Written by Pradeep
The days after delivering your baby, especially the initial days can be extremely challenging for new mothers – especially if you have had a C-section. Bleeding and breastfeeding after the C section can be very hard for new mothers. Knowing what is happening inside the body after the C section, and various home remedies to alleviate the discomforts will help her to an extent.
You need special care and consideration as maternity mortality rates are high in the postpartum period immediately following the delivery. That is why it is imperative to give your body time to rest and heal. Pregnancy makes your blood levels rise by about 50%. During and post-delivery, all women lose some blood – the body is well prepared for the same.
A cesarean section incision is usually 4 to 6 inches long and around 1/8 inch in width. The incision is used to detach the placenta from the uterus. This process leads to the opening of the blood vessels in that area. The 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. If you have 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, puffier, the slightly raised pink scar will merge into your skin color. With the healing of the sutures, the swelling comes down as well. The resultant scars are generally low-lying and are hidden by the waistband of your underwear. Cosmetically, they do not create any problems.
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 and contains blood, tissue, and the lining of the uterus. You will start bleeding quite heavily immediately after the C-section.
This discharge will be heavy at first and may cause concern, but will gradually turn to pink and then yellowish-white in about ten days. Bleeding differs from person to person and can last from a few days to a few weeks. This 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.
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 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.
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.
It may be difficult to predict when you will have your first postpartum period. Generally, your menstrual periods will return in seven to nine weeks. 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 first postpartum period about six months post-delivery.
Moms whose babies take the formula as well can have their periods earlier. Some women remain free from periods for as long as a year if they are exclusively breastfeeding. Every woman’s experience is different. The lesser your baby nurses, the sooner you will have your periods.
A word of caution, though. Do not interpret that this gap is safe; ovulation will still happen. If you do have sex without a contraceptive, you can become pregnant during this phase. Do talk to your doctor about birth control options.
Post-operative care is vital once you are discharged from the hospital after a c-section. Your doctor may prescribe painkillers and laxatives or stool softeners. These medications help with quick recovery as they lessen pain and constipation. Continued bloating and constipation can cause pressure on your stitches, leading to further pain.
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., handy, so you don’t need to move around much. Avoid stairs and steep inclines and any heavy or strenuous activities.
Here are few easy remedies that will hasten the process of c-scar healing:
Drink at least 12-14 glasses of water to avoid constipation postpartum. Keep yourself well hydrated- unless the doctor advises otherwise.
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables helps in getting a good natural supply of vitamins and minerals. These nutrients help in expediting the natural process of tissue repair and healing.
After a C-section, the hospital will ask you to take short walks over 24 hours of surgery. Though painful, this happens to be a speedy way to recover. Walking for short intervals will help quicken the healing process and keep complications such as blood clots at bay.
Stress is of no use; it makes matters worse! Do not worry about your scar recovery. With proper medical advice and good aftercare, you will recover fast. Do not panic if your belly feels sore at times. Soreness is common during C-section recovery.
A broth containing proline, gelatin, and glycerine is helpful in producing collagen, which helps in quick skin healing. This broth also aids in easing constipation and digestive discomfort that is quite common with a cesarean section.
Light compression and pressure can reduce pain and provide good support for the scar. It is also helpful in helping the uterus in reverting to its pre-pregnant state. Use a suitable binder and wear it over your scar. This hastens the repair process and gives you good support while doing day-to-day activities.
To prevent the formation of post-C section adhesions, scar massage is ideal. After the scab disappears, you can do a gentle massage on your c-scar. This process will increase blood circulation and will also soften the scar area. Soon the numbness in the region will decrease.
Some women experience constipation after surgery, and this can be a painful experience. The bloated abdomen can increase the pain levels. 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 relieves constipation.
Never underestimate the usefulness of sleep. Sleep rejuvenates your 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 at night. Try to rest when your baby sleeps. The tissue regeneration and recovery are faster during sleep.
You will bleed after delivery for approximately two to six weeks. You will bleed more as you breastfeed 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 painful as well, you must reach your doctor. And if it is not painful, 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 a rest for a few hours, call your doctor.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, consult your doctor without delay:
You are a new mother and should understand and follow your limitations after going through such a major surgery. Do not be in haste to “feel fit”, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be cautious of any pain, fever, or any other sign of discomfort, however minor it may seem to you.
With proper care, you can minimize the complications associated with C-scar.
It depends on each body. Some people may bleed for just 2-4 weeks. Some women might bleed till 8 weeks too.
Breastfeeding can help shrink the uterus. This can speed up the lochia discharge. This can reduce bleeding.
No, it does not. It is the discharge of lochia. This is completely different from regular periods.
Drink a lot of fluids. Maintain an active lifestyle and go for small walks. Avoid bending or lifting weights for a few weeks.
Jul 12, 2015
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Jul 12, 2015
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