Postoperative period after cesarean section

There are situations when a woman cannot give birth to a baby in a natural way. The reasons for this can be various factors, for example, the unsatisfactory state of health of the woman in labor or the fetus, the anatomical features of the woman, the incorrect location of the fetus in the uterine cavity, and much more. In these cases, a caesarean section is used.

To date, the technology of this operation minimizes the occurrence of a health risk for both a woman and a child. But, like any operation, cesarean section requires a long postoperative treatment, the complex of which includes various antibiotics, analgesics and, as a rule, intravenous and intramuscular administration of physiological solutions. All this is necessary in order to reduce the risk of infection after surgery, to lower the threshold of pain and help the woman’s body recover as soon as possible.

How is recovery after surgery

For most women, after a cesarean section, the postoperative period is a much larger test than the operation itself.

A woman may experience:

  • severe pain in the abdominal incision;
  • problems with emptying and urination;
  • pain in the lower abdomen associated with the accumulation of gases and contraction of the uterus;
  • nausea and vomiting during the first days after surgery;
  • effects of anesthesia, dizziness, blurred memory, hallucinations, etc.

Immediately after the operation on the abdomen, women in labor put an ice bladder and reduce drugs (oxytocin, etc.). Thus, they accelerate the process of uterine contractions in the first hours after childbirth. The first 24 hours, the patient is prohibited from getting out of bed on her own. Since the risk of seam seams and infection in it when trying to get up increases.

Within 5 days, a course of taking antibiotics is mandatory, to prevent the development of infection. Like any wound, the incision made during the operation will bother the woman for a long time. She will feel severe pain with any movement. Therefore, painkillers of narcotic action are prescribed, after which the pain is dulled, but the consciousness is clouded. As a result, a woman in labor may experience “symptoms of withdrawal from anesthesia,” that is, partial memory lapses, hallucinations, dizziness, vomiting and nausea, disorientation, and sleep disturbance.

If during the operation a tube was inserted into the throat (intubation) through which anesthesia was supplied, then the following consequences are possible:

  • swelling of the larynx;
  • temporary paralysis of the vocal cords;
  • spasms of the larynx and bronchi;
  • sore throat;
  • the occurrence of inflammatory processes.

Intubation can lead to the development of pneumonia. To prevent the occurrence of the disease, you need to expand and cleanse the lungs from the remnants of anesthesia. For this, a woman should undergo special breathing exercises daily. Performing exercises, the incision must be supported by a pillow.

The uterine contraction after cesarean section is weak for the first days, therefore, contractions are prescribed, because of which the woman feels cramping pain in the lower abdomen, which is complicated by the surgical wound and accumulations of gases, which also put pressure on the suture, causing even more pain during uterine contractions. When a woman in labor cannot cope with the accumulated gases on her own, they can put a gas tube on her or make an enema.

Immediately after surgery, a catheter is inserted into the urethra. After 24 hours, they seize him. The bladder cannot be filled completely, as it exerts a lot of pressure on the suture. Therefore, if a woman in labor has problems with urination, it can be put back.

The first 2 to 3 days, eating is minimized, since severe vomiting and the need for emptying may occur, which cannot be allowed these days, since there is a high risk of seam divergence at the slightest tension in the abdominal muscles. During this period, the woman’s body is maintained by injecting fluids with all the necessary minerals and vitamins intravenously.

The risk of infection in the abdominal cavity during surgery is very high. And although it is believed that an increase in body temperature after childbirth is a completely natural phenomenon, in this case it is necessary to carefully monitor its fluctuations. If the fever after cesarean section lasts more than 2-3 days, there is a chance that the infection did get into the body and treatment should be started urgently. Untimely treatment can turn out to be fraught with health for the woman in labor.

Another problem that a woman faces is excessive sweating and the formation of edema after cesarean section. This is considered a normal condition after childbirth, but it is complicated by the fact that the woman in labor is limited in movement, therefore, it is necessary to deal with edema more intensively. After all, swelling on the legs, they can lead to the formation of varicose veins and thrombophlebitis. Therefore, in the postoperative period, it is recommended to wear stockings. At a doctor’s consultation, a woman will be able to learn how to prevent or reduce swelling

Sutures are removed approximately 4 to 5 days. In rare cases, it’s 6 – 7. As a rule, after taking the course of taking antibiotics and removing the stitches, the woman in labor is discharged and she can safely go home with her baby, of course, only in cases when both the woman in labor and the child are in satisfactory condition.

The consequences of the operation

After removing the baby from the uterine cavity, the woman is sutured both on the abdominal wall and on the walls of the uterus itself. The likelihood of diastasis in this case (divergence of the edges of the suture between the rectus abdominis) is very high. Here you will need the help of a surgeon. Often, treatment of diastasis is performed in conjunction with special exercises.

Over the seam, so-called keloid scars (red growths) can form, the treatment of which should be done only by a specialist.

