Our Hayes was born via c-section because he was breech, and because I’d had such a horrible time with Hudson’s delivery. I ended up really liking the c-section.
I know, who says they actually like major abdominal surgery? But since I’ve delivered babies both ways, I guess I can say that I liked the c-section. The pain was manageable and I felt prepared for the recovery. I received some great tips from women and figured out a few things for myself during my experience.
1. Bring lots of pillows from home. You’ll have very limited use of your abdominal muscles, if you have any muscles at all! Having lots of pillows to prop yourself up, will make it easier to reach things in bed and easier to get out of bed when it’s time. You’ll need as much support as possible!
2. Belly wraps are helpful! Having a belly wrap will help hold everything together. It keeps everything tight, so when you laugh or sneeze or stand up, you have just a little bit of extra support in your belly.
3. When it’s time to get up and walk, do it! I was required to be hooked up to the IV for a full day, but the morning that the nurses came and unhooked my IVs, it was time to get up and take a walk. The first walk was to the restroom. I can just remember being so relieved to have gotten the two scariest things out of the way: 1. standing/walking and 2. going to the restroom. Check and check!
4. Walk often. Actually just go ahead and take at least three “laps” around the hospital floor per day. This will help build up your abdominal strength again. It will be so difficult to stand and move without the use of those muscles, but it does come back. Walking often also helps you feel better a lot faster.
5. Other than your couple of times per day walks, take it easy. Let people bring things to you. Don’t lift anything heavier than the baby. You want to heal quickly without complication, so just listen to your body and take it easy.
6. Take a shower as soon as possible and put on your own comfy pajamas. Getting clean will just make you feel so much better. Make sure you have someone there to help you, because standing is just difficult. Bring pajama pants with a low, loose waist band that won’t hurt or irritate your incision. I brought all my favorite toiletries from home and my favorite maternity pajamas that were easy to nurse in. It just felt so good to get clean and comfortable.
I really had a great c-section experience. The pain was manageable (thanks to about four days of pain meds) and I was up and back to normal after about a week. I’m thankful that other moms gave me so many great tips to use as I prepared for my surgery and recovery.
What tips would you add to this list to offer to a new mom recovering from a c-section?