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  • Having a C-Section? Moms Share What You Need to Know About the First Month Postpartum

    Smart Parenting Village moms share the challenges of C-section recovery.
    by Rachel Perez .
Having a C-Section? Moms Share What You Need to Know About the First Month Postpartum
PHOTO BY iStock
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • Having a cesarean section or C-section (CS) is not the "easy way" when it comes to childbirth (there is no type of delivery that should be even described as such). It is major surgery and if you want an idea what a woman goes through in CS — without the blood and gore — check here. Recovering from CS cannot be easy either when you have a newborn needing your care and attention.

    It's probably best, however, to hear it from belly-birth mothers or moms who have gone through CS. On our Smart Parenting Village Facebook group, our members do not hold back when it comes to recovering from the surgery.

    Here are their tips on how to make recuperating from CS more manageable, if not way easier.

    CS delivery is not painless

    You may be skipping labor pain when it comes to CS, but there is no escape after giving birth. "[You] must have a high tolerance for pain kasi super sakit talaga," as one mom puts it. After the anesthesia has worn off, you might feel a painful throbbing in your incision area. Your doctor can prescribe pain medication for you as needed. Moms in the Village estimate the pain can last for a week or two.

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    You will still bleed

    Your baby may have come out of your tummy, but your uterus will still shed blood that it has accumulated while you were pregnant. Your uterus will contract back into its pre-pregnancy shape, and it will expel blood called lochia. Stock up on disposable panties or maternity pads.

    Breastfeeding can help your uterus contract, so latch your baby as early and as often as you can after birth. Typical postpartum bleeding can last up to 12 weeks, and nursing often may help shorten it. If your incision wound still hurts, try CS-friendly breastfeeding positions such as the football hold or side-lying position.

    Always keep your wound clean

    With everything that's happening with you and your baby post-birth, cleaning your wound is a priority. You don't want it to get any kind of infection, which will only prolong your healing time and add to your medical bills! Every doctor has different recommendations on post-surgery healing products. It's a case to case basis, so follow your doctor's advice.

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    If your doctor says don't let your wound get wet until after a specific time, do everything you can to follow her instructions. You can still take a bath! There is a special post-operation gauze that keeps your wound dry even while taking a shower. Some moms also suggest sitting on a sturdy chair so you can take a bath more comfortably.

    Diet is crucial to your recovery!

    Constipation after childbirth is real — do not force yourself to poop! Drink lots of fluids and tweak your diet to add lots of high-fiber foods to help you pass stool more efficiently. Many moms in the group advised eating papaya, oatmeal, and soups. "Avoid starchy foods para di mahirapan mag-poop," one mom cautioned.

    Drinking lots of fluids along with nursing your baby on demand will help in increasing milk production. Moms also suggest to increase your intake of vitamin C-rich foods, such as oranges, pineapple, and calamansi juice to help heal the incision wound faster. One mom said having a low-sugar diet also help dry her incision wound.

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    Invest in a good, breathable binder

    After having a CS where you felt hands tugged at your abdomen, you might go through the sensation of having your organs spill out from your incision wound even at the littlest movement. Wearing a binder can definitely help you move more confidently. "Mas maganda kung magkiki-kilos na naka-binder para steady lang yung sugat mo," one mom said. Make sure to air out your wound from time to time.

    Another reason to wear a binder is it helps guide your abdomen back into its pre-pregnant shape, according to the moms who used it. That said, not all moms feel comfortable wearing one. The weather can be hot and humid, and wearing a binder can be restricting.

    You should move as early as you can!

    As our lolas say, "Wag mong indahin ang sugat mo!" What they mean is to sit, stand, and move as early and as often as you can but without straining or overexerting yourself.

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    "'Wag lagi nakahiga," one mom stressed. Another mom added, "Move and act normally para maka-recover agad." It will also help your blood circulation to minimize 'manas' or swelling. Most moms swear it's challenging (and a bit painful), but it is also crucial for a faster recovery.

    Walking around is good for you, but lifting anything heavier than your baby is a no-no for all who have just given birth, no matter if it is CS or vaginal delivery. You can get back to your fitness routine upon the advice of your doctor (usually six or more weeks after birth, depending on your physical health). You don't want your stitches to open up and end up having internal bleeding.

    Give your doctor proper feedback

    Don't miss your postpartum checkup. If you think you need to come in earlier than what you and your doctor had scheduled, then listen to your gut. Talk to your doctor about anything that concerns you, especially when it has anything to do with extreme pain or vaginal discharge with a bad odor.

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    Never hesitate to ask for help

    You need to get enough rest to make sure you have a smooth healing process. One mom says, "It's a big help if you have a support system postpartum para naman 'di ka ma-force na mag-full time mag-alaga kay baby, so you can recover easily. 'Yung hindi ka ma-pressure na bumangon kada iyak at may naka-assist na agad."

    One mom took note not to compare your recovery with other moms. "Everyone has different healing times and recovery processes," she wrote.

    "Don't rush and just embrace everything in the journey. Don't feel bad whenever you need help. Aside from the wound, we need to heal mentally too, kaya don't stress too much," another mom shared.

    "There is no shame in asking for help. It doesn’t make you less of a mother," one mom pointed out.

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