New Jersey has the highest C-Section Rate in the US (39.9%), so I've helped a lot of recovering mamas. Here are a few tips to share with any mamas who are or will be recovering from a Cesarean...And their partners or families!
1--Take it slow. While you had 40 weeks to adjust to pregnancy, your body shifts to non-pregnancy in minutes. Huge hormonal shift + major abdominal surgery + newborn care. Do as little as possible--if you push until you feel it, it's too late. By resting and letting your body recover, you'll reduce your risk of infection and other complications.
2--Probiotics. Your digestive system was artificially stopped and you may have had antibiotics. Get some good probiotics (acidophilus, etc.) ASAP. This will make you more comfortable, help protect you from thrush/yeast, and support your immune system.
3--Epsoms. If you've had IV fluids, you might be more swollen now than before the surgery. Soak your feet in epsom salt bath. (Pour up to a pound in a pot or foot bath and soak for 20 mins. Available at all pharmacies and almost all grocery stores in the first aid section.) Most moms see improvement the first use, but you can do it 2-3 times a day. (Assuming your partner or helper is filling it for you!)
4--Support belt or postpartum support. Most moms have discomfort when their incision-site is moving around. The support will prevent unnecessary motion and offer some mild counterpressure. You can ask for one at the hospital. (Many cultures traditionally wrap all postpartum moms.)
5--Connect with other moms. Especially if you are having a difficult time processing your hospital experience or C-Section--the sooner you share your feelings in a supportive place the better you'll feel. Check out your local ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) or any of these great resources in Monmouth County: Mom Support Resources.
Sometimes, being still is harder than being busy. Acknowlede the limitations, give your body the time and energy it needs to heal properly, be gentle to yourself....Your baby needs you to be healthy and strong. By taking proper care now, you'll have a better recovery.
Feel free to comment or share your tips! If you (or someone you know) had a C-Section, what helped them the most?
Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Mother of Three.