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Honest opinions on recovery time after a c section

Hi ladies,

I'm still feeling really confused about what I should and shouldn't be doing.

The medics seem to be saying not much for 6 weeks but then the midwife and GP seem to think this is extreme and I'll go mental if I don't get out more with the buggy etc or start driving.

My husband too I think is expecting me to do more and more as he's back to work and I'm now 4 weeks post op.

Friends range from telling me they were driving at 2 weeks post op (but her baby was in scbu and whilst terribly traumatic I know it meant physically she didn't have the exhaustion of a newborn at home or the length of labour we had) and the others telling me she is still not right after 18 months. This friend said she couldn't lift for 4 months post op!

I know everyone is different but what has been your experience? At around 4 weeks what were you able to do and what did you think was too much?

At 4 weeks my scar still stings quite a bit when I walk, I find it tiring to hold good posture, I'm tired from baby of course and I tire very easily when walking. Generally 10-20 minutes is the limit. I also still have a collection of fluid behind part of my scar and a small hole in it which is oozing but we're not sure if this is still infection or just serous fluid - waiting on swabs to confirm and see if we need more anti-biotics.

Do I really need to still be avoiding pushing the buggy, lifting baby at weird angles and getting off the sofa? I find this very painful as our sofas are so low. :lol:


  • Hi Tulip,

    It sounds like the pain that you are feeling is due to your infection rather than just the csec.

    I was out walking everyday with the buggy at 4 weeks and I did dusting at 5.

    I was 6 weeks on Saturday and am going to try to do some ironing, vacuuming and driving this week. My scar is still sore and I have weird pains in and around the area but generally the scar has healed well with the infected area taking a bit longer.

    The physio at the hospital told me I could drive etc at 6 weeks and the driving rule is down to whether you are insured or not aswell as physically. She also said that you should not do high impact exercise for 3 months e.g. zumba, gym workouts but can do lighter exercise swimming, yoga after 6 weeks.

    You know your body and if you don't feel ready don't do it. I have wanted to do more but didn't want to risk damage that cannot be repaired.


    SB x
  • Hiya. I am just over 3 weeks since my c-section. The first 8 days i was stuck in hosp so didn't really do anything which i think kick-started my recovery better than if i'd been home and doing stairs etc straight away. Took him out in the pram for the first time at 10 days and have done a bit of walking since then. Furthest i've been is about a 20 min walk into town, but then we walked around the shops so prob a bit more than that, and i did suffer a bit of tummy ache after.

    The past few days have been catching up with me though as my tummy has been aching quite a bit, i think a big reason is because Ryan often will only fall asleep in someone's arms, and he's so wriggly i am getting kicked a bit. Also with the breastfeeding he won't always go on rugby style so have to hold him across me, and he's a heavy boy!

    My midwife told me i could try driving at 4 weeks if i wanted, but the best thing is to sit in the car and pretend to do an emergency stop to see if i could do it comfortably. Rang insurance and they don't care as long as i'm not going against doctors orders. MW also said to start with swimming once my bleeding stops. I want to get back playing netball really but she says that's prob a bit much at first.

  • Hi! I spent the first two weeks in bed, I completely rested and by the start of week three I was pretty much back to normal. I remember tentatively pushing the pram, lifting car seat into car etc and expecting pain but I never did. I drove after 4 weeks and I had an automatic at the time which made it easier. I was still careful not to over do it, and I let my Mum and MIL do everything in the house and I am certain thats what aided my recovery.

    I think that it sounds like your discomfort is due to the infection than the actual op. But in answer to your question by 4 weeks I was driving, lifting baby and doing light housework and shopping. I don't recall any pain.

    I really hope that things improve quickly for you, please try to take it easy as this is what will speed the process up for you. I'm certain of it. x
  • Thanks ladies.

    We have no support around us as our families live 2 hours away in opposite directions and our friends generally all work and live 20-30 minutes away. So we've not had any help with the chores.

    From week 1 I've been doing washing, cooking, tidying and lifting baby lots to change him. Its sillythough as I still struggle to get myself out of the sofa as its so low and have to put him next to me, get myself up and then bend to pick him up.

    In hospital I didn't get that I could ask for help and I was doing everything for him - whilst still numb I was bending and twisting to lift him from the crib and once out of bed I was rushing in and out of bed lifting him when he cried and trying to walk around rocking him; even though I felt like my legs would give way any minute. Stupid really but I just figured that if they'd left me it must mean I was up to it and normal to not have help after the c section.

    I'll try to do less or at least pace it out and make sure I rest more. x
  • Tulip,

    Do you have a sling for baba? I have used mine today as Oliver has been cranky but it has been great for carrying him with my hands free. Just make sure your back is up to it as I know Connor is now a chunky 11lb! It may help and Oliver enjoyed it as it sways him like when he was in the womb.

