Caesarean section prevents the baby being born by a normal vaginal birth. This procedure is followed only in a case if there are or could be serious problems that may have health effects on the mother and/or child. Caesarean section is a safe operation however, there may be some possible complications which can be health hazardous to both mother and child/ren. The complications include infection, damage to your internal organs, an increased risk of respiratory distress for the baby and complications with future pregnancies.
In a candid conversation with OnlyMyHealth, Dr. Padmapriya Vivek, Head of Department - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai throws some more light on the subject and elucidates on how you can take care of yourself and loved ones with the same concerns.
Risks & Complications Of Caesarean Section
Caesarean section is a major surgery however safe it may be. Some women develop serious problems after the operation like any other surgery. A few of the most common risks and complications include:
- Above-average blood loss
- Blood clots in the legs
- Infection in the lining of the uterus
- Excessive pain around the wound
- Problems with future attempts at vaginal birth
- Complications from the anaesthetic
- Leaking urine and constipation
Henceforth, it is extremely important to take good and adequate care of a woman both mentally and physically after she underwent a c-section operation.
Recovery after Caesarean Section- What To Do & Expect
Pregnancy and delivery result in major changes in your body. Understanding and anticipating these changes and the associated risks can help women have an uneventful and easeful recovery period after a caesarean section.
On what care a mother must take post a caesarean delivery, Dr. Padmapriya Vivek says, "One can expect an average period of 2-4 days of hospital stay after the operation. While in the hospital, you will be administered painkillers for the abdominal discomfort and encouraged to have close contact with the baby and breastfeed the baby on demand. A catheter will be placed in your bladder for 12 hours after your surgery to monitor your urine output and which it will be removed. Your wound will be covered in dressing for the first 24 hours after the delivery. Once you and the baby are well enough, you will be discharged."
Apart from the above take-away points, here are some other important things mentioned by the expert for proper care after a caesarean operation:
1) Keep The Wound Area Clean: At home, it is essential to look after your wound. Gently clean and dry your wound every day. Wear loose comfortable clothes. Painkillers can be taken for discomfort. One must watch out for the signs of infection such as presence of discharge, redness, swelling and increase in intensity of pain at the site of wound. The stitches will be removed by your doctors after 5-7 days.
2) Watch Out For Heavy Bleeding: Some may have vaginal bleeding in the recovery period. In case of that, use a sanitary period napkin instead of tampons or menstrual cups to reduce the risk of spreading infection into the vagina. If bleeding from the vagina is heavy, please visit your doctor.
3) Active Lifestyle Is a Must: Try to be active and start doing gentle activities in your recovery period such as taking walks and doing household chores. This prevents formation of blood clots in your legs. You may experience discomfort and inability to perform certain activities such as driving and exercising but this will not last beyond 6 weeks.
4) Visit Doctor In Severe Mood Changes: Mood changes are common in the postpartum recovery period. If you experience constant low mood, severe mood swings, loss of appetite and loss of joy, visit your doctor as you might be experiencing postpartum depression.
5) Routine Doctor Visits: Routine visits to your doctor and adhering to the prescribed supplements decreases the occurrence of risk in the recovery period. Contact your doctor right away if you experience severe pain, pain on passing urine, shortness of breath or swelling or pain in your lower leg.
Finally, focus on good nutrition. Good nutrition is just as important in the months after you deliver as it was while you were pregnant. A healthy body is home for a healthy mind.
(Inputs from Dr. Padmapriya Vivek, Head of Department - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai)
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