We’ve said it before and we’ll say it over and over again, no one sucks at giving birth. All gestating and birth beings are especially amazing. You grow life, create an organ to sustain it, keep it protected in a myriad of ways, and then it has to exit your body along with the organ you no longer need. And that we feel is phenomenal. Everyone has reasons for the choices that they make – sometimes willingly, sometimes not so much. Bringing life forth is hard, no matter how it happens. We are just glad there are options to accommodate us all in a variety of circumstances. If you’ve had a cesarean or are planning on one, here are some cesarean recovery information and tips to help your transition be a touch easier on you.
Let’s begin with your hospital stay:
You can expect your hospital stay to be generally 72 hours providing everything unfolds as expected, sometimes it’s even shorter at 48 hours.
You will be sent home with discharge papers. Keep these out and visible. Refer to them for guidance and use them as your go-to for answers.
How to feel comfortable and secure:
Ask for a belly binder to come home with from the hospital – the extra support helps bring more comfort when moving around. Placing a pillow over your stomach to press against when coughing or laughing provides extra support too.
What to wear:
Cesarean recovery panties! These have a high rise waist so that nothing additional is rubbing on your incision site. Check out this link for an example. And high rise is still having a moment so you can be super in too. 😉 There are a variety of styles as well, some even include a binder.
Keep on top of your pain meds by setting alarms to help remind you when you need your next dose. If you are waiting until you feel more in pain, that’s too long. Staying on top of it is very helpful to your pain management.
Laxatives given by your doctor are helpful, as is gas medication to help lessen the discomfort associated with it after surgery.
If you are breastfeeding, the football hold or side lying (once you can comfortably lay on your side) are great ways to take the pressure off your incision site.
Movement and eating:
Getting up and walking/movement will help your recovery. Limit stairs. When you do, take them very slow.
Follow the guidance of your provider and avoid lifting anything bigger than your baby until given clearance. Let others help you, let your body heal. This is really for your benefit and safer, quicker recovery.
You are avoiding driving to avoid the instance of having to react quickly in case of an accident. This can cause damage to your recovery so take it easy and let yourself be Miss Daisy for a bit.
Eat nutritional foods, fiber, plenty of fluids, and allow yourself to rest.
Take notice when things change:
Watch for signs of infection. When checking your incision site – we want no foul smells, pus, or heat/inflammation. It should be generally dry.
Your follow up visits with your OB are normally at 2 weeks and again at 6 weeks. As always reach out to your doctor when any concern arises.
Once your incision is healed, you can begin to gently massage the suture site with Vitamin E oil to help break up scar tissue and reduce the scar. A women’s health physical therapist can also assist in any sensations that may result at the suture site too from scar tissue.
Finding a practitioner in your area that does treatments to help the body heal via frequency specific microcurrent (FSM) post surgery can aid in the healing process too.
One thing we cannot stress enough is to
Be gentle on yourself.
Allow yourself the time and space to rest and recover, enjoy your family. Maybe even leave little reminder notes reminding you how amazing you are as you heal from bringing forth life. All births take time to heal from and for you to feel 100%. There is no rush and the more you let yourself recover, the faster you will feel yourself.
Contact us today to have a doula on your team for your cesarean birth recovery support!
Authored by Amy Hammer