There are several common C-Section complications when delivering your baby via Cesarean Section.
That’s not to worry you or make you afraid. Having a C-Section is a very common surgery.
I’m telling you this because having a healthy awareness of these complications and understanding their symptoms, remedies and how to keep them from becoming more serious, will help you heal faster and avoid unnecessary anxiety.
8 Common C-Section Complications and How To Avoid More Serious Complications
1. Postpartum depression after a c-section
It’s likely you’ll experience some ‘baby blues’ after your C-Section, which is normal after any birth. However some women who have had a C-Section experience depression that results from feeling robbed of the natural birth experience, or from having had surgery, especially if the C-Section was unplanned or unexpected.
Normal postnatal or ‘baby blues’ generally lasts about 3-10 days following birth and should subside without any treatment. However, depression lasting longer than 2 weeks or includes any of the following could mean excessive postpartum depression and you should contact your doctor immediately.
- Strong feelings of depression, anger, doubt, guilt, or helplessness that gets worse over time
- An inability to care for themselves or their baby
- Change in appetite
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Intense concern or perhaps no interest at all in your baby
- Suicidal thoughts
2. Bleeding after a C-Section
Some bleeding after a C-Section is normal. However heavy, persistent bleeding is not. Heavy bleeding could mean postpartum hemorrhage caused by placenta or other uterine problems.
For example, the placenta can attach itself more strongly to the uterine wall preventing easy separation of the placenta after delivery causing it to bleed.
Placenta problems occur more often in women who have had at least one previous c-section or have had placenta problems in the past.
How To Avoid Post C-Section Bleeding: Take it easy, simple as that. For up to six weeks following your C-Seciton you should avoid heavy lifting, stretching and excessive abdominal exercise.
3. Incision Infection after a c-section
There are two incisions made when having a c-section, an external skin incision and an internal incision on your uterus.
External incision infections occur in about 10-20% of c-section surgeries, however internal incision infections are less common, but they can be much more serious.
How To Avoid infection: Keep your external incision clean daily. Do not touch your incision before washing your hands. Here is more on proper incision care to avoid an infection.
To avoid causing an internal infection, avoid using tampons and having sex after your C-Section for at least six weeks after surgery or until your doctor advises it’s OK.
4. Nerve injury after a C-Section
As a result of having a C-Section, there are nerves that will be cut. The good news is that these nerves will heal but healing may take longer than expected. You may have numbness in your skin for several months, even years for some women. Fortunately this numbness will eventually go away with time. For me it took about 3 years to completely get feeling back to my incision area.
5. Adverse reactions to medication after C-Section
Serious or fatal reactions are rare, however be sure to tell your doctor about any or all allergies that you are aware of before getting any anesthesia. Adverse reactions to medications generally occur as itchiness or rashes.
6. Delayed bowel function after Cesarean
Your bowel function will slow down or stop after having your c-section. This is why you are given clear liquids until activity re-occurs. Once you begin passing gas this will mean normal functions are returning. Full function of your bowels is also a criteria that needs to be met before you can go home.
7. Constipation and Gas
You may get constipated after your C-Section. The pain medications can cause that.
To help from getting extreme constipation don’t take iron tablets or foods that are known to bind before your surgery if you can help it. Eat lots of fruit around the time of your delivery and of course, drink plenty of water.
Also a stool softener can help. Ask your doctor if she can recommend something.
8. C-Section Complications with Adhesions
All abdominal surgery will leave you with adhesions or scar tissue, that includes c-sections. Adhesion are the internal scar tissue that forms a connection between tissues or organs.
Some patients are never bothered by them, but some are. The most unfortunate thing about adhesions is that they can cause severe abdominal or pelvic pain and in some cases even bowel obstructions.
Adhesions are difficult to avoid completely but you can minimize them with abdominal massage, which you can do almost immediately after surgery.
These are eight rather common C-Section complications that won’t require much more than careful monitoring and common sense to help avoid more serious complications. However familiarizing yourself with each one of these complications is an important step in making sure you heal quickly and keeping your anxiety levels low.
For more comprehensive advice, tips and personal tips when having a C-Section, grab The Worry Free C-Section for help on avoiding unnecessary risk, and recovering faster with less pain.