Learn how you can prepare for your Cesarean (C-section) and what to expect both at the hospital and once you are recovering at home.
Before You Give Birth
Use our helpful guide to prepare for your labor and delivery at a Sharp hospital. Learn what forms to bring with you, important information you need to know and view a list of packing suggestions.
Aftercare and Recovery at Home After a Cesarean Birth
After a C-section, many layers from the incisions must heal at the same time. After you are discharged from the hospital, you will be sent home with a personalized plan of care. Your postpartum plan of care will include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Ask your health care provider when it is OK to bathe or swim
- Avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby for the first four to six weeks
- Check your incision daily to ensure it is healing and that the edges of the incision are touching
- If you had an epidural or spinal anesthesia, it will help provide pain relief for up to 18 to 25 hours after surgery
- Schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor once you get home from the hospital, usually between one and six weeks after delivery
- The outer stitches or staples on the skin may be removed before you go home from the hospital, and SteriStrips may be placed over the incision for one week
- To shower, remove the SteriStrips, gently wash the incision and pat it dry, then replace the SteriStrips
- Your pain should decrease each day and can be reduced with pain medicine as prescribed by your doctor
When to Call Your Doctor
Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Cracked or bleeding nipples
- Difficulty adjusting, including "baby blues," that lasts more than two weeks
- Drainage or fluid from the incision, including bleeding, pus or foul-smelling discharge
- Excessive crying, anxiety, sleeping and/or eating difficulties or scary thoughts
- Frequent urination, difficulty urinating or burning sensations
- Incision edges are no longer together
- Increased tenderness or soreness at the incision
- Nipple soreness that lasts more than the first minutes of feeding, or breast soreness for more than the first one to two weeks after birth
- Redness, excessive warmth or swelling at the incision area
- Severe diarrhea or lack of bowel movements for three consecutive days
- Temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
- Tenderness, redness or hardened areas in your breasts other than during engorgement
To learn caregiving tips for both mom and baby, read How to Care for a Baby After Childbirth.
Find a San Diego OBGYN
Sharp offers OBGYN, maternity and infant care services in San Diego at the following hospitals:
To find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego OBGYN
or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.
For More OBGYN, Pregnancy and Childbirth Information