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A C-section, or cesarean delivery, is a method of giving birth where the doctor delivers a baby through an incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus instead of going through the vagina. While giving birth through c-section may or may not be what you have planned for your pregnancy, your birth doctor may recommend it to you due to various reasons.
Reasons For C-Section
Depending on your birth’s doctor advice, a c-section may be the safer option for you and your baby in the following circumstances:
- Your labor isn’t progressing as expected.
- Your baby is too large for vaginal birth.
- Your baby is in a position that is not suitable for vaginal birth.
- You or your baby are facing certain health complications.
Possible Symptoms After C-Section
If you are planning to or you are advised by your doctor to give birth via c-section, your major concerns are likely to be the risks and the side effects that come along with it. Just like any minor and major surgeries, a cesarean delivery comes with potential risks. Although these complications are not highly likely, having a fundamental understanding about them can help you be more mentally prepared for your c-section and managing its recovery.
- Wound Infection
After your cesarean delivery, you are likely to face wound infection if bacteria enter the wound. The symptoms of wound infection typically show within 28 hours after labour, while the actual inflammation generally appears after 4 to 7 days. Among many other types of bacteria, staph bacteria are the most common culprit of post-cesarean wound infections. Staph bacteria can cause three major types of wound infection, namely impetigo, abscesses, and cellulitis. These infections would make your wound area feel itchy, painful, and even develop blisters and pus. If you notice any abnormality with your wound a few days after your delivery, get professional treatment from your doctor immediately.
- Surgical Injuries to Bladder or Bowel
Your c-section surgery may cause injury to your other organs around the uterus. Although the possibility of this happening is relatively low, your bladder or bowel can be injured during labour. Should this happen, additional surgery may be needed to manage the complication.
- Postpartum Hemorrhage
Postpartum hemorrhage refers to a complication where a mother experiences heavy bleeding after giving birth. While it’s normal for women to lose a lot of blood during a c-section delivery, bleeding too much after the delivery can pose serious health risk. Excessive blood loss after childbirth can happen when blood vessels are not stitched up properly or a ruptured uterus. Meanwhile, some mothers may experience postpartum hemorrhage when they have difficulty in clotting blood, which makes it hard to stop bleeding after the c-section delivery. If you find yourself still bleeding heavily after you reach home from the hospital, get treatment from your doctor immediately.
- Blood Clots
According to WebMD, 60 international studies found that women who gave birth through c-section were four times more likely to develop a blood clot than women went through vaginal birth. C-section may cause blood clot to develop inside a deep vein, especially in the legs or your organs around the pelvic area. Blood clots can be fatal if they travel to your lungs and block blood flow. The good news is, most blood clots can be prevented. Talk to your doctor to understand your risk of developing blood clots, and work with your doctor for prevention methods.
- Higher Risks for Future Pregnancies
Compared to a vaginal delivery, you face a higher risk of serious complications in a subsequent pregnancy. The more c-sections you go through, the higher your risk of placenta previa—a condition in which the placenta is located low in the uterus. Placenta previa can cause serious bleeding before and during labour. Furthermore, the risk of your prior C-section scar tearing open is also higher if you go for vaginal birth after cesarean. To manage your risk, talk to a health professional for professional advice.
Breastfeeding After C-Section
After a cesarean delivery, you may face a few challenges during breastfeeding. Understanding these challenges in advance may help you to be better prepared for them. Some of the common breastfeeding challenges and how to manage them after a c-section include:
- Delayed Start to Breastfeeding
Depending on the type of anesthesia you have, some may require you to only start breastfeeding after it begins to wear off.
- Delayed Milk Production
Compared to a vaginal delivery, a cesarean delivery may cause your body to take longer time to start producing breast milk. To manage this, start breastfeeding as soon as possible and breastfeeding often to stimulate milk production. If you and your child need to be separated for extra care after delivery, use a breast pump to start stimulating milk production. For high quality and easy-to-use breast pumps that are highly recommended by mommies, visit MumChecked to discover a wide variety of selection!
- Breastfeeding Discomforts Due to Surgical Pain
Breastfeeding may feel uncomfortable if you are experiencing incision pain from the c-section. This will get easier as your body recovers. To breastfeed while your c-section wound heals, try the side-lying and football hold position. You can also protect your wound with a pillow when you breastfeed.
Your Diet After C-Section
When it comes to your diet plan after c section delivery, the most common doubt that most mothers have is “can i eat chicken after c section delivery?”. Well, the answer is yes! Unless you are allergic to chicken, having chicken after a c-section is completely safe. After c-section, you are encouraged to consume more whole foods to speed up your recovery, and chicken is a nutritious wholefood that is packed with protein to help with your wound recovery. Protein helps your body to repair and build stronger tissues. Not to mention, lean poultry like chicken can be consumed moderately to help reduce inflammation.
Aside from chicken, you should also consume confinement food that are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, omega 3, and iron to boost your recovery and replenish blood. Some examples of these foods include pork kidney, liver, leafy greens, broccoli, red dates, pumpkin, and salmon. These are also great food for breastfeeding mother as they improve the nutrients concentration in your breast milk to benefit your growing baby.
In conclusion, with professional guidance from your doctor and proper postpartum care, you can have a full recovery after a c-section delivery. Meanwhile, staying positive mentally would also help you to experience a smoother delivery and recovery. All the best mamas!
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