C section healing
Cesarean delivery is the surgical delivery of a baby by cutting open the belly and womb. It is a major abdominal surgery performed in situations where a normal vaginal delivery can be dangerous to the health of the mother or baby. The cesarean delivery scar is about a 2- to 3-inch scar over your bikini line. Because the scar is deep, it takes around 6 months for the womb and overlying muscle layers to completely heal. Below are a few ways to heal faster after cesarean delivery:
- Wound/Incision: Anytime there’s a major cut on your body, there is always a risk of infection. Stitches will dissolve with time, but it’s good to still ensure that the scar is always kept dry. A gentle massage around that area can help relieve pain and encourage the abdominal muscles to work more efficiently. Consult a doctor if there is any redness or unbearable pain. Make sure to allow good air circulation and sunlight on your belly for 20 minutes a day (sun from a window is good too). Rubbing therapeutic grade lavender oil with a carrier oil such as jojoba will help to alleviate the itching and pain that may occur as the incision heals.
- Physical activities: Resuming physical activities will improve blood circulation and is great for health; however, overexertion is not recommended. Start with a walk and jog. Carrying heavy stuff or going back to exercise routine too soon will stretch the wound, which may contribute to poor healing and increase the risk of a rupture. A wound that doesn’t heal well will not only permanently damage abdominal muscles but also affect overall health.
- Start walking as soon as possible: It may seem challenging but don’t be afraid to get back on the feet after the doctor cleared you for walking. Walking is good for blood circulation and relaxes the mind and soul. It keeps us feeling healthy, which can also indirectly reduce the risk of postoperative complications. Slow, deep diaphragmatic breathing helps to internally massage organs and relax the muscular-skeleton system. Together with walking, this is the most important form of exercise post-surgery.
- Rest: A cesarean delivery is essentially a major abdominal surgery that can be very damaging physically, mentally, and emotionally. The damaged tissues need rest. Not enough rest will lower body’s resistance and make you prone to infection. If you are breastfeeding, tiredness can also reduce your breast milk supply. Get as much rest as possible.
- Medications: Being in constant pain may prolong the recovery process. Take pain relief medication as prescribed by doctors.
- Good nutrition: Eating mindfully after a cesarean delivery will help the tissues in the body recover from the surgery. Mothers after cesarean delivery are also more vulnerable to other health issues, such as pain, infected scar, and constipation. It is good to continue with the prescribed supplements and a high fiber diet such as fruits and vegetables. Stool softeners can also be taken if needed.
- Probiotics and iron supplements: Blood loss is common in cesarean delivery. Increasing the iron levels is important so as to avoid postpartum anemia, which can result in excessive weakness and irritability and even affect the quality and quantity of your breast milk. Discuss with your doctor for iron supplements or hormone tablets, depending on the severity of the situation. At home, incorporate more iron-rich foods into your diet such as red meats, fish, poultry, pulses, dried fruit, and green leafy veggies. It’s also a good idea to include some probiotics into the diet, as it will improve your digestive health and can prevent constipation. A regular dose of probiotics will also help the body maximize nutrition absorption from the foods that we eat. To start with, include probiotic-rich ingredients such as plain unflavored yogurt and kombucha tea into the diet.
- Traditional chicken broth: It can really help recovery from cesarean delivery, and as a bonus, it helps in digestion and can ease the digestive discomforts and constipation that sometimes come after cesarean delivery. Bone broth is packed with amino acids such as proline and glycine, which are needed for collagen production and great for skin healing. Broth also contains gelatin, which is beneficial for wound healing and for the skin. There is a reason broth is a traditional hospital food for those recovering from illness or injury. Consume broth rich in nutrition and minerals at least once or twice a day.
- Abdominal or belly binder: It is the elastic belt that wraps around the waist to provide extra support, but gynecologists are dubious regarding its use in the long run. Constant use of belly binder may hinder the healing process and also cause the wound site to ooze.
It is important to stay hydrated after your procedure. After a cesarean delivery, many women experience constipation, which can be unpleasant and painful. Be sure to drink plenty of filtered water to keep your body balanced. Moreover, lactating mothers need plenty of fluids.