Having a caesarean section, also known as C-section, or caesarean delivery, is never easy. No matter how many you have had, each one is a different experience. The recovery can be completely different for many different factors.
I personally have had 3 c sections. Before any Karen’s get to assuming, please know that it was never elective, it was medically necessary. Each one was done with a spinal block.
Recovery is significantly different than a vaginal delivery. One of the most important things to do for recovery is literally the last thing and most painful thing that you even want to do….WALK!
Standing up for the first time feels like an out of body experience. You feel like your belly is no longer heavy but low and full of jello. You cannot stand up straight, don’t even attempt it initially.
Beginning from the moment you are recovering in your hospital room, having a designated pillow to be just for your stomach is important. Anytime you sneeze, laugh or cough this will be painful. Holding something tight against you will help with this pain. This pillow will also be useful for when you are holding or breastfeeding your baby. Ensure you continue with this once you are recovering at home.
Shower once you can, but do not push yourself. While I was always granted permission to be able to shower in the hospital, I always waited till I returned home. If you do not have a walk in shower at home, then you may prefer to shower at the hospital. This initially shower is not for a exfoliating, hair conditioning session. It is merely to rinse your body, scrub off adhesive marks left from medical devices and to cleanse out your vagina. Yes, I said what I said. You may not have given birth vaginally, but your body will still need to pass blood and other fluids. The Frida perineal bottle is a lifesaver for this. I used this for not only in the bathroom, but also in the shower.
With the first two recoveries, I wore granny panties that were loose and I could dispose of. My most recent recovery, I discovered the Frida Mom Disposable High Waist C-Section Postpartum Underwear! Game changer! They are super soft, stretchy, breathable, wicking & latex free. Here is my pro tip: when you add your pad, do not remove the liner to allow it to stick to it. You do not need to do this. The pads are large enough and the underwear is form fitting enough that it will hold it in place. Yes, you need large pads, not just period ones, but the incontinence ones that are wider and longer than you would ever normally expect to use. You do not need the Frida ones, you do not need them to be medicated and cooling since you did not give birth vaginally. Do not spend the money on the entire Frida recovery kit if you are having a c section.
When you are ready and comfortable enough to begin wearing belly supportive and slimming undergarments I loved wearing the UpSpring C-Panty for a comfortable means of support. For a suck you and tuck you in more of corset shape wear, I recommend the Belly Bandit Mother Tucker.
From the moment you are in recovery and given the all clear to do so, begin chugging lots of water! The meds that were pumped into you have taken a toll on your body and will continue to do so. Shortly after my recovery started I saw my legs and ankles swell like crazy. I had not dealt with this issue during my pregnancy. This was due to the meds I was given during and after the c section. The water was allowing my body to flush out these meds.
Now the part that no one told me about…colace. I wish I knew about this part way earlier. The meds that you were given will also cause you to be backed up. After having my second little one, I was unable to go for over a week. That’s right, over a week! It was quite unpleasant. Start taking the colace the day before you expect to go into the hospital and continue taking it for at least 5-6 days after you return home.
Prepare to continue wearing loose fitting clothing, this is most comfortable with your belly while you are healing. Try to avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby. But if you’re a mom to a few like myself, this becomes difficult to do, try your best.
When you are home and you are recovering, it is helpful to have a bassinet that will allow you to reach over and assist, feed, change or pick up your baby with little effort. I personally used and love the Halo Bassinet Swivel Sleeper. It has the ability to adjust to the height of your bed to be as tall or low as you need. It swivels 360 degrees and one of the side walls comes down to allow you to pull your baby out without lifting. I can’t say enough good things about this bassinet. We really loved it. If you are a fan of the Dock a Tot lounger, like I am, note that it does fit perfectly inside the bassinet.
Last, but definitely not least is the white utility cart pictured above next to the Halo Bassinet. This was not an original idea, I saw this on Pinterest and loved the concept. The dreams were made a reality and I don’t regret it at all!
Having this rolling utility cart with diapers, wipes, extra clothes, blankets, lotions, etc. Everything on a cart next to my bed was the best decision. It took up little space, was easily moved around and had everything I needed to care for the baby day and night. If you’d like a detailed description of what I have in here please let me know. I can share on stories over on IG or create a post for it!
I hope this post has helped put your mind at ease for what to expect and what you will need. Everyone’s birth story and needs are different, but I hope these items can bring you some peace in a moment of the unexpected.