Recovery time after c-section or vaginal birth...

Discussion in 'Postnatal Support' started by kirsten1985, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. kirsten1985

    kirsten1985 Guest

    I have a question.

    For those of you that had a good, straightforward vaginal birth (pain relief or no pain relief) what was it like afterwards? And how long to recover?

    And for those that had a c-section, what was it like afterwards and how long to recover?

    I had a vaginal delivery, but had an episiotomy, bad stitching up after hours in theatre etc etc. I was in hospital for a week, and it was probably about 10 weeks before I could sit comfortably, walk properly outside the house, lift things without being in pain.

    I have been advised to have a c-section next time because of another issue, but am thinking of pushing for another vaginal delivery (when the time comes, lol). I am just worried that it will be like last time and I won't be able to do anything for so long afterwards. I know after a c-section it takes around 6 weeks (is that right?) to get going again, (I just mean the basics, sitting, walking, driving etc).

    I guess I just don't want a repeat of last time :(.

    Sorry if that's a bit rambly!!
     
  2. Kimboowee

    Kimboowee Complete

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Messages:
    10,299
    Likes Received:
    0
    I felt fine afterwards tbh. I was knackered but I was in labour for 50 odd hours so thats to be expected!

    I had the epidural out at 5am and walked straight to the bathroom and had a bath. I tried to get up and walk about as much as possibly. Josh had to keep going down to NICU which was downstairs from the ward so I kind of had to get up and about to take him there.
    Stitches hurt the first time I peed and TMI no.2 was like giving birth all over again but apart from that I felt quite good. I was in hospital for 5 days but I think given the chance I could of gone home had a good sleep and been fine the next day.

    My friend had a c-section and wasn't able to drive for 6 weeks as your not insured to drive before that time after a c-section because your scar could rupture when doing things like emergency stops.
     
  3. Scally

    Scally Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    5,518
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had an emergency c section. I was in hospital for 5 days but that was mainly because of my LO was poorly. I had an awful recovery when home but it was due to vaginal bleeding/infection/retained products not because of the c section scar. I was sore for about a week after, took the tablets for a couple of weeks, and felt fine in that area quite quickly. I do think my bleeding etc would have happened even if i had a vaginal birth.
     
  4. britt1986

    britt1986 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,252
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had a planned c-section and it went very well. To be fully healed from a c-section it can take up to 6-8 weeks. I started driving, sitting, walking, and doing the basics two weeks after very comfortably. I was doing laundry and washing dishes 1 week after I was home (I know I wasn't supposed too, but I felt fine and didn't overdo myself) :blush:. I was in the hospital for 3 days and had my staples taken out before I went home. I never had a problem with my scar, it never leaked or tore open, it healed quite nicely. Although my doctor told me to not let water hit the scar directly for 7 days, to let it run of your chest to rinse the soap off and to just pat dry after gently washing it with unscented soap (doctors have different rules for this). I was up and around doing what I pleased after 3 weeks. I was released to do anything and everything after my 4 week check-up. It just depends on how your surgery goes and how well of a healer you are as to how well you do afterwards.
     
  5. Mum2b_Claire

    Mum2b_Claire Mummy to Ruby & Scarlett!

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    16,804
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had a very straightforward vaginal delivery, no pain relief, no stitches. (I had a tiny tear that didn't require stitching). It stung a bit to go to the loo for about 3-4 days, and I was taking co codamol for soreness 'down there' for about 48 hours afterwards, but never had any real pain sitting or walking etc. Could have driven straight away if I'd needed to.

    The only thing I would say is that my friends who had less straightforward vaginal deliveries had much longer recoveries than me, and were in more pain afterwards, and are planning to have c sections next time.

    I have always put my 'good' birth down to being active, (I had no monitoring) and I feel sure that I would have had pain relief / epidural if I had been strapped to a bed with monitors on. I think generally if you have to be monitored you are at a greater risk of interventions, such as emergency c sections because medics feel that the baby is 'in distress' when this is often not the case.

    So I've gone on a ramble...but my point is, I really would check how achievable a straightforward vaginal delivery really would be for you, given the issue that you have, would you be allowed to be active etc, as this makes a huge difference to the outcome / recovery in many cases...
     
