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Precautions Atfer a Cesarean Section
percent of deliveries in the U.S. are by Cesarean, but many
women don't know what the process of recovery entails. If you
have had a C-section, you may find that caring for yourself
and your newborn baby is more work than you'd anticipated.
Read on for tips on how to deal with recovering from a
discomfort. You'll probably get pain medication after surgery,
and you'll need to know if you can still nurse your baby then or
if you need to rely on formula until the medication is out of
your system. Even uncomplicated childbirth is rough on the body,
and after having a Cesarean, you're probably going to feel like
something that cat dragged in. Consult with your doctor about
pain medication and its potential effect on your milk. Start
walking around as soon as the nurses tell you that you can
(usually around 8 hours after the delivery); it will help
prevent blood clots from forming. Expect to feel strained,
drained and pained for some weeks. Childbirth might be natural,
but nature isn't always kind!
1. Remember that C-Section is surgery. You're probably not
likely to forget, because your aching abdomen will remind
you that you've had major surgery. Added on top of the
trials of pregnancy, labor and delivery, your body has gone
through a lot and needs rest and care. Self care means
allowing yourself to rest, preventing pulled stitches and
being kind to yourself. Don't expect too much too soon.
3. Make a contingency plan, even if you expect a normal
delivery. If you've had a C-section, you won't be able to go up
and down stairs for awhile. You won't be able to lift your baby
in and out of the car, or carry a car seat, or do many things
you expected to be able to do. Don't try to be Superwoman;
remember that there are layers of stitches inside of you and
take it easy. Prepare a room downstairs for when you bring your
baby home from the hospital. Fix a strap to the foot of the bed
so you can haul yourself up with your arms rather than
overexerting your abdominal muscles. You might even hire some
help for the first couple of weeks.
4. Selfcare includes paying attention to your overall health
while you're recovering. C-section usually involves general
anesthetic, IV use, catheterization and attendant recovery
problems. After a C-section, everything from getting out of bed
to learning an effective nursing procedure is up for grabs; if
you run a fever, you may have an infection that needs attention.
If you have trouble urinating, if you're feverish, in pain or if
you're bleeding more than you expected to after coming home, get
back to your doctor.
5. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Some new moms are nervous
and try to do everything themselves. This not only leads to
exhaustion; it prevents partners, other children and happy
grandparents from feeding, changing, cooing and otherwise loving
your new family addition. Don't expect to do it all yourself.
Gratefully accept help, whether it's in the form of a neighborly
pot of stew or an offer to babysit while you nap.
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