I am home now and have begun the process of recovering from my c-birth and man all i can say is this is way worse!
I have never understood why anyone would CHOOSE to have a c-section. (note i’m talking about moms who choose it, not the moms who need it. i’m talking about those moms who want the birthday to fit into their schedule, want a tummy tuck done at the time of birth, or simply are to scared to deliver vaginally because of stories they have heard. not the moms who have breech babies, labored for 20 hours or pushed for 5 with no progress, or have some other pregnancy or delivery complication that would prevent them from having a low risk normal vaginal delivery) A c-section is a major abdominal surgery with lots of risks involved and i just can’t imagine why anyone would choose the c-section and all it involves over the much less risky vaginal delivery. Now, however, that i have had a c-section i understand the choice even less. Granted the recovery from a vaginal delivery can be hard also; especially if you have torn or have side effects from interventions such as back pain or headache from an epidural; but in my experience this recovery is far worse.
A vaginal delivery you may be soar, no matter how you deliver your abdominal are weak, and your keagl muscle needs toning. you are going to feel engorged when your milk arrives, and you may have hemorrhoids. Generally speaking, however, with a vaginal delivery you should be up and walking freely within the first few hours (maybe longer depending on interventions you may have received). With a vaginal delivery there are really no restrictions on recovery, you are able to move and do as you please.
With a cesarean delivery your recovery is a bit more intense. You can’t lift anything heavier than your baby, you can’t drive, go up and down stairs. You have to continue to move in and out of bed as if you were 10 months prego being carefull not to engage your abs. For many an abdominal belt is necessary during recovery; which can take on average 6-8 weeks. Even walking is difficult. The nurses will get you up at 8 hours after your surgery and from there you will need to get up regularly and walk each time pushing yourself a bit further. And to top it off you will be on a regular dosage of pain meds for a few weeks.
I’m only 6 days out, but for me the cesarean recovery is very difficult. I was up and walking and standing within 8 hours with no help which according to the nurses was amazing. But now i can feel my internal stitches make every movement very difficult. In fact the pain is so strong i spent the day in the ER ruling out possible sources of the pain before we determined if was in fact the stitches. aside from the pain i am exhausted and can fall asleep anywhere. i have trouble being on my feet for more than a minute or two. My muscles are just sore fortunately though the abdominal belt has made a huge difference in y ability to get up and down and move around. Emotionally the c-section is a lot worse but that is a story for another time. In comparison after my vaginal delivery i had no pain meds, was up and moving right away with the exception that i couldnt sneeze or laugh because it hurt but that only lasted a few days.
i know everyone is different and i have heard stories that both emphasized hard points for both styles of delivery. but it seems to me that the difficult recoveries after a vaginal delivery were all related to tearing or to the interventions received while in labor.
How about you? Have you experienced both, what was your recovery like?