Recovering After a C Section
You have your birth plan all written out and are planning on having the normal labor and delivery and then something goes wrong and you have to have a c section whether you knew before hand or just before it happened it is a scary thing to go through. I know this all to well having had two neither was planned out so I totally understand where you are coming from here. I want to help you get through this and know what the best thing to do for recovery after c section.
What are the do’s and don’ts of recovery and how long can it really take? I will break it down for you with helpful tips on what you should and shouldn’t do during your recovery from my own experience and other mom’s like you and what worked and didn’t work well.
I have had both sides of the c section experience one was easy and recovery was a breeze and the other didn’t go the way I wanted it to because I was trying to be super mom.
A C section is a big surgery and not one to be taken lightly, in the beginning it is hard to know how to move and what to do but this gets easier over time and you have your sweet little one to help you remember that it was all worth it! It is a long process but you can do this momma I know you can, just follow these tips and your recovery will go a lot smoother for you then mine did the second time.
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What You Should Do For Recovery After C Section
1.Get up and walking around as soon as possible like after they remove the catheter, this will help your muscles not tighten up and make it more painful and you will heal faster.
2. Use a binder either the one they may give you at the hospital or a C Panty like this one on amazon which is the exact one I used and it worked awesome! It holds your abs in and has a special strip to help your scar heal faster! And also the Belly Binder which works awesome at shrinking your belly and giving you the support that you need while you heal.
3. Hold a pillow over your incision when holding your baby or even laughing. For some reason people will make you laugh more then usual and it will hurt so be very careful!
4. When you get up from bed or anywhere make sure to roll a bit on your side so that you aren’t using those abdominal muscles and pulling on them. You will be amazed at what all your abs really do for you on a daily basis!!
5. Drink plenty of fluids and make sure to take something for constipation because it will hurt and you don’t want to be straining.
6. Don’t try to be super women!! Relax and let other people help you, don’t try to do it all yourself.
7. Only carry things that weigh the same as your little one, do not over do it by trying to carry anything heavy at this point.
8. Take your medicine exactly as they tell you to for pain even if you feel good and feel you don’t need it trust me it will wear off and then you will need it right now.
9. Eat with your pills even if you aren’t very hungry having some kind of food with your pills will keep you from getting sick from them. Throwing up or gagging at this point is not a good option.
10. Get plenty of rest if possible so that your body can heal itself faster.
What You Shouldn’t Do
1.Carry items that are to heavy, even if it is a few pounds more then your baby it will still cause a strain!
2. Stand for long periods of time, your abs need a rest and this puts a lot of pressure on them especially if you tend to lean from one foot to the other as this can strain the muscles.
3. Try to drive a car right away, give it a few weeks it takes ab strength to hold the pedal down with your foot.
4. Reach up or bending down for things that you can’t get, this is a big one and something I did and it pulled the muscles on one side. Not a good idea it will set you back weeks of recovery time and cause a lot of pain.
5. Move to fast from laying down to sitting up this will also cause you to pull muscles and make recovery longer trust me I did this one too.
6. Do not try to go up and down stairs for a few weeks, I had to sleep on our couch for weeks before I could go up the stairs to our bedroom.
It is way to hard on your muscles to pull you up those stairs so unless you want longer recovery time don’t do it.
7. Get dressed slowly any sudden movements can pull a muscle, ask for help in the beginning.
Clothing with buttons or snaps in the front would be good, yoga pants are a must as well nice and stretchy with little pressure on your belly.
8. Don’t try to do it all, have friends and family help with food and cleaning, you need to recover a week or so before you can do some of these things.
Laundry will have to be done by someone else for a few weeks because of the heavy clothes and all of the bending and twisting to load the machines.
9. Freak out because you are bleeding for so long! Bleeding for months is normal after a c section as long as you aren’t passing big clots. It will feel like forever till it stops but trust me it will stop. I got super depressed over how much I bled the second time believe me it was for months.
Seemed like I was going to bleed to death it just poured out (I know sounds horrible and it is sorry for the graphic picture but I know your pain and I feel for you) but it eventually stopped so just breathe and know this is normal just very annoying and it will end!
10. Try to exercise to soon!
This will only hurt you and slow your progress and may even cause separation in your abdominal muscles called diastasis recti here is a link for more information on it. I also wrote a post on it as well What is Diastasis Recti Postpartum And How To Heal It
It is more common then you think and also the reason why some women look pregnant well after they had a baby! Also the big reason why I say use a Belly Binder to help support those muscles so that this doesn’t happen.
Do not take the binder off after a few weeks and think you are good, this will only cause you injury and more problems down the road trust me I decided I was good and ended up taking 12 weeks to heal and endured a lot more pain and have problems now two years later so please listen to me and just wear it for the 6 weeks.
Don’t Try To Rush Recovery
Don’t rush your body recovery after c section takes time and a bit of patience but you will get there slowly just take it one day at a time and know that you will be feeling better in a few weeks.
Usually c section recovery is about 6 to 8 weeks and can be longer if you don’t take it easy, listen to your body and don’t over due it and you will be just fine!
One other thing I forgot to mention to lookout for is to hold your stomach when you laugh, sneeze or cough this can cause a lot of pain so just be careful.
The best advice I have is to walk short distances with your baby and slowly build it up this will help shrink your Uterus this is a great c section recovery exercise as long as you don’t overdue it. Remember you had a big surgery so it will take a while to heal and that is okay. You aren’t super women and no one expects you to be doing it all right away.
Eat a well balanced diet for breast feeding and to help your body recover as well as getting some much needed rest, so yes try to sleep when your baby is sleeping. I know this can be a hard thing to do but will help you out in the end.
Savor the slower pace and all of the moments you have with your newborn, this time is precious and life will speed up so just enjoy the time you have.
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