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Recuperating from Cesarean Section

Cesarean section, also known as a C-section is the surgical procedure to take the child directly from the uterus, rather than delivered vaginally. Prolonged labor, fetal distress, breech presentation, and a history of difficult deliveries are all good reasons for a C-section to be performed.

This procedure is considered major abdominal surgery and calls for the use of anesthesia—either general or spinal. Of course, anesthesia will affect your child as well as you, so don't be surprised if he or she appears groggy for up to 12 hours after delivery. Depending on the circumstances, as well as the type of anesthesia used, you may be able to nurse as soon as 1 hour after delivery.

As the anesthesia wears off, you will experience pain around your incision. Your doctor will prescribe pain relief medication that is appropriate for you. This type of surgery can also affect the digestive tract, causing gas and discomfort for a few days. If gas pains are severe enough to trouble you, consult your doctor for a suitable remedy.

After a C-section, you'll be tired and sore and will need some time to convalesce. You will be able to go home within a week after delivery, and your stitches will probably be removed within that time. It is important that you have someone to help you at home for the first week or two. You should also avoid stair climbing and lifting during this time.

When you are nursing, you may need to try different positions for holding and feeding the child so that less strain is put on your healing abdomen. Perhaps the most comfortable nursing position for this purpose is one in which you sit up and child lies facing you at your side. This helps to keep child's weight off your abdomen.

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