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. Things like gowns, flowy t-shirts, and high waisted underwear can be godsends. My suggestion is the Gracefully Birthed Labour to Postpartum gown and high waisted underwear. Both are made of a soft bamboo knit fabric, and feel great on the skin. (Bonus points: The gown is nursing friendly, and the underwear are the perfect replacement for the mesh panties you used to be able to get at the hospital! Plus they’re beautiful and they can be repurposed to be used way past the postpartum stage)
Tip three: Snack bucket and water bottle stash
This isn’t just a tip for cesarean birth moms. It is a tip for ALL postpartum moms. Trust me when I say that you will be hungry and thirsty 24/7 postpartum (and if you’re nursing or pumping, you’ll be even hungrier) so I recommend picking up a cheap basket or bucket and filling it with various snacks as well as always having a water bottle on the go. Keep both within arms reach, so you have access when you need it.
Tip four: Join a support group
It is important to have people in your corner who understand what you’re going through. People who can offer you tips, who you can vent to, and who you can trust. Whether your c-section was planned, emergent or unplanned, your story matters and its nice to talk to people who get it. Local to Central Alberta we have Central Alberta VBAC and CBAC support group that runs monthly meetings, as well as an online facebook community. Every one of these mothers has had a cesarean and can offer the wisdom of their experience if you need it. If you aren’t local, many areas have an ICAN network and group, as well as facebook groups.
*If you need help finding a resource, please reach out to our page and we will help connect you with the people you need*
Tip five: Don’t be afraid to ask for help
You just had major abdominal surgery, and you are learning how to adjust to a new baby. Whether it is your first or fourth child, every postpartum experience is different and there is a learning curve. Don’t push yourself, ask for help when you need, be gracious to yourself and check in with your doctor if you are struggling (Physically or otherwise).
These tips are just a starting point for ways to help with your recovery; and like I said above I highly recommend joining a support group and leaning on your community for help. You aren’t alone, and shouldn’t have to do this by yourself ♡