Whether you have a scheduled cesarean section also known as c-section or you have an unexpected one, there are a few recovery essentials for after surgery that will make the recovery process easier. A lot of the truths behind a c-section recovery are often not talked about. You may or may not already know that I have six little ones, all of which were delivered via c-section. If you’re new here – welcome, you can read more about me here. I’m by no means an expert on the subject so I will still encourage you to please without a doubt read your discharge instructions – to know about wound care and how to keep the area dry. I would say the recovery time for a vaginal birth versus a c-section is the major difference between the two – that and your hospital stay is a few days longer.
Also, know that you’re body will go through it’s ups and downs before it can completely heal and begin to feel better. Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way that have made recovery easier on my body.
Things to have before your c-section delivery …
⇒ High waisted maternity post pregnancy underwear or ‘grandma’ underwear – size up with these cotton postpartum underwear for a looser fit. Also, know you can request your nurse to supply you with their ‘mesh hospital underwear.’ You will need these larger underwear because your incision area will be sore and tender. The elastic band will need to go above your incision to feel less discomfort. This goes for clothing items as well – wear loose fitting clothes. A great tip a nurse once gave to me and has helped me keep my wound dry is to grab a paper towel without ‘ink’ print on it, fold it and place in the incision area – so the skin isn’t making contact and then put your underwear on. Keeping the wound dry is essential, this will prevent infection, foul odor, discharge, etc.
⇒ Pressure wrap, girdle – This belly band wrap will keep your abdominal area tight, giving you less of the ‘everything is going to fall out’ feeling. It also gives you support in the incision area to be able to move freely. If you leave with anything, let it be this, after surgery you need to walk, walk, walk! The sooner you begin to walk after surgery, the sooner you’ll be feeling better. You can begin to to take your first couple steps inside your room with the help of your babies bassinet. With your arms stretched out wide, hold on to the sides of the bassinet and carefully start taking steps to get your body moving. I know walking will be the last thing on your mind, however it is essential that you get up and walk. This has been the only thing that has helped me in my recovery. Also, do not be afraid to speak up and ask for pain medication or to have them switched. At times Percocet has worked for me other times it’s been Ibuprofen. As they say, every pregnancy – and delivery is different!
⇒ Bed Pillow + Bowel Movement After C-Section – Whether you use the hospital pillow during your stay or your own pillow at home, a pillow is helpful when trying to pass stool. A nurse once
saved me helped me by giving me this advise – take the bed pillow to the restroom with you, fold it, place it on your stomach/abdomen area and when you’re ready to begin to push, apply a bit of pressure onto the pillow – gently! This has allowed me to pass stool sooner rather than later. And passing stool after surgery is a big accomplishment for any mom. Also, take stool softener! Your intestinal tract slows down and this will help get things moving along faster.
⇒ Perineal Irrigation Bottle or ‘Squirt Bottle’ – This cleansing bottle or this one from Fridababy. If you didn’t hear, even Chrissy Teigan admitted she needed one after giving birth to her daughter, Luna. Seriously, this will make peeing/urinating so much easier to do! You’ll squirt the water towards your lady region as you begin to urinate. Whether you have a vaginal birth or not, this will prevent a somewhat burning sensation felt while you urinate. Also, feel free to slip the perineal bottle in your handbag or diaper bag before leaving home.
⇒ Nursing Pads – because you will leak, a lot. Whether you decide to breastfeed or not, there will be leakage. These nursing pads are my favorite.
⇒ Pads – extra long overnight pads have been my choice Always Maxi. They hold very well at night and provide a sense of security when walking – yes, they’ll definitley not be your usual pad so, don’t be surprised at their size. Be forewarned, you may or may not feel like you’re wearing a huge diaper.
⇒ AND lastly, take your own hospital gown, pack it in your hospital bag – size up for a comfortable and looser fit. I believe feeling beautiful even at the hospital after giving birth is an amazing feeling and just as important. My final advice – use your hospital gown after c-section or even vaginal birth to prevent your gown from getting dirty aka few blood stains. Just put it on after baby arrives, you don’t need to get up on your feet for this, change on your bed. Once you’ve changed into your own clean gown, you’ll be ready for pictures and visitors!
Hope this has helped you or if you know of someone who may, please share!