If after the operation, the seam looks ugly and very striking, you can use the help of a surgeon or cosmetologist. Today, there are various methods for correcting the seam, making it more even and almost invisible. For example, grinding a seam, smoothing it or excising it.

But after a caesarean section, a suture on the abdomen should not bother a woman like seams on the walls of the uterus. After all, it depends on them how the subsequent pregnancy and the birth itself will proceed.

The menstrual period after surgery lasts the same period of time as after a natural birth, about 28 to 40 days. If there were complications, then the process of cleansing the uterus can drag on for up to 2 – 2.5 months.

As for breastfeeding, the operation is not without consequences. Milk appears at about the same time as after natural birth, about 3 to 4 days, however, feeding is impossible due to the use of antibiotics. Therefore, during this period, the child is fed exclusively from the bottle, after which he gets used to it and does not take the breast.

Prevention of Complications

As a prevention of complications in the postoperative period, it is necessary to carefully monitor the condition of the body. And first of all, on the seams and on the color and number of secretions. Avoid loads and weight lifting, try to lead an active lifestyle, only, naturally, in moderation and without fanaticism. To do light gymnastics.

If you find that the color of the discharge has changed, their number has increased or decreased, divergence of sutures, fever and severe pain in the lower abdomen – consult a doctor immediately! Your body should be examined, and if necessary undergo a course of treatment.

Caesarean section is not a joke, this is a real operation, the consequences of which can be very different.


As previously mentioned, while a woman in labor is undergoing antibiotic treatment, the baby is not applied to the breast and there is a risk that the baby will not take the mother’s breast, as it is used to eating from a bottle. But there is another risk of the inability to continue breastfeeding after cesarean section – lack of milk or lack thereof.

To prevent this from happening, the woman in labor should be decanted every two hours for five minutes. A break at night should not exceed 6 hours. This will develop a rush of breast milk.

As for the baby’s refusal to breast, then everything depends on you. If you have a sincere desire to breastfeed, then you will surely succeed. After you are discharged from the hospital, try not to give the baby milk from the bottle. Try to put it to your chest more often. One fine day, if there is milk, he will still take the breast, and you can continue breastfeeding without any problems!

If you are not sure that you will be able to establish breastfeeding, then visit various forums, read the reviews of those who have already gone through the postoperative period after cesarean section and have established breastfeeding. Perhaps this is where you will find a lot of useful information.

Figure recovery

The process of restoring a figure after a cesarean section takes quite a lot of time. Firstly, you can begin to perform physical exercises only after examining the doctor and his approval. Secondly, you need to start with minimal loads on the body, gradually increasing them. Thirdly, you need to adjust your diet, add low-calorie foods with a high fiber content to it.

Remember that sports after cesarean section and after natural childbirth, very much affect lactation. The taste of milk may change, after which the baby will be reluctant to suckle, or it may completely disappear, and then you will have to transfer the baby to artificial feeding.

It is best to go to the gym and find a trainer who will create a program for you to lose weight and skin tightening especially for you, taking into account the peculiarities of your situation. Find out from friends or look at reviews and recommendations of other women, where in your city you can sign up for individual lessons with a good coach.

Massages using anti-cellulite massages will help get rid of cellulite. Massage can be performed both independently, that is, with hands, or with the help of a massager. If possible, it is better to use the services of a massage therapist.


After a caesarean section, there can be no talk of any diet! The body is already weakened after the operation, it needs to be restored, and the quantity and quality of milk completely depends on the mother’s food.

To lose weight after pregnancy, it is not necessary to “sit” on a strict diet, limit yourself in everything and risk losing milk. Gained kilograms, in most cases, go away on their own. However, this process takes a lot of time. But if you want to lose weight much earlier, then you just need to monitor your diet.

Exclude flour and confectionery, fatty and fried foods from the diet. It is worth giving preference to separate nutrition. Drink one glass of water before eating. This will help to slightly satisfy the hunger.

But keep in mind that the child will “suck out” all the beneficial substances from your body, so if you have a wild desire to eat something, do not deny yourself.

In general, it is not recommended to “sit” on any diets during lactation. Sports is one thing, and to deprive your body and the baby of the necessary vitamins and minerals – this is completely different.

Subsequent birth

Doctors say that after a cesarean section, you can only have sex after 7 to 8 weeks after the operation and only if there were no complications during the operation. Subsequent births are possible only after 2 – 3 years. During this period, it should be well protected, in addition to mechanical protection, contraceptive drugs should be used.

In the event of pregnancy during this period, an abortion should be performed, and preferably with a medical method. Since the abortion procedure depletes the walls of the uterus, which still did not have time to recover after a cesarean section.
If a woman decided to leave the pregnancy, then the chances of having a baby before the end of the term are 1:10. Pregnancy should take place under the strict supervision of a physician.

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