All About C-Sections: Before, During, and After

The Recovery

That first day, you'll likely have a pump to deliver a low dosage of a narcotic, such as morphine, as needed. Some doctors will let you eat solids, while others will have you wait 24 hours or until you pass gas, a sign that your intestines are functioning normally. You will need loads of rest, and you will still be bleeding and will need to wear pads for a few days.

On the second day, you'll be switched from the pump to an oral painkiller. The catheter will come out, and you'll be asked to walk to the bathroom, which will appear to be in North Dakota. If the nurses push you before you feel ready, they aren't being sadistic; it's always important to get your lungs and muscles working after surgery. Dr. Moore strongly recommends "as much pain medicine as you need so that you can move around as much as possible." The second day will also bring an unusual interest in your intestinal activity. You may even feel a sensation like a humming motor inside you, which means that your intestines are getting back into gear after pain medications, which slow down your bowels.

By the third or fourth day, again depending on whether you're also recovering from labor, you will be sent home. If you're dead tired, push for as long a hospital stay as possible to rest. You will probably go home with a pain prescription in hand; don't hesitate to fill it. If breastfeeding is difficult, you may find that a nursing pillow is a godsend.

After two weeks, you'll go back to the doctor for a wound check to make sure your incision is healing well. At six weeks, you'll have a postpartum visit. And by that point, you'll probably feel like a parenting pro.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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