Have you been giving the green light on a C-section, or have been discussing the possibility of one? Whether this is your first one or you’ve done it before, we’ve got some great tips thanks to Abdomend in Australia on preparing for a caesarean.
Set up a Recovery Kit
Giving birth is not something that most women are able to simply do and walk away from without feeling a little pressure down there. You can expect bleeding and after pains as your uterus contracts. When you have had a c-section you may wish to pick up the items that will make recovery more comfortable now, rather than wait until you have a day old baby. So here are some things to get:
- Several maternity pads and throw away undies – pick up some loose fitting granny panties that you can toss after a few wears and a few weeks. These are great as they sit high enough not to push on the c-section wound
- Breast pads, gel packs and cabbage – all of these things are great to help relieve engorgement when your milk comes in (and saves your hubby a trip to the chemist at night and coming home with the wrong product)
- Heat packs – heat is a great reliever of after pains
- The Abdomend in Australia Deluxe Recovery Kit – The range of Abdomend in Australia straps are designed to wear during pregnancy as well as after both a c-section or vaginal birth. If you are unsure whether you will be delivering vaginally or via caesarean, then this is definitely a great preparation kit! The kit includes an extra strap to target more specific areas of your body that are causing you discomfort and all straps are soft, comfortable and washable.
Plan for Six Weeks of Down Time
It can take six weeks to recover from a c-section and during this time doctors recommend avoiding heavy lifting, driving and strenuous activity. So plan accordingly:
- Prepare meals ahead of time on those days when your hubby or friend can’t make it to the grocery store
- Stock up on items in the pantry and closet that you always seem to run out of at the worst of times (paper towel, toilet paper, deodorant, salt and pepper, oil, sugar, tea and coffee and life long milk)
- Consider using online shopping for your groceries
- Ask friends to come and visit you rather than trying to drive to them. If you do require something from the shop, ask if they would mind stopping at the shops and picking it up.
- Baby will require check ups during the first six weeks (usually one at one week and another at one month). If possible, ask for a child health nurse to do a home visit (which is offered in some areas). If not, work around your partner’s schedule so he can be there to drive you and bub to the doctor.
- Get your medications before you leave – you may be offered a script for pain medication before leaving the hospital. Avoid any wait times and pressure to keep bub happy in public (you have plenty of time to practice this down the road) and have your partner pick up the script BEFORE you go. That way you can simply pack up and head home.
- Save the fuel money – not driving for six weeks may sound impossible but think about how much you will save on fuel! I spend around $40 per week on fuel. Six weeks off means at the end, there’s an extra $240 in the account. Use this money to buy something special just for you! After all, you deserve it
Make Your House More Comfortable
Invest in some of these great items for around the house:
- Fluffy pillows – pillows seems to make recovery easier. So stock up on pillows for the sofa, the bed and anywhere else you plan on parking your bum.
- Dresses and loose-fitting clothes – get out your comfy sweatpants with the drawstring waist to minimize impact to your scar. Or, invest in some cheap maxi dresses that avoid pressure to the abdomen completely!
- Co-sleeping – consider letting bub sleep in a bassinet in your bedroom for the first six weeks as you won’t have to move around so much when feeding and settling at night.
Ease Your Way Into Activity
While hitting the gym or pounding the pavement will be off-limits, there are some exercises you can do to help speed up recovery:
- Pelvic Floor Exercises – squeeze those vaginal muscles back into shape with kegals several times a day
- Gentle Tummy Exercises – once you feel comfortable with your pelvic floor muscles, ease into tummy strengthening exercises. Lie on your back and bend your knees and slowly flex your ab muscles. Try to hold the position for ten seconds, breathing throughout
It is a good idea to wear the a C-section Recovery Strap, such as the ones from Abdomend in Australia, when starting any light exercise, even walking or lifting bub, as these straps offer customised support to your tummy muscles. The split strap will suit your changing body, in the days, weeks and months following the birth of your baby and ensure that you get active (and out of the house!) sooner!
Jenna Gallina is Stay at Home Mum’s advertising content writer and mum to two young children, both of which entered the world arms flailing, legs kicking and head’s way too big for their bodies (and her vagina).