Recovering from a Cesarean section can take a really long time if you don’t do it the right way. I am saying this from personal experience. I gave birth to my baby via emergency c-section and my recovery wasn’t as fast as it should have been, which was partly my fault, keep reading to discover why.
A huge mistake I made was not doing enough research about c-sections. I was one of those mommies who believed that it couldn’t happen to them. Such a stupid way of thinking. Sadly, I learnt the hard way!
In today’s article, I am going to share what I’ve learnt from my experience. Before we start, I’d like to thank Brooke for letting me invade her space and making it possible to share my best c-section recovery tips with all of you. These tips are the things I learnt the hard way, things I didn’t do, that I’d like you to avoid. You HAVE to be better than me.
Let’s get to the c-section recovery tips I’ve got for you, shall we?
Get Up as Soon as You Can!
If you are anything like me and you’ve never had surgery before or maybe you haven’t done your homework (research) you are most certainly going to wait for your doctor or nurse to tell you when you can get up. Am I right?
Well… Please don’t do that! I learnt the hard way.
I remember my Mom telling me to get up, but I guess I was too stubborn (or maybe just a side effect of the anaesthesia) to listen to her. I wanted to wait for the doctor to “allow” me to get up, but he never did. He didn’t even come to check on me after I’ve had the surgery. So I stayed in bed for 2 days!!! Big mistake! I felt like I was disabled when I first got up from the bed and it was so painful.
It is highly recommended to wear compression socks before and after any major surgery. And be certain that a cesarean it’s a MAJOR surgery, imagine how many layers are before your womb.
They were extremely uncomfortable at one point, but I wore them throughout the entire C-Section recovery, even after I got home for another week – which was around 14 days including the hospitalization period.
Compression socks prevent blood clots and improve blood circulation in your legs, especially when you have reduced mobility, like when you stay in bed for a long time.
Keep your Stitches Clean
I was lucky enough to get dissolvable stitches (sutures) therefore I had a very clean area throughout my entire recovery.
But I know that this fairytale is not applicable to everyone, so before you leave the hospital ask your nurse how you can keep a clean incision and what products to use for that. This is extremely important! There are so many risks that you’d be taking by not cleaning your stitches on a regular basis – infections or the incision opening are just a couple.
Speaking of infections, ensure that you are checking your suture regularly and if you see anything out of ordinary or any signs of infection GO BACK to the hospital ASAP. Don’t wait just in case it will go away, because it won’t. The longer you wait for the more dangerous it can be.
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Wear Comfy Pants and Massive Knickers
Apologies if I am going to disappoint you in any way with what I am about to say, but comfortable pants and underwear will be your new best friend. I couldn’t stand wearing anything I owned, everything I used to wear was high-waisted.
Even now, 15 months later, I feel uncomfortable when wearing bottoms or knickers that end on the scar. Chances are you’ll be the same. It’s perfectly normal, especially in those first 6 weeks after you’ve had the surgery.
Keep Doing Pelvic Floor Exercises
This is another important task that you have to do every single day. I am guilty of not doing it daily and I feel the consequences.
All you need to do is associate these exercises with one of your daily activities. For example, do your exercises when you watch TV, when you breastfeed your baby, or maybe whilst in the shower. It can be any task that you do on a daily basis and then associate your pelvic floor exercises to that task. Sounds simple, but it’s easier said than done, especially when you have another million things to think about.
Have a Pillow on Hand
Say “Goodbye” to coughing and laughing for a while. Why?! It’s super painful! But if you don’t have a choice, the pillow will come in handy.
You’ll have to hug it and keep it very tight on your incision. Please ensure you don’t overdo it. You don’t want to open your incision.
Use a Belly Wrap
If you can stand it, use it! Otherwise, your after-baby-belly won’t go away very fast. That’s what happened to me and now I regret that I didn’t push myself a little harder. If you are wondering what belly wrap I have it’s this 3 in 1 postpartum recovery belt.
Stool Softener, Trust me You’ll Need it
Another painful thing you have to endure. I don’t mean to scare you in any way, I just want, to be honest with you. It feels like your incision is going to open up. That’s why I highly recommend asking your doctor or nurse to prescribe you a stool softener.
Things will get going and will be much easier for you.
Plenty of Rest
During the first 6 weeks of your c-section recovery, you are not allowed to do very much. You can’t physically do very much anyway. So be prepared to get plenty of rest.
My midwife told me that I shouldn’t even pick my baby up within the first 2 weeks of my c-section recovery. How crazy does that sound?
Ask For Help
I’ve never felt so useless in my entire life. I needed help for everything, especially in those first 2 weeks post-surgery, I couldn’t even take a shower on my own or get dressed. I felt so down, but as soon as I changed my perspective and accepted the situation I felt much better. If you believe you are suffering from postpartum depression, get in touch with your Doctor, and talk to someone, whether it be a professional or just a friend.
So my last tip for you is to accept that this is just a temporary situation, it won’t be like that forever and to ask for help.
Heads up mommy! You are strong and you can do it!
If you have any other C-Section recovery tips, leave them in the comments below, I’d love to hear them!