More Tips for a Quick Recovery
Make sleep a top priority. As impossible as it sounds, try to snooze at every opportunity so your body can repair itself. "I know, it's really hard when you're at home with a new baby," Dr. Carusi says. But do what you can to sneak in naps, even if it means keeping visitors away for a day or two. If you're choosing between a balloon-bearing well-wisher and a chance at 40 winks, take the nap, every time, Dr. Livoti says.
Take it day by day. The best thing you can do to foster quick and problem-free healing is...nothing. Just keep the area clean: Simply let soap and water run over it in the shower, but don't scrub or use special ointments, Dr. Carusi says. Once the bandage has been removed, ordinarily after 24 hours, it's fine to leave the area uncovered; by then the edges will be sealed. Opt for soft, loose-fitting bottoms -- tight waistbands are the last thing you need right now!
Pamper your scar. Every C-section scar is different (skin tone has a lot to do with how it looks), but by seven days post-op, yours should be morphing from slightly pinkish to purple, and you'll be able to giggle without a grimace and pad around relatively comfortably. In a month, the scar will be well on the way to looking grayish or white, eventually coming close to your skin tone. Many women feel tender for a few weeks or have transient numbness around the edges of the scar. The cosmetic benefits of vitamin E and scar-improvement creams are up for debate, Dr. Carusi says, but if you use one, wait until at least six weeks after surgery.
Keep a lookout. Your incision might be infected if it's bright red, increasingly tender, or swollen; if it feels warm; or if yellowish pus is seeping from the incision. If the liquid coming from the scar is clear or bloody, it's generally nothing to worry about, but have your doctor check it out, anyway.
If it makes you feel any better, it's no picnic to recover from vaginal birth, either -- something you may get to experience next time!