Having a C-section isn’t something most women wish for, but it doesn’t have to be a scary experience. Going into the procedure with some knowledge of what to expect helps mamas-to-be prepare for their postsurgery experience. We’ve rounded up some of the biggest surprises women face after leaving the operating room. Which did you experience?

1- Catheterization

Though new mamas are encouraged to get up and move as soon as possible, walking is a bit more complicated due to the catheter that is kept in for the first day.

2- The Ridge

Even years after giving birth, many mamas notice a slight bump in their skin above their C-section scar.

3- Pitocin

Many mamas are surprised that while in recovery, they are given pitocin to help contract the uterus postdelivery.

4- First Bowel Movement

Regardless of what people say, one is never prepared for the pain and fear that comes with that first postpartum bowel movement.

5- Walking

Considering that a C-section is major abdominal surgery, it’s amazing that a woman can get out of bed and go for a short walk within hours of the procedure.

6- Painful Sex

Even if you haven’t had a vaginal birth, postpartum sex can be painful due to the aftermath of surgery.

7- Shaking

In the immediate hours following surgery, as the body rids itself of the anesthesia and calms down from the procedure, many women find themselves shaking uncontrollably.


As with a vaginal delivery, C-section recipients bleed for several days or weeks following delivery.