C-section recovery can be a long and hard road for most moms out there. Especially if your c-section wasn’t planned and you have no idea what to expect.
With our son I had an emergency c-section and I had no clue what was going on all I knew was that I wanted me and my baby healthy.
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I went into the hospital to be induced and I was a week and a half overdue. I was in labor for about 18 hours and I was not dilating at all.
Our sons vitals were going downhill and they were staying low. So my doctor suggested us to do a c-section since I was not progressing at all and our baby was not in a good spot.
It was so hard for me to accept the fact that the natural birth I wanted was not going to come true, but I cared more about my baby being alive and healthy than my natural birth experience.
Little did I know that 31% of deliveries are done by cesarean. Some are emergency and some are totally elective. Usually after you have one c-section they suggest to continue having them when you have more babies, but VBACs are on the rise.
That’s why I wanted to write a post for y’all all about c-section recovery tips because I wish I had known about recovery for c-sections.
I am a part of this c-section recovery facebook group that has a ton of followers so I asked them their favorite tips. So all of these tips aren’t only about my experience they are from hundreds of different moms who have recovered from c-sections, so I know they are good solid tips!
C-Section Recovery Tips
My first and favorite tip is to walk as soon as you can.
In the hospital they will have you try to stand and take a couple of steps just a few hours after surgery.
Walking helps with gas pains, bowel movements, getting your blood flowing and reduces the chance of getting blood clots in your legs.
It’s important to move as much as you can after having a c-section. Try walking a little bit more every day.
When I was in the hospital I tried walking partially down the hall and back to my room, then I would walk all the way down the hall and back, last I would walk down the hall and back without holding onto the railing.
When I got home every so often I would get up and try to go outside. I started walking to the end of the street and back, then every day I would go a little further if I felt up for it.
Going outside and walking made a huge difference in my recovery. It helped me a lot with my postpartum depression, losing the baby weight, and feeling more like a normal person.
Ultimately listen to your body and try not to overdo it.
If you are ready to get back into working out and you are approved from you doctor you can get started on more in depth workouts.
Now this sounds like the total opposite of getting up and start walking, but resting is important.
You want to get up and start moving as much as you can, but if you overdo it you will take steps back in your recovery.
So rest as much as you can and really listen to your body. If you are feeling to sore and it’s difficult to move around rest and relax.
If you are exhausted (which you will be) sleep when the baby is sleeping. Your house and other things you need to get done can be put on the backburner for a little bit.
After every major surgery you are told to rest so your body can heal. Having a c-section is a major surgery and you need to give yourself some time to properly heal.
One of my favorite things in the hospital that my nurses did for me was take my baby overnight. I wish I could have taken them home with me.
I was able to get a lot more sleep because they only brought him in to feed and then they took him right after so I could get much needed sleep.
If you have this opportunity please take it! It will give you a nice kickstart on your recovery.
You will have plenty of time to to take care of the baby when you get home.
I’ve always been an 80/20 kind of girl. Eat healthy 80% of the time and less healthy 20% of the time.
Eating healthy will help your body recover well and give you the strength that you need to heal, lose the baby weight faster, and give you a strong milk supply.
Here is a list of healthy snacks that are quick and easy to go:
- Fruit or veggies
- Yogurt with fruit and granola (this is my lunch everyday because it’s so good!)
- Apples with cheese or peanut butter
- Trail mix
- Crackers or veggies with hummus
- Homemade smoothies
- Banana and peanut butter
- Peanut butter and banana slices on toast
- Fiber bars, they help you poop!
- Tortilla chips with guacamole
- Half of a tuna sandwich
- Protein bars
- Lara Bars
- Cliff Bars
- Ants on a log (celery with peanuts butter and raisins)
- Eggs with spinach on an English muffin or toast
- Cottage cheese with fruit
- Grapes and Cheddar cheese cubes
- Fruit salad (cut up fruit then add a dash of lime juice and honey)
- Cucumber sandwiches (cucumbers, dill, and cream cheese)
- Frozen grapes with string cheese
- Real fruit popsicles
- Hardboiled egg or half of an egg sandwich
- Toast with avocado
- Toasted English muffin or bagel
- Dried fruit
- Beef jerky
- Kind bars (they are the nut bars in the granola bar section)
Drink Lots of Water
Drink as much water as you can, preferably half of your body weight in ounces at least!
So if you weigh 150 pounds drink at least 75 ounces of water.
Drinking a lot of water will help your recovery and keep you free of constipation. Which trust me it’s so hard to poop after you have a c-section, constipation will be your worst nightmare.
So drink plenty of water to help you feel hydrated and help your body function properly.
Take Stool Softeners
Before leaving the hospital they wanted me to at least fart to make sure that my body was working well.
The day after I got home I pooped and if I didn’t regularly take a stool softener it would have been so painful to poop.
It’s very difficult to bear down and if you don’t poop you will get all backed up and bloated, which puts pressure on your incision.
And trust me it does not feel good to have pressure on your incision.
I took stool softeners till about week 3 or 4 of my recovery. Take them till you feel like you have a good handle on your abs and being able to use your muscles to poop.
Stay on Top of Pain Management
However you decide to take care of your pain management whether it be natural ways or with pain medication please stay on top of it!
Your doctor will give you guidelines for your pain management if you are using medication.
I personally did tylenol and ibuprofen together every six hours for a couple of weeks. Then I slowly tapered off the amount I was taking till about 4 weeks.
Your doctor will tell you what you should do because he knows you way better than I do, but if you stay on top of your pain management it will help your recovery and you will feel much better!
Wear a Postpartum Girdle
“Postpartum girdles can aid in back support, help with muscle memory, provide support during breastfeeding, and decrease pressure on the back and legs.
True abdominal compression wraps also speed up the recovery process after C-section surgery and aid in repairing Diastasis Recti or the condition in which your two abdominal halves split apart during pregnancy.” (Source)
After having my c-section I wore my girdle right away and it helped me feel like I had some support and I didn’t feel like everything was flopping around everywhere.
I didn’t realize how difficult it was to even lift my own torso up, but when I was wearing a girdle I was able to get out of bed easier and get back into daily life.
Most women will wear them for about 6-8 weeks.
When you do choose to wear one make sure to have some sort of soft fabric on your incision so your girdle doesn’t rub on it.
Most girdles aren’t soft enough against your scar. Unless you get one specific for a c-section, but I didn’t because my c-section wasn’t planned.
I personally wore spandex over my scar and that helped with my scar not itching or rubbing when I wore my girdle.
Do a Scar Massage
I never heard about this till a couple of weeks after I had my c-section. Now if you are wondering what a scar massage is it’s when you rub coconut oil lightly on your incision scar.
“When you massage your c-section scar, you help the scar tissue learn where to lie down and you keep it from growing in unwanted places like on the surrounding organs. Massage can help increase blood flow, which is beneficial for healing the area.” (Source)
Now some moms have done this and have seen a huge difference in appearance with their scar.
I’m seeing a slight difference in appearance, but I’m continuing to do it since Im only a few months postpartum.
Please don’t do a scar massage till you get the okay from your doctor or you can touch your scar without it hurting.
Sleep on Your Back
And last but not least sleep on your back.
I couldn’t sleep on my side without feeling like my insides were falling out, it was such a weird feeling!
Try sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees. It feels so comfortable and will help you get much needed sleep.
I hope y’all have a good recovery and that these tips will help you!