How to best recover from your cesarean.
The days after surgery can feel overwhelming at times. You are blessed with this beautiful baby, which you need to care for. However, you feel so restricted by the pain and discomfort your body is moving through. It is highly recommended you take the suggested medication your doctor has prescribed; don’t try to be a hero! You need to stay ahead of the pain. Once you are home, depending on your surgical repair and how fast your body is healing at this time you can come off all of your prescriptions. Be real with yourself, take them if the pain is too much to bare but understand the difference between agony and tolerable, you do not want to lean on narcotics for too long.
Support from loved ones is essential in the first week or two. Also a postpartum Doula can help with nutrition, bodywork, baby care, lactation and emotional needs. Some women choose to have a night nurse in order to get ample amounts of rest. Your needs are dependent on what your situation is at home. It is important that you get up and walk around the first week; to the bathroom and back is about as far as you need to go. Using a belly band can offer you comfort as you move and help you feel secure in your abdomen. Take it slow. Try a few deep breaths once you get into a sitting position, then stand. If needed, use a pad and place over you incision when using the toilet to take the pressure off your incision.
Create a space for you and your baby while you recover those first couple of weeks, many women choose to stay in the bedroom. Your set up should be about practicality and ease. A sleep pod for your infant can be placed in the bed next to you so that you can see them at all times no matter what angle you find comfortable. On your bed also have a diaper changing area with everything you need in arms distance. On your side table make sure you have: water, snacks, nursing pads, nipple balm, medications and what ever else is necessary for you. Surround yourself with everything you need so you can stay put and concentrate on resting. Do try to shower daily it will make you feel refreshed and keep you from slipping away from self-care. Below is a list of what we recommend:
- Snuggle Me Orangic Sleep Pod
- Diaper Caddy:
- Nail File
- Burp Cloth
- Change of Baby Clothes (3-4 Newborn Outfits)
- Pee Pads for Puppies (these are great and disposable if your baby has any accidents during diaper changes, you can just lay out on the bed underneath them)
- Trash can for diapers and Laundry Basket by Your Bed
- Willaby Swaddles
- Jug of Water
- Mother’s Milk Lactation Tea
- Nursing pads
- Storq Nursing Bra’s
- Pillows (lots of pillows to sleep with)
- Heat Packs
- Rael Organic Pads
- High Waisted Underwear
- Nursing Nightgowns (you don’t want anything to be around your waist)
Once you have seen your doctor and had the staples or tape removed you can begin to treat the scar area. Keep the incision moist by applying several different treatments through out the day. Aloe Vera, vitamin E oil, coconut oil, essential oils and homeopathic ointments can all be beneficial in healing. Other treatments such as castor oil packs, scar tissue massage and moxibustion can aid in the reduction of scar tissue build up and scarring. Some women swear by belly bands, C-panties or silicone tape.
Diet plays an essential role in your healing and so do vitamins. You need to replenish what you are loosing through breastfeeding and to detox some of the medications used from the surgery. Find a postnatal vitamin and keep up your essential fatty acids. Do take high doses of vitamin C and a good probiotic, which is wonderful for you and your infant. If you encapsulated your placenta take these daily for hormone balance and energy. Also note: that milk supply can be affected by cesarean births so make sure you are on top of lactation goodies from cookies, to teas to herbs. If you sense any problems at all, seek out a consultant immediately; this will increase your odds of milk production.
Self-care is high on your priority list for a cesarean recovery. Don’t judge those other moms who are already at the famers market the weekend after they gave birth vaginally. It is not your story, you need to rest, take the time to heal and bond with your baby. It truly goes by with a blink of an eye. There are many wonderful treatments to aid in your healing for both you and your baby:
- Massage: Try to get a cranial treatment for both of you within the first two weeks. Massage and body work is very beneficial as soon as you feel ready.
- Diet: Again diet is key during the first 40 days, you need to eat moist oily mushy foods such as soups, porridge, rice packed with ghee. It is all about easy digestion for your body right now and good bowel movements. Try Mother Bees.
- Exercise: Try to walk everyday and with each day you shall improve.
- Scar Tissue: It can be emotional to see or touch the scar the first time. If you feel comfortable you can ask someone else to apply treatments to your incision.
- Talk It Out: Try to talk about your emotions around your birth once you are ready, it shall aid in your recovery.
You want to focus on getting back to normal in good time and be there for your baby. The best part about this recovery is that you are forced to take it easy and slow down which allows you to bond with your newborn. It goes by so fast, this way you don’t miss a thing and allows them to get comfortable in their surroundings slowly. If you do feel that you are having trouble processing your birth and the trauma is too much to bare, seek out help, be honest with yourself and those around you. Before you know it, your focus will switch to parenting and you will forget all about the recovery, just like every other birth… Ready to do it all over again.