    It may help

    SB x
  • Ahh TulipRose, you have defiantly been doing far too much. I understand now that your family are not an option but have you heard of Surestart? A good friend of mine recommended them to me, they have volunteers that can come and help you. It is completely free and could be what you need. I have not used them as yet, but may need to when baby 2 comes along, especially as I am planning another section. You can self refer to them. Not sure what the site it but if you google Surestart I'm sure you will find it.

    As for when your in hospital, they wont offer to help! I was so tired on the 2nd night I buzzed through and asked them to take Holly for a few hours and they did-in fact they were more than happy too but I think you have to ask rather than them offer. xx
  • Thanks Holly. I never knew about that service even though we're registered with surestart.

    I think I'm getting over most of it now and feel I've turned a corner in just the last 48 hours but I'm still listening to the advice and trying not to push it.

    I did go a bit grey again last night but I think this was from dehydration and tiredness as Connor was having a growth spurt and feeding all day.

    Luckily the wound is starting to sting less and the problem areas are doing better - nowhere near as healed as the rest but at least it looks like they're closing and looking less swollen.
  • Glad to hear you are starting to pick up. Lets hope you have turned a corner xx
  • How you doing now? The organisation which has volunteers is called Homestart I know, as I trained with them. You get recommended usually by a 3rd party such as Surestart centre, Health Visitor or maybe Social worker (if u have one). It is a service which gives families with young children (who are struggling, for various reasons) a cpl of hours per wk of help via a volunteer depending on their needs. Ie. some ppl need extra pair of hands to help them physically or just being someone who is there to be a soundboard for the parents. They also signpost parents to different areas of assistance and I used to help someone with trying to manage money and bills.

    I have 2 children and am preg with my 3rd, my last birth was a c-sec and I think it took me about 8wks to recover fully physically, much quicker than vaginal birth. You have to try n be sensible with lifting etc because you don't want to do yourself any damage but obviously some families aren't in a position to be able to pass housework n other physical tasks onto family/friends due to location. Nobody knows your body better than you, you will feel sore for quite a while but what you're describing sounds like an infection with the collection of fluid. It should have scabbed over by now and be enroute to healing. I remember on one corner of my cut it got bit yellow and when I wiped it the cut looked wider, think I might have had a bit of infection myself. The scar looks bit wider now. You can push the buggy etc. Some partners only have 2 wks paternity leave so by 4wks you should start some light things. My husband seemed to think within about a month I should be back to my physical and mental best... makes me want to release a dirty laugh and shout 'oh please' no wonder women were the sex chosen for childbirth... men think they're dying when they've got a cold'
  • Hi,


    I'm doing much better section wise now. I had 2 lots of antibiotics for an infection and once I kicked the infection I felt heaps better!

    So with hindsight (a wonderful thing!) I would have done less to begin with but I think the majority of the issue has been the infection. I was so very exhausted from a difficult labour and being ill for a few weeks before that my body just couldn't fight anything off.

    I'm still very prone to colds and infections and have since had 3 colds, mastitis (more antibiotics) and thrush.

    If we go for ecs next time I will learn from this!!! image
  • I'm 4 weeks on and still on antibiotics for a water infection I've had since day 1. Don't really struggle getting about and am pretty much doing everything I usually do but do get tired and sore. I know I've over done it since the day I got home from hosp but haven't had much choice since oh went bk work and I need to get dd to school and back. Still very swollen above my scar. I was expecting a flap of fat to hang over it but it's not even fat it's rock solid like my uterus hasn't shrunk yet n I'm still bleeding a fair amount x

  • Hi,

    i just had a planned section 4 weeks ago. I spent the first 5 days in hospital. The first day after the section was extremely uncomfortable but each day it got easier. I think by day 10 I noticed a huge difference in the way I moved and in my energy levels. I did get a lot of pain down my left hand side but realised it was due to constipation and was advised to take magnesium which made a huge difference. Magnesium also helps by providing an anti inflammatory effect. 

    As I mentioned I am now 4 weeks post and am running chasing my 3 year old while pushing the buggy. Going for long walks, doing shopping, cleaning the house etc back to normal. I would never of thought I would be just after 4 weeks. 

    l hope that helps. 

  • Hi my baby is also in scbu i am 2   1/2 weeks post op. And desprate to drive as having to rely on my mum. We are also 45 mins away from the hospital and having to go up everyday to see him. When is best to drive as i feel fine  a little sore still but only on the scar. Will it be safe to try and drive on the 3rd week??

  • Hi JB2016

    If you want to drive before 6 weeks post op, you'll need to make sure you can comfortably do an emergency stop, and also call your insurance company to make sure they're happy to insure you before the 6 weeks. It's not normally an issue, but if you don't check and needed to claim (if you had an accident for example) you'd probably find they wouldn't pay out (I used to work in insurance!!) 

    After my section in May this year I felt ok to drive after 4 weeks after my infection has cleared.

  • Thank you sooo much this helps alot xx

  • hi iv had 4 sections and they are painful don't get me wrong but I was a lot better after a week and driving after 2 the first few days your body tells u what its happy with keep your painkillers going and just rest with your baby  any questions just ask hun

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