no swelling after either of mine. I had skin to skin in recovery but not in the theatre. The only one of my babies who successfully breastfed in the first hour after birth was the one born by elective c-section! The one born vaginally and the one by emergency c-section were both pretty slow. The worst was my first (the vaginal birth), probably because she was my first.

The most important thing with recovery is to listen to your body and not push it where it doesn't want to go. Some people are up and feeling good in 12 hours or less, others take the full 24 and hobble about for the first couple of days. My second was much more difficult in the first few days but ended up fine after that. They'll take care of you in the hospital and give you enough pain medication for your pain level. Take the full dose, especially in the first few days, even if you think you don't need it.

I have used the high-waist c-panty this time and think they are really good. I started about two weeks pp. Before then I had cheap cotton full briefs with a sanitary pad stuck to them across the scar area. I think you can use them as soon as the scar has healed.

But seriously, don't do too much. You'll probably feel fine quite quickly (most women do, although not all), but it's really important to take it EXTREMELY easy for the first two weeks, still very easy for the next two and then stop yourself from doing too much at around 4 weeks pp. The number of people I know who have done too much around that mark and caused some discomfort is quite high (myself included). Don't consider yourself recovered until six weeks pp and then take it slow, no matter how good you feel.

I would say I'm pretty average in terms of healing and recovery, generally, and with the c-sections I was pretty textbook, i.e. up the next day, ok to walk about on the second, ok to go home on the third (this was public), but I felt I could have done with another day or two in hospital with the slow-release pain medication. It was ok, but I had to set timers at home to make sure I didn't miss any.

I can't even remember when the catheter was taken out!

Good luck!

Edited by HolyCow, 24 August 2017 - 03:47 PM.


#11 Hope28

Posted 24 August 2017 - 03:43 PM

I had a c section at 2pm. There were some complications so we didn't get to recovery until 2:45/3ish, and weren't back on the ward until after 4. I had my catheter out the following morning at 8ish and was up and walking straightaway after that. (Albeit walking very slowly and gingerly.) Generally speaking they like you to be up and moving as soon as possible.

As for the catheter, I wasn't particularly aware of it. Too many other things going on!

I held baby in theatre but didn't nurse. I'm having baby #2 soon and may have another c section - if so, I'd love to try to nurse in theatre. Baby had his first feed while we were in recovery. Whenever it happens, your midwife should be able to help you with it.

A midwife shaved the relevant area for me before theatre - it was certainly an interesting way to meet someone! :rofl:

I didn't have any swelling.

I bought a pair of the recovery shorts but didn't find them terribly useful - mostly because they have to be fitted in order to be effective, but the last thing I felt like doing was trying to shimmy the wretched things on! It was very painful trying and so I barely ended up using them.

There's some information about breastfeeding after a c section on the ABA website which might be handy too. Their tip about a pillow on your lap is definitely a good one - we did this for at least a week.

In terms of general recovery - take it easy. Really easy! As much as it's good to get up and about, listen to your body and don't push too far too fast. Take the painkillers that you are offered - the staff will know you're breastfeeding and won't offer you anything that isn't safe (although of course it never hurts to doublecheck with them). They told me (after I pushed myself too far) that trying to soldier on through the pain makes it last longer and delays healing.

Good luck, I hope it goes smoothly for you!

#12 *Andi*

Posted 24 August 2017 - 03:49 PM

The advice I give to everyone is to take your usual stool softener into hospital with you. After my first (emergency caesar) I used what they gave me and it made things worse. It took quite a while to get back to normal. The second time for my planned caesar, I took in my metamucil capsules and didn't miss a beat!

I was able to have skin to skin while still in theatre with my planned one, and fed her in recovery. She wasn't looking for it before then.



#13 Sandra

Posted 24 August 2017 - 03:51 PM

I did no prep as was literally sent from Ob appointment straight to hospital.  They did the prep stuff there.

Mine was at 8 am and I got to hold baby in theatre as they were stitching me, but I did have the shakes a bit from aneasthetic so I actually got them to take her back after a bit, but that contact was great.

I did not stand up till next morning when catheter was removed and I was allowed to toilet and shower, was nice.  Had no issues after that, could move around as I wanted.

Baby did not feed as much as others as obviously more sleepy.

My Ob was great and he said as soon as I got back to my room I could eat what I wanted, which was brilliant and I think aided everything. his theory was pretty basic.. you cannot  have bowel motion if you dont eat something decent  :p

I seriously had no issues, didn't wear any special clothing or anything, just took care to listen to your body and minimise visitors.

