After you leave the hospital, you will be faced with healing from a major surgery and taking care of a newborn. Like any major surgery, the incision will be sore and painful at first, but within the first two weeks, you will be on the road to recovery. But is there anything you can do to help speed up the process or at least make it as comfortable as possible? We asked Body After Baby moms for their top C-section recovery tips. So here they are:
- Drink plenty of water and consider using a stool softener to avoid constipation. Any bearing down, excessive sneezing or laughing can be very painful to your incision. In addition, studies have shown that staying hydrated during the healing period from surgery or trauma greatly increases the condition and quality of your incision and new scar tissue. During recovery, your body demands more fluids and staying hydrated actually reduces swelling which decreases pain and discomfort.
- Get help from friends and family. In the days following delivery there are many things a new mother is responsible for like nursing, bathing, laundry, shopping, errands, housekeeping, follow up doctor visits, and so on. When healing from a C-section delivery this can be quite overwhelming. Lean on your friends and family for help with the daily task and make this time completely about you and your baby.
- Try not to lift anything heavier than your baby.
- Get plenty of rest, but be mindful of your circulation. While healing occurs most during rest, circulation is also equally important to the recovery process. Taking short walks, moving comfortably about and using a C-section belly band all increase circulation.
- Be sure to ask your doctor for pain medications (safe for baby of course if you are breast feeding) or to recommend a safe over the counter medication.
- Compression is a C-section mom’s best friend. The hospital will likely offer you some sort of binder, but also consider C-section recovery garments. Direct seams over the wound site are a big no-no. Also look for breathable materials to ensure airflow to your incision. Not only do cesarean recovery garments reduce swelling and pain, but they also help your incision heal more effectively, which aids in scar reduction. Of course, C-section recovery is the main goal, but many garments also support the many body parts impacted by your pregnancy including the abs, back, hips, buttocks and thighs so why not kill two birds with one stone?
- The last and final tip is to cut yourself some slack. Healing from a major surgery takes time and energy, and is particularly challenging when trying to care for a newborn. Do your best, and before you know it, you will be feeling better, and be able to focus on enjoying your baby.
Your turn. What tips do you have for moms recovering from a C-section?