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Lori: We're going home. Yay!
Narrator: Four days after delivering her second son, Ryan, by c-section at Paoli Hospital in Pennsylvania, Lori's headed home with a long list of do's and don'ts from her doctor.
Doctor: The best way to heal is to listen to your body. To get up and walk, as long as you don't feel a lot of pain. To get plenty of sleep when you can.
Narrator: Dr. Radhi Kakarla is Lori's obstetrician.
Doctor: Get somebody to help you around the house or with the other kids or with cleaning. I tell moms all the time, nap when your baby's napping.
Narrator: It will take six to eight weeks for Lori to completely heal, regain her energy, and return to her normal routine.
Lori: Mama has to lie down. She's tired.
Narrator: Lori's discovered the best way to get in and out of bed.
Lori: In the beginning, you learn to kinda roll out of bed instead of just trying to get up the way you normally would.
Narrator: She's also found it feels better to hold a pillow against her incision when she laughs or coughs.
At home, Lori will continue managing her pain with a prescription painkiller and over-the-counter ibuprofen.
Most doctors recommend that c-section patients wean themselves off of the prescription medication within a week or two of returning home.
Doctor: If you need it for more than two weeks, you need to let us know.
Narrator: Even though Lori looks pretty well healed on the outside, she's still healing internally and needs to take it easy, get lots of rest, eat well, and stay hydrated.
Doctor: In these first two weeks, take care of yourself and take care of your baby. Don't try and do housework, don't try and do the laundry, and no driving for two weeks.
Narrator: Your doctor will want you to restrict other activities as well for the first four to six weeks after surgery.
Don't remove surgical tape from your incision. Let it fall off naturally.
No tampons or douches.
No exercising or swimming.
No lifting anything that weighs more than 15 pounds, which could cause your incision to open.
No sex until two weeks after your bleeding stops.
Lori: Thank you.
Alex: You're welcome.
Narrator: Back at home for nearly two weeks, Lori is resting and accepting help from her husband, Alex, as she heals – and doing what she can to take care of their 2-year-old, A.J., and newborn, Ryan.
Alex: Well, we had a crying baby every two hours, and my wife did a wonderful job with breastfeeding the baby.
Lori: I've been home for 12 days, and my mother had A.J. for four of them. We're starting to get into a routine and doing pretty good.
Narrator: Lori feels good enough to take a short walk with her family. Each day, as her energy and strength increases, she'll do a little more.
Lori: My incision feels fine. It's not so much the cut as the muscles underneath it that are sore.
Narrator: Lori stopped taking her prescription pain medication on day ten and is now using just ibuprofen for pain.
Lori: I can tell I am still a little slow, so I wouldn't drive unless I had to at this point.
Narrator: Letting her family take care of her is making all the difference.
Lori: Mmm, thank you.
Narrator: Your doctor will want to see you for a routine postpartum visit four to six weeks after your c-section. Don't skip this appointment, even if you feel like you're fully recovered.
Doctor: For health reasons, we need to make sure that your uterus has gotten back down to its normal size. There are no signs of infection in the c-section area. If you have any problems, obviously, any redness, tenderness, any pus-like drainage, you need to let us know.
Narrator: At your postpartum checkup, you'll:
Be evaluated for postpartum depression
Get an internal exam
Have your incision checked to be sure it's healing properly
Talk to your doctor about birth control, and
Get the okay to resume sexual activity, which is generally fine six weeks after surgery if you haven't had any complications.
Doctor: This looks good.
Doctor: You can do some light exercise, but I wouldn't do any real heavy lifting or a lot of straining until the full eight weeks postpartum.
Narrator: Lori's advice to other c-section moms?
Lori: Get as much help as you possibly can and don't be afraid to ask people to do things for you.
Narrator: After eight weeks, Lori is back to being supermom. And when she can, she finds time to take care of herself.