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Recovering from your caesarean

You’ll recover from your caesarean much quicker if you start planning as soon as possible.

We’ll talk about what you can do to make your recovery easier, and how we can help you leave hospital safely so you can recover in the comfort of your own home.

Before your surgery

Your midwife or doctor will give you advice about how you can get into the best physical condition for your surgery.

Before your surgery, you can:

  • Eat well: your body will need energy to recover after your surgery.
  • Exercise: evidence shows that being physically active before surgery will improve your recovery.
  • Relax: try not to worry about your operation (it’s a perfect excuse to enjoy a nice bubble bath)

Reduce the risk of complications if you smoke or drink

If you smoke or drink alcohol, you can reduce your risk of complications during surgery by cutting down or giving up. This will also speed up your recovery time.

Get help giving up smoking at nhs.uk

Diabetes and high blood pressure

If you have diabetes or high blood pressure during your pregnancy, we’ll also talk about the best options for managing your condition.

As soon as possible after your surgery

As soon as you can after your surgery, get up, get dressed, and get active.

Evidence shows that being active soon after surgery is much better for your recovery.

So after your surgery, we’ll encourage you to get up and start walking as soon as you can.

You may find activity painful at first, but we’ll offer you painkillers to help.

Weeing, pooing, and trapped wind

Your catheter

You may have a catheter inserted after surgery.

A catheter is a tube connected to your bladder that drains your wee into a bag.

We usually remove the tube after about 12 hours or when you’re up and walking around.

Your poo

You might find your poo looks different for about three days after your surgery. You can get back to normal by:

  • moving often
  • drinking lots of water
  • eating a balanced diet, including vegetables and fruit, which will also help you heal quicker.

Trapped wind

You might have trapped wind after surgery so try drinking warm water with a few drops of peppermint oil if you feel uncomfortable.

Going home after your c-section

We’ll try to get you home within 24 hours after your caesarean. You might need to stay longer if you need more care, or if you had an emergency caesarean.

We’re always here to help if you have questions. Just contact your midwife, or speak to your doctor.

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