C-Section Recovery Mistakes To Avoid
Your Caesarean Recovery will be determined by how YOU look after yourself following the birth
– Sitting too long. No doubt about 10-12 hours after your C-Section a nurse will come in and get you out of bed to walk. It will be hard but you’ll do it. The hard part however is walking on your own after you get home. It’s not so easy then because there’s no one to give you a nudge except perhaps the baby.
The worst thing you can do for your recovery is sit too long and move as little as possible. Certainly get plenty of rest but when you’re awake keep moving as often as you can. Even taking a short 20 minute walk every day is ideal for helping you feel like yourself again and getting your energy back.
– Tossing the pain meds too soon. Most of us don’t want to take pain medication if we don’t need it so the sooner we can stop taking it the better. This is good in theory but the fact is if you get too far behind the pain curve and start feeling you need more pain medication it will take a lot longer to get relief. Take your prescribed dosage consistently for the first 3-4 days or so.
– Putting up with the pain weeks after surgery. If you are feeling pain or pulling from your incision area weeks after your surgery consider seeing your doctor or a physical therapist. There can be different reasons for your pain. There can be nerve pain, muscle pain also known as myofascial pain Syndrome (MPS) or pain due to complications from abdominal adhesions.
The good news is that women diagnosed with MPS or abdominal adhesions respond well to physical therapy. For nerve pain which can come in the form of burning around the incision or an electrical shock type pain when touched can be treated with topical numbing medication. The point here is don’t suffer with post C-Section pain. Check with your doctor because there is help.
– Doing too much too soon. Pain medication is a beautiful thing; but don’t be deceived. It can make you feel better than you really are tempting you to do too much too soon. The reality of that is doing more than your body is ready for can set your recovery back a day or two. What’s more you’re increasing the likelihood of breaking open your incision. Remember you have an internal as well as external incision and they both need to heal properly. If not, your recovery can take significantly longer.
– Using your legs to move heavy objects. Moving or pushing heavy things with your legs is just as bad for you as lifting. You’re using some of the same muscles and stretching the same areas. No lifting or pushing heavy objects with your legs. Heavy lifting or pushing can cause excessive bleeding or hernia.
– Not following doctor’s orders. Your doctor will have instruction for you on doing things like driving, sex, exercise and going back to work. Regardless of doctor’s orders women tend to do these things too soon after surgery.
Be smart and don’t ignore your doctor’s orders or suffer the consequences. Doing any of these things sooner than recommended can cause long term injury as well as additional pain and discomfort.
– Fiber is better than a laxative. Not true after abdominal surgery. Pain medication can cause constipation and gas so you want to get relief as quickly and effectively as possible. Taking fiber can actually cause more gas for some women. Take a mild laxative instead. Ask your doctor what he recommends but avoid the fiber.
– Touching your incision without washing your hands first. Wound infection occurs in about 3-6% of women having a C-Section. In countries outside theU.S. it can be as high as 15%. The best way to avoid infection is to keep your hands clean when touching the incision and of course handle your incision gently and with care. Keep it clean and dry and if any sign of infection occurs, call your doctor immediately.
Ignorance to the C-Section procedure and recovery. Unless a C-Section is planned most women never think about having one. That’s understandable. However taking a few moments to understand why C-Sections occur, what leads up to having a C-Section and why a doctor might recommend it can actually help you avoid one.
Additionally, if you truly need a C-Section you’ll be prepared to make personal choices for things like anesthesia, breast feeding, labor, incision closure, and so much more. Choices will be your own and not those made for you by someone else.
Bottom line, you’ll be able to get through the process so much easier with recovery being so much smoother if you are prepared.
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