C-Section vs. Vaginal Birth Recovery

Deadra - posted on 09/25/2009 ( 34 moms have responded )

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My first son was born vaginally. I found the recovery to be really easy. I am 35 weeks pregnant with my second son and he is frank breech. I will have a c-section unless he turns on his own. I don't feel comfortable with doing an external version or delivering a breech baby vaginally because of the risks. I was wondering how bad the recovery is going to be with a c-section compared to the great vaginal birth I had the first time.

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User - posted on 09/25/2009

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I had 2 emergancy caesars here is what I leant:



Try to walk around as soon as possible

Have good pain management eg: take regular pain medication suitable for b/feeding

Even if you feel fine take the pain killers for the first 4-5 days, it will help you sleep & recover quicker

Just because you feel fine dont start over doing it, you will slow your recovery

Do not lift anything heavier than your baby, not even your toddler - I learnt the hard way

Remover the caesar tape as soon as you can - otherwise you give yourself a nasty wax job! (all you other caeser mums know what i'm talking about!)

Use some kind of scar healing ointment to reduce scarring. I used Bio Oil

You will not be allowed to drive for the first few weeks, Your car insurer may not cover you untill your Ob gives you a clearance to drive, so have some one to help you out with driving (I did drive & had a incident where I had to slam on the brakes OUCH!!!)



A planned Caesar is easier to recover from than labour followed by a emergancy caesar. My 2nd birth I tried Vbac but we had a back up plan of caesar incase the same thing happened & it did. A caesar after many hours of labour is harder to recover from than a planned caesar or a caesar with only a few hours of labour, this is what

I have learnt from my experiences. But every one is different & how you recover will completely up to you & your body.



My babies were both frank breech. Your baby may still turn during labour. Ask your Ob if you can be given a time frame during labour in which the baby can turn, mine was 6 hrs. If the baby has not turned then have the caesar. My 1st did turn but got stuck after. The 2nd did not turn at all. I am glad I gave it a try 2nd time round but had the planned/emergancy caesar to reduce trauma for me & my baby. Good luck, it realy isnt that bad, just be sensible.

Brandie - posted on 09/25/2009

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i had a c section with 1st kid and i was in more pain than my scond which wa vaginaly

Amanda - posted on 09/25/2009

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I have had 3 c-sections. They are uncomfortable but I'm sure it's much better than going through all that pain with labor. You will be sore for the first week but then it gets easier. Pain is pain some deal with it better than others and the more c-sections you have the more pain you get. Put it this way I was back at work 3 weeks after my daughter was born I was a waitress so if I could do that how hard do you think it actually is. I also saw where the women below said the epidural was left in for two days WOW I totally never heard of that. I hope this makes ya feel better

Madison - posted on 09/25/2009

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I recently had a c-section and i feel like its not as bad as people make it out to be. it was a lil difficult to move around the first day but a couple days after i got home i stopped takin the pain killers and a month after having tha baby i started working!

Melanie - posted on 09/25/2009

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I have 3 kids. my first was c-section do to failure to progress (fat head syndrome, could not fit out). My second was VBAC. My third was planned c-section because drs were scared on intra uterine rupture (long story).

Recovery the first time was horrible, I had gained 80+ lbs during pregnancy and my body just could not handle the surgery at that time. It took the whole 6 weeks before I felt decent enough to hand baby on my own.

My VBAC went well enough (was induced to prevent fat head syndrome again). I recovered from child birth quick enough but got scary sick about a week after he was born (another long story).

My planned c-section was a breeze compaired to the first time. I only took pain meds because baby had hard time latching on to breast feed. I felt up to par about a week after she was born. Of course took it as easy as I could to prevent any damage to still healing incision.

I think my second c-section went so well is because I was determined to take care of myself during pregnancy.

tips: use a pillow to support your tummy if you need to sit-up on your own or cough, or laugh, etc.....take everything SLOW AND EASY (it'll be ok if the baby cries another minute or two if it takes you a bit to get the bottle ready)....as with any pregnancy, if someone offers to help you Accept It!.....Boppy pillows relieve much pressure from your belly whether you are breast feeding or bottle.....flippin sleep, you might feel up to doing some laundry while the baby is asleep during the day but just trust me, it can wait. for atleast the first week SLEEP every chance you get especially with recovery from the surgery.....trust yourself to your recovery, if you dont think you should do something, then dont. If you feel you might can do it, proceed cautiously.


