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Do You Need a C-Section?

Do You Need a C-Section?

How long does it take to recover?

All women recover at different rates, but generally speaking:

Your catheter will be removed: The morning after surgery

You can walk around and take a shower: 24 hours after surgery

You'll be able to walk comfortably: two weeks after surgery

You can stop taking pain medication: one to two weeks after surgery

You'll be able to resume cardiovascular exercise and strength training: six weeks post surgery.

To boost your rate of recovery and lower the risk of infection, it's important to get up and move as soon as possible after your surgery. Too much bed rest can lead to blood clots. It also helps to have exercised throughout pregnancy and to eat right pre- and post-surgery. "You'll heal better with a nutritious diet," says Dr. Marnach.

Meet our Experts:

Dr. William Camann is a member of the Just the Facts, Baby expert panel. He is the director of obstetric anesthesia at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, an associate professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School, and past-president of the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology. An internationally recognized authority on obstetric anesthesia and pain control during childbirth, Dr. Camann is the co-author of Easy Labor, Every Woman's Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth (Random House/Ballantine Books, 2006).
Dr. Mary Marnach is an ob/gyn at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.