C-Section Recovery Tips
So, you just had a c-section and are in recovery thinking what in the world?!!!
This is not at all what you expected, right? I mean you knew you’d be in pain somewhere but you didn’t think you’d have this much trouble standing up or be so wiped out from the drugs they gave you!
Well….I’m here to help you with all that! Take things one step at a time. Everything is pretty overwhelming at the moment, not to mention you are completely exhausted!!
If you weren’t planning on having a c-section and this was an emergency or you pushed for hours, then expect things to be that much harder for you!
Lucky you, right???
Many women today are having more and more cesarean sections than ever before. About one mother in every three now gives birth by cesarean section. There has been argument over which method of delivery is easier. Every woman’s experience can be different!!
Most people are not aware of how painful and long the recovery process can be for a cesarean birth.
A c-section can feel even more painful when it’s an emergency after the mother has been in labor and pushed for hours. Many times medical professionals do not give mothers all of the advice they should to prepare women for the first few days after the surgery.
Here are c-section recovery tips from a mom who has had 3 c-sections to help you have a quick recovery!
These c-section essentials should be in every woman’s c-section recovery kit to get her feeling back to herself and recovered in no time!
C-Section Recovery Exercise – WALK!!!
Get up as soon as you can!
The nurses will normally come in and take out your catheter and help you stand up. Yes….this will be extremely difficult at first, no one warns you about this part either! You will have such a hard time standing up for the first time and feel as if you are 90 years old! But DO IT!!
The first walk to the bathroom is the hardest and longest walk of your life. Once you make it to the bathroom and the nurses help you clean yourself off, then go back and lay down for a while.
After an hour or two, try to get up again and walk a little bit. Even if the first few trips are only to the bathroom. Once you feel stronger, try and walk a little around the hospital halls every few hours, you will notice the more you do it, the farther you can go and the better your body will feel.
Granted, you will feel like you’ve been hit by a truck but that will go away soon. When you get home, continue to take the baby for short walks around the neighborhood. Test out that new stroller! You may be walking slow at first but everyday you will be able to move a little quicker!
Your doctor will advise you to wait at least 6 weeks to start any kind of serious exercise program. Even if you may think you’re ready to exercise, always check with your doctor first and see what they think. Remember, just because your friend was back at the gym and exercising at 6 weeks doesn’t mean your body can do that too.
Everyone is different and if you aren’t ready yet, then it’s best not to push it! Keep doing slow walks around your neighborhood if that’s what you’re comfortable with. In no time, you’ll be back to your normal exercise routine!
Take a shower as soon as the doctor tells you that you can. You may feel dizzy and it will be hard to hold yourself up but you will feel like a new woman once you have showered! This sounds silly at first but trust me, a hot shower will make you feel so much better!
If you are breastfeeding your baby, you may also want to read this: 👇
Get some pads
There will be blood, a lot of it!
The hospital will give you pads but some are either too bulky or just not comfortable. You’ll also need these babies for a few days once you get home so you may as well buy some that fit nice and do the job!
Here are two postpartum pads that are comfortable and give you the support you need. Click the photos below for more information.
Keep your scar dry
After your shower, pat your wound with a towel or air dry it completely. You can even take a hair dryer to it just to make sure it is completely dried before putting clothes on.
C-section underwear can be a great help with keeping your scar dry and rubbing onto any clothing. I didn’t have one of these after my first c-section but I got one after my second and it really helped me so much! Below is a grand brand to try, the material is super soft and won’t cause any irritations.
You will be thirsty anyway since you have not had much to drink for many hours. Once the nurses let you have fluids, drink as much water as you can for the next week.
Some women can get swollen from all of the antibiotics pumped into their body during the surgery and drinking plenty of fluids can help avoid this.
This happened to me after my first c-section about 3 days after and my feet were so swollen, I couldn’t even fit them into any shoes! I was so freaked out because I thought this kind of thing only happened during pregnancy, NOT AFTER!!!
I called my doctor and she advised me to drink as much water as I possibly could. The water not only helps flush toxins out of your body but it will also help relieve some gas that may be trapped. The more visits to the bathroom to empty out your bladder, the better!
Speaking of gas, I had horrible pain in my shoulders right after my first cesarean. It happened a few hours after and luckily the nurses knew right away what to give me because I had no idea what was going on. I was already having enough pain everywhere and now I had it in my shoulders too!! It was trapped air due to the surgery. The nurses gave me GasX for the next few days and told me to get some at home if I still needed it.
Teas are a wonderful way to boost your milk supply and decrease any gas pains! Weleda nursing tea, turmeric, fennel, or nettle tea is great post surgery! ***Caution- I would normally reccomend peppermint teas for gas/stomach issues but if you are trying to breastfeed, peppermint oils can tend to cause milk supply issues so stay away from the peppermint oils and tea if you are nursing your baby.
These things below were little blessings to me! This is why it’s so important to keep moving, go for walks, drink plenty of fluids, avoid carbonated drinks, and when you are laying in your bed to be in a sitting up position.
***If you know you are having a scheduled c-section, read this post to help you pack all the c-section essentials you’ll need here! Or grab your free printable checklist here!
C-section Recovery Belt
Get a belly wrap!
