9 Things That Shocked Me About Postpartum C-Section Recovery

Want to know exactly what to expect postpartum after having a c-section?

Today we are going to get real mama! I won’t sugarcoat it, you just need to know. I am here to give it to you straight.

This list of things that shocked me postpartum c-section recovery is no joke and honestly, I wish I knew this beforehand. 

It’s not too HORRIBLE but it’s worth knowing beforehand so you can prepare better.

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There may be nothing that can prevent some of these things from happening and that’s OK, maybe some things won’t happen to you, but it’s pretty common, at least from what I have heard…

These postpartum recovery symptoms are what I personally experienced.

After reading this article just remember one thing, it won’t last forever and you’ll get through it. (the body heals girlfriend)

Related: 6 Important Things to Include in Your Postpartum Kit

Let’s get into the shockers…

The Staples

I honestly had no idea they staple you. They do stitches too but the staples were something I didn’t know about. Although it’s not too bad, they do take them out a couple of days after or even the next day. 

This is not quite a postpartum c-section recovery shock because this happened during the actual c-section, but I figured I would mention it anyway just in case you weren’t ready to hear the staple gun after the baby is delivered.

Speaking of “during the c-section” shocker, the pressure was almost unbearable. Getting that baby out really took some force or it could have just been my baby. Something worth noting though.

The Surgical Tape

After they took my stitches out, they applied surgical tape over the stitches. Be careful with this, it may irritate you. At least it did for me.

If you have particularly sensitive skin, you may want to opt into using your own surgical tape specifically made for sensitive skin. I found that this surgical tape helps.

The Blood

Yes, there will be blood even after a c-section. You are going to need to be prepared for this with plenty of pads and disposable underwear.

I would suggest getting some disposable underwear like these, and also these pads are pretty bomb to get the job done.

Try to go to the bathroom as much as you can to clean yourself while you are in the hospital. Do not use wipes with fragrances or any soaps with fragrances either.

After coming home from the hospital use a very gentle vaginal wash soap or just plain water with a popular peri bottle like this one to flush everything clean down there.

  • The blood will typically subside over time and stop completely after four to six weeks.

The First Pee

First of all…

I never even felt the catheter situation.

They apparently put it in after the epidural was done.

I didn’t even KNOW that after having it removed it was going to be that hard to pee.

Not only was it really difficult to push out my first pee after the c-section it was almost painful.

I complained about this to the nurse on staff that night and she informed me that it is normal and it is because my body needed to remember how to pee on my own without help from the catheter.


No worries though, it was only uncomfortable for the first pee, after that it is smooth sailing again, at least for me.

The First Poop

Same thing…

The first poop doesn’t hurt, but it is again, pretty difficult to manage.

What I mean by this is that it was hard to push out even while taking stool softeners.

I would suggest sitting on the toilet and watching a Netflix show or playing a game on your phone to distract you and hopefully, get things going, not even kidding.

Most hospitals will not let you go home until you take your first poo anyways, so really, it doesn’t hurt to try.

Coughing, Sneezing, and Laughing

While you are sitting in the hospital bed with your little one and talking to friends and family that visit, you are going to have a laugh or two, be careful.

I was not prepared for this and it came as a total shock. (but you would think with a little common sense this is normal)

The wound will hurt while doing so.

Coughing and sneezing are seriously the worst.

Caugh right now, your tummy will expand a little bit. That little bit feels like a lot bit when you have a fresh c-section wound.

Just hold onto your belly a little when you feel the urge to cough or sneeze, it should help somewhat.

The pain will subside as the wound heals.


The nurse will probably tell you to walk a couple of hours after the procedure to get the blood flowing and muscles going.

I had my son at 11:50 pm so I got to sleep afterward and in the morning they had me taking a walk down the hallways.

This can be painful, obviously. You can definitely feel the wound stretch as you are getting up and taking those first steps.

The more you do it the better it will get though.

Lifting things (even baby)

When you are recovering from a c-section even lifting your baby will be a bit tense.

This will get better over time.

Do not lift heavy objects until your dr. says it is OK to do so.

If you are lifting your baby out of a:

  • bassinet
  • pack and play
  • crib
  • floor mat
  • swing
  • bouncy seat

Remember to do it slowly or ask for help.

Do not overdo it or you will risk having to go back for more stitches if one pops out.

Occasional twinges years later

As I am writing this right now, it has been 6 years since I had my c-section.

I can confidently say that my scar is not THAT BAD anymore, but…

I do have to say on some occasions I do feel twinges and get a little achy STILL in the c-section area.

I do not feel it in the scar, its more of an internal thing if that makes sense.

Remember mama, it is major surgery, it will follow you for years.


All that being said, I am not trying to scare you but to give you a glimpse into what you are about to encounter.

Now you can go into this with a sense of knowledge and prepare accordingly.

These things can be daunting to you, but nothing compares to the most positive thing you will ever get out of the whole experience, your precious little baby. Learn more about how to prepare for baby here.

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