Post Partum Journey: Recovery and Expectation after C-Section

August 11, 2021

Maternity includes the antenatal and postnatal journey a mother takes. An essential part of this journey is the delivery of the baby. Many mothers either choose C-section or get the surgery out of an emergency.

With the following information, mothers get a snapshot about C-section surgery, its recovery, and expectations after the delivery. Such knowledge prepares expecting mothers and their families for the journey ahead.

Let us start with understanding C-Section.

C-Section or Cesarian Section Surgery is one of the most common surgical delivery methods. It is a planned or emergency surgery to deliver a healthy baby. If there are complications and vaginal delivery is not an option, an emergency C-section surgery is a way to go.

An incision is made in the pregnant womans' lower abdomen and uterus to get the baby out. The surgery usually takes over half an hour and is done under general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia.

A doctor recommends C-section surgery in cases where -

  • The fetus is unable to pass through the birthing canal due to a thick placenta.
  • There are two or more fetus
  • The uterus has fibroids or other obstructions
  • The mother has uncontrolled diabetes and is under distress
  • The mother has a disease that can spread to the baby through reproductive contact
  • The mother has previously undergone a C-section

Let us look into the Expectations in the Postnatal Journey.

The mother stays in the hospital for three to five days after surgery. Though complete recovery takes five to six weeks, the mother usually walks and breastfeeds within a few hours. The mother goes through various physical and emotional challenges after delivery. For her support, many virtual post-partum services are now readily available.

After delivery, the mother can expect a few changes and challenges. The following explains it further -

Mothers can expect vaginal bleeding for up to six weeks after delivery. The color of the bleeding changes from deep red to pink, and finally yellowish-white.

Mothers should keep track of how much blood is passing, clot formations, and any foul odors. Mothers should contact their doctor if they notice a smell, increase in clots, or sudden heavy bleeding.

Mothers need to recover from the physical and emotional changes from childbirth. In such cases, sexual activities can wait for up to six weeks. Open communication with the partner can help with the support and ease in facing challenges.

Mothers should continue breastfeeding for up to six months and then add other nutritious food alternatives for the child.

The resumption of menstruation begins at different times for every mother, especially when one is breastfeeding. Connect with a gynecologist to discuss any delay in the menstrual period.

Sexually active women can breastfeed all through their postnatal journey. It is advisable to discuss a suitable contraceptive method even though lactating and breastfeeding are natural contraception.

Mothers can start exercising slowly after a few weeks. After looking at medical reports, doctors recommend exercises that are safe and effective for weight loss.

Let us look into C-section Recovery.

The stitches on the C-section site can take some time to heal completely. The site is to be kept clean and dry at all times. It is normal if the surgical site is itchy or sore.

A scar on the lower abdomen forms after the surgery. If the surgical scar is falling under the skin fold, it becomes a point of infection. So, the area should be kept clean and dry. Mothers can look at the site through a mirror and make notes of its healing.

Through the DayToDay Health application, mothers can upload the surgical site photos in real-time. A health professional or care coach from the team checks on the healing process and shares the progress with the doctor.

Mothers usually feel cramps and pain after during C-section recovery. Doctors prescribe pain medicines and suggest techniques that can help manage pain.

Mothers must seek immediate medical help if they feel pain in the chest and difficulty breathing, severe headache, pelvic pain, or swelling on one leg.

Mothers should stay hydrated and drink eight to ten cups of water daily. The diet should include a healthy mix of vegetables and fruits. Mothers should keep a check on their bowel movements and talk to a doctor if they experience nausea, constipation, or diarrhea.

C-section recovery and postnatal journey can get overwhelming and tiring for mothers. Attending antenatal classes, reading more on breastfeeding, asking the Care Coach about maternity can help take some pressure away.

Connect with us to know more about our Antenatal and Postnatal Maternity Care Programs on

Alexis den Boggende
Alexis den Boggende
Senior Content Writer
Olivia Casale
Olivia Casale
Senior Content Writer
Danny Biel
Danny Biel
Senior Cotent Writer
Driven Writer with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Strong past in Applied Improvisation and Improvisation for entertainment. Skilled in Talent Management, Copywriting, Teaching, Curriculum Development, Editing, and Data Management. Strong media and communication professional with a Master of Education.
Prem Sharma
Prem Sharma
Christine Hsieh
Christine Hsieh
Chief of Strategy & Research
My vision is to help transformative, indispensable inventions come into markets to make a difference in people's lives. I see this occurring through a continuously evolving practice of working at the intersection of empathetic design, cutting-edge technology, and business.
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Founded and led by MIT alums and experienced professionals, DayToDay is dedicated to creating an unprecedented patient care experience before and after medical procedures. Our mobile app and platform provides turn-by-turn, personalized care content and interactive tools, and live chat with personal care coaches who take care of all our patients' needs. We are a global company with operations in the US, India, & the UK.