After my cesarean with my first daughter, I struggled to find helpful tips to make my recovery easier. I was uncomfortable, incredibly sore, and slept sitting up for the first few weeks postpartum because if I layed down I couldn’t sit back up. All while trying to bond and take care of my new baby. No one prepared me for what to expect postpartum in the event I had to have a c-section, and it is my hope that these tips will make your recovery go a little smoother (and more comfortable)
Tip one: Your pillow is your new best friend
Troubles standing up, laughing, or even sneezing? Holding a pillow against your stomach/incision area helps significantly with all of these things. The pressure from the pillow makes you feel secure and like its “holding everything in”.
Tip two: Comfy loose fitting clothes
The rubbing of waistbands against your incision can be painful, but at the very least it is uncomfortable. Trust me when I say that you will not want anything touching it. Th...
“Asking your husband to be your sole guide through labor is like asking him to lead the way on a climb of Mt. Everest. He may be smart and trustworthy, you may love him, but in the Himalayas you’d both be a lot better off with a Sherpa!” - Pam England, Birthing From Within.
I don’t think we realize what it would be like for them, to feel responsible for leading their loved one through the ebb and flow of labor, the life altering moment of birth, with limited preparation.
If we equipped them with knowledge and tools, offered them and ourselves a guide (Sherpa if you will...) can you imagine the difference in everyone’s confidence level?
They would learn the right way to comfort through touch and sound. How to advocate for you and your baby. To protect your birth space and calm frame of mind. Knowledge of the labor and birth process, including what’s normal and what could be a cause for concern.
Should I bring diapers and extra pads? What about postpartum underwear? What else do I actually need to bring? These thoughts are all so common.
This is something that a lot of people struggle with while packing their hospital bags and I get it! I way over packed when I was getting ready for the hospital with my first. It can be overwhelming to pack everything that you think you may need in the hospital during and after birth. I won’t go over the basics of toiletries and the more obvious things that you’ll need in this post, but here are a few items that I personally think are must-haves for your birth/postpartum experience in a hospital.
An outfit to labour in: The hospital has gowns that you can wear but they are stiff, uncomfortable, and everyone has worn it. Insert Gracefully Birthed outfits here! We have birthing top/skirt combos, as well as a gown option (that is also great for postpartum use!). They are BEAUTIFUL...
Scrolling through all my mommy groups this week, I came across almost this same exact post (or some variation of it) too many times to count!
"HELP! I'm 40 weeks pregnant today and seeing NO SIGNS of labour! How can I induce labour!? I don't wan't to go overdue or be induced!" *Insert all the crying, sad and panicked emojis*
Now. As a Doula, I try my very best not to comment on these posts other than to encourage mama to rest, eat, stay hydrated and maybe try some sex/nipple stimulation if shes up for it. Followed by "Don't worry, babies come when they're ready". That said, having birthed 3 babies of my own, I know my "sage advice" isn't likely to break through to the mom who's feeling tired, sore, anxious, disappointed and SO DONE with pregnancy.
In all honesty, I'm not surprised this is such a common post! In fact, given how we as a culture think about due dates and all the "why are you still pregnant" questions a mom gets as soon as she reaches her estimated...
I got pregnant with my first when I was pretty young, 21, and I had done absolutely NO research or anything. We took the childbirth classes at the hospital, and when they mentioned C-sections I zoned out because I never imagined I would have one! I had trouble with high blood pressure at the end and was induced at 39 weeks for that reason. They broke my water and I immediately started having intense contractions. Thirty minutes in, I asked for an epidural and five hours later I was having a C-section due to fetal distress (knowing what I now know, it was a cascade of interventions from the induction on, but I was young and didn't know anything about birth).
Two years later I was pregnant again and had never heard the term VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean). Looking back, Im amazed that my OB didn't at least give me the option! So my second son was born via elective C-section at 38 weeks.
Fast forward 5 years (2010) and I'm pregnant with #3...
Birth can be messy, beautiful, long, scary, uncomfortable; the list goes on.
How long did you plan your wedding? Was it days, months, years? Now, how long have you been preparing for the birth of your baby? I'm guessing you looked for the best health care provider, decided where you're going to give birth, found a Doula who fits right in with your personality, and researched your options for labour and delivery. Your all set, right? But what's your plan from the time you feel that first contraction, or water breaking, to the time of delivery? We all know birth can be completely unpredictable, but is your plan to lie in a hospital bed while you dilate from 4 - 10, and just wait for your baby to make his arrival, or do you like to be proactive?
What does “proactive during labour” look like? Our bodies are an intricate unit, and birth can be a complicated process where the intricacies of our bodies work together to bring a baby into the world. Muscles and ligaments have t...