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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A C-section, or cesarean section, is abdominal surgery to deliver your baby.
Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:
- You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
- You cough up blood.
Contact your obstetrician if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your stitches come apart.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You have heavy vaginal bleeding that fills 1 or more sanitary pads in 1 hour.
- You have a fever.
- Your incision is swollen, red, or draining pus.
- You have questions or concerns about yourself or your baby.
You may need any of the following:
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines you are using to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly. Do not use more than 4 grams (4,000 milligrams) total of acetaminophen in one day.
- NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Carefully wash your incision wound with soap and water every day. Keep your wound clean and dry. Wear loose, comfortable clothes that do not rub against your wound. Ask your OB about bathing and showering.
Limit activity as directed:
- Ask when it is safe for you to drive, walk up stairs, lift heavy objects, and have sex.
- Ask when it is okay to exercise, and what types of exercise to do. Start slowly and do more as you get stronger.
Drink liquids as directed:
Liquids help keep you hydrated after your procedure and decrease your risk for a blood clot. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
Follow up with your obstetrician as directed:
You may need to return to have your stitches or staples removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.