3rd Trimester

Labor recovery question (natural birth)

This is a question for you ladies who already have one or more children:  if you delivered naturally (not a c/s), how was your recovery?  I hear stories that you can't sit for weeks, tearing recovery, extra skin from healing down there, etc. & some women make it sound worse than my c/s recovery was...

I'm really on the fence about whether to attempt a vbac - I had a c/s with DS since he was breech.  This baby is head down & my Dr said I have about 75-80% chance of delivering, but he will not induce me (if no progress then I have a c/s at 41 wks).  I'm really leaning towards trying the vbac since I know I'll be up & moving quicker than with the c/s & it would make it easier with DS (altho Dh will be home for 3 wks anyways to help). 

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Re: Labor recovery question (natural birth)

  • They had an interesting discussion on the VBAC board about the recovery after a VBAC vs the recovery after a cesarean.

    http://community.thebump.com/cs/ks/forums/9841109/ShowForum.aspx

    http://community.thebump.com/cs/ks/forums/thread/73105374.aspx

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  • I had a vaginal delivery with DD and I'd say my recovery was average.  Yes I got a horrible hemorrhoid, yes, I bled like a banchee, yes, I was scared beyond belief to poop that first poop, I slept with tucks pads shoved up my butt crack that laid in the gigantic pad I had to wear.  But it passes and you start to heal.  I think it's all quite normal.  Good luck with your VBAC and I think you should stick with attempting it! 
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  • I had a third degree tear with DS. I used ice packs and took Advil for the first few days, but really, it wasn't that bad. I did use calendula cream on the stitches, and made sure to soak them for 10 minutes, 3 x a day for the first 2 weeks. I think that helped things heal well. I had no problems with my recovery, no extra skin or sex issues, and generally didn't think it was a huge deal. Definitely not on par with slicing open my abdomen for major surgery.

    If you're even slightly considering a 3rd baby, I'd really hope for a VBAC. Every c-section has increased risks over the previous one, and increased risk of problems with the placenta for the next pregnancy. 

  • I haven't had a c-section so I have mo comparison, but my recovery seemed really easy. After 1.5hrs of pushing and a second-degree tear with my first I was sore, but we went to a festival when he was two weeks old that required quite a bit of walking so I couldn't have felt that bad. With my second I pushed for 10 minutes, had a small tear, and felt great a few days later. I mean, not "wanting to have sex" great, but "I can walk around like a normal person" great.
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  • image tokenhoser:

    If you're even slightly considering a 3rd baby, I'd really hope for a VBAC. Every c-section has increased risks over the previous one, and increased risk of problems with the placenta for the next pregnancy. 

    This is another factor - we may be done after this one but I'm really not sure...  but then again I hear stories of women having like 5-6 c-sections!!  (I really need to stop listening to all these stories...  lol

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  • My first pregnancy I was induced, and had an episiotomy. I was really sore!! I was so sore sometimes it hurt to walk or sit. It lasted MONTHS!!!

    My second baby I went into labor on my own. My midwife (in Germany) did the perineum massage to help me stretch. I delivered my baby, and didn't tear or anything! I didn't even feel like I had a baby! I was up and walking around, and sitting and all that with no issue. The only thing I can say that felt different was that my tummy and organs felt really heavy. Probably because everything was in it's place again, and of course the belly felt like Jell-O. Over all I felt great!!

    I hope this one is the same way!!

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  • I had 2nd degree tears both times, and the recovery really wasn't bad at all. I didn't need pain meds or ice packs. I just kept the stitches clean and used the topical spray. Sitting on a hard kitchen chair for long periods of time wasn't the most comfortable, but I was fine on the couch or bed.
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  • I had a by the book vaginal delivery with DS1.  I did have a small episiotomy, but it wasn't horrible by any means.  It hurt (or was uncomfortable) to sit on hard surfaces for a week or so (bed, sofa, padded chair were all fine), I was terrified of that first poop (no big deal in the end), terrified of sex (use lots of lube when you're ready to start again), but none of it was that bad. *oh, and there's no extra skin down there, I've heard of it happening, but my OB could seriously be a plastic surgeon for his stitching.  DH took a peek when he was done, and DH said you couldn't even tell that I'd been snipped, I think that's pretty darn impressive seeing as how it was literally maybe 30-45 minutes after DS1 was born.

    I had a c/s with my twins, also by the book with no complications, and I don't need to probably tell you what my recovery was like with it, but not that bad either.  

    I really don't think either was harder/easier, they both had different benefits and challenges.  I've experienced both and I'm attempting a VBAC this time around (I'm 39w as a surrogate) so it obviously can't be that bad or I'd have opted for the RCS. 


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  • I had an easy recovery and had an episiotmy with my first. I was able to sit just fine and the only real complication I could say is really bad gas.
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  • I had a natural delivery with my first and had a minimal tear.  I felt fine after about a week.  Yes, it was sore for a bit but I used the dermaplast they gave me as well as tucks pads to help. 

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  • I didn't think it was all that bad at all. The stories I heard were definitely much worse than what I experienced. 
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  • image mermomo5:
    This will be our fifth 1st tore but got up and walked right away not awful! 2nd all natural tore again up walking no issue. 3rd cs found it a tougher recovery by a long shot. 4th natural tore a little no issues. They give you I believe witch hazel small pads and ice pack pads they are the best invention ever! Good luck honestly the vbac was my easiest to date fx this one is the same.

     

    With my third,  I was so happy to have the witch hazel pads. Made me feel so much better! I had to have nice too-my vagina was swollen really bad so they mad me sitting on ice for a long time. I didn't have any ears. With my first child, I had two stiches and with my son I had six. It only hurt to pee with my oldest and I was scared to poop with both my oldest and my middle child. By the time I had my youngest, after I got off the bed I went and peed and pooped and I was walking around like I didn't even just push a human being out of my vagina lol

     

    But if you are scared to poop or even have problems they will give you laxatives to help. But its really not that bad at all!!

  • I was in labor for 20 hours, but the recovery was great.  All I took was Ibuprofin for pain when I needed it.  I did not tear though, so I'm not sure how that would feel.  I've heard that C-Sections are more challenging because the recovery is longer and harder.
  • My recovery wasn't as easy as many women here. I did have quite a bad tear; it took a long time for the doctor to "put everything where it should be" her words, not mine. I lived on a cocktail of Advil and Tylenol... they can be taken simultaneously... For about two or three weeks. I couldn't sit on hard surfaces like kitchen chairs, but bed or couch were fine.

    I did have a rather long battle with my hemerrhoids that lasted probably four or five months. That was miserable.

    Honestly, if you don't try to over do it for the first couple of weeks you should be ok... But I really got up and about far sooner than I should have.

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  • I pushed for three hours, no meds. I did have an episiotomy. Yes, I was sore. Yes it was painful/uncomfortable to sit/lay down/go to the bathroom for awhile. But it was worth it, not terrible, and I'm planning to do it all again in a couple months. :)
    Wyatt 9/6/2011 
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  • I had a vaginal birth with my daughter and really can't complain about my recovery. Yes I was sore I only had a mini mini tear that did not require stitches thank you perineum massage but it was nothing too bad. I was up and moving right after she was born, started going for walks within a week or so and felt like normal pretty quickly.
  • I felt fine after and was up and walking around. Would never want it any other way.
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  • I feel a bit differently.  I completely agree with all of the risks associated with a c-section, but I did have a terrible recovery from my natural birth and I am very nervous about a c section this time since for me it would be like the worst of both worlds- a c section scar, and all of the complications of my bad recovery that still impact me.  I know I am the exception, but in my case the recovery was so bad that sometimes I think I would have preferred a c section :( 
  • kegkeg
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    I had a semi-scheduled section for my twins (no labor) and a VBAC for my singleton.  My section was straight forward and no complications.  While the labor/delivery of my singleton was pretty textbook, I had a postpartum hemorrhage and had to get a couple units of blood.  Even with the complications of my VBAC (and a second degree tear and vaginal hematoma), the recovery seemed much easier than my section.  Pain wise, after my vaginal delivery, I only had half a dose of percocet and some motrin.  I also didn't have nearly the constipation issue I did after my section.  I highly recommend VBACs! 
    2004-Started TTC; Nov 2007-Lap with endo removed; Jan 2008-Ectopic (mtx); April 2008-IVF #1 (bfp, twin girls); March 2011-FET (cp); June 2012-IVF #2 (bfp, singleton, EDD 3-19-12)

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  • I had a first degree tear and got a hemi from my 15 mins of pushing. I didn't need ice packs or anything, just witch hazel and the peri bottle. The worst part for me were the contractions from my uterus shrinking back down...I took Advil and Tylenol for those.
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  • image valeivegas:

    This is a question for you ladies who already have one or more children:  if you delivered naturally (not a c/s), how was your recovery?  I hear stories that you can't sit for weeks, tearing recovery, extra skin from healing down there, etc. & some women make it sound worse than my c/s recovery was...

    I'm really on the fence about whether to attempt a vbac - I had a c/s with DS since he was breech.  This baby is head down & my Dr said I have about 75-80% chance of delivering, but he will not induce me (if no progress then I have a c/s at 41 wks).  I'm really leaning towards trying the vbac since I know I'll be up & moving quicker than with the c/s & it would make it easier with DS (altho Dh will be home for 3 wks anyways to help). 

    I have not experienced VBAC, but my recovery was fairly easy. My labia was swollen and I had dissolvable stitches from my second degree tearing. Sitting and going to the restroom was an adventure for a while, but not that bad. I had lochia for about 6 weeks and then it tapered off.

    If you are a candidate for VBAC and want to attempt it then I say go for it! Good luck!

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  • I've never had a c-section (so obviously no VBAC), but did a med-free vaginal birth with my first. Recovery was pretty easy, actually -- I had a second degree tear that needed stitching, but that was it. I went home 3 hours after giving birth. I was a little sore, sure, but it wasn't like I had a problem sitting down or anything. I didn't need ice packs or spray or sitz baths -- just put on a huge pad, took some colace once a day, maybe an occasional ibuprofen for cramps, and I was fine. Just tired!

    Honestly, I think figuring out how to deal with sleep deprivation and breastfeeding were MUCH bigger deals than the physical recovery.

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  • image redaero:

    Honestly, I think figuring out how to deal with sleep deprivation and breastfeeding were MUCH bigger deals than the physical recovery.

    I appreciate all the input!  Yes, the sleep deprivation and b/fing were tough with DS...  This LO kicks up a storm every night around 3am so I know what's in store for me....

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