Whether your cesarean section was planned or unplanned, it can leave you sore, tired and in need of some extra special care once you get home from the hospital. While your doctor will provide you with necessary medical advice and important information about how to care for your incision and pain, there are some mom-tested practical tips that can also help make your recovery easier.
If you’ve had a C-section, your recovery after birth takes longer than after a vaginal birth. Your muscles and incision need to heal and you will need to be especially careful not to strain yourself. Make sure to have super soft and breathable pajamas without a tight waistband, or a nursing gown, so there’s nothing restrictive around your middle. You will most likely still be wearing your maternity clothes for the first few weeks, and there’s nothing wrong with that!
Asking for help is something all new moms should do, but for a mom who just had a C-section, it’s an absolute must. You will not be able to lift very much weight, so doing chores like laundry and grocery shopping require a helping hand. Arrange for friends and family to take shifts around the house for the first two weeks you are home. If you have a planned C-section you can make and freeze casseroles, stews and other easy to reheat dinners so you have them available those first few weeks.
While you’re resting and recuperating from your C-section you will also want to feed and bond with your new baby. Create a comfortable feeding area with pillows to support your body in a relaxed position while you feed your baby. Having a family member or friend bring you the baby for feeding or cuddle time, or having your baby's bassinet or crib near you, will make it easier for you to focus on that bonding time, without having to do too much lifting.
Now that you’ve enlisted help and figured out how to attend comfortably to your baby, you can indulge in some guilty pleasures like binge watching a new TV show or catching up on movies. This is also a good time to actually read some of those parenting books you’ve inevitably bought or been given before baby was born. Take advantage of having help around and fit in some mom time while you can!
Having a new baby is exciting and joyous, but your first priority needs to be taking care of yourself so that you can be a healthy and happy mom. It’s important to go easy on yourself when recovering from a C-section and make sure not to overdo it. By putting some help in place and delegating household tasks, you can focus on healing and on taking care of your baby. Soon enough you’ll get the green light from your doctor to participate fully in normal activities, and these early days of recovery will be a distant memory. Even your scar will fade eventually - promise!