#14 Bird1

Posted 24 August 2017 - 04:24 PM

Only advice I have is don't have the catheter too early. I had mine out roughly 6hours after the c section. Then they had to put it back in 4 hours later incredibly painful.
Other then that I did skin to skin straight away but didn't feed till recovery. Recovery shorts from day 3 and I feel they did help. Take all drugs offered for the first few days they do help

#15 MrsPuddleduck

Posted 24 August 2017 - 07:43 PM

My answers below:

My c section is at 7.30 am (If all goes to plan) - is it realistic for me to aim to stand up that same evening ? What about have the catheter out? I don't know why but I am creeped out by the catheter and sleeping with it - mine was at a similar time to yours, the catheter stayed in for 24 hours and was removed the next morning. I freakin loved the catheter because it meant I didn't have to get up to wee!

Does *everyone* have swelling in the legs, feet, ankles, face etc post c section and if so how long does this last? - I didn't have any swelling. They put some stocking type things on my legs that rhythmically squeezed them which helped with circulation (felt a little odd though!)

Would you shave down there before a c section? I have read conflicting information. Some  sources say don't shave as it increases risk of infection/ ingrown hairs. Im considering just trimming and leaving it up to the professionals to make their decision on shaving. - didn't shave, didn't need to.

Can anyone who has used those belly bandits / wraps/ recovery shorts comment how soon after c section they have used them? - I wore the tubigrip stuff at first and then used SRC Recovery Shorts when I got home, they are good but hard to get in and out of.

Has anyone managed to successfully nurse straight after c section (while still being stitched up?). I really want skin to skin straight away and the hospital has confirmed that if bubs is OK I can do skin to skin straight away..and try and nurse.  What can i do to increase my odds of nursing quickly post c section? Will a midwife help me? - I nursed in recovery but held my son while getting stitched up.

Should i ask for stool softeners straight away to ensure i have  BM within 3 days or wait to see if i go naturally? - take the stool softeners. I bought Coloxyl at the chemist and they helped.

Any other tips to make recovery as smooth/quick as possible? I know its a major surgery and I know it takes time. I have help arranged for the first 2 weeks. - take the drugs offered and don't push yourself too hard. I had an internal bleed about 1.5 weeks afterwards and it was so painful. Avoid that if you can by following the rules they tell you and don't try and bounce back too quick!

#16 itsallnew

Posted 24 August 2017 - 10:52 PM

I had an emergency c-section under general anaesthetic at 1130am. Catheter stayed in until next morning and I stayed in bed until then. Walking very gingerly next morning but fine the second day. I used SRC recovery shorts from day 3 and really felt they were helpful with support. I only took them off to shower for about 4 weeks. I'm having an elective section this time & plan to wear them again.

#17 PandoBox

Posted 25 August 2017 - 10:57 AM

Great thanks everyone for your answers !!! :)

#18 Carrietarool

Posted 25 August 2017 - 11:29 AM

Ive had 3 c sections, 1 emergency and 2 planned.
The emergency one was under a general anaesthetic so all a bit of a mess, didnt see baby till 3hrs after he was born etc etc.

2 scheduled c sections - first was at 3.30pm and I was up the next morning with catheter out and shower etc. I was able to have baby placed straight on my chest while still in theatre and nursed him while in recovery. I didnt even think to ask for any of this as being under GA the first time round i had no idea what to expect - but the nurses and OB were wonderful and just made it all happen.

2nd planned c- section was at 8.30am and I was sooo hopeful that being so early Id be able to get the catheter out in the evening and shower etc, but no such luck, they wanted me to wait till the next morning which was a bit uncomfortable because by then the spinal block had well and truely worn off and I was itchy as anything from the morphine and the compression stockings - I was so hot!

i did however get to keep my baby in recovery with me and also have skin to skin while still in theatre.
That time around they were also really strict on making me lie flat for quite a long time after and not elevating the bed - i know this is for a specific purpose but I have quite big boobs and really struggled to breastfeed properly while lying down,they were all flopping everywhere and his little head was so tiny i felt like i was suffocating him!

i didnt bother shaving before hand and a nurse came in and did it for me pre-op.
I didnt have any swelling in my ankles legs or face at all with any of my 3 c sections.

#19 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 25 August 2017 - 05:34 PM

I was fitted with compression stockings the day before my CS and my OB also had the air pump leg compression sleeves as well.

