Experiment With Breastfeeding Positions
You can begin breastfeeding almost immediately after the C-section. Breastfeeding positions that work well during C-section recovery include:
- Football hold. For comfort, put a pillow along your side and use a chair with broad, low arms. Hold your baby at your side, with your elbow bent. With your open hand, support your baby’s head and face him or her toward your breast. Your baby’s back will rest on the pillow and your forearm. Support your breast in a C-shaped hold with your other hand.
- Side-lying hold. Lie on your side and place your baby on his or her side, facing your breast. Support your baby with one hand. With the other hand, grasp your breast and touch your nipple to your baby’s lips. Once your baby latches on to breastfeed, use one arm to support your own head and the other to help support the baby.
For support or breastfeeding information during your C-section recovery, contact a lactation consultant.
Get Support For Breastfeeding
Having a C-section is linked to a higher risk of breastfeeding difficulties. A lactation consultant can help new parents successfully breastfeed, even when they face obstacles, such as separation from the baby after birth. If breastfeeding is not going well, people should ask for help.
If a new parent is in pain, sitting in a comfortable, supportive chair and using a breastfeeding cushion, or nursing in a laid-back, reclining position can make breastfeeding easier.
How To Minimize C
You should feel proud of your bodys accomplishment when you see your c-section scar. Its a reminder of how you fought and did the best thing for your baby, says Mustaleski. Theres also nothing wrong with wanting to smooth it out, have it fade or get it removed altogether. To that end, there are a few things you can do to reduce its appearance:
Let it heal completely. Avoid using scar creams, Neosporin or special oils while the incision is healing, says Barnes.
Eat nutritiously. We know that whole foods and plant-based foods offer optimal nutrition for humans, says Barnes, noting that eating a healthy diet, having less sugar in your system to process and avoiding smoking will help your c-section wound heal more easily.
Massage your c-section scar. Once your c-section scar is healed, massaging the area around it will help get the layers of skin and muscle moving, which may minimize skin puckering.
Try physical therapy. Ask your doctor about physical therapy after youre fully healed from your c-section, says Barnes, who co-authored a recentstudy on the effects of physical therapy on recovery post-cesarean section. Part of the therapy involved in the study was using cupping to treat c-section scars, where therapists run cups across patients bellies to better lift scar tissue and prevent it from adhering to deeper tissue layers.
About the experts.
Rebekah Mustaleski, CPM, is a midwife in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Plus, more from The Bump:
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Caring For Your Incision
Once you are discharged, you need to dress your c-section and keep it clean. Generally, the care process requires that you change your dressing at least once every day. Otherwise, it would help if you made it your goal to change it once it gets wet or dirty.
Ensure that you keep the incision and the area around it clean. Once healed, you can gently wash it while using a mild soap and water. During the washing process, ensure not to scrub the wound since you might interfere with the healing process of the incision.
It is still okay to occasionally let the water run in when showering but ensure that you pat the area dry. You can also remove the dressing while taking a shower if the incision was closed with glue, staples, or stitches.
However, dont soak it in a bathtub or get into a hot bathtub. Furthermore, it would be best if you did not try swimming when your wound is still raw. You have to wait at least until four weeks after surgery, and even so, your medical care provider has to approve it.
When To Call A Doctor
Once you get home, check the site of your surgery regularly for signs of infection. Here are some things you would need to let your doctor know:
- Your incision is red, swollen, hot to the touch, or leaking discharge
- You have a fever higher than 100.4 F.
- You have a lot of vaginal bleeding, it smells bad or has unusually large clots.
- Your pain is getting worse, not better.
- You have swelling, bumps, pain or heat in your calves
- You have pain, redness or warmth, which are signs of infection
- You get a very bad headache that does not go away.
- You notice swelling in your hands, arms, or feet.
- You notice vision changes or have difficulty seeing.
- You have a cough, shortness or breath or pain in your chest, which could be a sign of a blood clot.
Youâll probably see your doctor about 6 weeks after delivery. Theyâll check your , cervix, and uterus as well as your weight and blood pressure.
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Sex For Around Six Weeks
A c-section doesnt allow you to have sex sooner compared to a vaginal bath. Because your uterus still has a wound inside in the place where the doctor detached the placenta. Thats why you must wait for around six weeks before you can have sexual intercourse again. Then, of course, you can wait even longer if you are still not ready for it.
