What To Expect After A Cesarean Section.

Ann Douglas, author of The Mother of All Pregnancy Books: The Ultimate Guide to Conception, Birth and Everything in Between and The Mother of All Baby Books: The Ultimate Guide to Your Baby's First Year, is here at Pregnancy & Baby! Read Ann's advice on everything from keeping romance alive amidst the structure and stress of baby-making to weathering the storms of morning sickness to preparing for the birth of your dreams.
Ann Douglas

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The question: I gave birth to my first child by cesarean section three weeks ago and I'm still experiencing a lot of pain and discomfort. Is this normal?

Ann's Answer: It takes longer to bounce back after a cesarean delivery than a vaginal delivery. A cesarean section is major abdominal surgery. Consequently there's a fair bit of healing involved. In fact, it takes approximately six months for your incision to fully heal. You can expect to feel some numbness in the area until your nerves have a chance to regenerate (something that typically happens six to nine months after the delivery) and you should be prepared for some initial itchiness as well.

It's normal to experience pain around the incision site during the early weeks after the birth. You can minimize your discomfort by using a pillow to support your midsection when you cough, sneeze, or laugh; wearing tight bicycle shorts underneath your regular clothing; avoiding heavy lifting; and limiting the number of times you trek up and down stairs in a day until your incision starts to heal. It's also a good idea to accept any and all offers of help. After all, you don't just have yourself to take care of while you're recovering, you've also got that new little bundle of joy.PregnancyAndBaby.com

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