- C-section: Why we should ditch the social stigma
- C-section recovery kit: Essential items to speed up your recovery
- C-section recovery: Dos and don’ts for fast healing
- VBAC: Things to know about vaginal birth after cesarean
If you are recovering from a C-section, there are some recovery essentials to help you with your postpartum care. Transitioning into motherhood can be a nerve-wracking journey, especially if you’ve given birth via a C-section. On the bright side, there’s a variety of items that can help you recover faster, so make sure you create a quality C-section care package to speed up your healing process.
Immediately after the operation
C-section pain reliever
The first thing you’ll want is to have some heavy-duty over-the-counter pain medication. Not only will your incision site hurt, but you’ll also experience cramping from your uterus shrinking. After my C-section, I also had considerable back pain from the hours of labor and uncomfortable positioning.
Staying ahead of the pain curve is essential at this point. Your doctor will likely prescribe opioids and advise you to take over-the-counter painkillers as well. Just make sure that the pain relief medicine you choose is safe for breastfeeding women as many extra-strength painkillers include caffeine.
Laxative or stool softener
These items may come as a surprise to you, but they could be a lifesaver. The idea is to prevent straining which would aggravate your incision site. They will also help to counteract the constipating effects of opioid painkillers as well as the iron tablets your doctor may prescribe. Whichever brand you choose, make sure they are safe for breastfeeding women. Consult your physician before taking any medication.
Even though you haven’t given birth vaginally, you’ll still experience heavy bleeding after delivery. The Honey Pot Clean Cotton Postpartum Pads or this Frida Mom Postpartum Recovery Kit, which has a full range of all your bathroom essentials, are great products to have in your C-section recovery kit.
Loose-fitting clothes and supportive underwear
The next essential item is comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. It’s better to wear something you can remove easily. It’s also good to ensure that waistbands don’t lie across your incision, so it’s best to get sweat pants and larger high-waisted underwear. You could try the INNERSY Womens High Waisted Underwear with tummy support or the cute and functional ones from Kindred Bravely.
As you settle in
This is an essential item if you’re planning to breastfeed your baby. It will serve as a protective barrier between your incision site and your baby and even older children coming in for a cuddle. It will help you position your baby for feeding as well as make yourself comfortable while sleeping. It also works great as support for the wound when you’re laughing, coughing, or sneezing. Try out the Bamibi Nursing Pillow and Positioner.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet may be difficult right now, and the nutritional demand on your body is greater while breastfeeding. It’s essential for you to get all the vitamins and minerals you need, both you and your baby. Now that your baby is here, it’s time to move on from your prenatal vitamins and look for a postnatal supplement since your needs have changed. Always make sure these supplements are safe for you and your baby by checking for allergens and getting them approved by your doctor.
Postpartum recovery book
Many C-section recovery books offer week-by-week breakdowns on what to expect during this period, as well as stories and advice.
My Caesarean: Twenty-One Mothers on the C-Section Experience and After is a great read when you’re stuck in the chair breastfeeding in the early weeks after birth.
C-Section: How to Avoid, Prepare for and Recover from your Cesarean and Strategies for the C-section Mom are also excellent choices regardless of where you are in your C-section journey.
Postpartum recovery garments
Maternity belts and belly bands can also be used postnatally as a C-section recovery belt. Constant gentle pressure in this area will help ease the pain and discomfort and give you abdominal stability.
If you’re looking around for the best C-section postpartum girdle, a good place to start would be the Keababies Postpartum Belly Wrap, Motif Postpartum Recovery Girdle, or this multipurpose postpartum belly band.
Each of these offers different benefits and it will be a highly personal choice for you. The important thing is that they all offer support to your abdominals, which will help you while you carry around your bundle of joy.
When your incision wound has healed
C-section scar prevention treatments
Many women are worried about a scar left behind after Cesarean delivery. It’s best to keep your wound clean and dry while it is healing, but after about 6-8 weeks, the incision should be closed and healed. Once you have the all-clear from your doctor, you can start thinking about scar prevention treatments.
Silicone scar removal sheets can facilitate healing and reduce the chances of a scar forming or make it only slightly visible.
You may prefer to use a silicone scar gel or skincare oil instead of silicone scar sheets. Whichever product you choose, make sure the active ingredients are safe to use postoperatively and get the approval of your doctor.
Postpartum Kegel trainers
Even though you haven’t had a vaginal delivery, you may still have weak pelvic floor muscles. After all, you did carry a baby for 9 months, so the muscles in this area can be weakened. Kegel exercises can help tighten them and reduce incontinence.
Preparing a C-section recovery kit, either prepartum or postpartum, will give you confidence and help you heal quickly.