More Helpful & Practical Tips for Recovering a C-Section
Whether you have a planned c-section or run into an emergency c-section you might find these after-care tips to help you heal after your c-section. Most moms-to-be don’t hope for a cesarean section, but we all know it is something that can happen whether we want it to or not. It is a serious surgery that does have a lot of risks, and the recovery time after is somewhat long. Know what to expect after you have a c-section and how to make your recovery a little bit easier! Below are tips for an easier after-care of a c-section! Here’s part one.
General Recovery Time From A Cesarean Section
You are looking at the six-week time frame. Now, you can hold your baby and help take care of them after, but vacuuming, carrying the car seat, those items have to wait. It is a major surgery, and it does take time to heal. If you over-work your body you can cause even more issues for yourself in the long run. So take it easy and follow the doctor’s orders.
Ways To Recover Easier After C-Section
If they offer you pain pills consider taking them. If you take them for a short time you are not going to get addicted. The pain is pretty harsh after, and Tylenol and ibuprofen might not cut it. Generally, some only take them for a few days and others need them for a week or two as they are healing. Everyone’s body is different in the healing process.
Drink Lots of Water
Drinking a lot of water is great because it will help push out all the anesthesia and medicine they give you. Some women shake incredibly bad after they get the medication, and then get new medications to stop the shaking. All that medicine takes time to work itself out of you and the more you drink the better you will begin to feel. Anesthesia can make you feel nauseated, loss of appetite, groggy, and just blah feeling.
You will likely have a catheter in for the first 24 hours, and once it is removed getting up and moving around will really help. It will hurt and be hard at first but standing up and getting moving will really help lessen the pain and speed up the recovery time. Take it slow and do a little bit at a time. Plus walking around can help your bowels, reduce the chance of blood clots forming in your legs too.
When you get a c-section they pump you full of antibiotics to help prevent infections. That can really take a toll on the healthy bacteria that are residing in your guts. Find a probiotic supplement to take or ask the hospital, so they can get you started and help your immunity and overall health.
Protein really helps your body heal the tissue and repair muscles. By eating a protein-rich diet, it can help your body heal just a bit faster!
Your first bowel movement can be a bit painful. Some women can experience diarrhea after (probiotic can help with that) and others have really hard stools. Most recommend taking stool softeners to ensure you don’t have to push hard. One tip that is very helpful is rolling up a towel, and gently holding it up to your stomach. When you go to push it will help take the pressure and not hurt your stomach incision area as bad.
Getting the sleep your body needs is almost impossible when you have a newborn. Make sure that when you can you nap, your body needs to heal and sometimes sleeping is the only time your body can work at healing. So if your house is a bit messy, so what, take the nap. It won’t be the end of the world, and sleep will help you heal a lot quicker.
Support During Breastfeeding
When you go to breastfeed, try and sit up well, and not lean forward. Leaning forward can reduce your oxygen to the body and you might find you get more fatigued when you lean forward to feed. Invest in a boppy pillow to help hold the weight of your baby, and make it to where you don’t have to work as hard. If you are hunched over, reposition so your not causing more fatigue.
The doctor will give you paperwork but the general rule of thumb is pretty much rest for 2 weeks, and don’t lift over 20 pounds. Then as you slowly heal you can start trying to lift more.
If you love essential oils, diffuse lavender, chamomile, and Frankincense in the diffuser which can help reduce your pain naturally.
The mesh underwear the hospital gives you is a blessing! Yes, they look hideous but you won’t want anything pushing on your stomach. Buy granny style panties for going home, and take all the mesh undies that are in your room. These will help with any leaks and feel nice around your stomach.
Consider sweatpants and loose t-shirts for a little bit. Not having anything super tight will feel really nice up against your stomach. You will have a large cut and make sure nothing is really tight pushing on it will really feel a lot better. Pack clothes for the hospital that are loose fitting just in case you end up having a c-section.
Make sure to have some anti-gas medications on hand. You will find you might be extra gassy and the only way to really find relief is taking Gas-X or another form of anti-gas. Surgery can do this, and having a baby can cause gas, so trust me, this is a must-have item.
Once your incision is sealed and well into the healing you might reach for an ointment to help the skin heal a bit faster. You can find a ton of products out there that help in healing faster, just make sure your incision is closed and in the process of being healed. You don’t want to open the wound.
- Aloe Vera|Great for helping heal wounds a bit faster. Just apply once or twice a day.
- Mederma Quick Dry Oil|This is great to help heal quicker and improve and lessen the appearance of your scar.
- Correct-X|This is an essential oil based ointment that is great for speeding up the healing timeline.
Watch for Signs of Infection
Make sure that you keep a lookout for any signs of infection in your incision. If you see any issues call your doctor right away, don’t wait.
- Fever of 100.4 or higher
- Redness of your incision
- Warmth when you touch your incision
- Pain that doesn’t improve in your incision site
- Pus or discharge
- Swelling of your incision or around it
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Wife and mother of twins. Founder of Pride & Joy Baby Planners and The Expecting Mamas Network.