You can either purchase this or some hospitals actually offer these to their patients.
If you wear this the first few weeks after surgery it really helps not only your stomach muscles, but even your back!
A few days after your c section, when you walk around or if you cough or sneeze, it almost feels as if everything will fall out of you! This sounds crazy, but it is true, it just feels very loose and the belly wrap provides support, it even helps with the pain a bit and offers the extra support you need if you plan to breastfeed.
***Added bonus- I’ve also heard people say these belly wraps help your stomach muscles get back into shape quicker! I wore one of these nonstop the first few weeks after my c-sections and they definitely helped my stomach get back into shape faster! Plus, the support and protection was so necessary for me to have with my other little ones around jumping or climbing on me!
I used both styles below. Certain styles can bulge up under clothes so I had two different ones and they both helped tremendously! Click on the photos below for more info!
Or check out the 3 in 1 Belly Wrap:
Take a stool softener
This is huge ladies!! Soooooo important!!
This may seem funny at first, but believe me, you will need it!
During your stay in the hospital, the nurses will provide you with this. You will feel like you are being potty trained because a nurse or doctor will continually ask if you have had a bowel movement!
They do this to make sure things are moving correctly in your stomach and everything is operating the way it should be. Make sure you stock up on the stool softeners before you have the baby if you can because once you get home you will still need them for a few weeks!
Trust me- you WILL NEED these and the last thing you’ll want to do is send someone else out to get them for you or drag the baby out to the store to get them! Just buy them beforehand and thank me later! 😜 (The doctor doesn’t warn you about this but only a good friend will!)
Quite honestly, you’ll need stool softeners regardless if you have a cesarean section or vaginal delivery. These will definitely come in handy either way!
***And while you are at it- be sure to take a good probiotic!! A probiotic is important to take while pregnant as well so be sure to keep taking it after you delver as well! Below is a great probiotic to take.
C-section Recovery Pain
Stock up on Motrin!
I think this is the part I struggled with the most. I hated the fact that weeks later I was still in pain, even after my third c-section! I will tell you from my experience, every week does get better but it feels like a SLOW process, especially when you have other little ones at home that need your constant attention!
My c-section recovery pain lasted the longest after my first c-section because it was an emergency and I also pushed for hours! My other two c-sections the pain lasted at least 6-8 weeks. Even after 8 weeks, my incision area was still a bit sensitive.
C-section recovery pain timeline can be different for every woman depending on each circumstance. One thing is for certain, the more rest you are able to get, the quicker you’ll recover!
Your doctor may prescribe you something stronger for your pain but if you don’t want to take something that makes you sleepy (or you may be breastfeeding) then just stick with the motrin. It helps tremendously with the pain and you can tell once it wears off that you need more!
If you feel uncomfortable taking any kind of medicine, including ibuprofen, then I recommend taking a homeopathic natural pain relief called Arnicare. Arnicare is safer to take than other kinds of pain medicine and all natural.
What to wear after a c-section in the hospital?
Invest in some yoga/drawstring pants!
You will not be able to wear anything tight that rubs against your incision for a few weeks. If it is hot out, then I recommend some loose-fitting skirts or dresses.
High waisted yoga pants like the ones in the picture below , drawstring pants, or maternity yoga pants will be more comfortable than lower waisted pants. The maternity yoga pants will definitely cover your incision and not cause any aggravation to it. However, you can’t wear yoga pants with postpartum pads so these pants work better a week after your surgery.
The cute joggers below to the right are perfect for your first few days in the hospital! The softest and loosest elastic around your waist is best!
For more tips on what to wear after a c-section, click here or the photo below:
Purchase some healing treatment
A few weeks after your scar is healed and your doctor says it is okay to apply some scar treatment on it, buy a good ointment made for c sections. One that works excellent is Earth Mama Angel Baby’s C Mama Healing Salve.
As mentioned in the comments below, another natural healing treatment is Melrose or Frankincense oil! Essential oils are amazing but please do your own research. For more information on using Melrose oil or Frankincense, read the comments below and click here!
Between walks, changing diapers, and feeding the baby you may feel like there is no time for rest! Try and get some help from a family member and take a few naps when the baby does because you will need your energy!
The first week may seem like the longest and hardest but you’ll notice that each week you’ll get stronger and feel much better. Take it easy if you can, it’s super hard when you have other little ones at home to take care of but do what you can and don’t push it or it will take you longer to recover!
By the way- give those labor and delivery nurses a hug or a huge thank you before you leave because trust me, they will be your BFFs for the next few days! 🙂
Hope these C-Section recovery tips were able to help some of you! I honestly wish someone gave me some tips after my first C-Section! I was in complete shock that I had to have an emergency cesarean and just never planned for it or prepared for it either! Giving birth vaginally or through a c-section can be exhausting, emotional, and overwhelming! Having support from friends, family, and being prepared for postpartum can help the recovery process go much smoother!
Are you recovering from a c-section with a toddler at home??
If you are, you may need some extra help! Read this post below on tips for lifting restrictions and how you can take care of your toddlers at home and still safely recover from a c-section!
For more of my favorite baby must haves on Amazon, click here! 👇
You may also be interested in: