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What is the recovery period like after a c-section?

Are you able to take pain medication if you plan to breast feed? How bad is the pain? Can you request to be put completely under? I know its probably better to be awake, I am just scared. Not due Till June this year.


Asked by Katina23 at 4:41 PM on Feb. 3, 2010 in Pregnancy

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Answers (8)
  • It's safer for you to be awake, but I was losing so much blood that the anesthesiologist gave me "something" after they had removed my son and showed him to me (I just remember her saying "I'm going to give you a little something, and I was out", but I was also throwing up at the time). The pain is tough, really tough. For most people they give a codeine derivative for pain (percocet, lortab, etc), but I can't take anything like that, so it's just extra strength Tylenol for me - and yes, they give it to you even if you breastfeed. Walking is really difficult, the first few steps for me were pure pain, and my first shower my dh took with me to help steady me while I was in there. But it gets better quickly, the more you walk they quicker you will heal. I pushed my son's bassinet on wheels up and down the hall - it gave me something to lean on and I could look at him while I was doing it.

    Answer by missanc at 4:47 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • Why not do all you can to have a vaginal birth? some c-sections are medically necessary but most are not. look into ways to prevent c-section by avoiding other interventions :) "ina may's guide" is a good book. ican international is a good website. has some could info on what drugs are ok for breastfeeding.

    the recovery varies A LOT. some feel fine relatively quickly, while others get infections or are sore for weeks and weeks.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:47 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • There are meds you can take while nursing - just be sure your doctor knows you plan to nurse. The first 24 hours are the worst, but they will give you pretty strong drugs during that time. As soon as possible start walking around - the more you move the quicker you will get past the soreness. I took meds in the hospital, and then for a few days after I got home. I moved slowly for a while, especially getting up from a chair, but I never felt like I could not get up to take care of my baby. If you have anyone around your house to help you, let them do a few things (cook & clean) and have them bring the baby to you some of the time (you want to move, but not overdo it). I know some people end up being put under completely for a c-section; as far as I know that is just in emergency situations, but it never hurts to ask your doctor these type of questions.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:48 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • Those are general things to ask your dr beforehand. They really vary by the person.
    Many take the pain well(like I didnt need pain meds by the next day while I know others who took them for weeks after). How is your pain tolerance level?
    Im pretty sure they have meds you can take while breastfeeding but am not sure which ones...just ask, make sure they know you plan to breastfeed. You will probably have morphine at first but after the surgery and time in recovery they will probably switch it out.

    You can probably request to be put under but I dont recommend it. You will want to be awake to see and touch your child after he/she comes out.
    Follow the drs instructions to the very best you can. Avoid lots of bending and back and forth movement(think vacuuming) and they will probably tell you to not drive for 2 wks. Those were the general rules I had for my 3 sections.


    Answer by Amaranth361 at 4:48 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • It's better to not have a c-section. You can reduce the chances by having a nurse-midwife as your care provider and having a doula. Only about 5% of women need c-sections. Doctors don't use the medication that puts you all the way to sleep unless they have to. It's bad for the baby.

    It's a major surgery. There isn't just one cut. There are layers of cuts and stiches or staples. They take your womb all the way out of your body. It takes weeks or months to recover. Some women have problems the rest of their lives. According to the World Health Organization you shouldn't try to get pregnant again for at least 3 years and should only have 2 c-sections.

    You can take pain meds and breastfeed. The IV fluids will make your breasts more engorged and you may experience breastfeeding difficulties.

    Answer by Gailll at 4:50 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • My best advice is to get up and walk around as soon as possible(like that night if you can), it really helps with the recovery process.

    Plus, dont fret if you dont feel 100% after a week or two. You have 6 wks to get back up to speed so dont push yourself. Listen to your body and when it says to slow down or not do something...listen.

    Definately stay positive. They arent bad experiences overall(even tho some have them just like some do with vaginal birth). You will be fine and you will have a wonderful child to cuddle and love after all is said and done!

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 4:50 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • You should meet directly w/an anesthesiologist before your due date in the month or two before due as well as the day before and day of section before section. I had a labor section then two more sections.

    An epidural lets you be awake but could make you feel really heavy through all of your body. Not sure about a spinal. To be completely asleep or not is also up to you and doctors.

    I used a step stool to help me reach the floor easier for my first section afterwards coming out of bed for several days. You'll likely have a pain pump set to an amount of med allowed to release at your push specific amounts - better than pills for pain for me like with 1st baby.

    Try using a pillow for your tummy to cushion coughs, laughing pain.

    A section birth could be during the week before due date maybe a bit earlier, depending oncircumstances.

    Remember it's your birth, moms here have said they have nursed very soon after sections.

    Answer by lfl at 4:51 PM on Feb. 3, 2010

  • I had a spinal block. It made me completely 100% numb from chest to toe, and I could not feel or move my legs at all for at least 12 hours. The anesthesia also made me very nauseous. After 24 hours the nausea was gone and I could get up and walk the halls. By the time I went home I was getting around pretty well, although a little slow.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:08 PM on Feb. 3, 2010