This week’s post about C-Section recovery is by a guest author, Rebecca Marie. Rebecca is a stay at home mom of two under three in Southern CA. She runs her home on Jesus, coffee and a good husband. If you want to see more from her, check her out on Facebook!
**Links to products within this post are to products tried and loved. A small commission is earned if you decide to love them too.**
Your Facebook and Instagram are filling with pictures of bright, shinning new baby life! Congratulations mommas, welcome to the club!
Planned or not, I’ve had a lot of new mommas asking questions about C-Section recovery. Being a mom who has had 2 C-Sections, 1 emergency and 1 planned, I am here to give you my top 10 things to know about recovery.
#1. Walk, walk, walk!
The sooner you can get your body moving after having your C-Section the better!
My first was the emergency C-Section. My son was breach and we were not aware of this until I was in labor. Off we went to surgery, shocked and praying. My nurses asked me to walk the following day and I said I was not ready.
And I wasn’t, but here’s why.
How much research do you do when you have a plan? You read, you ask questions, you are ready to go. Without a plan, I was in the mental state of shock and in the mindset of “oh my goodness my intestines were just totally taken out of my body.”
I felt like I couldn’t remember how to walk. I had labored and puked for a few hours before having surgery. My abs were destroyed and then torn apart, I could barely figure out how to get out the bed.
After the fact, do I think if the nurse pushed me more and told me I HAD to walk, that I could have? Probably.
I say that now because after baby 2, I feel everything is possible! Haha, no.
They made me walk with my catheter in and it was NO BIG DEAL! I mean, don’t get me wrong, I was suffering and pushing through. But, it was nowhere as bad as it was after I sat on my butt for days, letting the thought of how bad it was going to be grow in my mind.
So WALK! As soon as the spinal tap has worn off and you can walk, do it!
#2. Grab a belly band
Ask for this at the hospital. Apparently its controversial, I had no idea. My first OB just gave it to me and told me to wear it, if it gets hot, take it off. I healed great! Granted this was my first baby and, in my experience, it’s easier for your body to look pre-baby the first time around than the second.
My second OB didn’t approve of the use of one. Her reasoning was because she felt that when you wear it, you’re relying on the band to support you and not regaining strength in your abs.
I get it. But this is not why I wore it, nor is it why I’m telling you to wear it. Swelling and mental support are my reasoning. Compression helps the swelling go down, and mentally you feel like its holding you together.
If you are having a planned section and you’re reading this, call the hospital and ask if they provide one for you. They do not always do this, so you may want to buy one online.
#3. Still take the peri bottle
Okay, a blessing of a C-Section, your whooha is most likely intact-ish. Given this, you don’t need to clean your episiotomy wound with the rinsing bottle that they are going to give you.
HOWEVER, you are still going to be doing A LOT of bleeding. Your body is still going to purge and shed all the gunk that a natural delivery comes with, this is where the rinse comes in handy.
I’m not going to go into further detail, just use it when the time comes and you will see. Also, take it home with you when you are discharged.
#4. Use pillows as your new friend
Have to sneeze? Need to laugh at a good comedy? Pillows are your friend.
Have one nearby and press it into your tummy to help support the muscles that are trying to reconnect. These little activities can be so painful because you did have major surgery. Something easy like a pillow can be a great tool.
#5. Buy a Groupon for a blow out
So, I’ve told you how hard my first time around was when it came to moving around. Hopefully, you will take the tips and won’t experience this.
In case you are still in lots of pain, you may find things like washing your hair to be quite painful.
I had trouble getting my clothes on, let alone putting my hands on my head while standing.
The best thing we did? My mom packed us up and drove us to get my hair done. I went in my sweats, she watched the baby, and someone took care of me for a half hour. Great plan!
#6. Say bye-bye to soaking
Throw ideas of taking a bath, getting in the pool, or even wearing your baby on you out the window for a bit.
The soaking is a total no-no with your wound. If I remember right, it’s about 6 to 8 weeks of no soaking or sun bathing in the pool.
I throw in the tip about baby wearing, because its uncomfortable at the start. Totally heart breaking, I know.
If your carrier is high and won’t rub on your incision, then try it. No matter what, try it. Keep my words in the back of your mind that it might not work for a while.
Again, so sorry.
#7. Expect numbness, tingling, and tenderness
Sometimes, post C-Section, we think something is really wrong with the incision. It’s super tender, starts tingling, and we also can’t feel all of it.
I remember, with my first, that half was tingling and the other half was numb. One side was pudgy and the other side was smooth. It all evens out and will get back to normal, you just need time.
#8. Invest in some healers
Scaraway are silicone sheets and came recommended by my OB. They stay on for a few days, help to hold the area together and provide lightening of the scar.
Bio Oil, vitamin E oil for the skin, helps it to do what it’s supposed to and heal.
I loved both because they worked for me and also helped with peace of mind that I was doing something about it.
#9. Get ready to maybe see a C-Section shelf
Even telling you about this makes me roll my eyes! Ha! That’s because I had one with my second and not with my first.
I went to the OB and told her that the skin seemed to be pulling over the scar and hanging down.
Her response? “That’s not my fault.” In other words, I gained too much weight, and this was my body, my problem.
Totally helpful right?
What is good to know is that you can do something about it! I am 13 months post C-Section and my “shelf” has minimized as I work on my pelvic floor and core.
Also good point (extra credit tip for you), my Physical Therapist recently clued me into the fact that doing Kegel’s, isn’t just for your whooha but is also for strengthening your pelvic floor which supports your core and back!
#10. Give yourself grace- like a year of it
Momma, you did go through a lot.
Can you climb this mountain and plant your flag at the top? Absolutely! There is no rush though. It took you about 40 weeks to make that baby, it takes that plus months, even a year of time to get your body back to normal.
Like I mentioned, I am 13 months PP. I am still actively telling my muscles to work when I need them to. That’s not because of my C-Section. I spent pretty much 3 years pregnant and/or recovering from it.
Be kind to yourself. Take the tips, put them in your memory, but don’t stress about it.
You will heal, you will be great. Focus on that baby, who is only a newbie once.
You’ll be great momma!
Looking for a funny pregnancy read?
Are you considering a doula and want to check out my miserable attempt at getting my husband to agree to one? Check out How Not to Convince Your Husband to Get a Doula. It’s one of my misses that you can learn from for sure!
Maybe you’re in your third trimester and want to buy into misery loves company? Read Enjoy the 3rd Trimester and see what we have/had in common!