Give Us a Call: (608) 782-7300

Health Library Explorer
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Contact Us
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Click a letter to see a list of conditions beginning with that letter.
Click 'Topic Index' to return to the index for the current topic.
Click 'Library Index' to return to the listing of all topics.

Discharge Instructions for Cesarean Section (C-Section)

You had a cesarean section, or C-section. During the C-section, your baby was delivered through an incision in your stomach and uterus. Full recovery after a C-section can take time. It’s important to take care of yourself — for your own sake and because your new baby needs you. Here are some guidelines to follow at home.

Incision care

Here's how to take care of your incision:

  • Shower as needed. Pat your incision dry.

  • Watch your incision for signs of infection, like more redness or drainage.

  • Hold a pillow against the incision when you laugh or cough and when you get up from a lying or sitting position.

  • Remember, it can take as long as 6 weeks for your incision to heal.

Activity

Here are some suggestions:

  • Don’t try to take care of anyone other than your baby and yourself.

  • Remember, the more active you are, the more likely you are to have an increase in your bleeding.

  • Get lots of rest. Take naps in the afternoon.

  • Increase your activities bit by bit.

  • Plan your activities so that you don’t have to go up or down stairs more than needed.

  • Do postsurgical deep breathing and coughing exercises. Ask your healthcare provider for instructions.

  • Don’t lift anything heavier than your baby until your healthcare provider tells you it’s OK.

  • Don’t drive until your healthcare provider says it’s OK.

  • Don’t have sexual intercourse until after you’ve had a checkup with your healthcare provider and you have decided on a birth control method.

  • Allow others to do things for you. Don't hesitate to ask for help.

Follow-up

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher

  • Redness, pain, or drainage at your incision site

  • Bleeding that requires a new sanitary pad every hour

  • Severe pain in the abdomen

  • Pain or urgency with urination

  • Foul odor from vaginal discharge

  • Trouble urinating or emptying your bladder

  • No bowel movement within 1 week after the birth of your baby

  • Swollen, red, painful area in the leg

  • Appearance of rash or hives

  • Sore, red, painful area on the breasts that may come with flu-like symptoms

  • Feelings of anxiety, panic, and/or depression

Online Medical Reviewer: Freeborn, Donna, PhD, CNM, FNP
Online Medical Reviewer: Sacks, Daniel, MD, FACOG
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2018
© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
Powered by StayWell
About StayWell | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer