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C-section, iif you had one please tell me the truth!!

I need some advice from those who have had a c-section....

do you really need help for 6 weeks after?
did you manage without support?
does it really hurt after?
how long did it take to heal?

The reason I am asking is that it has been mentioned to me today and a friend has said it will hurt so much after and I wont be able to cope on my own. My hubby will be there for 3 weeks so wont that be enough? I dont have family near me and I dont want to rely on MIL (will just stress me out). Please be honest as I need to seriously consider what to do.


  • well, I was walking as soon as my spinal wore off (4 hours). I was also picking up my son (over 9lb) and went bowling 8 days afterwards. I felt 100% normal, in fact the only thing that I couldn't do was sit up from lying down cos it felt like I'd rip my stitches (though think it was more psychological) so I had to roll over and shuffle off the bed to get to Gabe in the night haha. But it was all do-able and I recovered so well everyone was shocked. At my hospital they prescribe all women who've had a section super strength co-codamol & anti-inflammatories - so I wasn't in pain at all, it was miracle working!!! I did notice the pain if I forgot to take them but it was nothing major just achy.
  • also healing now that depends....It took me quite a while before I felt brave enough to shave my bikini line again cos I was so frightened of ripping the scar open again.
    TBH the worst thing IMO about a c-section is the stupid catheter, mine really annoyed me especially as I was walking round, I had to cart it everywhere and it was near impossibe to wear pants (tmi!) so most of the time I lay in bed in a nightie with those maternity mats under me! Nice :lol:
  • How long do you wear the catheter for????
  • hi, i was also walking as soon as my epidural wore off, i wont lie it was painful but i had to walk like an old lady for a while.I am glad i had my hubby around for the two weeks which was a help but think after a week i could have coped on my own, the only thing i did do because i felt so good two weeks after i over did things and slightly split my scar which took ages to heel but didnt hurt just itched alot!
    so for me my scar took about 2 months just over to heel, as tiger lilly said i think the worst part was sitting up from lying down and gettin out of bed that for me was the most painful thing for a week or so because the scar was heeling it was tightening up and almost felt like it was burning!hope i helped abit!xx
  • 24 hours and I hated every second of it lol!!!
  • It is major abdominal surgery though and as was pointed out to my friend on Weds by her mw if she'd had a hysterectomy (which a section is on a similar level too) she'd be laid up in bed for 6 wks!!

    In the last 4 months I've seen 3 friends have a section and only 1 looked 'normal' afterwards, hers was planned with no labour involved at all.

    I'm sure your friend is not intentionally scaring you, just being honest.... you will need help afterwards - housework and getting up/down stairs are what my friend is struggling with the most. She has said she feels better now her stitches have been removed

    Good luck and ((( hugs ))) it'll be a breeze ;\) xxxx
  • Hi,

    This is my first post here in Baby because I had my daughter my emergency section on Tuesday evening after 12 hours of labour.

    She is now three days old and I have been allowed to come home today. I won't lie to you, it is a little bit sore around the area, but as some of the girls have said, the catheter is almost more of a problem than the other stuff!

    I have bought a c-section belt from Mothercare which is very supportive and has warm and cold things to put in the pockets which ease the pain somewhat. I've read loads of stuff which says that as long as you keep up your pain relief, it is not too awful, so I'm trying that too, plus arnica tablets help tp bring the bruising out quicker..

    Hope this helps, don't worry too much - sometimes (like in my case) there is no other way for the baby to arrive and you just won't care when that's the case!!

    C xx
  • Thanks ladies!! I am now scouring sites for info on them and other feedback. Any more info will be appreciated.....

    Congratulations on the birth of your little girl x
  • Hello,

    Yes, it is painful, but in my experience it is quite manageable, esp. with painkillers.
    I was up and about pretty quickly, but in a ward of four, the others did take a few days. I would say that getting mobile as soon as possible is a good thing, so as soon as they encourage you in hospital after the op then go for it, although it may be sore initially.

    The things I found hard were coughing (was told to firmly press a rolled up towel on the area, which helped) and I was also not confident walking up and down the stairs with the baby for a couple of weeks.

