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Recovering from a C-Section: What to Expect

Recovering from a C-Section: What to Expect

Planning for your pregnancy means managing a lot of things, including the way you want to give birth, the child birthing itself, and recovering during maternity leave. 

For an increasing number of women, that means giving birth by cesarean section. Low risk C-section deliveries reached 25.9% as recently as last year. 

In the Lake Mary, Florida, area, OB/GYN Christopher Quinsey, MD, and his compassionate staff have the experience to help you prepare for and deliver your baby by C-section. For over 20 years, we have performed more than 3,600 deliveries, and we dedicate ourselves to providing new families with effective, complete care.

Full recovery from a C-section can take much longer than vaginal births, so if you’ve never given birth this way, you need to know what to expect. Let’s look at the procedure itself, what you can expect after giving birth, and what the recovery process is like.

The C-section procedure

Often C-sections are done under regional anesthesia (such as an epidural), which numbs your lower body, but you’re awake during the procedure. We can also provide general anesthesia, in which you are unconscious the whole time.

This surgery uses incisions through the abdomen and uterus to deliver your child. Once Dr. Quinssey removes your baby, he cuts the umbilical cord, removes the placenta, and closes the incision.

C-section aftercare

If you underwent surgery with a regional anesthetic, your lower body remains numb for several hours after the procedure, making moving around difficult without help. 

With general anesthesia, you might not wake up for hours. When you do, you may feel groggy, scared, nauseated, or confused. But soon you’re reunited with your baby and take the beginning steps to adjust to your new life.

The recovery process

You may stay in the hospital for up to four days while we monitor your progress. You could face challenges like cramps, blood clots, hemorrhaging, and the risk of infection at the incision site. We release you after we’re sure your recovery is going well.

Your C-section wound will feel sore for the first couple of weeks, but you’ll see improvement as your uterus contracts and the incisions heal.

In about two weeks, you visit Dr. Quinsey so he can check for swelling, redness, or signs of infection. At this point, you’ll likely feel better, but still have incision pain and uterine cramping. 

In a month you should be able to walk longer distances and move more comfortably, but listen to your body and rest to avoid overexerting yourself. 

In about six weeks, you should be close to, if not fully, healed depending on how healthy you were before the procedure. You’re then free to resume normal activities, though you may still experience pain if you bump the incision site.

Some women deal with muscle and incision pain for several months, and weakened pelvic floor muscles can cause problems with urinary incontinence. Each new mother experiences the healing process differently and at her own pace.

If you’ve decided to go with a C-section delivery, we can help you through it and keep you and your new baby safe and healthy. If you’re ready for us to help, contact Dr. Quinsey today.

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