tips from a C-Section mama!
Some of you mamas may be here preparing for your scheduled cesarean section, or maybe you just had an unexpected one! That was the case for me at least, my daughter was born via c-section at 38 weeks in January 2020. I had zero knowledge of how to recover from major surgery while also taking care of a newborn. I honestly hadn’t even considered the possibility of a c-section. Silly me 😜 I had spent a lot of money on recovery items for vaginal delivery that are still collecting dust in my closet six months later!
I wanted to put together a little list of things that were especially helpful to me while I recovered from my c-section, in the hope it will give other expecting mothers some relief when it’s time for their beautiful babies to be born!
High Waisted Underwear
Once I was home from the hospital with our baby, I discovered very quickly that none of my underwear was going to work for me. Every pair I owned seemed to sit right on top of my incision which caused a lot of discomfort. I invested in some comfy high waisted undies that went over my incision and it made a world of difference! Also really comfortable when you have to wear bulky pads for your postpartum bleeding. A must have!
Your belly is going to be very sensitive for a little while. Things that were normal before like getting up off the couch or sitting up in bed may hurt for a short time after your surgery. Ibuprofen was great for this. Talk with your doctor, of course, but I was thrilled to be able to take ibuprofen again once I was no longer pregnant!
Nursing Dresses and Nighties
Just like with underwear, wearing pants is going to be pretty darn uncomfortable for a few weeks. I did try to wear leggings up over my belly, but if they rolled down onto my incision it could be pretty painful. Wearing a nursing dress or nightie was a great way to be covered up but not irritate my sensitive stomach.
This may sound strange to someone who hasn’t had a c-section, but when I was recovering, it felt like all of my insides were loose in my belly. I really didn’t like the feeling of my stomach adjusting back to normal, while I had a sensitive incision healing right below. I bought a compression band to wear and it made a world of difference. Wearing it made the strange and uncomfortable sensation in my abdomen much less noticeable, and it also helped to lift the now slightly-hangy part of my belly from on top of my incision. I loved this postpartum support belt from Amazon.
Support From Partner or Family
After my c-section, I thought I could do way more than I should have been doing. I really didn’t allow myself the rest I needed, which resulted in lots of unnecessary pain. Your life may seem like a whirlwind those first two weeks baby is home, but it is so important for you to take it EASY. Be kind to your body. At the time I seemed to forget I had just had major surgery. Rest as much as you can, and if you have a partner at home or family/friends willing to stop by and help, take it! Do not feel selfish for asking someone to get you a glass of water or give you the remote that is 3 feet from you. Rest as much as possible those first few weeks so that you can heal safely. Ask for help getting up or walking up the stairs. You will need it, girl! You may even need help in the bathroom at first. But that’s okay!
LOTS OF WATER
Your stomach muscles around your incision are going to feel very sore for a few days, which can make going to the bathroom unpleasant. The last thing you want while recovering from a c-section is to be constipated, so stay hydrated to keep things moving! Staying hydrated is also so necessary for breastfeeding. And while we’re talking about constipation…
Those first few bowel movements might be difficult. TMI, I didn’t poop for 3 days after my c-section😭 and man, was it uncomfortable. I highly recommend taking stool softener for a few days once you go home so that it won’t be so much work to go to the bathroom!
Big Ol’ Pads
This one isn’t necessarily exclusive to c-section recovery, but still important! I bought the biggest pads I could find on amazon. I was pretty lucky to only bleed for a short time before it transitioned to lighter postpartum discharge. Even so, it was heeeeavy in the beginning. I mean you might simply clear your throat and the floodgates will open. Best to have as much coverage as you can!
I never knew laughing could hurt!
This one is really just a heads up. Oh my god, laughing hurt so much in the beginning 😂 any time my husband was being goofy I had to beg him not to make me laugh! If you are laughing or if you feel a cough or sneeze coming on, grab a pillow and hug it tight to your belly. That helped me so much!
I wish you the best of luck on your c-section recovery! Congratulations on your beautiful little one. You’re going to be amazing!❤️