How Much Time Do I Need After C-section Before Going Back to Work?

Updated on April 23, 2009
A.S. asks from Houston, TX
10 answers

I just had a baby delivered by C-section on April 6th. My employer is asking me to tell them how many weeks I plan to take. I was thinking 8 weeks but I have another colleague who works at the same location and who is having her baby this week by C-section also give ONLY 6 weeks leave notice. I just hope my employer does not think I am trying to be lazy or anything. What do you all think?

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answers from Corpus Christi on

Everyone is different. But the standard amount of time post c section is 6-8 weeks. Personally after I had my guts hacked into I didn't want to move for at least 6 weeks, and then trying to get back into the swing of things takes some time too. Most employers should be aware of people having to take 8 weeks post c section, espcially if it's their first one. So I wouldn't worry about it. They can't fire you for having a child. If they do they would be violating the Family Act of 1979.

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answers from Houston on

It will all depend on how quickly you heal, also on what type of work you do. If there is heavy lifting involved then you could probably go back after 6 weeks but have your doctor write your employer a note with any physical restrictions you may have. Don't worry about what others do, you have to do what is best for you. Talk to your OB and see what they think is the best for your situation and if you still feel like your employer is going to judge you for taking a longer period of time off then have him/her (OB) write a letter to your employer.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Everyone is different. I literally could not walk around the block for a year after my daughter was born by C-section. I've met other women who had a similar experience. I am a distance runner, so it isn't that I was lazy, I was in pain!

The bigger issue might just be how long you want to be with your baby. Do what makes you feel comfortable and appologise to NO ONE for putting motherhood first!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I took about 2 1/2 months off . I know it takes about a whole year to heal. So I had to take it a little easy. Keep tylenol on hand.(lol) I agree with the other lady also, becareful because you dont want any popped stitches or hernias. God luck !

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answers from Houston on

Depending on the size of your employer and how long you have been may or may not qualify for protection under FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act). I am a little surprised that HR didn't make a plan with you as part of planning for your leave. FMLA is up to 12 weeks unpaid leave with job protection.

If you are being paid (other than accumulated vacation, personal, sick, etc), you are probably being covered by some sort of short-term disability insurance. Many of these policies REQUIRE that you give an estimate of your return date. They also generally require a doctor's release before you can return to work. They also usually define to expected recovery for vaginal (6 weeks) and c-section (8 weeks) deliveries.

Your employer may be terrible, but if you value your job, it behooves you to make a plan with them. It costs your employer money to cover your responsiblities while you are out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from El Paso on

I had 3 c-sections and after the first I didn't listen to the doctor and started back too soon. Because of my stubbornness the incision popped back open and I had to pack it and be off work for almost 12 weeks total. The second I behaved and could go back to work after 8 weeks at a desk job. The third got infected so there were other troubles with that.

My advice is listen to your Dr. and your body. And always err in the side of caution, pushing things can always result in more time off. Your employer should understand that it is important that you are healed enough to work and don't take chances.


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answers from San Antonio on

I had a c-section with my first and only child. My employer wanted me to come back after 8 weeks. I think 8 weeks is reasonable. I was feeling fine about that time. Everyone is different if you feel that is good for you. Then stick to your decision.

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answers from College Station on

Bless you! I know what you are going through.

Some people may be able to say "6 weeks until I come back to work", and that might have worked for me for my first (of three) babies. But since this is your third, I think 8 weeks is not going to be enough (just my opinion).

Keep in mind that your employer wants to arrange additional help if you are going to be out of the office for more than 1 week; there is even more to work around (possibly) for your 8 weeks. Your employer shouldn't be making plans to be replacing you while you are away from the office!

Personally (again, my opinion only), I would use as much FMLA as possible and stay home for your baby's first 3 months! Check with your employer's HR office or department.

And, certainly, don't just compare your needs (I mean, your baby's needs and your other children and your hubby, too!) with _anyone_ else. It would not be fair to you.

Good luck with whatever you decide!



answers from Killeen on

I had c-sections with both of my children. 6 weeks in NOT enough! You are not even supposed to lift anything over 5lbs for 8 weeks. Not only have you had a child, but you have had major surgery. If you do not take care of yourself properly, you could hurt yourself in the long run.

I have recently heard that an employer is only required to pay for up to 6 weeks (if that is offered at your job), but they have to give you up to 12 weeks off depending on the delivery and what you doctor has said.

If your employer thinks you are lazy because you are trying to heal from a major surgery then I would suggest finding a better employer.



answers from Houston on

Regardless of how you feel you should always go with your doctor's advice. 6 weeks is not enough time and I'm sure your super woman co-worker will find that out soon enough.
I would wait 8 weeks then return to work but continue to be aware that you've had abdominal surgery where your insides were basically pulled out and put back together.
If you push it you could possibly face HUGE problems that you are not even ready to deal with in regards to popped stitches, infected incision area, and the ugly list goes on.
If your employer does not allow you to be away from work until your doctor releases you to return and terminates your employment you could have grounds for a lawsuit.