A C-section is a major operation, and thus it is completely natural to be in a lot of pain afterwards. You can expect to remain in the hospital for up to one week afterwards so that a doctor or midwife can ensure that everything is healing the way it should. However, what happens when you leave hospital and are left to your own devices? We have accumulated ten of the best tips on recovering from a C-Section.
First and foremost, you are going to have to slow down and accept that, for the next couple of weeks, your only two jobs are caring for the baby and caring for yourself. What this means is that housework and cooking will often be pushed aside. It can be very easy to overdo it even with everyday tasks like folding laundry or mopping. So, for the first couple of weeks, don’t even try!
Heat and Ice
Keep hot packs handy to place on your stomach when breastfeeding to help with the after pains as well as ice packs to help with any vaginal pain if you needed to labour before having the C-section.
Everyone has a different way to deal with constipation, whether you use Metamucil, stool softeners, prune or pear juice or a laxative. Whatever works for you, start using it right away to help keep you regular. When you need to go, don’t hesitate as waiting will make it worse and even harder to do that first bowel movement.
Keep a Pillow With You
Anytime you sneeze, cough or laugh, it can hurt your incision. One way to minimize the pressure around this area is to place a pillow on your stomach to stop the pressure.
If you are used to going out every day or if you are normally quite active, it can be difficult to lay low during the first few days or weeks after a c section. Your mind want to take bub for a walk, to clean or to go out and get coffee with friends but your body may not be up to it. Take this time to relax. Even if you can’t sleep when bubs is sleeping during the day, read a magazine in bed or simply close your eyes and zone out for twenty minutes.
Take the Pain Meds
Many women are concerned about taking pain medication and rightfully so. However, trying to be a hero is not a good idea at this stage. If you are experiencing pain, give in and take the medication.
Any major operation comes with complications and you cannot expect to walk away from a C-section with a minor scar and nothing more. However, keep positive and remember that every day that passes, it will get better.
Watch What you Eat
There are certain things that new mums should avoid when recovering from a C-section. Ask your doctor about what to eat and what to stay away from. Carbonated beverages, for example, can cause gas and more pain than you need when already suffering from C-section pain.
Keep your Incision Clean and Dry
When in hospital the doctor or midwife will teach you how to do this and how to follow up and avoid infection at home. However, if you do feel like your incision may be infected, then talk to a doctor sooner rather than later.
Know the Warning Signs
The last thing you need when recovering from a C-section is an infection or complication that can make you sick. This is why you need to know the signs of infection, post natal depression and other common concerns that come with having a baby. Knowing these warning signs can ensure you get the help you need now before it gets any worse.