How will I feel after a Cesarean section?

October 26, 2011 12:00 AM by

The number of mothers who undergo Cesarean sections, commonly known as C-sections, is on the rise – accounting for nearly 32 percent of U.S. births in 2007, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. So, if your physician has recommended that you plan for a C-section, what can you expect?

A C-section is major abdominal surgery, which means there will be a recovery period. You'll likely spend three to four days in the hospital healing from the procedure, and once you get home it will be a few weeks before you regain full range of motion (without pain). You'll likely be given painkillers to reduce your discomfort, but help from your partner, friends and family will likely be welcome as you adjust to life with your newborn and heal from the procedure.

If you're planning on breastfeeding, it's safe to start immediately – even right in the recovery room! However, holding a new baby comfortably to your breast can be a challenge after a C-section, so ask a lactation consultant if you're having trouble finding a pain-free position.

In just a few weeks your incision will be healed, your scar will barely be noticeable and you and your new family will be settling into a daily routine.

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