C sections happen to many of us. It’s a scary time to be faced with a major surgery when giving birth. I have had 2 c sections and want to share the real tips that help with c section recovery.
There isn’t any other surgery where you are expected to immediately take care of someone else and not yourself.
It was a big shock to my system to have a c section, barely be able to get out of bed and my first priority was trying to learn how to breastfeed, waking whenever my twins cried, and being more sleep deprived than I have ever been in my life while still needing my husband to help simply sit on the toilet.
What a crazy first week!
I want to help moms faced with c-sections to give all the little tips and tricks and products that my group of friends and I all shared with each other that helped us heal and make it thru the first couple weeks of recovery after a c section.
Secrets to C Section Recovery
1. Ask for a wrap! – aka belly band. It gave me so much support and made me feel less like my insides were going to fall out. There are a lot of articles in support of wearing a belly band after birth to not only help you feel secure but it also helps with muscle recovery.
If you want to purchase your own before going in the hospital, my favorite is the Wean Post Belly Band. The one the hospital gave me was just fine but it had stretched out by the end of my recovery so for my daughters birth I had purchased my own.
2. Pads to protect your scar – You will need the macdaddy super sized pads for normal use (yes you still bleed after a c section, the same as after a vaginal birth) but I also used them to lay on top of my scar under the mesh underwear. I was fearful of the underwear rubbing and scratching my incision. I felt so much better about my babies lying on my belly to be fed. Having nothing rub the incision plus using the below scar treatment helped to make my scar become almost invisible.
3. Scar treatment – after the initial scabbing falls off you will want to start scar treatment oils or cream. I alternated between two. I loved Bio-Oil and used it during my pregnancy every day to prevent stretch marks. I was lucky and didn’t get any stretch marks even with full term twins so the oil works! Plus, you can also use it for scar treatment after birth. I also used a silicone cream called Bio-Corneum but it is pretty expensive. A less expensive cream is Xeragel 100% Silicone.
4. Best Way to Get Out of Bed – I had no idea it would be so difficult to get in and out of bed. When your abdominal muscles are cut to get a baby out, it is painful to engage the muscles to sit up. The best way to get out of bed is to first roll on your side. Then use your arms to push yourself up to sitting. Then stand up. Honestly the first few days I needed help to even just roll over.
5. Stool Softener – My doctor did not warn me enough about constipation. This was my most painful discovery and I now warn all of my pregnant friends. Take a stool softener as soon as you can after birth and every day until you are not in pain when you go! It is one of the scariest things to have a bowel movement after birth and no one warns you!!
Pain medicines cause constipation and when you have a c section you are on pain medication…so naturally you are going to get constipated. So ask for a stool softener as soon as you can.
6. Nausea and the Shakes – When you are in the operating room you can start to feel nauseous. It happened to me after they delivered the babies while they were putting me back together. Don’t try to hide it. Tell the doctors right away because they can put a medication in your IV and it will instantly make you feel better.
In recovery it is common to start shaking. It is normal. It feels a little scary, like why can’t I stop shaking. But it will stop eventually. The nurses brought me some warm blankets to make me feel better while going though it.
7. Heat Flashes at night – A good friend told me about heat flashes in the few weeks after birth. I was so glad she told me because I would have been freaking out that something was wrong with me. I would wake up completely drenched in sweat and then get cold because I was all wet. Your hormones go crazy after birth and this is one way that they are settling back to normal.
As a c section mom I would get jealous of my friends who would be home 24 hrs later and seemed to be able to move around so much easier. We all have our own postpartum issues we have to recover from so I like to be honest and share with moms facing c sections on what to expect.
Another great way to prepare for any birth is my friend Hilary’s online prenatal course, there is both a free and paid version. She has been a labor and delivery nurse for over 15 years and has taught the class in her hospital. She now makes it super convenient for couples to take the class via video courses in the comfort of your own home and on your own time schedule. No more driving to the hospital for class once a week. Win-Win!
Our mothers didn’t seem to talk about all the gory details as much as we do. I like to prepare for all types of scenarios during c section recovery. It makes me feel better and more knowledgable. I hope this information is a help to you.
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