Postpartum Recovery After A Cesarean Section
And the Loss of Your Baby
AFTER CESAREAN DELIVERY
There may be two issues here: the grief of the loss of your baby, and the grief that you have because of having a Cesarean Section. Another issue may be that you wonder why the Cesarean delivery wasn’t done sooner, and if it had been, would your baby have survived.
It is important, despite these mixed feelings, to allow your body to heal completely. A Cesarean Section is a major surgery! You may tire easily, even months after the surgery. You may find that if you stand or walk for long periods of time that you tire out. Allow time to heal before you resume your normal activities.
There may be particular restrictions your doctor may have regarding your activities after a Cesarean Section. It may include the weight you can lift, mopping or vacuuming, even driving! This is not the time to get all Super-woman!
Examine your incision daily to make sure it is healing properly. If steri-strips were used, leave them on until they begin to peel on their own. Pay attention to any restrictions the doctor gives regarding bathing.
Call your Doctor or Midwife if you see the edges of the incision coming apart or any sign of infection. Also if:
- You have increasing pain or tenderness
- An increase in swelling or reddened skin around the incision
- You develop a fever above 100 degrees
- You have a continuing urge to urinate.
It is normal to have bleeding for up to 10 ten days after a miscarriage and eight weeks after delivery. The flow is called “lochia” and it consists of the material from the lining of the uterus, and blood from the area that the placenta was attached to the uterine wall. Over a period of time it will change from red, to pink, to brown toa whitish yellow color. Once in awhile there even may be clotting, with clots up to a quarter in size. The flow will increase upon standing and/or increased activity. This increase is indication to slow down, get some rest, and drink lots of water.
You should reduce vaginal penetration, including intercourse, tampons or douching for at least four weeks to reduce the chance of infection. Your uterus (whether you have had normal birth or Cesarean Section) needs at least four if not up to six weeks to fully recover and heal.
Call your Doctor or Midwife if you have any concerns, or if you see any of the following:
- Bleeding that saturates one or more sanitary pads in an hour
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, especially if you have heavier bleeding
- Unpleasant smelling vaginal flow or discharge
- A fever of 100 degrees or more
- Red, warm, or tender areas of the breasts or legs
- If you are feeling ill or any new symptoms of discomforts arise.