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You had a cesarean section, or C-section. During the C-section, your baby was delivered through a surgical incision in your abdomen and uterus. Full recovery after a C-section can take time. It’s important to take care of yourself—for your own sake and because your new baby needs you. Here are some guidelines to follow at home.
Shower as needed. Pat your incision dry.
Watch your incision for signs of infection, such as increasing redness or drainage.
Hold a pillow against the incision when you laugh or cough and when you get up from a lying or sitting position.
Remember, it can take as long as 6 weeks for a C-section incision to heal.
Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:
Fever of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher
Redness, pain, or drainage at your incision site
Repeated clots of blood (the size of a quarter or larger) passing from the vagina
Bleeding that requires a new sanitary pad every hour
Severe pain in the abdomen
Pain or urgency with urination
Trouble urinating or emptying your bladder
No bowel movement within 1 week after the birth of your baby
Don’t try to take care of anyone other than your baby and yourself.
Remember, the more active you are, the more likely you are to have an increase in your bleeding.
Get lots of rest. Take naps in the afternoon.
Increase your activities gradually.
Plan your activities so that you don’t have to go up or down stairs more than necessary.
Do postsurgical deep breathing and coughing exercises. Ask your doctor for instructions.
Don’t lift anything heavier than your baby until your doctor tells you it’s okay.
Don’t drive until your doctor says it’s okay.
Don’t have sexual intercourse until after you’ve had a follow-up appointment with your doctor and you’ve decided on a birth control method.
Don’t take a tub bath or use douches or tampons for 4 weeks.
Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.