Taking the Fear out of a C-Section

How Badly Will It Hurt?

Fear #5: The recovery will be painful and difficult.

If there are no complications, c-section mothers typically spend four days in the hospital. During that time, most women experience pain around the incision and find it difficult to get in and out of bed unassisted. But hospitals manage pain very effectively with a variety of drugs. You'll likely be given a prescription painkiller such as Percocet. In some instances you may be given a self-administered morphine drip, which allows patients to receive pain medication when they need it by pressing a button.

You can also do a lot to speed your own recovery. Bayles suggests drinking warm liquids. This will help you pass gas (a sign that your stomach and intestines are back in working order and you can eat) and digest solid foods faster. She also encourages c-section moms to get out of bed as soon as possible, often the day after surgery.

I was reluctant to leave the comfort of my bed that first day, but once a caring nurse bribed me with the offer of a much-needed shower, I was raring to go. Plus, being able to move around helped ease the tightness near my incision.

"You really need to get out of bed, and the only way that's possible is with medication. Don't be afraid to rely on it," Bayles says.

After you return home, take it easy for a few weeks and avoid strenuous activity. I began to feel much better after only one week.

After two weeks, I was strolling Austin through the park. It's important to remember, however, that no two recoveries are alike and that many factors, including your age and previous activity level, can influence how quickly you'll bounce back.

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