Sure, your perineum muscles are well and working, but you have an abdominal surgery to recover from while dealing with all the other postpartum issues. In other words – take it easy and enlist as much help as possible.
Your symptoms should be better day by day, but you might still feel:
- Pain at the incision site. While the initial pain should be mostly or completely gone by now, the scar will still be sore for a few weeks. Continue to wear loose shirts that won’t irritate the area.
- Itchiness. Ask your doctor for a safe anti-itch ointment to relieve the discomfort.
- Exhaustion. Let us rephrase – you’ll definitely be wiped out. Not only did you have abdominal surgery, but you also have a baby to take care of around the clock. All moms feel the need to get up and conquer the mounting responsibilities, but those recovering from C-sections will need more help than others. Remember, the more you rest now, the easier your recoup will be.
- Gassy and bloated. Surgery can cause your intestines to move slower than normal, building gas and making you feel quite uncomfortable. Talk to your doctor about what’s safe to take and make sure to drink plenty of fluids.
- Uncomfortable coughing, sneezing and laughing. Use a pillow to support your stomach.
- Difficulty breastfeeding – beyond the usual roadblocks. If your abdomen is still aching, the side-lying position or football hold might be the most comfortable. And still continue to use a pillow to protect your wound from quick and forceful little kicks, as well as one between your legs and behind your back. Other than that, follow the advice in our breastfeeding section.
- Constipation, which might still be lingering from pain meds. Talk to your doctor about safe medications to take.
Other things to know about your recovery:
- Your sutures or staples were most likely removed by now, but, if not, you can expect a fast and generally painless process.
- You should be getting as much sleep as possible (meaning as much help as possible), while still getting up and walking around every once in awhile to prevent blood clots. But still, take it easy.
- Avoid picking up anything heavier than your baby for the first eight weeks.
- With your doctor’s green light, you might be able to resume moderate exercise – including sex – at around six weeks.
- Believe it or not, your dark, puffy scar will eventually shrink and fade and will often be hidden by your underwear or bikini bottom.
Because there’s always a risk of infection with a surgery wound, call your doctor if:
- The incision site becomes warm, red or extremely swollen.
- Your wound starts to ooze.
- You start running a fever, even if you feel fine otherwise.