5 Things I Wish I Had Known About C-Section Recovery


5 things i wish i had known about c-section recoveryWith 1 in 3 women in the United States having a cesarean section (often referred to as a C-section for short), it’s important to be as informed as possible and to keep an open line of communication with your healthcare providers. As a first time mother, having a C-section was far from my mind, as I was focusing more on a vaginal birth and how to take care of a newborn. To be honest, not much thought went into how I would best take care of myself after a possible major surgery. As such, I’m sharing 5 things I wish I had known about C-section recovery. During the month of April, awareness of the C-section is highlighted among…

…Factors that may lead to a C-section:
  • You’re carrying multiples
  • The baby is in distress
  • Labor isn’t progressing
  • Mother’s health
  • Breech baby
  • Placenta previa

I love to prepare and plan, especially when making lists. As we all know, this sometimes feels quite futile in motherhood. I learned this lesson quickly as a soon-to-be first time mother. 

My husband and I had signed up for all the birth preparation classes at our local hospital. He joined me at every doctor’s appointment. We packed the hospital bags and practiced all the breathing techniques and putting on the baby diapers. The last class in the series covered the topic of c-sections, what to expect during surgery and recovery. Well, as life would have it, a severe blizzard came through northern Pennsylvania, so we decided to skip that class since we didn’t want to take any risks so close to the date.

Well, you guessed it. That was the class that we needed the most. During a routine checkup, the midwife decided that I needed to be induced that evening. So, I went home, took a shower, and we drove to the hospital with our bags. 

After being induced with Pitocin, there still wasn’t much progress overnight. When an epidural was administered, this is when things became extremely difficult to remember. A flood of nurses and doctors came in. I tried really hard to focus on what they were saying, but what I could make out was that both our heart rates skyrocketed and wouldn’t come down. All I remember is that the man who delivered my daughter had a striking resemblance to the comedian, Rodney Dangerfield. 

Four years later, I still think about what I wish I had known at the time. Here are the 5 things I wish I had known about c-section recovery:

  1. You may swell and bleed at the site of incision. 
  2. You might still experience some swelling for a couple of weeks after the surgery. 
  3. Everything can hurt – a lot.
  4. You have to take it easy and take care of yourself. 
  5. Having a c-section doesn’t make you less of a mother. 

Have you had a C-section? What do you wish you’d known? Have you had a C-section? What else would you add to the list? Comment below!


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