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Bleeding and Breastfeeding After A C-Section

6 min read

Days after delivering your baby, especially the initial ones can be extremely challenging for new mothers – especially if you have had a C-section. You need special care and consideration as maternity mortality rates are high in the postpartum period immediately following the delivery – and that is why it is extremely important to give your body time to rest and heal. Pregnancy makes your blood levels rise by about 50%, and during delivery and post that, all women lose some blood – the body is actually well prepared for the same.
C-Section incision

  • Why Does It Bleed After A C-Section?
  • Bleeding After A C-Section
  • Breast-feeding After A C-Section
  • When Will My Periods Return After A C-section?
  • Recovery After A C-Section
  • Home Remedies For Healing C-Section Incision
  • Bright Red Blood After C-Section
  • Emergency Situations After A C-Section
  • Precautions To Take After A C-Section

Why Does It Bleed After A C-Section?

Cesarean section incision is usually 4 to 6 inches long and around 1/8 inch in width. This section is used to detach the placenta from the uterus, and this leads to opening of the blood vessels in that area. These blood vessels, now that they are open, start bleeding into the uterus. After the delivery, the blood vessels will close gradually, and the uterus will contract. In the event that you had a tear, you will bleed from that as well until it is stitched. If the uterus does not contract properly, it may lead to excessive blood loss – though it is not very common.
With gradual healing the puffy, slightly raised pink scar will match in to your skin color. It even narrows down due to resolution in swelling. These scars are generally low lying and are hidden by the waistband of your underwear. Cosmetically they do not create any nuisance.

Bleeding After A C-Section

The discharge and bleeding from the vagina will last for two to six weeks. This vaginal discharge is called lochia. Initially the discharge will be bright with considerable blood, tissue and lining of the uterus. You will start bleeding quite heavily immediately after the C-section. This discharge will be heavy at first so you are sure to be bothered, but will gradually turn to pink and then yellowish white in about 10 days. Bleeding differs from person to person, from a few days to few weeks. It is quite normal. The discharge will go down a little bit every day, and you will notice that you feel better with each passing day. Bleeding after a C-section may last for up to 6 weeks, though the typical range is 3-4 weeks. Any foul smell from the discharge or fever observed during this period should be reported to your doctor immediately.

Breast-feeding After A C-Section

Breastfeeding may seem like a herculean task after just delivering a baby. But it is in the best interests of the baby and you that you do breastfeed after birthing. Placing a pillow over the incision of the C-section will lend you some comfort. Football hold and side lying positions work best for both the mother and the baby after a C-section. Read more about breastfeeding positions here

Breastfeeding will release natural oxytocin, which will help your uterus to close and thus stop bleeding. Breastfeeding will also cramp your stomach and make you lose your belly faster.
Breastfeeding newborn

When Will My Periods Return After A C-section?

Generally, your menstrual periods will return in seven to nine weeks; though it cannot be exactly said when will you have your first post-partum period. But if you are breastfeeding, it may take longer till you cease to feed. Nursing moms who are exclusively breastfeeding their babies can have their fist postpartum period about 6 months later than delivery. Moms whose babies’ take formulas as well can have the periods earlier. Some women remain free from periods for as long as an year, if they are exclusively breastfeeding. Though, every woman’s experience is different, it can be said the lesser your baby nurses, the sooner you will have your periods. Do not interpret that this gap is safe; ovulation will still happen. Do talk to your doctor about birth control options as if you do have sex without a contraceptive, you can become pregnant during this phase. Read more on contraception choices after delivery here .

Recovery After A C-Section

Post operative care is very important once you are discharged from the hospital after c-section. Painkillers and laxative or stool softeners are advised to you. They help in speedy recovery as they lessen pain and constipation, which can further exert pressure on the stitches. If you follow the confinement period practice, make the most of it by resting as much as possible. Keep all your needs like diapers and food, etc., near to you so that you do not have to move around again and again. Avoid stairs and steep inclines, and any heavy or strenuous activities.

Home Remedies For Healing C-Section Incision

Here are few easy remedies that will hasten the process of c-scar healing:

    • Drink water: Drink at least 12-14 glasses of water to avoid constipation postpartum. Keep yourself well hydrated- unless the doctor advises otherwise
    • Fresh fruits: Eat fresh fruits and vegetables to get good natural supply of vitamins and minerals. These are needed to expedite the natural process of tissue repair and healing
    • Gentle walk: After a C-section, the hospital will ask you to take small walks after 24 hours of surgery. Though this could be painful, yet this happens to be a speedy way to recovery. Walking for short intervals will help in expediting healing process and will keep the complications such as blood clots at bay

C-section scar

  • Avoid stress: Stress is of no use it makes matters worse! Do not think too much about your scar’s recovery. With proper medical advice and good after care, it will recover fast. Do not panic if you belly feels sore at times. It is common with c-section recovery
  • Beneficial broth: A broth containing proline, gelatin and glycerine is helpful in producing collagen which is required for quick skin healing. Besides speedy recovery, broth also aid in easing constipation and digestive discomfort that is quite common with cesarean section
  • Binding: It is seen that light compression and pressure can reduce pain and provides good support to the scar. It is also helpful in helping the uterus in reverting back to its pre-pregnant state. Use a good binder and wear it over your scar. This hastens the repair process and gives you good support while doing day-to-day activities
  • Scar massage: In order to prevent formation adhesion, scar massage is just ideal. After the scab has gone you can do gentle massage on your c-scar. This will increase blood circulation and will also soften the scar area. Soon the numbness in the region will decrease
  • Water and Magnesium: Some women experience constipation after surgery and this is really painful after c-section. The bloated abdomen makes the scar painful. An effective home remedy to avoid this is to add a pinch of magnesium in a glass of water and drink at least four to five times a day. Magnesium aids in softening stools and relives constipation
  • Sleep: Never underestimate the usefulness of sleep. Sleep rejuvenates you exasperated self and makes you fit and active. The significance of sleep increases all the more after surgery or childbirth. Your body requires time to heal and regain its vitality, and what better than sound sleep!Make sure you rest for at least 2-3 hours during the day and 7-8 hours in the night. Try to rest when your baby sleeps. The tissue regeneration and recovery is fast during sleep

Bright Red Blood After C-Section

You will bleed after delivery for approximately two to six weeks. You will bleed more as you breast feed more, or your activity levels go up. If you notice bright, red bleeding and bright red blood clots on the toilet, you need to take rest right away. If it is paining as well, you must reach your doctor. If it is not paining, it might just be a sign that you are working too much or are on your feet more than you should be. Monitor your bleeding, and if it does not come down after you take rest for a few hours, call your doctor.

Emergency Situations After A C-Section

If you experience any of the following symptoms, consult your doctor without delay:

  • Redness, swelling, warmth or any discharge from the incision
  • Pain and itching around the incision
  • Fever with chills
  • Foul smelling vaginal discharge
  • Pain or burning while passing urine
  • Increased urge for passing urine
  • Blood in urine
  • Postpartum depression and anxiety
  • Excessive pain or swelling in legs

Classic C-section

Precautions To Take After A C-Section

You are a new mother and you should understand and follow your limitations after going through a major surgery. Do not be in a haste to “feel fit” and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be alert for any pain, fever, or any other sign of discomfort, however minor it may seem to you.

  • Do not lift anything heavier than your little baby
  • Gradually build your stamina.
  • Do not drive for another 6-8 weeks
  • Get your regular monthly checkups form the healthcare provider

With proper care you can minimize the complications associated with c-scar.

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Jul 12, 2015

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Jul 12, 2015

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