  6. helen1234

    helen1234 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    7,555
    Likes Received:
    0
    vaginal took me about 3 months i hurt my cocyx bone,

    c section took to be completely ok 2 weeks
     
  7. rach321

    rach321 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Messages:
    1,211
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had a normal vaginal delivery and a 2nd degree tear and I would say it took me 2 weeks to walk normally again and feel like a human being! I was also really active during my pregnancy and I think that helped with delivery.
     
  8. kirsten1985

    kirsten1985 Guest

    Thanks for everyones replies. I was very active during pregnancy, worked right up until I had Freya and most of my labour was very active too. It just went on too long (back to back contractions for 46 hours) and I ended up with a stupid failed epidural, and gas and air. Afterwards I had to have a spinal block anyway, so the whole thing was ridiculous.

    I think juding by all your pretty good recoveries I am just going to have to hope that what ever option I end up with I heal fast (I do this well anyway) and recover well.

    I can't imagine how amazing it must be to be in almost no pain a couple of days after giving birth, I would love that so so so much. I kind of assumed it took everyone as long as it took me!

    I am terrified of giving birth again and I'm actually considering having some counselling or at least talking to someone properly before I do it again.

    It took me 4 months to fully recover, I can't remember the first month at all, and I can't go through that again. Thanks people, you have given me some hope!
     
  9. Mum2b_Claire

    Mum2b_Claire Mummy to Ruby & Scarlett!

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    16,804
    Likes Received:
    0
    Counselling sounds like a great idea, nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain.
     
  10. bonbon

    bonbon Mum to Seb born nov09

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi
    I don't have anything to compare my labour to as Seb is my 1st but I had an emergence c section after trying out the waterpool, gas and air, epidural, pushing myself, & finally a suction cap!
    I didn't want a c section and was really disappointed that I was unable to have him naturally but in the end it was what was best for both of us!
    If I try for another I am going to try for a natural birth but wouldn't be worried about having another c section.
    In terms of recover .... Seb is 5weeks and I am pretty much doing everything that I used to around the house etc. I am not able to drive for another week for insurance purposes which is very frustrating and the doctors recommend not doing any strenuos exercise fir 5months which is rubbish when u want to get rid of baby weight!!
    I did get an infection in my wound which has delayed my recovery but by the sounds of thing your pain was much worse than what I felt. My only real complaint is how difficult it was in the 1st weeks when u want to be doing everything for your lo but u can as lifting and moving around is very difficult!
    Hope u can come to a decision when the time comes.... But I always think, what will be will be and nature will help u decide in the end!! X bonnie
     
  11. polaris

    polaris Mother of two

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Messages:
    8,090
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had a planned c section because baby was breech, I was dreading it because of the recovery time but actually it was fine. I was off all pain killers after a week and could do nearly everything after 2 weeks. Now 6 weeks on i am totally 100%
     
  12. Peanut78

    Peanut78 Mum of 2

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,815
    Likes Received:
    1
    I also had an emergency c-section and had a positive experience. Like Polaris I was off pain killers after a week and doing nearly everything after 2 weeks. I was also driving... Resumed exercise after 6 week check.
    I actually think I will go for another c-section next time rather than a vbac - because my experience was so positive.
     
  13. kirsten1985

    kirsten1985 Guest

    That is sooooo nice to hear, thank you. I am drifting towards a planned c-section, what happens if you go into labour before the section date? Cos they plan them for 38 weeks usually don't they? I managed to hold on til 37 with Freya, but don't think I will last til 38 next time.
     
  14. Annaspanna

    Annaspanna Mummy2Lyla x

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    1,188
    Likes Received:
    0
    Heya, I had a vaginal delivery, and had to have an episiotomy then went on to have a third degree tear as her arm was up by her head. Although I had quite a bit of damage down there I was suprised at how quickly I felt well again ( I also lost 2 litres of blood and was very anaemic!). I was able to go in town shopping for 3-4 hours with my mum 2 weeks after the birth!! I took arnica everyday and used lavender and tea tree oil gauze compresses all the time down there and that really helped me heal quickly I think. I would have another vaginal delivery and even if the same happened again I don't think I would be that bothered. Hope that helps xxx
     
  15. kirsten1985

    kirsten1985 Guest

    Thanks, I used all those things too, plus witch hazel. I think it was the 6 or so hours inbetween me getting the epi etc and actually being stitched up. I was so swollen, it was horrendous. Then the midwife had to un pick a load of my stitches about 10 days later as they had been done so badly, then I had to have some more in. :(
     
  16. TigerLady

    TigerLady CaveTiger Clan Mama

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    23,148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Counciling is a great idea.

