Whether it be an emergency or planned cesarean, once it’s happened there are several things you can do to help the process of recovery be that little bit better!
With Max it was all such a shock so I had no idea what to expect with recovery or how long it would take to feel normal again. I had done no research! With Harper however I knew exactly what to expect and sought advice, assistance and planned ahead (I do love to be prepared!)
So here are a few top tips that I have learned along the way that may prove handy…
Take the drugs
What I mean by this is that when they offer you the pain medication in hospital after the anaesthetic has worn off…take them! They will give you both paracetamol and ibuprofen and at some points you may feel ok and like you don’t need them. Trust me you do!
You will be advised to take pain relief meds for a while after and don’t forget you have just had a major operation so don’t be a hero!
They will also tell you to wear the support stockings for a good couple of weeks after the op and although they look horrendous and are a bloody pain to get on and off, they advise you wear them for good reason and I think any kind of vanity has been left at the door at this point anyway right?!
Wear the BIG PANTS
My dressing was removed the day after giving birth so I didn’t have much protection on my incision for very long. You will have limited movement for quite a while after so comfort is key. I recommend the boy short style in a size bigger than normal so that nothing digs in. Being comfortable is all you will care about at this stage! Oh and definitely get them in a black!
I’m talking jogging bottoms, leggings, pyjamas and hell yes as much maternity wear for as long as you wish to wear it! Do not try and squeeze your jeans back on too soon….your scar and tummy muscles will not thank you for it!
Trust your instincts
If something doesn’t feel right during your recovery then don’t be afraid to go back to the doctor or speak to your midwife. I had a great physical recovery from my first section but the second time around has not been so smooth sailing. I tried to do too much too soon and I have paid for it. I have had two separate lots of antibiotics and even silver nitrate treatment to help my healing along. Each time, the doctor (along with two students… oh what the hell, anyone else want to take a look?!) and nurse I saw were so understanding and sympathetic.
Take the offers of help!
You will be advised not to do any heavy lifting and at first you really won’t be able to, but as time goes on you will feel like you can do more and more. Listen to your body because you will only set yourself back if you don’t so if you feel like you have done too much…sit down! Let someone else make the tea and unload the washing machine for a while. You have a new baby to snuggle and they are not going to care if the stairs haven’t been vacuumed today! No one will think the less of you I promise.
Having said all that, don’t spend all your time sitting down. Short walks will really help your recovery be more speedy and it’s amazing what a bit of fresh air can do for your spirits when you are deep in the emotional newborn phase.
Pillows and Cushions
Have all the pillows everywhere! You will need lots of propping up! They are helpful for feeding in the early stages too as even newborn babies heads can get heavy after a while! In fact I think I will need to be propped up with pillows forever more, so maybe this is more to do with my age!
It’s so important to keep the scar as clean and dry as possible which is harder than it seems when you will have a bit of an overhang of skin to start with! I was advised to let as much air as possible get to the area…more lying down which is pretty impossible when you have a toddler to contend with too! A hairdryer on a cool setting can speed this process up a bit though.
Give yourself time
This one I really struggled with! I had no idea how long it was supposed to take to get back to normal again. Everyone will tell you that you can’t drive or exercise for 6 weeks…. but what then? I certainly didn’t feel normal after 6 weeks….it was more like 6 months and even then I was still in shock at how my body looked! It took the best part of a year to get back to feeling ‘me’ again and that’s ok so this time as much as I want to be back to my old self already….I know it will come…eventually!
I hope these tips prove helpful or maybe they just bring back memories of the recovery process if you also had c-sections!
Let me know if you have any more top tips to add!
Thanks for reading.