A Cesarean Section Is Major Surgery
Due to a medical condition, I know I will be having a Cesarean section. How will I feel afterwards? - Kathleen, Ontario
The expert answers
Often with so much focus on a shared, awake experience prior to delivery, a woman recovering from a surgical birth may be disappointed. This may be due in part to unfulfilled expectations, but may also be part of a postpartum depression syndrome. In this case, the woman may be blaming the type of delivery for a very common, poorly-understood phenomenon. One of the best ways to decrease this postpartum depression is by getting adequate rest.
There may also be physical discomforts, as with any abdominal surgery, such as:
- Gas: Walk it out and watch your diet. The first day after birth you may start out with clear liquids, progressing during the next couple of days to a regular diet. For the first few regular diet days, continue to avoid gas-producing foods, such as beans, cabbage and onions.
- Soreness and inability to bound out of bed: This will improve with time and rest, but take advantage of the side rail on those hospital beds. Roll over on your side and pull up on them, rather than expecting to immediately sit straight up.
Extreme shaking after delivery (either vaginal or surgical) is not fully understood, but is very common. Emotions may be one contributor, but so, too, might be hormonal changes, blood loss and/or exhaustion. Holding the shaking extremeties, deep cleansing breaths and warm blankets may help. Another cause of the shakes may be the common concern of many new mothers: the well-being of the infant. If that is the case, nothing will reassure you like touching and/or seeing your newborn child.