C-Section Delivery: Healing and Recovery


by: Sean Daneshmand, MD - Perinatal ObGyn, San Diego CA

As a new mom, you have plenty on your mind, from worrying about whether your newborn will be healthy to how you’ll manage the new addition to the family. But if you are planning a C-section or are recovering from one, you have a bit more on your mind. In addition to post-delivery fatigue and other typical post pregnancy complaints, you’ll also need to make sure your body heals properly.

What you need to know about C-section recovery

Every woman is different—so every recovery is different. Here are some of the common challenges mothers may experience after a C-section delivery

  • Difficulty getting into or out of bed
  • Inability to carry or lift objects or, in some cases, your infant
  • Discomfort when wearing garments that irritate the wound
  • Pain, irritation, and itchiness around the incision
  • Uncomfortable swelling and bloating


Your health care professional will advise you about how to alleviate some of these discomforts. You might receive a prescription pain medication for soreness or take a stool softener to increase bowel activity. Family and friends may be able to help as well, for example, by handling daily activities, such as carrying laundry upstairs.

Caring for your C-section scar

Most scars are about 4 to 6 inches long. Initially, the incision site will be about 1/8” wide, but it will shrink somewhat after healing.  During post pregnancy recovery, keep the wound clean and dry. You’ll also need to monitor it for redness or swelling, which could indicate an infection. Many women use a silicone gel or sheeting type to promote healing and reduce the intensity of their scars. It is very important to choose your clothing wisely, making sure there is plenty of circulation and comfort so healing is not compromised.

Helping your healing and recovery with a support garment

In addition to following your medical provider’s instructions, you’ll also find relief in a post pregnancy support garment. A quality C-section recovery garment supports the abdomen by stabilizing the incision site and surrounding tissue. What’s more, its panels provide the much needed back support that allows you to feel more comfortable. A well-made garment will also feature a zippered side opening, making it hassle-free to wear. Post pregnancy support is a safe and drug-free way to help the body heal.

Why everyday shapewear in not your best option

These tummy-tightening, rear-lifting garments are very popular, but they are not designed to provide support to a woman recovering from major surgery. Conventional shapewear may have seams that run over the incision site or material that chafes and irritates the skin. It may also feature a pull-on design that makes it uncomfortable (or impossible) for a recuperating mom to put on and take off. 

Give your recovering body the comfort it needs.

From asking loved ones for a hand to wearing a C-section recovery garment, you’ll find that once your body feels better you’ll be able to focus on the new baby—and lavish all the loving attention.

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