Ok, the c-section has happened, that baby is out, you’re in a room —> now what? What can you expect moving forward?

+ Your first 2 hours (ish), you are a “post-op” patient. Your RN likely won’t leave your bedside and will be continuously checking vital signs, your fundus, your bleeding, and your anesthesia levels.
+ You usually have a 3-lead EKG to monitor your heart during this time.
+ The urinary catheter is in place; you are usually first up anywhere between 8-24 hours.
+ There are IV pain medications available; some women need them, some need nothing at this time.
+ You’ll have IV fluids running; usually a combination of Lactated Ringers (LR) and Pitocin. This runs for at least 12 hours.
+ After post-op, you move to a similar care plan as a vaginal delivery; vital sign checks, fundal checks, and pain management every 4 hours.
+ If you are in a PACU/post-op room, you will be moved to the postpartum unit.

Pain // It is not standard care to give mothers pain management pumps. Most pain(s) are managed with IV pain meds early on, then switched to an oral regimen of narcotics, Tylenol, and Ibuprofen. Pain typically spikes at about 18 hours post-op – don’t be a hero and take no oral meds in those early hours!

WALKING // We want you up for healing! I’ve had women up as early as 8 hours – always by 24 hours. This also means that urinary catheter can come out.

EATING // Our biggest concern is nausea and a “sleepy” GI system from the surgery. You’ll start small and slow – ice chips, clear liquids, etc.

BREASTFEEDING // Yes, yes, yes! It can feel a little clunky with an IV and the pain at your incision, but your RN and your partner should be ready to help hold and position.

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Check out the prior two posts in this series and the stories/highlights for much, much more, including more discussion about fears and emotional processes too.”

Post by: @thelabormama

gorgeous 📷: @happyandgray

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