Join the club: 1 in 3 deliveries is a C-section, and 80 percent of women who have the procedure experience discomfort at the incision.
HANDLE IT AT HOME
Post-op moms may initially need to take it even easier than those who deliver vaginally. Once you can, walk around (slowly) to prevent swelling and blood clots in your legs; avoid a more brisk pace until you've healed. Pain meds such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen are generally safe; discuss them with your pediatrician if you are breastfeeding. To prevent irritating the incision, cover it with a dressing like a "light day" sanitary napkin, ask your doc for anti-itch ointment, and wear clothes that won't rub.
DIAL YOUR DOC
If the incision gapes open, starts bleeding, becomes inflamed, or oozes discharge, or if you develop a fever, you might need treatment. And just remember: Postpartum aches and pains can be frustrating (like you needed to deal with anything else!), but they're temporary -- the fleeting souvenirs of bringing your newborn into the world.