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While the financial benefits of returning to work after giving birth are a must for many families, the transition isn't always smooth sailing. Add in cesarean section recovery time and you'll have to take your health and physical well-being into consideration too. Instead of dreading your post-baby debut, plan for your return, take it slow and ease yourself back into life as a working mommy.
A c-section hospital stay is likely to be under four days, but a full recovery can take weeks or longer. The Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center recommends that a c-section mom should wait at least six to eight weeks before going back to work. While this recommendation is based on typical recovery times, you should speak to your doctor before get back on the job to discuss the specifics about your physical condition and work needs.
While it's not the norm, it is possible to have some degree of pain around the incision area six months or longer according to the American Pregnancy Association. Talk to your doctor about a pain management plan that works for you and your work situation, Doctors may prescribe strong narcotic pain relievers to a mother right after the procedure. By the time she's ready to go to work, she should be down to over-the-counter pain relievers. Walking at a slow or relaxed pace is a natural way to ease away the pain. If you're sitting at a desk job, use what free time you have to get up and walk around.
Labor After Labor
Even if you aren't feeling much pain, you should avoid lifting anything that weighs more than your baby immediately after your surgery. Six to eight weeks after the birth, a woman should be able to safely lift 10 to 20 pounds, according to the Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center. Anything heavier than that may strain your abdominal muscles and stress the incision area. If the job requires heavy or frequent lifting, you will want to wait at least eight weeks until you return to work.
Talk to Your Employer
Talk to your supervisor about this transition before you go back to work. For example, find out if you'll be given the time to take a walk every few hours. If the job can't accommodate such requests, you'll need to come up with an alternative plan. Another issue to speak to your boss about is missing work to go to doctor's appointments. You'll need to have your incision checked by your doctor a week or two after your surgery and go to six-week check-up.