No matter how this kid comes out, healthy mommy, healthy baby should be the only goal.

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34 Comments

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Deadra - posted on 09/26/2009

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Thanks everyone! I'm glad to know that it's not always a horrible experience.

[deleted account]

My first child was born by c-section and my second was born vaginally just 13 months later. The c-section recovery was ok. You are told that you aren't allowed to lift anything that weighs more that your newborn baby. So you might need help with lifting the carseat and your other child (if he still wants to picked up) and things like that. As long as you follow the doctor's orders in that and know your own limits, your c-section recovery should be that bad. I pushed myself too much and delayed mine. My vaginal recover was MUCH quicker, though the giving birth part was more painful that the c-section. I fully recovered in about 6 weeks for the c-section (minus occasional tingling from the scar) and was fully recovered from the vaginal birth in about 2 weeks (including bleeding and such). Hope this helps! Feel free to ask more questions :)

Mary - posted on 09/25/2009

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I would try to turn him, there are many ways like with accupressure (moxa) and elevating your hips... My friends baby turned hours before delivery. My last daughter was breech until 32 weeks and I was very determined to do all possible not to have a c section, I would research it before you schedule a c section.

[deleted account]

I have had both. Vaginally is my preferred choice because a C-Section is surgery with all the risks that accompany any surgery. It hurts either way but the end result is totally worth it. I would always pick the natural way if I had a choice though.

User - posted on 09/25/2009

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im not going to sugar coat it. it hurts bad for the first couple of weeks. make sure your guy understands that you will need a lot of support for the first few weeks because bending over and picking the little one up hurts a lot!

Dana - posted on 09/25/2009

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My recovery wasn't great but, it isn't that bad. Try to walk as soon as you can, take your pain meds and BUY DRESSES. That's something I stress the most. Wearing something that doesn't rub or push on the incision site makes it a whole lot better. I wore dresses for a good week or so. If you can have help for any amount of time that would be good too. Good luck, don't worry! :)

Bridget - posted on 09/25/2009

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I have had two C-sections & getting ready for my third in December. My first C-section was after 18 hours in labor with no progression. To be honest, there was a lot of pain especially when you have to get up & walk. Home recovery took at least 4 weeks before I felt decent. My second C-section was a scheduled surgery & it made a big difference. There was still pain but it wasn't as intense (my doctor said that it's easier with a scheduled C because your body doesn't get worn out first from labor). Home recovery was easier too. I took my daughter trick or treating on our block 12 days after my 2nd baby was born. With both you will need help for at least 3-4 weeks, as you will not be allowed to lift anything heavier than the baby or drive a car. I was also told not to go up & down stairs.

User - posted on 09/25/2009

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unfortunatly everyone elses experiences although enlightning will give no insight into how it will be for you. I have had one c-sec and 4 vag births...my c-sec of course took longer to recover from being major surgery, as long as you have help on hand for a week or so after you will be fine.

Becky - posted on 09/25/2009

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I gave birth to my oldest 2 vaginally and then my twins were born by c-section. I did not have any trouble with my c-section at all but I was getting extra help from everyone because of having twins. I distinctly remember the pain from my episiotomies with the first 2 births. I don't even know if they do those anymore though. The hospital wouldn't let me leave until I had a bowel movement and I remember thinking I was going to split everything open again. I think everyone has different experiences though. Good luck to you and your little one!

Rose - posted on 09/25/2009

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You will recover either way. You have to do what's best for your baby :) I agree with you that vaginal delivery while he is breech would not be a good choice. Just keep telling him to move his butt and turn around....maybe he'll listen LOL

[deleted account]

My first child was born via c/s and then I had a vaginal birth 15 months later with my second. You will recover and you will be fine, but recovery with a c/s is more difficult. The best advice that I got was to walk as soon as possible after the c/s. It helps to move around. It is painful, but helps. I would recommend having people at home to help, especially since you already have one son because you're not supposed to lift anything heavier than a newborn. Hopefully it all goes well for you! Good luck & God bless!

Melody - posted on 09/25/2009

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i had two c sections and one vaginal. its not bad.you are more sore than you would be in a vaginal delivery. but you walk that out but make sure you dont over do it.

Angela - posted on 09/25/2009

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Thats how motherhood are, never know whats going to happen. I've never experienced C-section. Both my kids are delivered through Vaginal Birth. Yes, the recovery is a lot better but I think you should focus more about the safety of your baby first and your health at same time. Once your baby comes out it won't matter anymore. No matter how much it hurts. The feeling of blessing and your lil angel in your arms will be more farther greater than hurting. Have a Blessed pregnancy!!

Karen - posted on 09/25/2009

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I have had 3 c-sections. The 1st was okay, very painful when you wake up, but it is managable. Someone mentioned she had the epidural for 2 days after the c-section ... I so wish I did! They take the epidural out after the section and put you on pain meds. My second one was horrible :( He was also 9 lbs 8 ozs, so he was a BIG baby, so that might have given me more pain because they needed more force to get him out. My 3rd was my smallest & I recovered quite well with her ... I was home on the 2nd day instead of the 3rd because I was doing so well!

All's I can tell you is that with a c-section, when they let you get up and get moving ... MOVE! You will recover soooo much more quicker than if you just lay in your bed & not move because you are sore. I walked the halls with the baby every 30 minutes ... even at night time. Good Luck! You will do just fine!

Nicole - posted on 09/25/2009

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In my research, the frank breech presentation is the best of the 3 presentations to attempt a vaginal delivery and as Amanda said, the risks during the delivery of a breech baby through C-section are the same as in a vaginal delivery, except with the additional risks of having major surgery. I, too, think that you should think about a vaginal birth again.



I'm sorry, I can't give you any personal experience about having a c-section, since I have never had one, but after years of counseling postpartum women, I usually hear that c-sections are very hard on the body in comparison to a vaginal delivery.



Good luck and I know whatever you choose to do, you will be in good hands.

Brandy - posted on 09/25/2009

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You are talking major surgery. And with all major surgeries you risk more complications and a greater healing time. After 24 hours of labor with my first child I ended up having a c-section and healing was HORRIBLE. I could not move and every inch of my body hurt. You can not eat right away so I could not eat for almost 2 days (until you pass gas). That lets the doc know that you were put back together properly. Although it was not fun I opted to have c-sections with my other 2 children. Labor was not a picnic and I did not want to go through that again so I scheduled a c-section and went in like I had a hair appointment. So of course there are pros and cons.

Amanda - posted on 09/25/2009

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Oh and I forgot to tell you.. labor with a Frank Breech goes really fast! I was only in labor for 5 hours!

Lesli - posted on 09/25/2009

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I had a c-section with my son who is now 1. I was dialated at a 9 for 3 hrs before they said enough is enough. I was a little scared but when you are there in the moment just waiting and knowing you will see your baby soon it makes it all worth it. The surgery itself is really quick as long as there are no complications. The first couple of hours you don't really feel anything but as soon as the pain relievers start to ware off you can feel every bit of it. With a c-section your stay at the hospital is longer which does suck but on a good note you have nurses there to help you the whole way. The first time I had to get up to use the rest room was difficult, its very sore and tender and after laying down for a while your body is stiff. I had my son on a thursday night and left the hospital sunday at noon. I was up and able to walk and shower by myself before we went home but still needed a hand at getting in and out of the bed or from a sitting position. You will not want anyone making you laugh or have to lift anything very heavy. I was lucky to have my husband home for the 1st month and my mom there to help. I thought the pain was never going to go away and how would I ever feel normal again but by the time my son was 10 days old we were already at his 1st Padres games. I was still tender but felt 90% better. The weight is harder to loose and it takes longer for your body to feel normal again. I gained a total of 50lbs and lost 30lbs in the first 8 days, my weight was mostly water weight. My scare is almost invisible but every now and then have a sharp pain or burning sensation. Overall I would say its not that bad but I will definitly be trying for a vaginal the second time around.



good luck and try not to worry too much!



Lesli Bauer

MonaVie

Independent Distributor

Drink it, Feel it, Share it!

http://www.mymvinfo.com/1025222

Selesha - posted on 09/25/2009

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I had two c-sections. The first one, I was up walking around 2 hrs afterwards. I was healed (Switches out) in less than 7 days. And I only bleed afterwards for 3 weeks. My second one was a little different cause I had my tubes tied at the same time. But I would do it all over again if I could. I had no problems recovering. As long as you go in thinking "I am going to get up and move right afterwards" you will be fine.

Amanda - posted on 09/25/2009

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I understand how frightening it can be to have a breech baby. my son was frank breech and dropped at 25 weeks so we were never able to try a external version. I would like to encourage you though to give a vaginal delivery a second look. I gave birth to my son vaginally and he is my first. I researched breech births and c-sections for months and found that with a doctor trained in breech deliveries, there are actually less risks for baby with a vaginal delivery. I was surprised to find out that due to where the doctor has to make the incision, the doctor has to pull the baby out breech during a c-section. So all the same risks apply to a c-section that do for a vaginal, ie: shoulder dyslocia, ingesting fluid, etc. but a c-section has additional ones because it is a major surgery. A book that helped me was "A Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" the author leans more towards natural births, but it is a great resource and presents the facts as they stand. The key is finding a doctor who is trained in delivering breech babies. Don't let a doctor push you into a c-section by scaring you by all the possiblities. Do your own research. Since your first birth was "great" you shouldn't have trouble with the second. The big thing is to be completely comfortable with your choice. If you have no reservations about a c-section then go for it, but don't let someone else decide For you. Good luck! I hope this time is as wonderful as the first!

[deleted account]

I have had a child by both C-Section and Vagina... here is what I can tell you. The birthing process with a c-section 'seems easier'. I was not in pain, awake for the birth, and my pain was managed fairly well after the birth (I did require more to start than most women I am told, but weened myself off faster than most according to the head nurse). The problem with me was that as with all surgeries it takes a toll on your whole body and with a little one to care for and lack of sleep that means longer to snap back to your old self.



My vaginal birth was my second son. I was strongly encouraged to consider a C-Section as opposed to opting for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-Section), but the incision was done in such a way it was safe to attemt the vaginal birth. The part about this type of birth.. your neither regions ache (I wore an ice pack in my undies wrapped with a towel for a few days).



My one salient point after having both experiences... "The hospital doesn't give you Morphine after you have a vaginal birth, you take tylenol." The other thought to keep in mind is that the Dr can schedule around his schedule with a C-section as long as the child is viable, and he takes some factors designed by nature out of the picture so doesn't have to work as hard and is less likely to have to deal with malpractice.



Hope it helps

Stephanie - posted on 09/25/2009

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I only have one child and with her I had an Emergency C-Section due to her heart rate dropping during labor...and to be honest, it was the worst surgery I've had to date...the worse pain too! Since we tried to have a vaginal birth I had to fight through the all day labor as well, and labor was NOTHING compared to how I felt the day after! I've had my femur broken in a car accident, had to lay in the hospital in traction for 24 hours, and then have it titanium rod placed inside the bone to keep it in place....and all of that was NOTHING in comparison. I'm not trying to scare you or be dramatic, I'm just speaking of MY experience and it wasn't a good one. They only kept the epidural in for me until I got to my room that night and then I was given pain meds. through an IV until the next morning...not even 24 hours and they had EVERYTHING off of me- catheter, IV, the drain thing for the incision...and because of forgetful nurses that didn't tell me NOT to eat anything for about 12-24 hours after surgery ( and if you have to eat then ONLY EAT NON GASY FOOD) I had such horrible gas pains that I couldn't stand to walk, which ironically was the only way to get the pain to go away. Those nurses brought me SO much food, juice, anything I wanted and I had NO idea I shouldn't eat :( SOOOO, yeah, like I said I have no comparison, but it's not a walk in the park. If I were you I'd do EVERYTHING I could to prepare for it...I didn't know I was going to have to have one, so I didn't know what questions to ask or what would help in my recovery. If that's what is in the best interest for the baby, it's all worth it in the end!!! After I got home from the hospital (which took 3 days), I think I was able to finally sleep in my bed about a week-week 1/2 later? Until then it was easier for me to lay back on the couch and sleep kinda sitting-up since I had to get up so often to take care of the little one :) Abdominal surgery really takes a toll on your body, you never realize just how much you use your abs!!! As for having help with the baby after surgery....my husband was there with me for the first night in the hospital since I couldn't get out of bed b/c of the catheter, but after that I was pretty much the primary care-giver. The second day he helped A LOT b/c of all the pain I was in, but once I was home he had to go back to work and I was on my own. It's not easy, but I took it one day at a time and I made it through! It's all in how you prepare yourself...it's not gonna be easy, but if I got through it you can! GOOD LUCK!!!

Susie - posted on 09/25/2009

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from experiance i cant tell you for me it was a 2 day bed rest and about a week of help from people but i recovered just fine and ready to do in another 7 months

Karina - posted on 09/25/2009

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C-section. I did not have the option of a vaginal birth, but my recovery was relatively quick. I was up taking a shower, alone, within 6 hours of delivery. I was back to myself within a couple of weeks. Everyonce in a while the scar tickles but no problems or real lasting effects. Good luck.

Madie - posted on 09/25/2009

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my c-section wasn't planned and it sucked, but the drugs they gave killed the pain for the most part and had i actually stayed still i wouldn't have had the healing issues that i had. the women i've known that had planned sections, as yours will be, did just fine and healed quite well. i would suggest making sure, though, that you DON'T DO ANY HEAVY LIFTING after you have the baby for at least a couple weeks. you don't realize how much you use your stomach muscles until they're sliced up and you pop your incision open - so PLEASE make someone else hand you the baby as much as possible and make someone else cook, clean, etc - and ask for helping getting up and sitting and laying down. if you dont' have someone else, then go SLOWLY and take it as easy as possible. the trouble you can run into while healing is NOT worth it - depend on someone else if you can.

Ashley - posted on 09/25/2009

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I had a c-section because my sweet boy was breech as well.
Recovery kind of sucked to tell you the truth. I didn't like taking pain medicine, but if I didn't take it on time, the pain was horrible! Sleeping was awkward to get comfortable. Let's just say you don't appreciate all the muscles in your abdomen until you get them cut! :)
The only real negative thing about it is getting so much help because holding ANYTHING hurts. I was really lucky my husband took off two weeks from work and my mom took off a week to help out.
If you have great support, I think you will be just fine!
Good luck! :)

Caryn - posted on 09/25/2009

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I had a c-section (emergency after 23 hours of labor and fully dilated!) in 2007, that is my only child so I never had anything else to compare to, but my recovery wasn't bad! I little tender moving around for a few days. But they say the sooner you get up walking the better. Within 3-4 hours of my c-section I was asking to walk (which the nurses were looking at me like I was crazy!). We only made it to the bathroom in the room and back, but everytime we made it just a little farther. My scar is almost unnoticable now, was tender for a few months. I did stay on the pain pills for about a week to week and half. It is a little harder to lose the weight afterwards, I didn't lose as quickly as all my friends who were pregnant at the same time with vaginal deliveries. But I was so happy to finally see my baby I didn't care how she got there!

Tanya - posted on 09/25/2009

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I had a c-section with my first and I will be frankly honest with you it doesn't feel good. They do keep the epidural in for two days after delivery because of the pain. I can tell you that you will need someone with you to help you take care of the baby for the first 3 or 4 weeks to help pick the baby up it is very painful to bend over and I couldn't sleep in my bed had to sleep in a recliner because it hurt to get out of bed due to them cutting through your stomach muscles

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