C-Section Explained

A Cesarean delivery, or C-section, is a surgical procedure that involves making incisions in a woman’s abdominal wall and uterus to deliver a baby. OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson outlines what women should know before undergoing a C-section.

A C-section may be planned ahead of time if a woman develops complications during her pregnancy, or if
she's had a previous C-section and isn't considering vaginal birth after cesarean (VABC).

"So many women are afraid of c-sections and there's nothing to be afraid of," Dr. Lisa says. "It's a very simple surgery."

If a woman experiences severe complications during labor, a C-section allows the OB to get the baby out in less than five minutes.

Recovery from a C-section lasts approximately four to six weeks, and discomfort and fatigue are common during that time. The following are tips for healing from a C-section: 

• Take it easy. Rest when possible. Try to keep everything that you and your baby might need within reach. For the first couple of weeks, avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby.
• Support your abdomen.
Use good posture when you stand and walk. Hold your abdomen near the incision during sudden movements, such as coughing, sneezing or laughing.
• Take medication as needed.
Your health care provider might recommend ibuprofen, acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or other medications to relieve pain. Most pain relief medications are safe for breast-feeding women.
• Drink plenty of fluids.
Drinking lots of fluids can help replace those lost during delivery and breast-feeding, as well as help prevent constipation. Remember to empty your bladder frequently to reduce the risk of urinary tract infections

Check your incision for signs of infection. Contact your health care provider if:
• The incision is red, swollen or leaking discharge.
• You have a fever higher than 100.4 F (38 C).
• You experience increasing pain around your incision.

Source: Mayo Clinic