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Home with a cesarean section

Back home with your baby and a line of stitches on your belly. It hurts and you need to heal properly. Here are some tips on coping at home after a caesarean section.

You’ve had a caesarean, a major operation; so on top of the life-changing event of becoming a mother and all the hormonal shifting that goes with it, you also have a sore wound to contend with! You have all the reasons in the world to take it easy and look after yourself.

No lifting
One part of this is that you mustn't lift anything that is heavier than your baby. Don’t start any get-fit-after-delivery routines or sit-ups until four to six weeks after the birth. But moving around will ease the pain and get your circulation going, and that will help to alleviate the swelling in your abdomen.

Looking after your wound
Your c-section wound may itch while it heals and the stitches are absorbed into your skin. It is important to keep the wound clean and dry. Here are some tips:

• Rinse the wound when you shower.
• Once the scab has fallen off, use a moisturiser after your shower and massage the wound gently with circular movements. You should not do this until three weeks after the operation – at this point it will help the incision to heal.
• Avoid exposing the scar to direct sunlight for the first six months. After that you can slowly begin to get your skin used to the sun again. If the scar turns red, apply a high SPF sunscreen or cover the scar with an adhesive plaster. Experiment and see what works for you.

Exercising after a c-section
It is a good idea not to do any get-fit-after-delivery exercises until approximately four to six weeks after the birth. If your scar hurts when you are exercising, it may be an indication that you are overdoing it and that you need to take things more slowly.

Pelvic floor exercises
Even though you didn’t go through a vaginal delivery, your pelvic floor was still under strain, so remember to also start doing the pelvic-floor exercises.

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