On April 3rd I gave birth to my first child, a baby boy named Liam. Because he was so large, and I was so small the doctors decided that I should have a C-section verse going natural. It was a shock to me because for nine months we were planning to have natural child birth.
After the C-section there were things that I didn’t know to expect. Here are a few tips that may make recovery a bit easier:
1. Get help if you can. The first few days home you are really hurting and chances are neither you nor the baby are sleeping. Even if someone takes one or two feedings a night, it will make a huge difference. Your body needs sleep to help you heal. The faster you heal, the more you will be able to do on your own.
2. If you are using a crib, instead of a bassinet, try to double up the baby mattress to bring it up. Stretching down into the crib was very hard for me as was lifting my son out, and it hurt, especially since cribs are tall, and I’m short. I would advice against a step stool since your balance isn’t the best after giving birth. For the first few days, until I doubled up the mattress I had the baby in the top of the Pack n’ Play. I don’t know if that is a recommended use, but for me it was a necessity.
3. Walk as much as possible. I had awful swelling in my feet that went all the way up to my thighs from the fluids and what not they pumped into me during the C-section. As much as it hurts, is numb and/or causes you to be off balance, walk. I had my mother walk with me around my neighborhood. We set little goals.
4. Set little goals. What does that mean? It means I walked to the end of my driveway the first day. The second day I walked to the corner. Setting little goals means you are more likely to achieve what you are trying to do and will get you moving without exhausting yourself.
5. If you are breast feeding and pumping milk, try to “bank” some of that extra milk, especially on the first days when your milk comes in and you are producing like mad. Having some extra milk in the freezer means someone can take a feeding while you have a rest. Also, if you get very tired, you may produce less milk. If that happens you pull out a bottle from the freezer and off you go.
6. Don’t be afraid to touch the area where you have your staples. I was so nervous that it would be terribly painful to touch. It wasn’t. Also, the surgery left a very clean line. For some reason I was afraid there would be a mess I couldn’t see.
7. Take your time in the shower the first week. Use the squeezy bottle provided by the hospital to clean yourself. That bottle is your best friend. Use it and take your time to avoid falling.
8. Keep some Granny panties on hand. I had told my husband to buy some undies for me and I chose a size three sizes too big. Oddly enough he bought them in the Plus Size section, so they were bigger than I anticipated. But, they were the best thing ever. The elastic keep them around my waist without sitting on the healing scar. They were comfortable and loose. They let my body breathe.
9. Keep baby powder on hand. You wear a pad for six weeks after having a baby, as “nothing is to be put in the vagina.” as my doctor stated. Constantly having a pad on can irritate your rear end. Just pat on a little baby powder to keep your bottom from getting sore.
10. There is no shame in having to wear maternity clothes after the baby is born. Even if you fit into your pre-pregnancy clothing, it will grab you in the wrong place. The maternity clothing will be loose and keep any pressure off your staples and healing scar.