Advice on what to expect during recovery after a caesarian section with information on your baby's delivery and your aftercare.
In order for the operation to be performed a drip will have been started and a catheter inserted to empty you bladder. These will stay in place for a number hours or possibly until the next day. This will depend on how you are and the guidelines in use at the hospital in which you deliver.
Most caesareans are performed using epidural or spinal anesthetic, or a combination of both. This allows you to be awake when your baby is born and enable your birth partner to stay with you. It is only in very severe cases of foetal distress or if an epidural or spinal anesthetic cannot be mad to work effectively that a general anesthetic is used. When an epidural is used the catheter is usually taken out within a couple of hours of delivery.
You will be encouraged to start moving around in the bed as soon as you are able to. Either later the same day or the next morning it is a good idea to get out of bed and sit out for a time. Moving around will help reduce your risks of infection and developing clots.
In order to do this you will need adequate pain relief. It is important to be comfortable so that you can not only move around but enjoy time with the baby.
The drugs chosen for newly delivered women are safe for breast feeding. However you intend to feed your baby it is good to have a period of direct skin to skin contact so that you and your newborn can get to know each other better.
You will need some help in the first few days, staff are often busy but do not be afraid to ask.
If your operation has been planned you will have been fasted prior to the procedure. If you have been in labour it is likely that your intake of food and fluids will also have been reduced. The operation can slow the normal movement of your bowel down for a time. It is wise to start drinking plain fluids first and make sure you are able to tolerate them before having something to eat. A light snack is the best thing to start with.
The change in your diet, reduced mobility, and painkillers can result in constipation. Let your midwife or doctor know if you think this is becoming a problem.
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