Baby care tips after c-section birth

Baby care tips after c-section birth

Baby care tips for If you have a c-section birth bay you need to extra care of your baby

Post-Operative Recovery

If you had a C-section, you will need to recover from both childbirth and surgery. Because a C-section is major surgery, the recovery period will take longer than a vaginal birth. It may also take a little longer for you to get back into your normal routine than with a vaginal birth. You will need to add at least one to two more weeks to your recovery time before resuming your normal activities.

Keeping Your Lungs Clear

It is important to cough and to take deep breaths after surgery or a C-section to help your lungs. However, it may be uncomfortable to take a deep breath, and coughing can cause your incision to hurt. To lessen discomfort, place a pillow over your incision. Apply pressure on the pillow with your hands while leaning forward. Take a big breath in, blow it out, and then cough or clear your throat. Do this often throughout the day. This will help expand your lungs and loosen mucus that may have developed and hopefully prevent any lung complications.

Gas Pain

Gas pain is common after any type of abdominal surgery – including a C-section. You can move the gas along and lessen the pain by moving about in your bed and trying the suggestions listed below.


  • Walk inside and outside of your hospital room as soon as you are able. Gradually increase the distance you walk each time. 
  • The hospital staff will help you as long as you need assistance.
  • Continue walking frequently at home after you are discharged.


  • Lie on your left side with your legs bent and a pillow between your knees. A small towel rolled under your stomach may help prevent a pulling sensation on your stitches.
  • Lie on your stomach, on a pillow, 20 to 30 minutes at a time, if able.

Eating and Drinking

  • Drink warm liquids to keep your bowels active.
  • Avoid drinking very cold liquids.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks (sodas) and gas-producing foods (beans, cabbage, and melon are some examples).
  • Drink and eat slowly.

If these techniques do not help, notify your nurse. While in the hospital, medications may be given to help with gas pain. If needed, your doctor may also order a physical therapy consultation.

Abdominal Incision Care (C-Section or Tubal Ligation)

An incision is the cut the surgeon makes when delivering your baby by C-section or when doing surgery. Your incision may be closed with staples, stitches or an adhesive. You may have steri-strips placed across the line where the incision was made. The strips will begin to curl up and fall off in five to seven days. If they do not fall off, you may remove them. If your staples were not removed before you left the hospital, you need to make an appointment with your doctor to have them removed. If you had stitches or an adhesive, they will go away on their own. You do not need to get them removed. Your doctor will tell you when to schedule your appointment to make sure your incision is healing well.

Caring for Your Abdominal Wound

Proper Hand washing

Wash your hands before and after caring for your abdominal wound and going to the bathroom. Follow these steps:

  • Take all jewelry off of your hands.
  • Wet your hands, pointing them downward under warm running water.
  • Add soap and wash your hands for 15 to 20 seconds (sing “Happy Birthday” or the “Alphabet Song” twice).
  • Don’t forget to clean under your fingernails (a new toothbrush works great for this purpose).
  • Rinse well, keeping your hands pointed down so that the water runs from your wrists downward and off of your fingertips.
  • Dry your hands with a clean towel.
  • Use the towel to turn off the faucet so you do not get any germs on your hands from the faucet.

Cleaning Your Incision

  • Unless your doctor has approved tub baths, you may shower and allow soapy water to run over your incision. Shower 1-2 times per day for 1-2 weeks. Rinse well and pat dry with a clean towel. Make sure to completely dry the incision. You may also use a hair dryer on the “cool” setting to make sure your incision is completely dry.
  • It is important to keep your incision clean and dry. If your stomach has a “roll” or “fold” that covers or hides your incision when sitting or standing, a clean sanitary pad or panty liner may be placed over the incision to help absorb any moisture or drainage (pad side toward skin). It should be changed frequently to keep the area clean and dry.
  • Use mild liquid soap when showering or bathing.
  • Use a separate, clean washcloth and towel to clean and dry your incision.
  • When cleaning your incision between baths or showers, try to gently wipe away any drainage or dried blood using a clean, damp cloth (face cloth or moist towelette).
  • Do not apply lotions, powders or ointments near or on your incision unless directed by your doctor.
  • Wear clean, loose-fitting clothing that will not rub against your incision while it is healing.

Getting Out of Bed and Moving Around

You will be helped with getting out of bed around 10-12 hours following delivery to assist with your recovery.

The sooner you get up and move around, the faster you will heal and the better you will feel.

  • Raise the head of the bed, if possible, before getting out of bed.
  • Roll onto your side.
  • Lower your legs over the side of the bed. Breathe normally.
  • Push to a sitting position with your arms.
  • Support the incision with your hand or a pillow as you move or cough.
  • Sit on the side of the bed for a few minutes before you try to stand.
  • Stand up slowly. Try to stand as tall as you can

For the next two weeks, use the mirror to inspect your incision daily

It is normal to have a small amount of clear or straw-colored drainage from your incision for a few days.

Redness, warmth, increased drainage or increased pain to your incision are warning signs of an infection. It is important to notify your doctor at the earliest warning signs of an infection in order to get early treatment.

Notify your doctor immediately if:

  • Drainage from your incision looks cloudy, or contains pus;
  • The incision or drainage from the incision has a foul odor;
  • Your incision separates, enlarges, or opens;
  • You have increased pain or tenderness to your incision from what you have normally experienced;
  • Your incision and surrounding skin looks red;
  • Your incision and surrounding skin feels hot;
  • The incision or surrounding skin is swollen;
  • The incision is bleeding;
  • Increased drainage from your incision;
  • You have a temperature above 100.4° F for more than four hours.

To Protect Your Incision as it Heals, You May:

  • Place a pillow across your belly while you feed your baby.
  • Place a pad or soft towel over your incision before you strap on your seat belt.
  • Support your incision with your hand or a pillow while you move, cough or sneeze.
  • Use the football hold or side-lying position to breastfeed your baby.

Normal Healing Incision

It is normal to have a small amount of clear or straw colored drainage from your incision for a few days.

Redness to Incision

  • Notify your doctor if you have redness, warmth, increased drainage or increased pain to your incision.
  • Redness, warmth, increased drainage and pain that has worsened are warning signs of infection.
  • It is important to get early treatment if an infection develops.

Infected Incision

Notify your doctor immediately if you have:

  • Drainage from your incision that smells foul, looks cloudy or contains pus;
  • Separation, enlargement or opening of your incision;
  • Increased pain to your incision from what you have normally experienced.

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