Its Not Uncommon To Not Know How To Properly Care For Your C
It can be challenging to care for your baby within those first few weeks after having a c-section. On top of that, it is even harder to care for yourself. You are feeling sore, weak, and scared to move.
Most belly birthing people do not even want to look at the incision, much less touch it. However, reconnecting to the area and waking up the tissue are two of the most important things to do following cesarean delivery.
Keep reading for more tips on caring for your c-section wound.
Note: These tips for wound care are general guidelines that we have found helpful following cesarean delivery. As a reminder, this is not a medical recommendation, and you should seek medical attention as needed.
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Looking After Your Wound
Your midwife should also advise you on how to look after your wound.
You’ll usually be advised to:
- gently clean and dry the wound every day
- wear loose, comfortable clothes and cotton underwear
- take a painkiller if the wound is sore for most women, it’s better to take paracetamol or ibuprofen while you’re breastfeeding
- watch out for signs of infection
Non-dissolvable stitches or staples will usually be taken out by your midwife after 5 to 7 days.
Is It Possible To Have A C
An infection years after a C-section is another extremely rare complication. Usually, the infection develops from an abscess at the incision site and progresses to your internal organs. While this is extremely rare, it is important to understand the risk. Call your medical provider if you notice anything strange at your C-section scar, even if it has been a long time. The best treatment option for this type of infection is a hysterectomy.
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Should I Put Anything On My C
When you’re done, gently pat the area dry with a clean towel. It might be possible to use ointment and cover your scar. Some doctors say it’s okay to apply a topical antibiotic or petroleum jelly and cover the wound lightly with a bandage others say it’s better to apply nothing and leave the wound uncovered.
When Can I Tie My Tummy After C
When and how to wrap If you delivered via C-section, you should wait until your incision is healed and dry before applying it. If you opt for more modern style binders or postpartum girdles, you can often use them right away. However, always talk to your doctor or midwife before you begin belly binding.
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Breastfeeding After A C
You can start nursing almost right away. Your body will make milk about as quickly as after a vaginal delivery. Hereâs what you need to know:
Medications: You probably got pain-numbing medicine, such as an epidural, during your C-section, but it isnât likely to affect the baby much. Your baby may be sleepy, but that should pass and they should be eager to nurse. You may be tempted to ask your doctor to cut back on your pain medicine, but itâs important that you stay comfortable. Pain can mess with the hormone that helps you make milk. If you have any questions about how the drugs youâre given can affect breastfeeding, ask to speak to the hospitalâs breastfeeding specialist.
Nursing positions: The site of the surgery may make it hard to find a comfortable position to nurse your baby. You can put a pillow over your stomach to ease the babyâs weight, or try these:
- Football hold. Cradle your babyâs neck in your palm, and rest their back on your forearm. Tuck the feet and legs under your arm and then lift your baby to your breast.
- Side-lying hold. Lie down facing your baby, and use your hand to bring your nipple to their lips. You can place a pillow behind their back to keep them from rolling.
What To Expect At Home
At first, your cut will be raised slightly and pinker than the rest of your skin. It will likely appear somewhat puffy.
- Any pain should decrease after 2 or 3 days, but your cut will remain tender for up to 3 weeks or more.
- Most women need pain medicine for the first few days to 2 weeks. Ask your provider what is safe to take while breastfeeding.
- Over time, your scar will become thinner and flatter and will turn either white or the color of your skin.
You will need a checkup with your health care provider in 4 to 6 weeks.
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What Are You Preventing By Doing The Massage
The fascial adhesions can have various affects on the body. Some of the most common complaints include: lower back pain, pelvic pain, and pain with intercourse. This is most likely due to fascial adhesions to various structures in the body sacrum and organs. It can also be common for these symptoms to not appear until years later. While massaging your c-section scar may not prevent all instances of these problems, it is shown to decrease the risks and/or impact of these matters for your future health! So get started today!
Wasserman, Jennifer. Chronic Caesarian Section Scar Pain Treated with Fascial Scar Release Techniques: A Case Series. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, Churchill Livingstone, 10 Mar. 2016, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S136085921600022X
What Will My C
Once healed, a C-section scar is 4 to 6 inches long, though this length can vary due to the placement of the incision and the space required to birth your baby. Any redness will diminish over time.
Depending on how your body heals, your scar may be flat or raised. If your body kicks into overdrive during the healing process, you may have a thicker scar, known as a hypertrophic scar. This type of scar stays in the exact spot your surgeon originally cut, unlike a keloid scar, which can be thicker and extend beyond the original incision.
