Of the 648,000 births in NHS hospitals in 2015-16, just over 73,500 were elective c-sections (about 6,750 more than in 2011-12), and 99,400 emergency caesareans (up from 97,000), according to data from NHS Digital.
Recovering from a caesarean usually takes longer than recovering from a vaginal delivery, so with this in mind we asked our followers on Facebook who have had c-sections to share their advice on easing pain and aiding healing - and they were full of knowledge:
Don’t Take On Too Much
You may have a new baby to look after, but they’re not the only one in need of some TLC.
You have just undergone major surgery so it is important you rest up - and don’t be afraid to ask for the help from family or friends to allow you to do so.
“Take things easy don’t burst all those layers of stitching inside that you just cannot see,” said Caroline Corrigan.
Kirsty Clark agreed: “Rest and take it easy is the main thing. The pain comes and goes in phases. You think you’re healed so you do more, then the next day it’s agony again. If you have an older child, don’t lift them.”
And Kimberley Fraser could not stress strongly enough how important it is to accept help.
“You’ve had major surgery, you need time to heal, you don’t have to do it all,” she said. “Let your partner help you, let your visiting friends and relatives help.”
But Don’t Freeze Up
Janet Fyle, the Royal College of Midwives’ professional policy advisor, told HuffPost UK the sooner a woman gets up and begins to walk around, the sooner the blood will “kick into action” and start the healing process.
And this is advice echoed by many c-section mums.
“Try to get up and moving about as soon as you feel able,” said Ruth Eaton.
“And if you feel like you’ve done too much, rest. Your body will tell you what is too much.
“With my first (emergency) it was rushed and I obviously had never experienced it before, so thought the pain was normal. I realised after my second (elective) that it wasn’t. I was back walking my eldest to school just five days after and felt better for the gentle exercise.”
Get Support To Walk
Comfort blankets aren’t just for babies - prepare to carry a pillow with you everywhere.
“A pillow held against your stomach helps with walking,” advised Laura Oxley.
“If I ever need another though I will definitely be splurging out on a c-section belt.”
Don’t Be A Martyr
If you’re gritting your teeth through the pain, Ruth Eaton has some wise words for you: “Just remember to not be a martyr, take regular pain relief even if you don’t think you need it.”
And if you have any concerns that you may be getting an infection Lindsey Roy advises being persistent about getting treatment.,
Big Pants Are The Best
“Wear big knickers to cover the scar,” suggests Maxine Phipps. The last thing you want is any elastic rubbing on your scar.
Elizabeth Mazzon-Leggett recommends Blooming marvellous.
“They were the best big knickers I found,” she said. “Supportive and comfy.”
Assume The Brace Position
“Bend over when sneezing or coughing it takes the edge off the pain,” warns Gemma Louise Harrison
Forget The Haters
Lindsey Roy “Ignore anyone who thinks c-sections are the easy option and enjoy all the snuggle time you can have whilst you can’t move around too much,” advised Lindsey Roy.
Caroline Corrigan added: ” And do not think that you won’t bond with baby just because you never delivered vaginally. Get over it at get on with it.”
Be Proud Of What You’ve Achieved
“Don’t feel guilty about it,” said Emma Williams. “I did at first and I feel that this led to depression after my second child.
“There are too many people who tell you that natural deliveries are best, well they might be for some people, but for some people, they aren’t.
“However your baby is born, be thankful, as it’s the greatest gift you could ever be given.”
For more information on recovery check out this advice from the Royal College of Midwives.