According to statistics in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the amount of Caesarean, or C-Section, deliveries in the USA continues to rise every year since 1996. At the same time, the number of women with a prior C-Section delivery attempting a natural labor in a subsequent pregnancy declined. An OBGYN in Long Beach, CA from the GYN Emergent Care Center can address the various questions an expecting mother may have regarding their health following childbirth.
Body Changes & Self-Care
Should you be planning a C-Section delivery, or you want to be prepared in case you need one, be aware that this type of delivery causes body changes from abdominal pain to mood swings, among others. You may have questions like these:
- How long does it take for an incision to heal?
- What discomfort will you experience?
- What are the best breast-feeding positions after this type of delivery?
- How can you take care of yourself and your baby during the recovery period?
It is generally recognized that about 4 to 6 weeks are needed for a C-Section incision to heal, and during the recovery procedure it is common for you to experience discomfort and fatigue; therefore, to promote healing, our OBGYN office in Long Beach, CA, recommends that recovering mothers do not overexert themselves and get as much rest as possible. It is also advisable that you keep everything you and your baby need within reach – important during the first couple of weeks following the procedure. It is recommended to avoid lifting anything aside from your baby.
Posture, Abdominal Support, & General Care
It is generally well known that posture and walking have an influence on general health, and recovery from a C-Section delivery is no different. Be sure to do the following:
- Make a conscious effort to retain a good posture when you are walking or standing.
- Support your abdomen with your hand close to the incision when making sudden movements, such as laughing, coughing or sneezing.
- Take medication for the relief of pain. Generally, the majority of medications for relieving pain are safe for breast-feeding women to use.
- By drinking a substantial amount of fluids, you will help to replace those lost in the delivery and breast-feeding; also aids in avoiding constipation.
- Be aware of the need to reduce the risk of urinary infections by emptying your bladder frequently.
It is crucial that you regularly check your C-Section incision for signs of any infection and essential that you contact your doctor if you see signs of:
- An incision swelling, leaking discharge, or is red
- You are experiencing pain in the area of the incision
- Your temperature is over 100.4 F (38 C)
Finding The Most Comfortable Feeding Positions
This is a time of discovery for you and your baby, and finding the best feeding positions that work best is no exception to this rule! Your health-care providers will naturally give you experienced and practical advice, as following the C-Section delivery you are able to start breast-feeding almost immediately. A well-tried method to minimize discomfort is by placing a pillow over your incision while holding the baby.
Some breast-feeding positions that have proven successful for recovering mothers are:
- Start with your elbow in the bent position and hold your baby at your side. Supporting the head of baby with your hand, turn their face towards your breast. The baby’s back will be resting on your forearm. Comfort is increased by sitting in a chair that is broad and has low arms with a pillow on your lap.
- Another popular position is lying on your side, with your baby facing towards your breast, being supported by one of your hands.
Should you experience any difficulty with breast-feeding during your recovery procedures, or thereafter, contact your OBGYN.
Your Recovery Experience
You must take into account that you do not only need to recover from your C-Section delivery, you are also recovering from the overall affects of your pregnancy! Among the various symptoms you may experience is postpartum depression, which could mean:
- Severe mood swings
- Overwhelming fatigue and lack of joy in life following childbirth
- Loss of appetite
If you think you could be in a state of depression and continue experiencing signs and symptoms such as trouble caring for your baby or completing daily tasks, or you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, contact your health-care provider immediately, as this is a serious condition and should be treated as such.
After about six weeks following the delivery, your physician examines your abdomen, cervix, uterus and vagina to ensure you are healing satisfactorily. In certain instances, your health care provider could request you to schedule an earlier time for your C-Section incision to be checked. Your health-care provider may also conduct a breast examination, check your weight, and examine your blood pressure.
This is the ideal time to discuss any questions or concerns you could have regarding your physical or emotional health. Your physician will be able to advise you and provide recommended support to assure your adjustment to life with your new baby.