Whether your c-section birth was by choice or needed in an emergency, recovery from major abdominal surgery while caring for a newborn can be a physical and emotional challenge.
Mamamia heard from 16 women on what surprised them the most about their c-section and the recovery process; from the good to the bad and the occasionally funny.
Watch: The thoughts you have while giving birth. Post continues below.
1. Irene on the time it took to get back ‘to normal’.
I didn’t really appreciate how hard a c-section is on the female body until I had one and had to learn how to safely lift myself up out of bed.
It took much longer to recover than I thought - a good five months. I still remember six weeks postpartum trying to do a pushup on my knees and collapsing to the floor because I didn’t have the strength to push myself up and then doing my first HIIT class at four months postpartum and walking out in tears.
We need to remember to really look after ourselves and cut ourselves a little bit of slack!
2. Amanda-Leah on the emotional strain.
I found out while in labour with my third that she was in the breech position.
I tried to still deliver her vaginally but ultimately ended up having an emergency c-section. I was teary and more emotional after the c-section than the previous two vaginal births. I also hated being in hospital for the two nights.
I found it frustrating at times being restricted by what activities I could do while recovering, especially since I already had an 18-month-old and a three-year-old to look after.
For me, it was harder emotionally after having a c-section but am very grateful I have a healthy baby because if it.