    I had a planned c section (breech baby). The recovery from that is much easier than an emergency one.

    I have a high pain tolerance (keep that in mind)....

    I was up and walking the next day, though it was slow and tender. I was carrying my baby while walking the next day, too. I was moving around the house with relative ease within a few days. I just had to be careful. I was doing housework and driving (carefully) within about a week. I was lifting laundry and other such things about that time, too. I was no longer taking pain meds within about 4-5 days during the day and no longer taking them at night within a week. I felt pretty normal by about 3 weeks.

    At my 6 week follow up appt, doc said I could resume everything normal except sit ups and free weights. I looked at him like : :huh: because I HAD been doing everything normal for 2-3 weeks by that point. LOL!

    I only had one REALLY bad episode on day/night 3. My milk came in and I my body wasn't over the surgery yet -- it messed me ALL up. For about 2 hours my body went haywire. It was so confused and overwhelmed by everything that it about had a melt down.

    Other than that, the first 12 hours after surgery was the worst part of it. But even that was tolerable. Mostly. haha!
     
  17. TigerLady

    TigerLady CaveTiger Clan Mama

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    Messages:
    23,148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh, should have added. My OB had me on very careful labor watch because of the breech situation. He was afraid of cord prolapse. Basically, he made me take it easy from 38 weeks on (section at 39 weeks) and stressed that if I had contractions closer than 10 minutes apart for an hour, then I was to go in and they would section me then.

    That wouldn't be considered emergency and your recovery would still be easier. The hard recovery comes when you labor for hours and hours and are already a mess. Then they rush to get baby out. That is what makes section recovery hard -- the double whammy of hard, difficult labor followed by surgery.
     
  18. tasha41

    tasha41 Mum & Dad + 1

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    24,247
    Likes Received:
    0
    Had an emergency c-section; looking forward to it being planned next time and I learned a lot from this one LOL so I am confident the next will go a lot better.
    In hospital for 4 days total (went in Thurs evening and came home Mon afternoon)..

    (Sun) nurse saw how red my abdomen was getting and felt how hot it was to the touch, i started to spike a fever, and they figured out I had a womb infection, had bloods done to make sure that was the only infection going on and had my staples taken out.
    (Mon) was sent home on antibiotics for my infection,
    (Tues) had to go back to the emergency room with a high fever- had antibiotics by IV,
    (Wed) back to the emergency room again for another round of antibiotics by IV,
    (Fri) went to my doctor to have my incision checked out- said it looked great,
    (Sat) small fluid (pus) leak, I thought it was lochia-related somehow,
    (Sun) threw up in the morning. Realized the fluid was coming from my incision a couple of hours later and by that point soaking my clothes, I wore my house coat and it was leaking down my leg. Had to be hospitalized.
    (Wed) Came home from that hospital stint on a lot of antibiotics (this was end of March) and had a nurse come to my house everyday to clean me up/unpack and repack my wound until June.

    I have lots of nerve damage/loss of feeling on my lower abdomen, actually right down to my pubic bone. Also have damage to my skin from a cellulitis infection and from Silvercel sitting on my skin. Looks like I was burned kind of and have that type of scarring basically where the fabric triangle bit of a g-string would cover.
     
  19. kirsten1985

    kirsten1985 Guest

    Aww Tasha, sounds awful :hugs: I hope your next one goes brilliantly and you recover much faster.
     
  20. pip holder

    pip holder Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,840
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi Kirsten, like Peanut I had a planned section at 39 weeks (thats the ideal time but if you went into labour earlier and were booked for a section, they just do it as an 'emergency'

    I had LO at lunchtime and was up walking to bathroom by 11pm :blush: walking round properly the next day, driving at 2 weeks etc.

    My experience was a truly positive one :flower:

    One downside was that because I hadn't actually gone into lablour, I had real probs feeding the first few days and I think my milk may have taken a bit longer to come in because my body wasn't quite ready.

    You'll be fab whatever you choose.

    Does your local hospital have a consultant midwife? I went in to discuss options with mine which was super helpful. :hugs:
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice