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After a Cesarean

It can take time to recover fully after a cesarean. It’s important to take care of yourself—both for your own sake and because your new baby needs you.

Incision care

  • You will probably be able to shower and pat the incision dry.

  • Watch your incision for signs of infection. These include redness that gets worse or fluid draining from it.

  • Hold a pillow against the incision when you get up from a lying or sitting position. Also do this when you laugh or cough.

  • Avoid heavy lifting. Don’t lift anything heavier than your baby until your doctor tells you otherwise.

When to call your health care provider

Call your health care provider if you have:

  • A fever of 100.4°F (38.0°C or higher)

  • Redness, pain, or discharge at the incision site that gets worse

  • Repeated clots the size of a quarter or larger, passing from your vagina

  • You need to use a new sanitary pad every hour because of vaginal bleeding

  • Severe pain in your abdomen

  • No bowel movement within one week after the birth of your baby

Online Medical Reviewer: Moloney Johns, Amanda, PA-C, MPAS, BBA
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Trevino, Heather M, BSN, RNC
Date Last Reviewed: 6/28/2013
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.