Your Postpartum Body
What's happening the first six weeks after the last nine months
A Cesarean section is major abdominal surgery, so the recovery period is often longer than for someone who delivered vaginally. After the anesthesia wears off, the area around the incision site may feel quite sore. Pain relief medications in the first few days can help alleviate the discomfort. Some women may find they need to take over-the-counter pain relievers for a few weeks afterwards; it all depends on your individual pain threshold.
Dr. Gila Leiter, an OB-GYN in New York City, says it takes about two weeks for the incision to close and heal on a superficial level, and six to eight weeks for the area to heal on a cellular level. While she gives her C-section patients the green light to exercise at six weeks postpartum, “I always ask [them] to wait an extra few weeks to do sit-ups because the muscles have to heal as well,” says Leiter.
Cesarean patients are often plagued by intense gas pains for the first few days, as the digestive system starts to get back on track.
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