20 answers

Swollen Ankles After C-section?

My sister in law just had a baby last sunday (on my 32nd birthday)! She had a c-section and afterward her ankles and feet swelled up HUGE, and still are.

I've read online that this is common, but I'm wondering if anyone had this and it was a real problem, not just fluid buildup that went away.


What can I do next?

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My feet/ankles swelled a bit after my c-section.I just rested a bunch and tried to stay off my feel as much as possible and all went away within a couple weeks.

I had this after I had my twins in May, it is normal. The thing that worked for me finally was to have my husband massage my feet and legs very well and when I did get to lay down I elevated my legs. Drinking lots of water helps too. I hope she gets her legs back soon :).

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Hi TJ,

I'm a L&D, NICU nurse and have had 4 c-sections myself. It seems to be a little known fact that most women will be more swollen after delivery than before.

Many women recieve Pitocin for induction and almost all women get it after delivery to help reduce bleeding. Pitocin acts as an anti-diuretic, which means it makes you retain fluid. Also, if a woman had a long labor, epidural, any bleeding, fever or any type of fetal distress, she was probably pumped with fluid. Also, with a c-section, most women receive at least 3 liters of fluid without any complications.

So, it is normal to have very swollen feet, ankles and legs after delivery. There are many women that can not wear their shoes home.

She can wear compression stockings if it helps to make her more comfortable, lay with feet elevated above her heart, walk and avoid dangling her feet when sitting. Everyone is different in how permeable their tissues are too.

Contgratulations to her for her new baby!


1 mom found this helpful

I've had 3 c-sections and my ankles were swollen for a few weeks afterwards each time. It's normal, but if she's concerned should call her OB or midwife. I was taking meds at the time (the hospital gave me Tylenol and ibuprofen to alternate alleviating the pain and swelling.) She should keep her feet elevated and someone should give her gentle massages on her feet and calves to get the fluid moving (accompany this with plenty of water! I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but it's the best thing for flushing the toxins out.) Best wishes and help your sister-in-law just to enjoy her new baby... If it's her first, she is probably overwhelmed emotionally by the whole c-section experience. I know it took me at least 3 months to get over my first one - I was experiencing love, joy, disappointment, depression, stress, and excitement all at once. For my 2nd and 3rd one I was expecting the c-section, so I was able to handle recovery a lot better. If it is only you who are concerned about the swelling, you don't need to share that worry with her as well. She'll know if there is a problem. Good luck and congrats on becoming an auntie!

I didn't have a csection but just a long vaginal birth. It's caused from the iv's and all the fluids that are pumped in. I was hooked up for about 16 hours and my ankles were so swollen it was nuts. I was in hospital for 2 nights and when I checked out on the third day, they were so swollen I couldn't even fit my shoes. Thank goodness it wasn't raining because I had no shoes to wear to the car. When I asked my doctor about it she told me she could give me a water pill to take away some of the fuilds but she'd only give me one pill because it can affect the milk supply. I did take the one pill on discharge from the hospital. I'm not sure if it affected my milk supply or not. I think it helped clear up the excessive swelling in my ankles.
Hopefully our SIL's ankles return to normal soon!

I was a bit swollen after my first C-section, but because I was in so much pain, I didn't walk around much at that time. If I did have swollen legs, I didn't notice it.

With this one, however, I felt better right afterwards and walked around a few days later. My legs and ankles were very swollen for almost 3 weeks! I probably should have gone to the doctor, but I was so happy that my scar and stomach felt better, I didn't think the swelling was a big deal. I did hear that you should drink a lot of water if that happens, though, which is supposed to help.

I think it is normal for swelling to occur since there are so many fluids pumped into a person when they have a C-section. It takes awhile for the body to get back to normal. Good luck to your sister-in-law and congratulations!

OMG, mine (feet AND lower legs) swelled up so much they actually hurt. I was convinced there was something seriously wrong. I couldn't even wear my own shoes when I was discharged from the hospital because my feet were so huge. The doctor was right. The swelling went away with my having to do anything, and boy oh boy was I relieved because that was the freakiest experience!

That happened to me after a vaginal birth and it lasted about two weeks. The Dr. said my feet would swell even more than they were before the baby. And, yes it is fluid and will go down. Try to keep her feet up as much as possible.

How fun, a new baby!

That happened to me after my last son was born. I was swollen from my knees to my toes for about 4-6 weeks. It is not a very comfortable feeling. It went away on it's own. I called the doctor's office many times about because it was uncomfortable. I was told drink lots of water and put your legs up when you can. My response was yeah right. Good luck, but it will go away. AO

Have her eat as much watermelon as she can, put her feet up & get a foot massage it will pass in a couple days to a week.

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