Right after your c-section
Whether a woman gives birth vaginally or by c-section, she will almost definitely have (almost) recovered by the time she is four to six weeks postpartum. The road there may be tough when you have had a c-section however, and you may wonder when you will feel like a fully functional human again. Right after a c-section, a new mom will have bandages covering the incision and will receive pain killers to cope with the discomfort.
Lots of new moms avoid looking at their incision as long as they possibly can. The major abdominal surgery they have just had scares them a little, and they would rather not think about what their abdomen might look like. If you are one of these people make sure you overcome your initial fear, and inspect your incision frequently. Once you are out of the hospital, it is especially important to examine your healing scar to make sure there are no signs of infection.
Having trouble getting rid of the baby belly?
Weight loss after pregnancy is something that most new moms struggle with. Or should we say, getting rid of that belly is hard? You may be at a completely healthy weight and still have this slightly saggy tummy that just doesn't seem to budge no matter what you do. If you are having trouble with the jelly belly as well, it is probably due to muscle tone more than having excess fat. Discuss exercise in detail with your OBGYN after your c-section, and make sure that you don't engage in workouts before your body is ready.
Most c-section moms benefit from walks as soon as a day after their delivery, and abdominal workouts may be OK after your six-week checkup. It can be tricky to find the right balance. On the one hand, you don't want to "break something" by exercising too early. On the other hand, you don't want to end up with weak abdominal muscles and pelvic flood muscles as a result of your fear. As a rule, all the abdominal muscles should be exercises for good results after a c-section. The details of when and how much, however, should be discussed with the medical professional who understands your personal situation best.
Loving your body with a c-section scar
Once your stitches or staples are out, your baby is growing, and you've been working on postpartum fitness, you may realize that you don't feel confident with your "new" body. You know, the new body that now has a c-section scar on it. The good news is that classical incisions, made vertically, are almost unheard of today. Most cesarean section scars are hardly even noticeable. A horizontal incision or "bikini cut" is placed strategically so that it is covered by a bikini and most types of underwear. In your abdominal crease, you probably won't even be able to notice it yourself when you sit down. Some women have issues with sex after a c-section, but don't let your scar stand in your way and remember that your scar is a beautiful reminder of your journey toward motherhood just like your stretch marks!
Exploring your feelings about your cesarean
Some women's feelings about their c-section scar go far deeper than the way it looks. It is probably fair to say that most women go into a pregnancy not thinking about giving birth much, but vaguely assuming that they will deliver vaginally. Cesarean sections can save lives and preserve health for mother, baby or both, depending on the circumstances. Unless you had a medically unnecessary c-section pushed on you (that happens sometimes, and some moms call those an unnecesarean), there is no reason to feel bad about having a cesarean.
You are not less of a woman, or less of a mother, because you did not push a baby out through your vagina. You know that, but you may still feel disappointed. You could also be traumatized over the underlying reason for your c-section. Perhaps you were worried for your baby's life and health, or perhaps your own health was in danger. Women who had a traumatic birth should certainly feel justified in seeing a therapist to work through their issues, and to feel confident again.