So, I Had a Cesarean Birth, Now What?
Over the past few weeks, we have been talking about preparing for and having a cesarean birth.
Now, we will share our favorite tips for recovering from a cesarean birth.
Whether your cesarean birth was planned or unplanned, recovering from a cesarean birth is a little different than recovering from a vaginal birth. The recovery can be a bit longer, with a more limitations, but with a little planning and some extra support, you will do amazing.
Be Supported, Literally
After birth, and specifically after a cesarean birth, your body needs extra support. Your muscles, ligaments, bones, and even organs and moved around in the last 9+ months, and it will take some time to get back in place. Add in a major abdominal surgery, your body is in need of some TLC. But you also have a newborn, so taking care of yourself can be the last thing on your mind.
Our massage therapist and belly binding expert can come your home shortly after birth for a postpartum massage and/or belly binding session. This way, you can have someone in your home to care for your baby so you can get a little bit of time to yourself. Plus, if your baby needs to nurse at a specific minute (and we know they do that), you can be interrupted and nurse right on the massage table.
Pillows Aren’t Just For Sleeping
Never lose sight of a pillow, even when you are awake! Anytime you need to laugh, move, or otherwise engage your ab muscles, use your pillow as a splint to help. Pressing the pillow into your abdominal area will make movements and laughter easier.
You will probably be given a maximum weight you can lift. Usually that is about the weight of your baby. That maximum weight be challenging if you an older child, or chores that need to be done around the house. Our postpartum doulas are always available to help support your entire household as you recover from a cesarean birth, or any birth for that matter!
So you took all of the mesh underwear from the hospital, right? If not, make sure to buy some high waisted soft underwear ASAP (hello Amazon prime, it will be there before you are even discharged!). The higher the underwear the better so the seam does not rub on your incision site. Also, make sure your pants don’t rub and are also easy to remove.
You just had major abdominal surgery AND had a baby. Give yourself a chance to recover and relax in a meaningful way. Think about what type of self care rituals NOW that you can enjoy LATER. Trust us, reading your new favorite book while you sip hot (fully caffeinated) coffee is much more enjoyable than scrolling mindlessly through Facebook and realizing you wasted a good hour without feeling better.
You Will Still Bleed
Even though you did not have a vaginal birth, you will still bleed for a few weeks after the birth. You blood has had a huge increase in blood during your pregnancy, and now must expel that blood.
Monitor Your Incision Site
Keeping an eye on your incision site is important to make sure that it heals properly. Keep a look out for any signs of an infection or any sudden changes. The signs of an infection are redness, swelling, heat around the incision, worsening pain (to the touch or just present), drainage or a fever.
Remodel Your Home a Bit
Getting up and down is very challenging after a cesarean birth, so think about the height of your bed and couch so that you can easily lay down to relax and easily get up to care for your newborn.