Did you just have an unplanned or planned C-section? Or are you planning on having a C-section and want to prepare before hand? Healing from a Cesarean section can be hard. I’m here to share with you my realistic C-section recovery tips and must haves for a faster and pain free healing! Yay!
Did you know that the current rate of C-sections being performed in the U.S is 33%, which is about 1 in every 3 babies that are born via C-section. I am included in that percentage. I gave birth to my twins 5 years ago via C-section. It was mandatory for me to have one since baby B was in the breech position. Just like I had a C-section you or someone you know will have one too. It’s important for you to know and understand what happens during a C-section, what things to avoid after a C-section and what C-section recovery tips you need to try.
I remember when I had my C-section, it was a Saturday summer day at three in the morning when my twins were born 3 minutes apart.The room was cold, there were nurses and doctors everywhere. You sort of forget about everything, once you hear your baby cry for the first time. It was magical. Once they wheel you out to the post-surgery recovery room and postpartum life begins, that’s when you really feel the aftermath of having a C-section.
But not to worry because as your mama friend and I am going to reveal the secrets of healing from a C-section. How you care for yourself and your incision will determine how fast and painless your C-section recovery will be. Always ask your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your healing process.
11 fast and realistic C-section recovery tips you need to try
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Recovering from a C-section is hard and sometimes painful. You need to accept help or even ask for help as soon as possible. It’s okay to let others care for you. If your family and friends want to help you clean the house, wash your dirty dishes and do your laundry, by all means let them. You cannot be straining yourself at this time. You need to rest as much as you can in order for you to heal fast and properly.
2.Get plenty of rest
I know I know, this is probably the last thing you have on your mind after giving birth. You’re too excited about cuddling with your baby and entertaining visitors. I know I was after giving birth to my twins. But! In reality, you need all of the rest that you can get very early on. Starting during your hospital stay. You need it for your mental and physical health, your body just went through major abdominal surgery and it needs time to heal.
Ideas to make it easier for you to rest:
If you’re in the hospital, you can have a set time for your family and friends to visit you and your baby. Do not make it a 24/7 visiting hour window, trust me, I wish I did this! It will give you time to rest and spend time with your newborn.
If you’re home, do your best to rest when your baby is taking a nap. Try using this comfortable pillow and take a 30 minute power nap, it’s going to help you feel re-charged and well rested. I actually would ask my hubby and family members to help care for my twins, so I can take a nap. Honestly girl, you probably think I’m crazy for doing that. But, it helped me get the rest that I needed and they were totally happy to help.
3. Take pain medication
I know some women are wary about taking pain medications and I don’t blame them. I do not like taking medication unless I really need it, I actually hold off from it and try to “deal” with the pain as much as possible. Having a C-section is very hard and painful, So I do recommend taking pain medication at least for the first two days after surgery. It will help you manage the pain and make you feel so much better.
Always ask your friendly nurses and doctors about what pain medication options they have and then choose from there!
Some common pain medications include but not limited to:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil)
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
4. Protect your incision
It’s super important to protect your incision because if you don’t, it can get infected and you don’t want that. Protecting and caring for your incision or scar can promote faster and pain free healing.
You can start by not scratching your scar if it starts to itch. I know that itchiness can occur and the urge to massage it or scratch it to relief the sensation can be tempting. Do your best not to touch it! You can also wear loose fitted clothing, preferably comfortable dresses because it helps to not put pressure on the incision area. Always keep your scar dry in order to heal faster and properly.
Try applying this Organic Skin and Scar balm to help reduce the appearance of scars, made with organic oils and natural ingredients! Or try ScarOut which is a silicon gel sheeting to help reduce your C-section scar.
5. Wear a belly band
Wearing a belly band (girdle, belly wrap) after your C-section surgery is recommended. It helps promote muscular support and keeps your stitches in place. I couldn’t wear a belly band after my C-section because I became very sick. But my mother who had 3 C-sections and my aunts always recommend anyone who has had a C-section to wear one.
One of the first things your nurses and doctor will advise you to do while in the hospital is to walk and move around. Walking is going to help reduce the risks of blood clots and other related problems after surgery. Walking also helps with your bowel movements and reduce constipation. Try walking a few steps at a time as getting up and moving will help speed your C-section recovery.
7. No heavy lifting
If you want to have a fast and speedy C-section recovery then you cannot put stress on your incision area. Do not lift heavy objects, do not bend down and be careful when you’re picking your baby up to carry.
If you are going to sneeze or cough, make sure to hold your tummy! I couldn’t laugh, sneeze or cough after surgery because it would be painful, holding my incision helped.
8. Combat constipation
Two of the most common side effects from having a C-section are constipation and gas. In order not to get gas bubbles that may be painful is to pass gas or do #2. Actually it’s crucial for you to use the bathroom within 24 hours of surgery to make sure your bowel movements and organs are working properly.
You will be giving a stool softener in the hospital in order for you to go to the bathroom with more ease. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor to prescribe you stool softener if you need once you’re home.
Simple ways to combat constipation:
Eat more vegetables and fruits
Start with a bland diet
Avoid fried foods and carbonated drinks
Food rich in fiber
Drink plenty of water
9. Breastfeed with care
For more breastfeeding tips you’ll actually use, check out Milkology! Given by a lactation consultant! Learn how to breastfeed correctly and pain free in under 90 minutes!
You can start breastfeeding the moment that your doctor gives you the “okay” to do it. It all depends on the type of anesthesia you were put on and how you feel afterwards. Breastfeeding may be a little harder since you’re trying to recover from surgery and managing the pain associated with it. If you need help with picking up your baby to breastfeed, ask your partner or nurses to help you. If breastfeeding becomes uncomfortable because of your C-section, ask the nurses or lactation consultant (if your hospital has one) to help and teach you the best ways to breastfeed after having a C-section.
Having a breast pump can help you ease the pain of having engorge breast (girl! they are painful!) and also helps with stimulating your breasts for more milk production!
Once at home, you can use a Boppy nursing pillow(my favorite!) to breastfeed with ease, place your baby on top of it and make sure you do not put pressure on your incision area. Don’t forget to stock up on nipple cream to soothe and protect sore nipples and nursing pads for leak protection.
10. Showering with care
Showering after having a C-section may be challenging. You do not want to scrub down on your incision because you will risk catching an infection and scar opening up.
For fast and effective healing I recommend you use a cloth when taking a shower. Simply apply mild soap and water to the cloth, and carefully place it on the incision area. Rinse the wash cloth and squeeze the water out, then apply it again on the incision area to help clean and dry out the water on your scar. I used this method when I had my C-section and it helped me heal faster.
11. Look out for infected area
If you suspect that your incision may be infected, you must call your doctor immediately. Here’s a look at the signs you should look out for to know if your incision is infected.
- High fever of over 100.3
- Redness around and in the incision
- Pus coming out
As you can tell, having a C-section and recovering from it is no joke. I had a vaginal birth with my first child and a C-section with my twins and by far recovering from a C-section is a bit more harder and challenging. You just had major surgery, even though you may not think it was because you’re too caught up with being a mommy and gushing over your adorable newborn.
Recovering from a C-section is straight forward really and easy to do. To have a fast healing process you need to take care of the incision area and take care of yourself. It’s that simple! I know right now you may not be feeling like yourself (I know I didn’t) but with time you will feel much better. The pain will slowly fade away and you can do the things that you want to do. Like properly taking a bath, holding your baby without feeling discomfort and laughing again. Gosh, why is laughing so painful after having a C-section?
I really hope you found these 11 fast and realistic C-section recovery tips super helpful and I wish you a speedy and pain free recovery!