What To Expect After C-Section

Childbirth is a beautiful and life-changing experience. However, to a first-time, prospective mother, it could also be the scariest thing. There are many things to worry about and a lot of differing opinions to sift through. Since you have read the title, then one important question must be weighing heavily on your mind. Should you go with vaginal delivery or a cesarean section (also known as the c-section)?


Differences at a glance

It is generally accepted that vaginal birth will result in shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery time post-delivery. On the contrary, c-section births will result in longer recovery times due to the many layers of tissues and skin that the doctor will have to cut through during the delivery process, resulting in you spending more time in the hospital to recuperate. 


For the most part, the initial few hours of post-delivery recovery will feel similar and have roughly the same symptoms, and while this may vary from woman to woman, the symptoms after going through c-section will generally start to get more severe from feeling weak, nauseated, to severe pain that could be triggered from something as mundane as coughing or even sneezing.


Vaginal delivery will see the mother being discharged after a day or two, whereas a c-section will see the mother in the hospital for around three to four days with stitches only removed before being cleared by the attending physician. The mother will then spend the next few weeks with a prescription of pain medication to help with the pain. Again, the time frame for recovery will vary, but you should be back to your old self in about a month to around a month and a half – this is assuming you’ve spent that time solely focusing on resting and recuperating. It would take considerably longer should you be up and about doing strenuous activities.


While it may be a risky thing; in fact, both methods of delivery pose their own risks, but a possible advantage that the c-section has is that you may end up holding and bonding with your child within the span of an hour. Vaginal birth, on the other hand, may see the mother in active labour for up to four or eight hours with the whole process consisting of early labour (approximately six to twelve hours), active labour (roughly four to eight hours), the second stage of labour (toughest and most painful part lasting for around fifteen minutes to two hours), and the third stage of  labour (usually less than an hour).


Side Effects

Thus far, we have only touched on the side effects from the wound healing externally. Internally, there are other side effects too. We mentioned feeling nauseated, but in addition to that, one may also feel groggy, or itchy. These may be side effects to the medication or histamine that built up around the healing incision wound. Others may probably feel some soreness around the incision area and may have bleeding or discharge for up to six weeks after the operation. These are all quite normal as we’ve mentioned – c-section takes longer to recover.


First-time mothers, do take heed, at any time should you feel the following symptoms, they are not normal and will warrant a visit to the doctor because it could most likely be a sign of infection:

  • Redness, swelling, or pus oozing from the incision site;
  • Pain around incision site;
  • A high fever of more than 38°C;
  • Odoured discharge from the vagina;
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding;
  • Redness or swelling in your leg;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Chest pain;
  • Or pain in your breasts.

Also, be sure to make a call to the doctor if you feel depressed and your mood never seems to lift after two weeks from your delivery date, especially if you find it difficult in bonding with your baby.


Possible Future Effects

Getting a c-section may affect future pregnancies. This is due to the fact that a c-section not only involves a cut on your abdominal region, it also involves an incision on the uterine wall in order to deliver the baby within. 


Should all go well and your uterus recovers fully, and your doctor thinks that you are in good condition in your future pregnancy, they may suggest a vaginal birth. This is to say that you will then have a choice of either picking vaginal birth or c-section again.


Should your uterus not heal up well enough, the doctors may not allow for a vaginal birth as the uterine wall may rupture and this risk of rupturing would have been caused by that first incision. This is likely to cause complications including life-threatening bleeding.


Aside from that, there may be other complications as well in future pregnancies should you opt for a c-section again, such as placenta previa, where the placenta partially or entirely covers the cervix and on the opposite end is placenta accreta where the placenta implants into the uterine muscle instead of the lining. As David Colombo, Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Spectrum Health, states – “it is more common in subsequent c-sections”.


Mom Relaxing after Childbirth
Mom Relaxing after Childbirth

Whichever you pick to go with for your delivery, one thing is for certain – we at PEM are ever ready to take care of you and nurse you back to health with our professional night and day confinement nanny service.


PEM confinement nannies are well-trained and experienced to help you with day and night baby care, preparing daily confinement meals, sharing breastfeeding and baby care tips with you and more!


And of course, if you have any special requirements for the confinement nanny service, such as getting a part time confinement nanny instead of a full time nanny, feel free to let us know your preference. We will be happy to discuss how we can assist you in your preference for part time confinement nanny.


Along with our confinement nanny service, you can also get add-on products and services like a postnatal massage package. Some of the ways a postnatal massage benefits your postnatal recovery are by relieving water retention, reducing post-surgery swellings, and speeding up womb recovery.


Interested to learn more about our confinement nanny service? Reach us at +65 6293 9249 from 10a.m. to 7p.m. daily!