In December of 2009, I had to have a stat c-section to give birth to my son, because of the issues during my son’s labor, and when our daughter was going to be born in 2011, my husband and I opted for me to have a c-section instead of trying to go through labor naturally. Here are my tips on how to recover from a c-section.
- 1. Pillows are your best friend. They are your best friend, especially in the car. I live in Pennsylvania, notorious for the worst roads in the USA. Every bump, every twist, every rough stop, will have you in pain; clutching the pillow to your belly helps alleviate some of that pain. When you get home, they are essential for your comfort and to assist in holding your new baby. My arms always got tired because I never wanted to put my babies down, so I always had a pillow under the arm that was holding the baby.
- 2. When you shower or bathe, pat the scar, do not, I repeat, do not swipe across it as you would wash your arms or legs. Swiping across the scar will put you in unnecessary pain, and I was always terrified of reopening my scar.
- 3. Take it easy. The wash will wait, the dishes will wait, and vacuuming will wait. Give yourself time to heal, as an added bonus you’ll get an awesome bonding experience with your little one. My nurses and doctors told me that I was not to lift anything heavier than my newborn, if it’s your second child that’s incredibly hard to do. (I used pillows to help lift my oldest.)
- 4. Sleep when the baby sleeps. This will stave off depression because nights will never be the same again. My two are 4 and 3 years old, and they are just starting to get over colds, so my husband and I have had visitors in our bed for the past couple nights. Sleeping is also the best healing medicine there is.
- 5. Ask for help. You’re not going to be able to move around all that well immediately after your c-section. If you have family nearby, ask them to make some meals that you can throw in the microwave. If not, ask your significant other. As a new mom you’re going to want to do it all on your own, but all you will end up doing is hurting yourself and it will keep you from your baby. If help is offered, take it.
I’ve heard a lot of women say that they felt like less of a woman because they had to have c-sections. I never felt that way, but then I have a seizure disorder where my body has been betraying me since I was 16, and my seizure disorder is one of the reasons I needed a c-section with my son. My opinion may be a bit skewed on that. You’re not less of a woman. You were able to carry a baby to term, and that is a great achievement in its own right. Ultimately, the scar will heal, you’ll have a beautiful baby to get to know, and you will be back to a brand new you in no time. Mother/Parent is the hardest and greatest responsibility we have. Remember to enjoy the sweet moments, and always remember that the tough moments will pass.