In the hospital
In the recovery room, nurses will watch your blood pressure, breathing, pulse, bleeding, and the firmness of your uterus.
Usually, you can be with your baby while you are in the recovery area. In some cases, babies born by Cesarean will first need to be monitored in the nursery for a short time. Breastfeeding can start in the recovery area, just as with a vaginal delivery.
After an hour or 2 in the recovery area, you will be moved to your room for the rest of your hospital stay.
As the anesthesia wears off, you may get pain medicine as needed. This can be either from the nurse or through a device connected to your IV (intravenous) line called a PCA (patient controlled analgesia) pump. In some cases, pain medicine may be given through the epidural catheter until it is removed.
You may have gas pains as the intestinal tract starts working again after surgery. You will be encouraged to get out of bed. Moving around and walking helps ease gas pains. Your healthcare provider may also give you medicine for this. You may feel some uterine contractions called after-pains for a few days. The uterus continues to contract and get smaller over several weeks.
The urinary catheter is usually removed the day after surgery.
You may be given liquids to drink a few hours after surgery. You can gradually add more solid foods as you can handle them.
You may be given antibiotics in your IV while in the hospital and a prescription to keep taking the antibiotics at home.
You will need to wear a sanitary pad for bleeding. It's normal to have cramps and vaginal bleeding for several days after birth. You may have discharge that changes from dark red or brown to a lighter color over several weeks.
Don't douche, use tampons, or have sex until your healthcare provider tells you it’s OK. You may also have other limits on your activity, including no strenuous activity, driving, or heavy lifting.
Take a pain reliever as recommended by your healthcare provider. Aspirin or certain other pain medicines may increase bleeding. So, be sure to take only recommended medicines.
Arrange for a follow-up visit with your healthcare provider. This is usually 2 to 3 weeks after the surgery.
Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:
Heavy vaginal bleeding
Foul-smelling drainage from your vagina
Fever or chills
Severe belly (abdominal) pain
Increased pain, redness, swelling, or bleeding or other drainage from the incision
Trouble breathing, chest pain, or heart palpitations
Your healthcare provider may give you other instructions, depending on your situation.