For many moms having their first c-section, a lot of times this is the first major surgery they have ever had. They have lots of questions but have very little idea on the best way to get through the recovery. Here are some tips that we hope can help you through the process.
- Use a belly band: So, both hospitals will provide you with a belly band if you have had a c-section; if you don’t get one right away- just ask your nurse for one. When you are walking and moving around this will really provide you with the back and abdominal support you need to make the recovery process easier.
- Use a pillow when contracting your abs! Anything that works your abdominal muscles, like coughing and laughing, can be pretty painful after a c-section. We recommend placing a pillow on your abdomen before coughing and laughing to provide some support and help ease the discomfort your will feel when using your abdominal muscles.
- Make sure you stay on top of the pain! I’ve seen lots of patients try to tough it out and not take pain medication because they did not like the way it made them feel. For the first 3 days, it is very important to use these medications to help with the pain. Initially we want your body to focus on healing, not on fighting pain. Everyday will get better, and once the pain has improved, then you can decrease the amount of pain medication that you are taking.
- Don’t compare your recovery to others. I always hear family members talk about how they had a vaginal delivery without an epidural and toughed it out or stopped taking pain medication 1 day after the c-section. Don’t let other people get to you. This is not a contest. If your family and friends are not being supportive, then you may have to consider temporarily limiting their access to you and the baby. This time is about your recovery, not theirs!
- Do what you can to prevent constipation before it happens! Make sure you drink as much fluid as you can. Usually we will provide you with a stool softener after your deliver. Recovering from a c-section and constipation can make you pretty miserable- we are there to help if you are struggling.
- Breastfeeding is hard, especially if you have just had a c-section! This is a very anxiety provoking process for most new moms, especially if they had an unanticipated c-section. Your milk probably has not come in and you are pretty sore from your c-section and your baby is not latching on- this is a pretty classic scenario. Take a deep breath, utilize the nursing staff and lactation consultant and don’t fret- your milk probably won’t come in until the moment you’re are discharged. Please let us know if you are struggling and need help. If you decide breast feeding is not for you- that is ok- we are here to provide support, whatever your decision may be!