Martin Valigursky/Fotolia

Is Recovery Time Quicker For A Repeat C-Section?

As I approached my second C-section, just 16 months after my first one, I was nervous about what risks were involved with having the same surgery in such a sort amount of time. I tried to cling to some hopeful thoughts to distract me from my own fear. Is recovery time quicker for a repeat C-section, I wondered. Because it would be nice to feel like there was something positive I could look forward to (aside from a healthy baby, of course). But after discussing this topic with my doctor, I learned that the one thing you can count on with childbirth, is there are no guarantees.

The good news is, after you have one birth under your belt, you know a little bit more about what to expect. Many second time mamas hope that their second delivery experience will be easier than their first, which is possible. As Parents magazine pointed out, having a repeat C-section means you've been through the procedure before, which can give you the advantage of feeling more prepared. You will know how your body responds to the surgery and what your recovery was like, since you've been down this road before. But here's where it gets tricky.

Recovery looks different the second time around, because now you have another child at home to care for. Now that there is more than one child in the house, your attention will be divided. According to Baby Center, your first child may be feeling needy when you return from your hospital stay, which means you will have to be prepared for how you will interact with her once you're back home. Giving attention to both your first child and your newborn can be taxing on your recovering body, and may make you feel more worn out than the first time when you could lounge around with just one little.

Another point to consider is how a second C-section can have additional risks involved, all of which could effect your recovery time. As Mayo Clinic reported, repeat C-sections carry a higher risk for bladder and bowel injuries and heavy bleeding for the mothers. These conditions can extended recovery time as well as call for blood transfusions and increased need of a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus).

Even though there is not one solid answer to what your recovery will look like after a repeat cesarean birth, it's more likely than not that you'll experience the same type of healing timeline you did the first time around. According to Mayo Clinic, a typical C-section recovery involves plenty of rest and fluids, absolutely no heavy lifting, pain management, and caring for your incision — and for most women, it's the same no matter if it's the first time, or a repeater.