A C Section is major abdominal surgery and it requires special consideration for recovery. We won’t lie – c section recovery can be hard! Your doctor will advise you on the importance of rest during recovery so your body can heal. With a new baby, rest seems like a far-off dream. But it is important that you prioritize yourself during this recovery period so you can be at your best for yourself and your baby. Our doulas have experienced both sides of c section recovery and we hope these tips will help you feel more prepared with what to expect.
C Section Recovery Tips
Hire a Postpartum Doula
No, this isn’t a shameless plug for the services we offer. Having a postpartum doula allows you to focus on yourself and the baby. Your doula can:
- take care of doing baby’s laundry
- prepare snacks
- run upstairs for the item you forgot that morning
- watch baby while you take a nap or shower
- make dinner
- sleep at night
An Abdominal Binder can be a Lifesaver
Your OB/GYN will most likely write an order for you to receive an abdominal binder in the hospital. The compression offered by the binder can
- reduce swelling around the incision
- protect the incision from rubbing against clothes
- provide support for your abdominal muscles
- minimize fluid retention
Keep a Pillow Close
If you need to cough, sneeze, or laugh it can help to hold the pillow tight to your stomach and bend over it. This will help reduce the strain on your abdominal muscles and the discomfort.
Set Up a “Baby Station” on Each Floor of the House
This can be as simple as a pack n play with a changing table attachment. What you want is somewhere baby can sleep safely and where you can take care of their needs without having to climb stairs.
Do Not Over Do It
Chances are your OB/GYN will encourage you to move around, which is great for healing. They’ll also tell you to take it easy, which may sound like a contradiction. So, if you notice an increase in vaginal bleeding, slow down a bit. Do not overdo the stairs – they don’t seem like a lot of work, but you just underwent major surgery. For all new parents, but especially mothers who just had a cesarean birth, we recommend setting up a “command center” on whichever floor you spend the most time during the day. Fully stock it so you don’t need to make extra trips on the stairs.
Stay on Top of Your Pain Medication
There is nothing wrong with taking medication for your pain. You will heal faster if you do not try to “power through” the discomfort. Let your doctor know if you plan to breastfeed so they can prescribe safe medication. You can always double check the compatibility of a medication with breastfeeding on the MommyMeds app.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for a Stool Softener
If your OB/GYN has prescribed you narcoitcs for pain relief, they will likely have written an order for a stool softener. Why? Narcotics can cause constipation.
This will not only help support a healthy milk supply, but will combat constipation. Staying hydrated is important even if you’re formula feeding. Our best suggestion is to aim to drink a glass of water each time you sit down to feed your baby. It can be easy to forget to stay hydrated and making it part of your routine can help.
We hope you find these tips helpful as you recover from your c section. If you have a tip that worked well for you, comment below – we love hearing your suggestions!
This article is for informational purposes. It does not take the place of consultation with your healthcare professional. Please discuss these tips with your care team prior to implementation.