Recovering from a C-Section: What Are the Untold Things to Expect?

A twin mom recently asked our community:

I will be having C-section in a few weeks. How many days did it take for you to get up after the procedure? What are the untold things that I should expect after C-section?

Here’s what the TwinStuff Community had to say:

  If your babies have to be on oxygen, you may not see them for several hours. This happened to me and it was like torture. I didn’t see my girls until my anesthesia wore off. It was about 7 hours. It really sucked.

- NR

Always keep a pillow handy. Hold it up against your incision with lots of pressure when coughing or sneezing it helps a lot. If you don’t, get ready for some serious pain. Take your pain meds and alternate with the Motrin.. don’t miss a dose. And walk walk walk.

- CH

 Walk, walk, walk. I was up walking after four hours and discharged after 24 hours. I didn’t use the pain meds, just 800 mg ibuprofen. But everyone said to walk and it helped to get all things going.

- JM

Had a c-section with my twins at 38 weeks and 1 day and I was up and walking the next day. No NICU for either of my twins. My twins were born before noon on a Friday and we all went home around lunch time on Sunday. 

- BM

Be kind to yourself. It is major surgery, more major than I thought going in. It will take you a while to fully recover. And it will hurt to get up and walk. Way more than I thought it would BUT do it anyway….it helps.

- SH

 I had twins 6 months ago and one was natural and the other was an emergency c-section and it really wasn’t bad healing process for me I only took ibuprofen once after delivery. I was up and moving about 6 hours after I begged my doctor to let me up and that first time up was when I was in pain the most. But after I got up and moved around I wasn’t nearly as sore. But it’s very slow movement at first but by the third day I didn’t hardly have any pain at all. But for sure stay on top of the stool softeners I couldn’t imagine dealing with that after surgery.

- MW

I had my twins 3 weeks ago. They had me up and walking within 8 hrs. They want you moving as much as possible to help with swelling and clotting. I felt great the first 24 hrs, then started to feel a lot of pain around the incision and lower abdomen after that. Keep on top of the pain meds they give you, they’ll help more than you realize. Also, if they give you a wrap/corset for your abdomen, use it!! It helped so much, especially when walking around the hospital to get my steps in to avoid swelling.

- AP

I was up a few hours after the epidural wore off once my legs were not numb anymore. I had one baby in the NICU so it motivated me to get up and go see her. Take the pain meds, don’t skip a dose. I tried… bad idea. I used a girdle which helped. Keep area clean and dry. I really can’t remember the pain now and was too busy to let it make me lay down. Stay hydrated get as much sleep as possible.

- HF

  I was up walking within 8 hours or so. Take the pain medication, don’t skip a dose. Your incision will hurt when you go from a laying to sitting to standing position. It helped me to put a folded towel around my incision to apply pressure when I changed positions. The hospital also provided me with a belly band which helped while I was up moving. I got the shakes really bad during surgery, I guess this is common. After surgery my face and neck itched liked crazy. Again, I was told this was common. They have me Benadryl and it stopped quickly.

- AT

 If you feel like you have to pee all the time with a catheter in, reach down and gently pull outward on it… It will stop that urge.

- JS

 They make you get up, don’t overdo things. You’ll feel it later and hate yourself for it.

- AC

 When I went home I had to sleep in our recliner for a few days. I couldn’t get up of bed without help so the recliner worked better initially.

- KS

 You should be up and walking (slowly) the next day. The worst thing for me which I didn’t expect was the trapped wind in my stomach the morning after! It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt and I couldn’t get rid of it until they stood me up!

- KM

 Get up and move around as soon as you can. Pee and use stool softeners to help you poop as soon as you can. I just had my twins 4 weeks ago via C-section. Recovery is going good. Don’t overdo it when you first get home from the hospital and stay on top of your pain meds!

- BT

 I was up within a few hours. I would recommend staying ahead of the pain with meds as I tried to go without and it was not fun. I would also recommend asking for a belly band that wraps around and Velcro’s in the front. It was great for when you coughed or had to move to keep everything tight.

- AM

 Start walking as soon as possible! I had my c section 5 weeks ago. I’m still healing but definitely feel better than before. Don’t skip a pain med. It’ll take you a couple days to get back in the routine if you skip and you’ll definitely regret it! And your binder is your best friend!! Mine got infected because I wasn’t giving it air to breathe so at night make sure you are. I asked the hospital for extra mesh underwear and wore them at night when I got home to allow air to get to it.

- KB

Go pee ASAP. seriously. ASAP. The longer you go without using the muscles after surgery the more it will hurt. Pee as soon as they take the catheter out or as soon as they will let you. also, take the stool softeners that they give you, the pain meds will make you constipated, *unless you are for whatever reason adjusted/used to taking narcotics* and being constipated with abdominal stitches is a very scary thing, I thought I was going to burst! Stay on top of your pain meds, don’t sleep through a dose. I was medded up and not painful at all, but going pee the first time was horrible, I had to be re catheterized, and it was awful (not the catheter, the trying and not being able to go)….then at home pooping was terrible. LOL the only negatives I have from the c-sec was in the bathroom! Otherwise, enjoy the ride 😀 (I was up after about 6/maybe 8 hrs to try to go pee) Best Wishes to you and your babies and family <3 <3 Twins are the best thing that will ever happen to you!

- BC

 I was up the next day walking to the NICU. I used a wheel chair as a walker to help me there and back. A c-section is hard. Make sure you keep up on your pain meds, I promise if you dont – you’ll regret it. Also be prepared for your feet to swell…alot. Keep Hydrated and take help when offered.

- AT

 I was up and on my way to the NICU 6 hours after surgery. And I never stopped after that. Having one baby in the nursery and one well baby in the room I stayed busy and didn’t have much time to thinking about the fact that I had just had surgery. Just drink lots of water and take your pain meds!  They’re offered to you for a reason!

- HD

 All of the above!!! I would only like to add if you have trouble peeing for the first time try blowing bubbles in a cup of water with a straw! I begged them to take the catheter out b.c I felt my bladder wasn’t getting emptied. I had the constant urge & was very uncomfortable. Anyhow, I tried every trick. IE: water running in the sink, heck, my nurse even turned the shower on! This tip was given to me and from them on I kept a small cup of water with a straw on my sink in the bathroom!

- BL

 Make sure you have regular decent painkillers (they only had me on paracetamol and once didn’t have any for 10 hours!) The first 12 hours you won’t be able to do very much. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with feeding, or picking them up!

- MO

 Ask for a binder if they don’t give you one will give you some added support , my lesson is if given the option to be awake or asleep stay awake I’ve done both and asleep they put a tube down throat and when you wake your throat is scratchy with phlegm and coughing is so painful after surgery.

- VA

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  • Amelia says:

    I can’t answer as to how long it took to function, as I was forced to stay in bed (preeclampsia). I was alarmed, however, how much I bled (lochia)! I assumed only vaginal births caused all that bleeding. It was like my worst period x10.

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