Women can take from four to six weeks to recover completely from a C-section, but they can speed up the recovery process by resting, avoiding heavy lifting, supporting the abdomen, taking painkillers as recommended and staying hydrated. WebMD advises against driving for two weeks, exercising for four to six weeks and having sex for six weeks.
In worst case scenarios, Dr. Hoskins reports to WebMD that it can take up to three months for women to recover fully, the healing process hindered by the stress of raising and caring for a newborn. He also warns for mothers to keep expectations realistic, citing the estimated recovery time of four to six weeks as the minimum.
MayoClinic reminds women that their bodies are simultaneously recovering from the stress of both the C-section and pregnancy, and that certain symptoms such as vaginal discharge, contractions, sore breasts, leakage, hair loss, depression and weight loss are all normal. With that said, always check for signs of infection around the incision. A fever and increasing pain are all causes for alarm.
Everyday Health reinforces the importance of protecting the incision from irritation and avoiding putting pressure on the area. Light exercise like walking and kegels also speed up recovery time.