It is safe to say that after your cesarean section you will have a mix of emotions, from excitement about being a new mother to concern for your body as it heals. There is no need to fear the unexpected before your baby is born, as there are a number of ways to prepare both mentally and physically while you’re still pregnant as well as after the delivery. We have boiled down some of the top tips to help you take care of your body and your baby throughout the entire recovery process.
A mom who delivers by c-section will stay in the hospital for 3-4 days instead of 1-2 days for a vaginal birth. A cesarean is major surgery; there is more painv involved, as well as restrictions on bathing and heavy lifting, along with careful wound care and post-operative suggestions. There will also be a thin scar that
must be cared for over the healing process.
Although they are be thrilled to be a mom, and know that a healthy baby outweighs all other concerns, it is not uncommon for moms who delivered by cesarean to feel disappointed in themselves that they were not able to have the vaginal birth they had envisioned. It’s ok to feel this way, but try to focus your thoughts in the most positive light: your new baby!
First of all, take a look at this video to see another mom’s experience after her cesarean: www.babycenter.com
- Recovering after surgery.
After your delivery, you will be placed in a recovery room where you will receive medicine for the pain either by IV or oral medication. You may feel nausea during this time, but you will be given medication to relieve this discomfort.
- Coping with the pain.
There is no need to suffer after your surgery. Different pain medication will be available to you, usually a narcotic and an over-the-counter pain relief, such as Ibuprofen. If you’re still feeling pain, speak up so that your doctors and nurses can adjust your medication accordingly.
- Walking around.
You will be encouraged to begin walking the day after your surgery. You will need help getting up the first couple of times, so do not try to get up by yourself. Walking after surgery is important because it reduces the risk of blood clots and also gives your bowels a kick-start, which will help you
feel more comfortable.
- Eating and drinking.
At first you will be given a liquid diet. If your body handles this diet, you will then move on to more solid foods. Drinking plenty of fluids will not only help you recover from surgery, but it will also help you with breastfeeding. Staying hydrated will also reduce constipation and prevent urinary tract infections.
You can begin breastfeeding any time after your delivery. Experiment with different positions in order to relieve pain on your incision. Some mothers prefer the football style hold and the side-lying hold to the classic cradle hold since they do not put pressure on the incision (Photo:farm4.static.flickr.com). Ask to speak with a lactation consultant, who can give you more pointers.
This spirited mom gives a detailed account of her experience after surgery(even the nitty-gritty), and answers many of your most pressing questions:
a healthy mom makes a happy baby.
- Accept help.
Don’t forget that you just had major surgery. Take it easy, and don’t try to do too much too soon. Keep your baby as well as any other items you may need nearby, and try to get as much rest as possible. Also, do not lift anything heavier than your baby for the next few weeks.
- Stay hydrated.
As we explained above, drinking plenty of fluids is important for your recovery, so continue to drink throughout the recovery process. Don’t forget to keep a water bottle within reach.
- Wear a support belt.
Binding the abdomen keeps your scar tissue together, which reduces pain and provides mobility while attending to your baby. It also relieves any stress on your abdomen and helps you keep good posture. However, don’t forget to hold your abdomen while sneezing, coughing,laughing, or any other sudden movements, which could damage your incision.We recommend this support belt: www.csectionrecoverykit.com
- Massage your scar.
A c-section incision measures about 4 to 6 inches long and about 1/8 inch wide. Over time it will heal to about 1/16 inch wide. It’s important to encourage the elasticity of the skin around the scar; therefore,regular massage is good practice. This physical therapist shows you how to do just that:
- Losing pregnancy weight.
Just after the delivery, moms usually lose about 10 pounds, which includes the weight of the baby, placenta and amniotic fluid. You may still look pregnant after the delivery, but this is normal. Over time your body will evacuate excess fluids as well.
- Working out.
Once your doctor gives you the green light to start exercising, usually six to eight weeks after your delivery, you can slowly begin a fitness routine. Start with easy movements, such as these:
- Overcoming postpartum symptoms.
Some signs of postpartum depression include loss of appetite, severe mood swings, extreme fatigue and a lossb of joy. In case these symptoms don’t fade on their own contact your doctor.Also, the hormones from your pregnancy increase hair growth, so it’s not uncommon to see hair loss after the delivery. Any skin darkening will fade, as will any stretch marks.