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What To Expect Post C-Section Delivery

October 17, 2016


Post C Section Delivery care is different from a natural birth and as we can never predict if problems may occur until we are actually in labour.

With up to 1-3 women now delivering their babies via c-section due to a variety of reasons. 

It is advisable that all expecting women educate themselves on what to expect post c-section surgery to make recovery a smoother experience both mentally and physically. 


15 of the most common steps that can or will happen post C Section Delivery.


  1. You will be cared for in the recovery room until you are ready to go to the ward.
  2. If you have had a general anaesthetic, you will most likely wake up in the recovery room. You should be able to see your baby once you are awake.
  3. You will be encouraged to breastfeed. The earlier you start to breastfeed, the easier it is likely to be for both you and your baby. Having a caesarean can make breastfeeding harder to start, so ask for all the support you need.
  4. Breastfeeding is the best possible food to help your baby grow healthy and strong, and the midwives are there to help you. Some hospitals encourage women to breastfeed their baby in the recovery room if there is a midwife to assist.
  5. Tell your midwife or doctor when you are feeling pain so they can give you something to ease it. Pain relief medication may make you a little drowsy.
  6. You may have a drip for the first 24 hours or so, until you have recovered from the anaesthetic.
  7. You can start to drink after any nausea has passed.
  8. The midwife or doctor will tell you when it’s okay to eat again.
  9. Your catheter will stay in until the anaesthetic has worn off and you have normal sensation in your legs to walk safely to the toilet. This might not be until the next day.
  10. Walking around can help with recovery. It can also stop blood clots and swelling in your legs. A midwife will help you the first time you get out of bed.
  11. You may also have an injection to stop blood clots.
  12. You may need antibiotics after the operation.
  13. You may have trouble with bowel movements for a short time after the operation. It should help to drink plenty of water and eat high-fibre food. The doctor or midwife can give you more advice.
  14. When your dressing is taken off, you will be instructed to keep the wound clean and dry. This will help it to heal faster and reduce the risk of infection.
  15. Wearing a compression band (Abdomend) may be recommended.


Special care for your for your Baby after a caesarean section.

  1. After a caesarean, your baby is more likely to have breathing problems and be admitted to the special care nursery for a period of time (although they are usually ready to go home when you are). 
  2. About 35 in every 1000 babies have breathing problems after a caesarean birth (compared with 5 in 1000 babies following a vaginal birth).
  3. If your baby is premature or unwell, they may also need to go to the special care nursery. 
  4. Your partner or support person can usually go with the baby. 
  5. The midwife or nurse will help you to see your baby a soon as possible. 
  6. The midwives or nurses can help you with expressing breast milk for your baby.

Risks and complications of a Caesarean Section.


In Australia, a caesarean is a common and relatively safe surgical procedure, but it is still major surgery. As with all surgical procedures, there are risks for both you and your baby.

Some of the more common risks and complications include:

  1. Above-average blood loss
  2. Blood clots in the legs
  3. Infection in the lining of the uterus
  4. A longer stay in hospital (three to five days, or 72 to 120 hours, on average)
  5. Pain around the wound (you will be given pain relief)
  6. Problems with future attempts at vaginal birth
  7. A need for a caesarean section for future births
  8. Complications from the anaesthetic.

You should always talk with your midwife or doctor about any problems you are experiencing, so they can assess whether or not it is serious and provide you with the treatment you need.

Some problems you should look out for include:
  1. Pain in your abdomen or wound that is getting worse and that doesn’t go away after you take pain killers
  2. Ongoing or new back pain, especially where you had the epidural or spinal injection (muscular aches and pains are normal)
  3. Pain or burning when you pass urine
  4. Leaking urine
  5. Constipation
  6. Increased vaginal blood loss or bad-smelling discharge from the vagina
  7. Coughing or shortness of breath
  8. Swelling or pain in your calf (lower leg)
  9. Wound edges pulling apart or looking infected.



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