A Ceasarean section refers to surgery done by making an incision on the lower abdomen to deliver one or more babies. Most of the incision is horizontal but sometimes it can be vertical too. Since the skin is a barrier to prevent infection, any kind of surgery poses infection risks. An infection can be easily formed via a C-section incision. It can happen immediately after a delivery or during the recovery phase. Taking good care of an incision wound is crucial in minimising infection risks.
Below are some tips to prevent C-section infection.
1. Know the risk factors
There are many factors that increase the risks of C-section infection. Women who have diabetes, autoimmune disease or obese are at a higher risk of wound infection. Diabetes delays wound recovery after the surgery while skin fold on obese women makes wound care harder. Autoimmune disease is usually treated with steroid and long term use of the drug reduces the body’s ability to fight against infections. Efforts to control the risk factors should be taken even before conceiving.
2. Recognise the signs and symptoms of an infection
There are many signs and symptoms to C-section infection that women must know so they can seek for professional help the earliest. Some of the symptoms are: pain, swelling and redness of incision site; fever at 38 degree celcius or above; discharge or drainage from the incision wound.
Seek immediate professional medical help when these symptoms crop up.
3 Rest well after a C-section
It takes about 4-6 weeks for C-section wound to heal post-surgery. After the surgery, women have to cope with the stress of taking care of their newborn and breastfeeding. So, they need to be mentally and physically prepared for the process. Proper rest helps in reducing the risks of C-section infection. Avoid lifting heavy things or any strenuous activity. Support the tummy while coughing or sneezing. Always walk or carry out daily tasks using correct body posture and avoid bending the back as that puts pressure on the incision area.
4.Appropriate wound care
Taking care of the wound is important for a faster healing process. The C-section incision area must always be kept clean and dry. Use mild soap to clean the area and dap dry with clean towel after bath. Do not apply unnecessary lotion, talcum or herbs on the wound. Avoid scratching or putting pressure on it. Find a comfortable position to breastfeed without putting too much pressure on the C-section wound. Also avoid wearing tight clothes that may grip the wound area. Complete antibiotic courses as per doctor’s order.
Ms Tan Mei Yuen has completed her diploma in nursing from SEGi university. Ms Tan then further pursued her bachelor of nursing science with honours in Open University Malaysia and majoring in Paediatric nursing, renal nursing and intensive care nursing. 7 out of 500 graduates have passed their nursing degree with distinction in nursing school, she is 1 of the 7.