    The thing is, even if you are up and around early and feeling fine, it is major surgery and you are supposed to be very careful because you can easily damage the area and end up back where you started. I was in hospital for a while after the op (not due to probs after the section) and so I spoke with a few doctors afterwards and every single one of them said regardless of how you feel, that I shouldn't lift anything heavier than my baby for 6 weeks, as SO many people ended up back in hospital after over doing it. There's multiple layers inside which have been cut, and even though the outside may look fine it takes 6 weeks for everything to heal.


  • I had one just ofer a year ago and it was an emergency one. It was difficult to lie down and stand up for the first few days and you can't quite stand up straight, its a bit strange. By the time I left hospital on day 4 i was feeling a lot better. By day 6 I was taking my first trip into town and it maybe took 2 weeks for me to get into bed without thinking about it. The thing that takes the longest I think is for it to not hurt when you sneeze or cough. That was maybe 3 weeks. By the time my hubby was back to work after 3 weeks I was up ad about the same as before i was pregnant with no problems so you should be fine too. An emergency section is supposed to take longer to recover from too so some people with planned ones have said its no bother at all!!!

    Good luck!
  • Hun try not to worry. I had a planned section 5 weeks ago & worried about all the things you mentioned. I had my hubby for 3 weeks after just like you & I managed fine after he went back to work. I have a 3 year old & a 15 month old as well & really worried about how I would cope with them once he went back coz my 15 month old in particular still needs lifting. I wont lie, I was really sore for a few days afterwards but after that the pain lessened & became more manageable. I had no problem lifting my 15 month old 2 weeks after the section & actually found I was forgetting myself & had her lifted before I realised I shouldnt be. My GP also signed me off to drive after 2 weeks & my insurance company were happy with that too which was a huge relief to me. 5 weeks on the scar area is still a bit tender but it has healed really well. Like tiger lilly said immediately after the section the only thing I found difficult was sitting up from lying down. I was up & about the next day, albeit very cautiously.

    Good Luck xx
  • Hi,
    We had an emergency section 8 months ago and it was tricky for the first week maybe. Laughing was a total nightmare-had to hold me wound and then it didn't hurt too much!
    Going to the loo for the first time after the catheter was out (that was yucky staying in bed with maternity pads to get all the blood-sorry tmi but wish I'd know in advance!) was sooooooo painful but after that wasn't too bad!
    Also, getting up quickly from a lying down position was very painful and I was probably over cautious! Best to roll onto your side and then get up-if that makes sense. You'll get info on how to manage.
    Promise you'll be fine and I was sooooo proud of myself when I managed have a shower on me own for the first time the day after Alf was born-I felt like I'd run a marathon!
    Good luck and look forward to hearing all about your lo over here in Baby,
    Bekkie x
  • JJ was born at 1.52pm and by 7pm i was sat out in the chair for visitors to come (i did have a catheter in but it's put in before they start the section so u dont feel it cuz of the spinal and mine was taken out before i went to sleep that night and hardly felt it)...i never had any pain at all, the only way i can describe what i felt was "pulling" from the stitches but it wasn't painful, just a bit uncomfortable at times! I didn't need help when i got home from hospital but i had OH there for the first week so i could rest when i needed to, but after that i was on my own, had my mum there whenever the HV was due round tho :lol: I healed very quickly even tho my scar got infected (didn't hurt, was just itchy and smelly), there's a post in the csection forum with a pic of my scar at 4 months, now it's just a very pale line at 6 months.

    what ur friend said may be true for a few people but in most cases (like mine) its a very positive experience and i'd never worry if i had to have another one! x
  • Hey hun,

    BE ate my bloody reply grrrr!!

    Anyway, I found it a good experience (em c-section) but to be honest I did take a long time to recover from it and felt sore for weeks. I was very lucky as my hubby gets 6weeks off with me having a c section so he was there to do everything that was hard work and I did the rest. He was wonderfull dont know how the hell I would have coped. We live in Germany so no family around to help us so hubby was very much in need!!

    I took it easy and didnt go out walking for hours on end (just short journeys or get hubby to drive to the river then have a walk)

    My scar is practically not there, its very low too. Itchs still now though but I havent got any numbness anymore.

