You may be in hospital for a few days after a caesarean section, and may need to take things easy for several weeks.
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The average stay in hospital after a caesarean is around three or four days. You may be able to go home sooner than this if both you and your baby are well.
While in hospital:
When you're well enough to go home, you'll need to arrange for someone to give you a lift as you won't be able to drive for a few weeks.
Your midwife should also advise you on how to look after your wound.
You'll usually be advised to:
Non-dissolvable stitches or staples will usually be taken out by your midwife after five to seven days.
The wound in your tummy will eventually form a scar .
This will usually be a horizontalscar about 10-20cm long, just below your bikini line.
In rare cases, you may have a vertical scar just below your bellybutton.
The scar willprobably be red and obvious at first, but itshould fade with time and will often be hidden in your pubic hair.
Most women experience some discomfort for the first few days after a caesarean, and for some women the pain can last several weeks.
You should be given regular painkillers to take at home, for as long as you need them.
Paracetamol is usually recommended for mild pain,co-codamol for moderate pain, and a combination of co-codamol and ibuprofen for more severe pain.
You may also have some vaginal bleeding. Use sanitary pads rather than tampons to reduce the risk ofspreading infection into the vagina, and get medical advice if the bleeding is heavy.
Try tostay mobile and dogentle activities, such as going for a daily walk, while you're recovering to reduce the risk of blood clots . Be careful not to overexert yourself.
You should be able tohold and carry your baby once you get home. But you may not be able to do some activities straight away, such as:
Only start to do these things again when you feel able to do so and don't find them uncomfortable. This may not be for six weeks or so.
Ask your midwife for advice if you're unsure when it's safe to start returning to your normal activities. You can also ask your GP at your six-week postnatal check .
Contact your midwife or GP straight away if you have any of the followingsymptoms after a caesarean:
These symptoms may be the sign of an infection or blood clot, which should be treated as soon as possible.
Read about why caesarean sections are carried out, whether you can ask for one, what they involve, and what the risks are.
Find out what happens during a caesarean section, how you prepare, and what happens immediately afterwards.
Find out about after a caesarean section, including what you can expect and how long you need to avoid activities such as driving.