Emergency vs scheduled? What is the difference in cesarean section recovery process? Sharing in honour of Cesarean Awareness Month
April is c-section awareness month and so many of us share this experience. We have had no alternative but to bring our children into the world this way. For many of us, myself included, this has been a life-saving intervention for both mother and baby. Having had both an emergency and then two elected or scheduled sections. I wanted to share some differences I noticed having experienced both types of cesarean section recovery. You can read about my last birth story that was shared. It includes the whole experience of a scheduled section from beginning to end.
Elected Cesarean Section Recovery
It’s A Big Deal
Elected sections can be a taboo subject to talk about. Do you feel that as a scheduled section mum? We’ve all heard the phrase “too posh to push”. However, the fact is that some of us do not have the capacity to give birth without medical intervention. Both mother and child would have died so it is a matter of life and death.
Having had both an elected and emergency section. I can say there is a definite difference between these cesarean section recovery processes. An emergency section recovery is much harder but we’ll start with the elected c-section recovery process.
Bleeding after any section can be heavier than if you have a vaginal birth. Provided there has been no other complication, of course. Two main factors to look out for is clots that are over the size of a 50p. If you can smell a rotten smell. I know it sounds gross but this can be a sign of not healing well and needing medicine. Such as antibiotics to help the infection. If you have either let your medical professional know.
This is the recovery all mum’s find the hardest no matter how your baby entered the world. However, you are not only having to heal from having grown a child but also major surgery. I know mum’s who have had a vaginal birth and are visiting family the next day. This will not likely be the case with any type of cesarean section recovery. As you’ll be in pain and want to be as comfortable as possible.
Cesarean Section Recovery of Your Scar
You will find with an elected section that the scar should heal quickly and be very neat. The reason being the surgeon has been able to take his time with the surgery. Resulting in a tidier job. It will be red and sore, for obvious reasons, and you will need to keep it very clean and dry to help it heal.
You can dab it gently with a towel after bathing or use a cool setting on a hairdryer. Sit for 30 minutes a day making sure the air is getting to the scar. This involves lifting your belly lightly and being careful not to pull. If you notice any puss, redness or anything you’re concerned about, be sure to mention it to your midwife or health visitor. Even if that involves calling them up. If you aren’t under their care any more call your GP.
Injections for Cesarean Section Recovery
One thing they don’t tend to inform you about cesarean section recovery is the fact you will need to have injections for a week after your surgery. This includes if you’ve gone home and you may have to do this yourself or with the help of someone else. I will be honest and say it is not pleasant but is necessary as it stops blood clots from forming in your body.
Top tip is to ask the midwives to show you how to inject them into your leg. Your belly will be very loose and floppy after birth and it can be hard to inject the area. I gave myself so many bruises trying to inject my stomach and not succeeding.
If you take it as easy as you can, take your medication and take care of yourself you will be healed well within 6 weeks. Get up as soon as you can because it really will help your cesarean section recovery process. It is a major operation and you should bear that in mind but the recovery is ok and manageable.
Emergency C-Section Recovery
It’s Major Surgery
When most people think of an emergency c-section and the cesarean section recovery it can be easy to play it down in your mind. What I mean by that is so many of us have to them to bring our children into the world that it can be seen as the easy option. The fact of the matter is that a c-section is a huge surgery and when it hasn’t been planned it can be even bigger.
Bleeding after an emergency section can be a lot worse too. Due to the surgery, your body will also have the blood from your surgery to expel. It can also take a little longer for your period to slow its flow. It’s all part of the cesarean section recovery but if you have any concerns then do talk to a health professional.
From my personal experience, the energy was the real difference in the recovery process. The reason being is that there is usually a prior problem to an emergency c-section. For example, I had a placental abruption, so lots of bleeding prior to the section. Add the reason needed for the emergency section to the section itself and you can understand why the emergency c-section recovery may be harder and longer.
You may find that after an emergency c-section your scar will be sore. I know that sounds really obvious but the surgeon has not had a lot of time to carefully cut you open with limited damage. There is another life on the line so for the sake of a scar, cut away dear surgeon! This will be true of the whole area and you may even experience some very visible bruising. It could be very hard to move to start with and you may feel very unwell. Do let midwives know about how your feeling so they can monitor your progress.
Due to the rushed nature of an emergency section, you can expect the cesarean section recovery to take a little longer. You may be a little sorer than with an elected and, due to the reason you needed one, very depleted of energy afterwards. Again, be sure to take care of yourself as well as the baby. Eat well as this will help your recovery and again get up as soon as you feel able. Moving your body slowly will help you recover faster. Just remember however you have your baby, safe and well is best.
Have you had either an emergency or an elected/scheduled c-section? Perhaps even both? How was your cesarean section recovery process? Is there anything you would add to this? I hope if you are expecting to have a scheduled section that this has taken some of the surprises and worry from it. Also if you’re faced with an emergency section you will have some idea of the recovery you’ll be facing. Overall you’re an absolute warrior and will be amazing no matter how your child enters this world! You got this! If you have any other questions you can leave them below or hop over to the Tahnee’s Blog Facebook page and join our community there.
Lots of Love,