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Watch For Signs Of Infection
Some doctors will ask new parents to take their own temperature every 24 hours to monitor for signs of infection. People can consult with their doctor or midwife to ask if this is a good strategy.
Also, people must be mindful of other signs of infection, such as swelling, intense pain, red streaks coming from the incision, or chills. Contact a doctor or go to the emergency room if these symptoms appear.
What Type Of Abdominal Incision Will Be Used
The type of abdominal incision used will determine the type of scar you’ll have. The horizontal or bikini incision is the most common. It is made at the top of the pubic hair or just over the hairline. This incision provides a much more cosmetically appealing scar once it is healed. It also results in less bleeding and a lower risk of the scar splitting if you have a vaginal birth in a subsequent pregnancy.
Vertical incisions are very rare, but they were the original type of incision used and are thus sometimes called classical incisions. Medically, this type of incision is known as the vertical midline. It is only used in extreme circumstances.
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Signs You Need To Go To A Doctor
If you have noticed that your c-section incision is open, then you should consider getting immediate medical attention, especially with the following signs:
- Fever with temperatures of more than 100F
- Bleeding from your incision site
- Vaginal discharge with large blood clots
- Leaky incision or the presence of pus around the same area
- A foul smell coming from the incision site
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Hardening, swelling, or bulging of the incision site
- Incision wound pain or worsening pain
What Materials Will Be Used To Close My Incision
The materials used to close your incision may depend on several factors, including your body type and your doctor’s preference. Your doctor may use:
- A combination of these
Some closure materials, like staples, are used temporarily and will be removed after a certain period of time. This depends on the preference of your practitioner and how you are healing.
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Returning To Your Normal Activities
Try to stay mobile and do gentle activities, such as going for a daily walk, while you’re recovering to reduce the risk of blood clots. Be careful not to overexert yourself.
You should be able to hold and carry your baby once you get home.
But you may not be able to do some activities straight away, such as:
- carrying anything heavier than your baby
Only start to do these things again when you feel able to do so and do not find them uncomfortable. This may not be for 6 weeks or so.
Ask your midwife for advice if you’re unsure when it’s safe to start returning to your normal activities.
You can also ask a GP at your 6-week postnatal check.
Other Cesarean Section Complications
A cesarean section is major surgery, so you may wonder about other complications developing besides infection. Youâll be happy to know that complications are generally rare.
Still, some women still ask themselves, How do I know if my C-section opened inside my abdomen? If you are troubled by this possibility, know that it is very rare for your uterine incision to open up! Be sure to reach out to your healthcare provider for reassurance and answers to any questions or concerns.
Other rare complications include hemorrhage, blood clotting, and injury to your bowel or bladder. Your provider will help you prepare and recover from a C-section, as well as taking all necessary precautions during the surgery, so rest assured that youâre in good hands. Just keep an eye on your incision site and report any of the aforementioned symptoms of infection to your provider.
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Can You Have A C
The most common time for your C-section scar to become infected is within the first few days and weeks following birth. Very rarely, an infection can be so deep inside or lay dormant within the body that the signs and symptoms of a C-section scar infection dont pop up until months after birth, but in general it is not something to worry about.
If a C-section scar is reopened at any point in time, bacteria on the skin can potentially lead to an infection, but again, this is extremely uncommon. Often the area that opens leads to infection from the skin bacteria, says Flynn. Again, keeping the area clean and dry can prevent most of these issues.
If the old saying that knowledge is power holds any weight at all, knowing what to expect from your C-section scar while its healing both in the short and long term can be empowering for new moms.
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section
After having a cesarean section, you may wonder how it will impact future childbirth. Although medical experts once believed that women who had cesarean sections must always have them in future births, today itâs possible to attempt a vaginal birth after a C-section, which is known as a trial of labor after cesarean .
Many women are successful with TOLAC and end up having a vaginal birth after cesarean . In fact, between 60 and 80 percent of women have healthy vaginal births despite having had a previous C-section.
The major risk of a VBAC is that, while pushing, your previous uterine incision may open, known as a uterine rupture. If this happens, your healthcare provider will assess the situation and determine if an emergency C-section is needed.
If you had a C-section with a previous birth and want to try a TOLAC for your next one, talk to your healthcare provider. Your provider can help you decide if itâs a good choice for you, taking into consideration factors like where your C-section scars are located, medical conditions, and the hospital you prefer, to name a few.
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