Cesarean Delivery

Care After

Refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These instructions provide you with information on caring for yourself after your procedure. Your health care provider may also give you specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to current medical practices, but problems sometimes occur. Call your health care provider if you have any problems or questions after you go home.


  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medications as directed by your health care provider.

  • Do not drink alcohol, especially if you are breastfeeding or taking medication to relieve pain.

  • Do not chew or smoke tobacco.

  • Continue to use good perineal care. Good perineal care includes:

  • Wiping your perineum from front to back.

  • Keeping your perineum clean.

  • Check your surgical cut (incision) daily for increased redness, drainage, swelling, or separation of skin.

  • Clean your incision gently with soap and water every day, and then pat it dry. If your health care provider says it is OK, leave the incision uncovered. Use a bandage (dressing) if the incision is draining fluid or appears irritated. If the adhesive strips across the incision do not fall off within 7 days, carefully peel them off.

  • Hug a pillow when coughing or sneezing until your incision is healed. This helps to relieve pain.

  • Do not use tampons or douche until your health care provider says it is okay.

  • Shower, wash your hair, and take tub baths as directed by your health care provider.

  • Wear a well-fitting bra that provides breast support.

  • Limit wearing support panties or control-top hose.

  • Drink enough fluids to keep your urine clear or pale yellow.

  • Eat high-fiber foods such as whole grain cereals and breads, brown rice, beans, and fresh fruits and vegetables every day. These foods may help prevent or relieve constipation.

  • Resume activities such as climbing stairs, driving, lifting, exercising, or traveling as directed by your health care provider.

  • Talk to your health care provider about resuming sexual activities. This is dependent upon your risk of infection, your rate of healing, and your comfort and desire to resume sexual activity.

  • Try to have someone help you with your household activities and your newborn for at least a few days after you leave the hospital.

  • Rest as much as possible. Try to rest or take a nap when your newborn is sleeping.

  • Increase your activities gradually.

  • Keep all of your scheduled postpartum appointments. It is very important to keep your scheduled follow-up appointments. At these appointments, your health care provider will be checking to make sure that you are healing physically and emotionally.


  • You are passing large clots from your vagina. Save any clots to show your health care provider.

  • You have a foul smelling discharge from your vagina.

  • You have trouble urinating.

  • You are urinating frequently.

  • You have pain when you urinate.

  • You have a change in your bowel movements.

  • You have increasing redness, pain, or swelling near your incision.

  • You have pus draining from your incision.

  • Your incision is separating.

  • You have painful, hard, or reddened breasts.

  • You have a severe headache.

  • You have blurred vision or see spots.

  • You feel sad or depressed.

  • You have thoughts of hurting yourself or your newborn.

  • You have questions about your care, the care of your newborn, or medications.

  • You are dizzy or lightheaded.

  • You have a rash.

  • You have pain, redness, or swelling at the site of the removed intravenous access (IV) tube.

  • You have nausea or vomiting.

  • You stopped breastfeeding and have not had a menstrual period within 12 weeks of stopping.

  • You are not breastfeeding and have not had a menstrual period within 12 weeks of delivery.

  • You have a fever.


  • You have persistent pain.

  • You have chest pain.

  • You have shortness of breath.

  • You faint.

  • You have leg pain.

  • You have stomach pain.

  • Your vaginal bleeding saturates 2 or more sanitary pads in 1 hour.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.