You could have had either, a planned surgical birth or a last minute c section. Either way, you have just experienced a life changing moment and stepped into the most responsible role of your life - Motherhood!
If it has been a planned surgical birth you had the time to be mentally and emotionally prepared but if it was a last minute cesarean section then you can feel disappointed about things not turning out as planned! Well, it’s natural that you are apprehensive about your baby.
It is however important to be positive and remember that surgical birth happens only to ensure the wellbeing of the mother and the baby. After all, having a healthy and happy baby is your ultimate goal!
Here are the things you can expect after surgical birth and here is how you can heal faster.
You will actually feel very energetic post the birth. The surgery takes about 30-45 minutes and you have been given a lot of painkillers which make you feel that the birth was a cake walk! But don’t overdo it. Make sure you rest and follow all the instructions by your doctor.
Your doctor will want you to lie as still as possible for the first 24 hours. You will have a catheter for urination and an IV for nutrition.
At 24 hours, your nurse will encourage you to take a few baby steps. This is imperative to the healing process, so even if you feel like an old woman make sure you walk around a little.
No food or water is allowed orally. Your doctor may permit water intake after about 12 hours post the surgery. At about 24 hours you will be allowed a liquid diet and post 48 hours a full diet is permitted.
There are special abdomen support belts available for those who have had a surgical birth. These help support the incision especially when you laugh, cough or sneeze.
As soon as you can, start flexing and working on the muscles of your calves and ankles. This will help improve your blood circulation and prevent the formation of blood clots. Remember, you were given analgesia, which numbs you from the waist down.
Take help from the nursing staff and make sure you breastfeed your baby as often as recommended. Medications given during a surgical birth do not affect breast milk.
Your stitches will take 3-4 weeks to heal completely and you must avoid foods with high citrus content in this period. All other foods are allowed in moderation.
Most moms are able to start with a gentle walking program post one month of surgery. A postnatal exercise program can be started once your doctor gives you the green signal and you feel fit enough.
The most important thing is to focus on your baby and your recovery. Take as much help and support from family and friends while you heal. Take one day at a time. If you feel tired or overwhelmed on a particular day its ok to take it easy and just rest.