Re nursing, my left arm was out on a side table with iv line etc, so wasn't able to hold, as I was one armed. Also there isn't a lot of space between your boobs and the drape and I have a long torso. I would really just lower your expectations to nursing on the table. I had a bad reaction to a drug and was feeling giddy and bubs had an oxygen tube taped under his nose, so nursing wasn't going to happen. Wait until recovery which really is only half an hour later to have your cuddles.

I used C Panties but after the incision was healed as the silicon panel helps with scarring. By that point was was able to pull up and down ac ompression short. Until then all I wanted was loose and easy.

#20 PandoBox

Posted 28 August 2017 - 01:41 PM

Ladies I Have another question... I know I'm asking so much :sick:

DH & I are building our first home... and timing couldn't be worse... :cry:

4 weeks exactly PP I'm required to attend an appointment to select colours, etc for the house. Its a full day appointment... there will be a fair bit of moving around from one section to the next - no lifting... there will be chairs but i will still require to move around a fair bit from one section to the next.

Does it sound realistic for me to be able to do this at 4 weeks pp? I know i can take a break during the day.. and i'll have to excuse myself to pump as well.

Mum  has offered to look after DD while we do this.

Edited by PandoBox, 28 August 2017 - 01:42 PM.


#21 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 28 August 2017 - 01:53 PM

I would not have been able to be away from my baby for a full day 4 weeks PP. I could never pump much, and DD refused to take a bottle. I would take the baby with me and just breastfeed while doing everything, but then I had no other breastfeeding issues. Many of the mums in my mother's group would not have been able to do that.

I think you will only be able to determine if it's doable or not maybe a week before. Maybe you can get them to split it into two half days, or get them to do it early, before the baby arrives.

#22 PandoBox

Posted 28 August 2017 - 02:09 PM

 22Fruitmincepies, on 28 August 2017 - 01:53 PM, said:

I would not have been able to be away from my baby for a full day 4 weeks PP. I could never pump much, and DD refused to take a bottle. I would take the baby with me and just breastfeed while doing everything, but then I had no other breastfeeding issues. Many of the mums in my mother's group would not have been able to do that.

I think you will only be able to determine if it's doable or not maybe a week before. Maybe you can get them to split it into two half days, or get them to do it early, before the baby arrives.

sigh ..its such horrid timing. I don't know if ill be able to be away for the day either (psychologically) ...its not something i want to do but they are refusing to split the day..its one day and the selections are final. The other days are booked out and our land kept getting delayed so much that now its all happening literally within weeks.

DD will be use to mum by then as mum is staying with us for the first 4 weeks anyway..so she will be use to mum and I and DH equally...its just a concern re feeding her and my physical well being.  My original plan was to breastfeed for 6 weeks and then introduce one bottle feed so DH can feed her after work as part of bonding.

#23 Soontobegran

Posted 28 August 2017 - 02:20 PM

 PandoBox, on 28 August 2017 - 01:41 PM, said:

Ladies I Have another question... I know I'm asking so much :sick:

DH & I are building our first home... and timing couldn't be worse... :cry:

4 weeks exactly PP I'm required to attend an appointment to select colours, etc for the house. Its a full day appointment... there will be a fair bit of moving around from one section to the next - no lifting... there will be chairs but i will still require to move around a fair bit from one section to the next.

Does it sound realistic for me to be able to do this at 4 weeks pp? I know i can take a break during the day.. and i'll have to excuse myself to pump as well.

Mum  has offered to look after DD while we do this.

Why not take your baby with you in a pram or a baby sling ? Most women would be well able to walk around and choose things for their house one month post surgery.
The majority of women would not be still taking regular pain relief at the stage....many driving and back looking after other children.

There is no way to predict so complications could give you a different outcome but truly an elective C/S often results in less continued pain than a really nasty episiotomy or tear.


One year ago my DIL had a c/s at 8am and was walking to the nursery to see the baby at 1pm without IV and catheter as her spinal had worn off...she was sent home 48 hours later. She only ever had Panadol and Voltaren for pain relief.

Edited by Soontobegran, 28 August 2017 - 02:24 PM.


#24 *Andi*

Posted 28 August 2017 - 02:23 PM

I would have had no issues sitting/walking around choosing everything (I was early in my second pregnancy when I did it, so I know what it entails). But as above, I couldn't have been away from the baby for that long. I bf on demand and pumping isn't the same. I'd take the baby and just feed when it needs it. It should hopefully sleep the rest of the time.

#25 FretfulMum

Posted 28 August 2017 - 02:27 PM

I think you'll just have to see how things go. I would opt for taking Bub with you to the appointment. Otherwise you will probably have to express while you are there anyway & they may not have a private/comfortable area to do this.




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