. You may also be curious about sex after cesarean section when can you resume, and what do you need to watch out for?
Cesarean section recovery
Every postpartum mother will feel sore and have a bit of pain, but recovering from a cesarean section is more painful than recovering from a vaginal delivery, and it also takes a fair bit longer. Your recovery starts in the post-op recovery room, where your anesthesia will wear off and you'll receive IV pain meds. While you are in the hospital, your cesarean section incision, blood flow, the size of your uterus and your blood pressure will be monitored carefully.
The first 24 will be the most painful, which is why postpartum c-section moms get pain killers during this time. After a day or so, getting up for a trip to the bathroom or a short walk is already OK. A cesarean section is major abdominal surgery, and most women who underwent one will be a little scared to resume physical activity. You may even be frightened to look at your incision, no matter what type of sutures you received! Walking as often as possible, even if only for short bits, will help you recover faster though, so it's important to walk regularly. Talk to your doctor about when to commence gentle exercises, like stretching or a little yoga. Having a c-section is not a walk in the park there's no doubt about that!
A cesarean is different from other types of operation with comparable pain levels and recovery times, because you'll also have a newborn to look after. That's why c-section moms are frequently advised to accept any help they can get, and even to ask their relatives and friends for assistance with stuff like cooking and cleaning. Don't think you'll be disabled for a significant amount of time, though most OBGYNs will see c-section patients at a week postpartum and again at four or six weeks weeks. After that, you're considered to have recovered. When can you try to have sex again?
Sex after a c-section
Lochia, the postpartum bleeding that every mom has after giving birth, is unpredictable after a c-section. With a c-section, the uterus is cleaned out by the surgical team after the baby has been born. This may mean less bleeding afterward some moms who had cesareans say they only bleed for two or three days after their baby's birth! Others have lochia for four or six weeks, just like most women who had vaginal deliveries.
Doctors tend to advise moms to wait with sexual intercourse until lochia has stopped completely, because the risk of uterine infection is greater during the bleeding. Cesarean section moms won't have vaginal tears or episiotomy incisions to worry about. Your vagina and vulva won't feel sore after a c-section, as it would with a vaginal birth.
Theoretically, it may sound like a c-section has a few advantages over a vaginal delivery when it comes to resuming sex. Don't be fooled, though! You may experience some abdominal pain after your incision has healed, and you may even worry about something "breaking". Many women also feel self-conscious about their cesarean section scar and they wonder how their partner really feels about their post-cesarean body. Of course, there is also your baby to keep you from having sex! The best strategy here is to take things slowly with your postpartum sex, and to stick to the advice your doctor gives you. If something hurts or you think something isn't quite right, go right back to your healthcare provider and discuss those issues.
The most common problem with sexual intercourse following a c-section is pain. Many mothers report that sex really hurts the first time as well as during subsequent attempts. Many are surprised by this why should intercourse be painful when your baby didn't pass through the birth canal? It's not the incision that hurts these moms, but sex itself. This problem may go away with time, but if it doesn't, making an appointment with your doctor is the best thing you can do. We invite you to come talk about your experience with cesarean section recovery at our forums!