My c-section recovery week by week


Kerrie Hughes


2 Aug 2021

I wanted to keep a record of my c-section recovery week by week, mainly because I was interested to see how it differed from a vaginal birth. Both are said to take a good six weeks to recover from, and I'm  really keen to get back to some form of exercise, so am hoping everything goes to plan so that can happen. 

I will update this post each week with how my recovery is going and share anything I think might be useful. For a more detailed overview, don't miss my round up of top c-section recovery tips, or head over to my mummy MOT article for more information on how to get your recovery properly assessed. 

Read on for details of my c-section recovery week by week...

C-section recovery week by week: 01

C-section recovery week by week: 01

I was home from hospital within 36 hours of surgery, and it's fair to say the first couple of days at home, I definitely felt like a baby had been cut out of me. Everything was an effort and I was very, very slow when moving about the house. Walking around felt uncomfortable but that has definitely got better as the week has gone on. 

My belly is still very swollen, so much so I look similar to when I was six months pregnant. Wearing trousers with elasticated waistbands is uncomfortable so I ventured out to buy some bigger size bottoms to lounge in at home. This is a very obvious difference to a vaginal birth, after which my pregnancy pouch was mostly gone within the first week.

I've now done seven of the 10 blood thinning injections I was prescribed, and am counting down the days to finishing them completely as they're just the worst. Overall, moving about slowly is totally fine, so much so I'm surprised with how quickly I've got back on my feet. But the short walks I've been on have definitely wiped me out, so think I need to be mindful that while I might be feeling ok in myself, my body still has a lot of healing to do. 

One thing I definitely need to keep an eye on is pain when I pee. It's not excruciating, but when I empty my bladder I definitely feel little painful twinges near my scar. My midwife said it's early days after surgery so if my bladder was affected in some way it may still be healing, but if it continues to see my GP. 

C-section recovery week by week: 02

C-section recovery week by week: 02

Two week post surgery and it's amazing how good I feel already. I think the biggest issue I have now is the swelling in my belly, which is still quite significant. On a recent midwife visit I asked if my belly size was normal, and she explained the trauma my stomach has experienced can take a fair few weeks to heal. So I'm going to be living in my oversized joggers for a while longer yet. 

Peeing has got slightly better but things still aren't quite right. At my recent postnatal appointment, my midwife took a urine sample to check for infection, which was thankfully all clear. Again, something to monitor and if it continues to make an appointment with my GP.

My mobility seems to have improved significantly this week, by which I mean bending over to pick things up/put shoes on etc is nowhere near as uncomfortable. Walks are much more enjoyable and I can go for longer too, however am still very mindful that I'm only two weeks post surgery and to take things at a slower pace than usual. 

Best news this week is I finished the blood thinning injections AND can stop wearing the tight/itchy/dreadul compression socks I've had to live in for the past eight days - HURRAH!

C-section recovery week by week: 03

C-section recovery week by week: 03

C-section recovery week three and I feel like my body is getting stronger by the day, although now lack of sleep due to the tiny human is really starting to take its toll. I'm definitely quite short on patience, which isn't great for anyone else I live with. 

Best news this week is I'm finding it much easier to get up on my own and laying down is much more comfortable, which means I've been able to get in bed and give Rex a proper cuddle at bed time, which actually made us both quite emotional this week. Rex is a big, strong toddler and I've had to be very careful with how I've spent time with him since surgery, so it was really lovely to just be able to be with him in a much more natural and less apprehensive way. 

Peeing has definitely improved but I'm still experiencing twinges of pain occassionally. If it continues this week I will get an appointment to see the GP to discuss further steps.

C-section recovery week-by-week: 04

C-section recovery week-by-week: 04

Week four and I feel like I'm going from strength to strength, which is tricky because I know my mind is way ahead of my body. I'm already thinking about exercise: when I can start and what I can do, so much so I really had to reign myself in yesterday. Feeling better, I've been going on much longer walks with Hollie, many of which have involved hills, which are SO much harder than I imagined. Not long after I;ve got home from said walks I've bled a little, which is clearly my body's way of letting me know to calm the f**k down. 

With this in mind I contacted and have made an appointment with a woman's health physio in a few weeks time. I'm very mindful of when I go back to exercise, taking it at the right pace and doing the right movements so as to try and avoid any injury or long term issues. I'm sure it will be super-helpful so will share anything that I think might be helpful. 

Otherwise, my actual physical recovery is going really well. I'm finding I can get up from being led down much easier, with less discomfort. And the slight pain I was experiencing when I was peeing seems to have stopped. I will, however, still mention this at my upcoming 6-8-week check at the GP, just to be on the safe side. 

Finally, this is the first week I've really noticed the swelling on my belly having gone down. That's four weeks post surgery and it still isn't quite gone. I had no idea it would take so long to recover, but really just shows how despite feeling fine in myself, internally my body still has a way to go to fully heal.  

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