What to Expect a Day, Week, and Month After Having a C-Section

When I had my C-section after 24 hours of labor and four-plus hours of pushing, I was terrified and had no idea what to expect. So I know first-hand that whether you choose to have a Cesarean or you end up needing one due to complications, it’s comforting to be armed with as much info as possible regarding the recovery process.

You may not be able to move much. If you had an epidural for the procedure and it was left in place, you’ll have limited activity, says Clark Johnson, M.D., an obstetrician at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. It’s usually taken out the first day post-op, though, so you should regain mobility pretty soon.

You could be in a ton of pain, or it might not be so bad. This will vary based on numerous factors, says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., assistant clinical professor of ob-gyn at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. These include: your own general health before the surgery, whether or not you were in labor beforehand, and whether or not the C-section was scheduled or an emergency one. You’ll be given pain meds every four to eight hours, depending on your level of discomfort, says Melissa Walsh M.D., ob-gyn attending physician, department of obstetrics, gynecology, and women’s health in the Montefiore Health System.

Read More:What to Expect a Day, Week, and Month After Having a C-Section

It Takes Time to Heal:

Laura

The Horrible Thoughts I Had About My Body After 24 Hours of Labor and a C-Section

There I was after 24 hours of labor, five hours of pushing, and a C-section looking like a whale.

No really–a whale.

Like “find me an ocean and toss me in” certifiable whale. I would have fit in just perfectly with the sea creatures, which was amazing considering I had hyperemesis gravidarum in pregnancy and didn’t touch maternity clothes until I was about eight months pregnant. I wore my wedding ring throughout the pregnancy, and I was never swollen once. People actually said I looked cute, and perhaps they weren’t even lying. But after being pumped with fluids after my epidural and during my C-section, I now resembled Moby Dick and was so utterly not cute. One of my original legs turned into about five legs. My hands were as swollen as a beast’s. I’m surprised I didn’t warble or speak whale but instead could utter strings of the English language.

Read more: The Horrible Thoughts I Had About My Body After 24 Hours of Labor and a C-Section

Got My Body Back Now, Thanks,

Laura