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Pregnancy & Parenting

This is What Happens to your Body after a C-Section

Your body will change after giving birth, there is no question about it. When it comes to a Caesarean birth, the changes are a bit different to vaginal birth.

Additionally, they are changes that are the same in both Caesarean and Vaginal birth such as breast pain and engorgement, hair loss, back pain, after pain, skin discoloration, weight gain, swollen feet, and vaginal discharge. Apart from recovering from giving birth, you are also recovering from a major surgery.

Today we look at how the body changes after going through a Caesarean birth.

Baby Pooch

The pooch is the lumpy area above the incision scar and is swollen after Caeserean. The swelling may disappear after weeks but the pooch may remain even after exercises and diet.

The swelling and the pooch  is due to incision scar and scar tissue and it may therefore feel a bit lumpy. The pooch may disappear in some women and fail to disappear in some. Snap back after C-Section depends on genetics and will vary.

Wear that pooch confidently when it is there. Your belly was torn open, your muscles separated and your uterus was out for a while. Cut yourself some slack.

 

Breastfeeding

Caesarean Section

 

Breast feeding for mums that have gone through Caesarean may be a bit difficult as the baby is not handed to them immediately. Latching can therefore be difficult coupled with the fact that they are still drowsy from anesthesia.

After delivery, a nurse will help you breastfeed and hold your baby as the anesthesia wears off.

If the problems persist, see a lactation specialist.

 

Lochia

You will experience postpartum bleeding as your body releases the excess tissues and blood from the uterus. This is called Lochia and feels like a heavy period and the bleeding can increase with physical activity.The bleeding will be heavy for a few days then starts decreasing and may last from 4 to 6 weeks.

 

Gas and Constipation

There are many causes for gas and constipation, coupled with the fact that moms have a fear of rupturing their stitches.

Other causes could be; weakened pelvic muscles and sluggish muscles due to anesthesia used during surgery. Mothers are encouraged to incorporate fibers, warm water which can be infused with lemons into their diet and try moving around at the same time.

 

Epidural Anesthesia

This is the most popular anesthesia with women and involves blocking pain in a localized or particular region of the body. The goal is to provide  pain relief (analgesia) rather than anesthesia (complete lack of feeling).

An epidural is administered on the spine, with the patient sitting up and  after a series of Intravenous Drugs. It provides pain relief but a mom will feel a lot of pressure through the surgery.

 

Shakes

You might experience involuntary body shakes after giving birth due to the effect of the epidural as your body regains feeling on your lower torso, hormones and the release of fetal-placental products from the body. Prolonged exposure to analgesics leads to hyperthermia  and the shaking of the body is a thermo-regulatory feature. The shakes will dissipate as the anesthesia wears off.

 

Swollen Feet

Postpartum swelling, also called edema occurs on the face, ankles and belly. Make sure your feet are elevated when lying down or seating.  Postpartum swelling is part of the healing process but contact your doctor in case of redness, localized pain and increased swelling after a few days.

 

Sex Drive

Your sex drive will still be affected even though you experienced caesarean as opposed to vaginal birth. Hormones are still in play and it might take a while to resume to yourself.  It is important to communicate with your partner during this time to ignite the spark. Your wound also needs time to heal and will affect your movements, and bathroom usage. The doctor might restrict you to take showers instead of baths to avoid messing the stitches.

 

What did you experience post-caesarean?

 

You may also like: The Cword (C for Cesarean)

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