If you are reading this article, it is likely because you have a scheduled C-section or you have already had a cesarean section. You have probably already received welcomed and unwelcomed advice from others about what to expect. I’m guessing now you are worried about coughing after c section. Don’t worry - it will hurt, but it will pass.
While some women feel discouraged because of having their baby via c section, you shouldn’t be. Your baby is arriving into the world in the way your doctor sees fit – you get to mother your baby just the way you choose from here on out. But, as you are preparing for the big day, here’s some basics you should know.
What is a Cesarean Section?
A cesarean section, commonly referred to as a C-section, is a procedure where a baby is delivered through an incision in the abdomen rather than through the vaginal delivery. There are various reasons why a baby is delivered via C-section including breech babies or other pregnancy/delivery complications.
According to American Pregnancy, “In November of 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the national cesarean birth rate was the highest ever at 29.1%, which is over a quarter of all deliveries. This means that more than 1 in 4 women are likely to experience a cesarean delivery.”
What are the Possible Complications?
Even though 1 in 4 women deliver via C-section, there are still possible complications you should be aware of. There are risks of infection, blood loss, hemorrhaging, injury, and scar tissue issues. Additionally, there are risks of death as there are with most other surgical procedure and anesthesia.
Typically, the complications are more related to the amount of recovery time is takes as compared to a vaginal birth. Mothers who have C-sections generally have longer hospital stays and take longer to recover.
What You Should Expect After a C-Section
As we mentioned, you should expect to have a longer recovery and a longer hospital stay. However, there are other things you should expect as well. For instance, you will be in pain and feel sore for several days following a C-section. The first time you walk will be challenging and painful, but it is necessary for the healing process.
You will have to take it easy when you go home such as avoiding any strenuous activity – not simply because you are told not to do these things, but because too much exertion can cause serious issues. Additionally, some moms do not realize that they will experience vaginal bleeding following a C-section, but you will have to pass the lochia over the next few weeks.
Why You Want to Avoid Coughing
Simply put, you want to avoid coughing and even laughing because you use your abdomen muscles to do each. Therefore, the pressure or strain on your abdomen after it has been through serious surgery is very painful.
While there will be times you cannot avoiding coughing or laughing, you should be prepared at all times with a small pillow to cushion the “blow” to your incision when it occurs.
Other Things You Must Avoid After a C-Section
In addition to avoiding coughing and laughing, there are other things you should avoid you while you recover from your C-section. For instance, you will be told to avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby for a few weeks. You should also avoid exercising, bending over, and sexual intercourse.
Unfortunately, due to the recovery, you will not be able to drive for a little while and you will need to take off more time from work than a vaginal delivery. It can be tempted to overdo it in hopes of recovering sooner. But, do not push yourself too hard. This will not make you heal faster – it will quite possibly slow you down.
Tips for Cesarean Section Recovery
Moms should take care of themselves during this recovery period. Ask friends and family for help and accept help when it is offered. You should also wear comfortable clothing after your C-section. Go ahead and purchase take some stool softeners so going to the bathroom will not be so scary (or painful).
Take care of your incision according to your doctor’s instructions. And, again, take care of yourself. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy food, and get lots of rest. You cannot take care of your baby if you are not taking care of yourself.
To Wrap Up
A healthy cesarean birth is a wonderful thing, but it does create some issues that do not occur with vaginal delivery. You will be uncomfortable and unable to lift heavy objects (or drive) for a while. But, ultimately, your baby has arrived and is in your arms. Snuggle your little one close, rest, and allow your family members to help you as you heal. And, don’t forget the pillow!