C-section - Recovery After a C-section

A c-section, short for caesarean-section, is a surgical procedure where a woman's abdomen and uterus are cut open to deliver one or more babies. A c-section procedure is usually performed if a vaginal delivery is dangerous for either the mother or the child. Elective c-sections are more common and some news sources have reported that c-section by request is gaining in popularity in many countries by as much as 46 percent of deliveries. C-sections are rarely used to perform late term abortions called hysterotomy abortion. Sometimes this procedure is performed to remove a dead fetus although often doctors prefer that the mother vaginally birth the deceased baby instead.


It's been said that the second Mauryan emperor of India, Bindusara, was born by a c-section procedure after his mother accidently ate something poisonous and died. His father's advisor decided the baby should survive and cut open the queen's belly to remove the baby. Bindusara was born in 320 BC.

Early Roman physicians around 715 to 573 BC were known to remove a child from the belly of a dead mother if she died during childbirth. Both the mother and baby would be already be dead and there is no record that a live child was removed from a mother's belly during Roman times. Some historians suspect this may have been due to a religious belief that a woman should not be buried pregnant.

Modern C-sections

A tradition caesarean section involves cutting a long vertical incision in the woman's belly that allows for a bigger space to remove the baby. This type of procedure is rarely performed anymore and is only done when an emergency c-section is required. C-section complications are higher with a classical caesarean section.

A lower uterine segment section is more commonly used. It involves the doctor cutting a small horizontal cut in the lower part of a woman's abdomen just above the edge of the bladder. Scarring can more easily be covered up and this type of c-section recovery is shorter than the classical procedure because there's less blood loss.

A caesarean hysterectomy is performed when the placenta can't be separated from the womb after the baby has been delivered and unstoppable bleeding occurs. It involves removing the uterus after the baby has been removed.

Recovery After a C-section

Recovering from a c-section takes some time. Generally doctors say it takes approximately six weeks for your body to heal from the surgery. During this time you must limit your activities and can only lift light objects. Some women take as long as two or three months after the procedure to feel normal again.

Expect to feel nauseous and groggy after the surgery. You might also feel itchy all over in reaction the spinal you've been given. You'll probably be in the hospital for about four days to don't be afraid to ask your caregiver for medication to relieve the itchiness and pain.

Be sure to support your incision if you cough, laugh or sneeze to reduce the pain and pressure. In the hospital you'll be encouraged to take short walks with assistance to help with get your circulation going.

What Will the Scar Look Like?

According to c-section pictures, your scar will be raised and puffy and first but will significantly shrink by six weeks post surgery. It'll be darker than the rest of your skin at first and might be itchy while it heals.

Potential Dangers

If you've ever watched a c-section video of the procedure being performed, then you know that it's a major surgery. And like any major surgery there are risks. The biggest risk is infection of the uterus or nearby organs like the kidneys or bladder. Blood loss tends to be twice than that of a vaginal birth and anything more than that could weaken the body. Still, blood transfusions following a c-section are rare. It can become difficult to move your bowels and if you were under general anesthesia it's possible you could get respiratory complication like pneumonia. It's possible to react negatively to the anesthesia. These complications are higher with multiple c-sections.

Risks to the baby include breathing problems, low Apgar scores and premature birth if the baby was delivered to early because of due date miscalculation. Fetal injury, although rare, is also possible if a surgeon cuts the baby when making the abdominal incision.


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