Podcast Episode #202

Caesarean birth recovery

Caesarean birth recovery is a journey unique to every new mum who undergoes this major abdominal surgery, often referred to as a “belly birth.” With caesarean sections accounting for 37% of all births in Australia in 2020, understanding and preparing for the postpartum recovery process is essential.

In this podcast episode with Amber-Lee from The Power of Birth, we aim to shed light on the path to recovery, offering actionable tips and expert advice.

How long does it take to recover from a C-section?

Recovery from a cesarean section varies widely among individuals, but the general consensus is that it takes about 6 to 8 weeks for a new mum to feel significantly better. It’s important to remember, however, that full recovery can take up to a year, especially when considering the complete healing of internal tissues and the return to pre-pregnancy strength and stamina, in conjunction with recommended postnatal rehab.

How long after C-section can you walk?

Early mobilisation is key to preventing post-surgical complications such as blood clots and swelling. Most women are encouraged to start walking gently within the first 24 hours after surgery, as soon as advised by their healthcare team. Initially, this may involve simple movements like walking to the bathroom, gradually increasing to more sustained walks as comfort allows.

How long do you need to rest after a C-section?

Rest is crucial in the initial weeks following a cesarean birth. While light activity and gentle walking are encouraged early on, it’s essential to listen to your body and not rush the healing process. New mums should focus on resting as much as possible during the first 6 weeks postpartum, balancing gentle activity with periods of horizontal rest to aid recovery.

What are some tips for recovery after a C-section?

  1. Pain Management: Be proactive about managing pain through prescribed medication and by using strategies like supporting your abdomen during coughs or sneezes with a pillow.
  2. Early Mobilisation: While rest is crucial, early and gentle mobilisation helps prevent blood clots and aids in a quicker recovery. Start with short walks, gradually increasing as you feel able.
  3. Seek Professional Guidance: Consulting with a physiotherapist specialising in women’s health who can provide tailored advice for safely strengthening your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, essential for recovery. FitNest’s Postnatal Rehab Program can also help you proactively exercise from the comfort of your home.
  4. Core Strengthening and Flexibility: Incorporate exercises that focus on core strengthening, flexibility, and functional movements to support your body’s recovery and prevent future discomfort.
  5. Listen to Your Body: Every recovery is unique. Pay attention to your body’s signals and adjust your activities accordingly. If something feels wrong or painful, seek medical advice.
  6. Emotional Support: Recovery isn’t just physical. Don’t underestimate the emotional and mental health aspects. Join support groups, reach out to friends, family, or professionals to talk about your feelings and experiences.

Caesarean birth recovery encompasses not just the physical healing of the wound and restoration of muscle strength but also adapting to life with a new baby while managing the emotional and mental challenges that can arise. By following a holistic approach that includes early mobilisation, professional guidance, and acknowledging the importance of mental health, new mums can navigate the postpartum period with confidence and support. Remember, taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your baby.

** This podcast has general information only. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health or medical condition. 

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Episode Links

Preparing for birth Pelvic health checklist

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Free 7 Day Trial Postnatal Workouts

FitNest Mama Website

Instagram @fitnestmama

The Power of Birth Website

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