    I think I might opt for an elective next time so couldnt of been bad!!

    Good luck xx
  • Hia I had a section 17 mths ago and it is sore but like the other ladies said its the getting in and out of bed or up and down out of chairs thats the worst part. My husband took 2 wks off but 4 days of that I was in hospital so only really had him a week. By the time he went back to work I was capable of doing everything myself but was still very sore, which lasted about amonth but its bearable. My mum died a few years ago so I had no help at all and I managed just fine just remember to ask your hubbie to do any lifting that needs doing before he goes to work e.g bringing the Moses basket downstairs for you.
    Don't worry so much you'll be just fine xxx
  • oh i forgot to mention that i had JJ on the Wednesday, home on the Friday and out for a walk on the Sunday lol! x
  • Hi i had an emergency section with an epidural. I had cameron at 8.45pm and had the catheter in till morning. i could walk that day (all be it very slowly) and my legs and feet were very swollen for a few days after (due to being imobillised) i was very sore walking from hospital to the car and for a few days at home i got very breathless walking or climbing the stais. it was hard to get up or lean over for a few days but i healed quite well and was driving after 2 1/2 weeks (rang insurance and they said they would cover me providing i felt i was fit to drive)

    my oh also had 3 weeks and that was plenty. i felt fine when he went back to work i struggled a bit to get the pram in the car and things like that but i would call on a neighbour to help if i couldnt manage!

    im sure you will be ok by 3 weeks after, still take care and leave some things for oh to do when he gets home but you'll be fine im sure
  • Hi

    I won't go into detail as my section was quite different to a normal or even an emergency one due to complications etc..

    I was up on my feet about 10 hours after section. I had a shower. It felt fine tho I was bent like an old I was sore once the pethidine or prescribed tablets wore off but, when they were working i was OK. I would not have attempted going out or bowling etc... my god!!! brave woman!!! Everyone is different and I think its best to think positive BUT dont feel like you are unusual if you are not out washing the windows on your first day out of hospital. Like someone is MAJOR surgery and you are advised to take it very easy for the first 2 weeks. this is more to do with getting back the blood you lost, not getting run down and picking up an infection which could put your recovery wayyyy back and not doing too much so that you pull or tear your stitches.

    Your OH been off for 3 weeks will be plenty of time for you to recover so please dont worry. I drove after about 4 weeks but found stretching to look over shoulder a bit hard.

    Go into it with an open mind and fingers crossed you recvery really quickly. I think the younger and fitter you are really helps!

    Best of luck and dont let other stories scare you. You are unique as is your baby and your experience will be like no one elses..

    d xxx
  • Hi
    One thing I would recommend is get big knickers for after your c-section! I tried putting back on my normal ones & they rubbed painfully against the scar.
    I found I recovered quicker than everyone told me I would. A case of having to really as our twins were pretty poorly when they born & went to different hospitals. 2 days after the birth I was up and walking & commuting between hospitals. I would say take it easy though, even if you feel you're ok sometimes you can over do it & it does then hurt afterwards. Take all the help you can in the first days.
    The main thing I found painful was getting out of bed (I think someone else said that as well). I couldn't sit straight up & had to roll out onto the floor into a crouch. Very elegant!
    Also I took painkillers (morphine I think?) straight afterwards, but they just made me throw up - so I gave up on that & decided to live with the pain (which wasn't actually that bad).
  • Hi

    I had an emergency setion at 9.50 pm on the Tuesday, was up & about walking the next morning. Out of the hospital on Friday lunch time and was in town pushing my pram on the Saturday morning. the only time I was in pain was the first time I sneezed. I didnt have any catheter problems either. But you do need to remember that you have had a major operation as well as a baby, and you do need to give your self time to recover. My mum cleaned for me for a few days (certainly not 6 weeks) and helped with the laundry etc. I could have done it myself if needs be though, but I was glad of the help. I didnt hoover for a couple of weeks (our hoover is really heavy) and I didnt drive for 6 weeks, but only because my insurance didnt cover you for this amount of time after a section and I didnt want to drive without with the baby in the car. Im sure you will be fine xx
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