indian woman kissing her newborn on the forehead

By Dr Janice TUNG, Associate Consultant and Associate Professor Tan Thiam Chye, Visiting Consultant, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

Now that your labour is done, you can enjoy revelling in new motherhood. But it's important to keep looking after your body just as diligently as you did in your three trimesters, particularly if you've had a Caesarean section. Here's what you need to be mindful of if you had a Caesarean section:

Take Your Time

take your time

As you might expect from the large and deep belly cut that a C-section entails, this wound can take a while to heal — six to eight weeks is the norm. Remember to take it slow!

Related: First Week After Delivery: How to Cope with My Wound?

Get Up For a Stroll

get up for a stroll

To make sure your recovery is as speedy and efficient as possible, it's best to get out of bed as soon as you and your doctor feel you're ready. This will also lessen the risk of developing blood clots.

Say Goodbye to Your Stitches

say goodbye to stitches

While dissolvable stitches are common nowadays, it's possible that you may receive metallic staples or non-absorbable stitches. In this case, you'll be asked to return another time after birth, so they can be removed.

Related: What to Expect After Labour

Keep Your Dressing Dry

keep dressing dry

Your wound will be carefully dressed before you leave the hospital. Though you're free to take baths or showers, you should keep the dressing dry for the first few days. If it gets wet, remove the dressing and keep the wound dry. After about a week, if the dressing is still on, moisten and remove the dressing. Some doctors may also recommend you use an abdominal binder, an elastic belt that cinches around your waist to support your belly muscles and relieve discomfort.

Related: Skin Care Tips During Pregnancy and After Birth

Ease Yourself Back Into Fitness

ease back into fitness

Once you've fully recovered, which will likely take six weeks, check with your doctor about getting back to your old activities. There are exercises that can help you get back in shape, which you may begin when you have recovered.

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The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific

Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore