Having a natural birth for the second time was a big priority for me so when I was told I must have a cesarean section to deliver my second baby I was quite devastated and most of all fearful.
I WASN’T PREPARED
Although I had researched how to recover from a c-section on YouTube, nothing prepared me for the swollen, achey legs I experienced while in the hospital and at home. Of all the stories I came across not one had mentioned swollen, fluid filled legs and C-Section. I had never seen my legs like this before but was assured by my doctor that this was normal and that the swelling would reduce on its own after a few days. My doctor said the swelling was caused by all of the extra fluid pumped into me via IV water drip.
After staying in the hospital for 3 days with the swelling I was released without a second thought. While at home the swelling became worse. I was afraid my legs would burst. I googled what to do but instead of concrete answers I found countless stories from women who had the same experience and were completely blindsided by the swelling. Equally shocking was that their post surgery swelling took weeks to dissipate.
HOW TO REDUCE SWOLLEN LEGS AFTER C-SECTION
Luckily, after sharing my story and pictures with family members I tapped into a family friend that had lots of experience with this type of postpartum c-section swelling in new mothers. My family was shocked that my small 115lb frame had ballooned so large and shared my photos with her. Here’s what she told me.
WHAT MY DOCTOR DIDN’T TELL ME ABOUT SWOLLEN LEGS AND FEET AFTER A CESAREAN SECTION…
Keep in mind my friend is not a doctor and I am not sharing medical advice, but she gave me more information than any doctor that witnessed the agony I was in.
ELEVATE YOUR LEGS
I needed to help my body get rid of the excess fluid by elevating my legs high above my heart. This was a key step in moving the fluid through my body. I took this instruction very seriously by sleeping with my legs above the headboard on my bed. This ensured the highest comfortable position I could tolerate in an effort to move all of the fluid.
DRINK LOTS OF WATER
Another key component was staying hydrated. This meant drinking lots of water, at least a liter a day to help my kidneys filter out the excess fluid along with the medicine used in the epidural spinal injection.
I drank 3 bottles of pedialyte to rehydrate my cells. After drinking the first bottle I immediately felt better. I consumed one bottle each day.
The best way to improve circulation in my legs and to further aid elimination was through massage. I massaged my legs with peppermint oil with castor oil as the base.
After doing these 3 things my swelling improved dramatically and it didn’t take 3 weeks. In a matter of hours there was visible improvement and within 3 days the swelling was completely gone. I repeated the steps each day and to my delight all of the fluid in my legs was indeed moved out and eliminated.
Please try these things if you are experiencing swollen legs or feet after having a Cesarean section. Feel free to leave your comments or personal experience below.