Being its baby season around the homestead, it has me thinking about c-sections, and how I have learned to recover quickly. Is a quick c-section recovery even possible? I mean it’s like a major, major abdominal catastrophe right? Yes, it is. And Yes, it is. It is a big ol’ ordeal. I know I have had 4, yes 4 c-sections. A C-section is by no means fun, it’s extremely painful and take quite a while to feel “all put back together right”. As a new mom you will probably find yourself getting busier, and having time to just lay around and slowly recover isn’t an option, am I right?
Howerever, after saying all that, with 4 C-sections I have learned a few lessons and how to come out of a major abdominal surgery like a pro. A little knowledge beforehand and a few must have tools, and you will be back to your old self (for the most part) in no time at all.
I have known many, many women who have had c-sections, or multiple c-sections. Don’t get me started on how I think it was the big new craze in the OB world for several years! Anyways, I don’t know anyone who like it or came out thinking it was the “easy” way to birth their bundle of joy. However when it’s what you gotta do, it’s what you gotta do. Here is my best advice if you find yourself under the knife in a freezing surgery room, waiting nervously for the cries of your c-section delivered baby.
1. Movement is your friend
shortly after surgery you may get several hours to let anesthesia wear off, but very soon to the new mom who feels like she was just run over by a semi, the doctors and nurses will want you to move. To try to walk. And at that point in time it sounds like the worst thing you could ever do. But in reality it exactly what your body needs. Blood flow is the name of the game here, the more often you can get muscles moving and blood flowing the faster you heal.
As you move further out from the actual surgery, use those muscles that were cut. One of the best things I found was to early on even a week or 2 weeks out from surgery, was I would lay in bed and simply tighten my abdominal muscles. Do not do sit-up’s or crunches just tighten them and release while in a laying position for 10-15 repetitions several times a day. This also helps to get blood flowing to where the healing needs to be. The more healthy blood flow the faster the healing.
Then once your doctor gives you the okay to workout make sure to incorporate lots of abdominal and core movements into your workout routine.
2. Compression is key
You may often feel like your guts may fall out. And rightly so there is not much holding them in, your abdominal wall was just cut through. This is the point where a little outside help is awesome. I start off the first time I get out of the hospital bed putting on a wide ace bandage and wrapping it from hip up to ribs. You may need more than one. This will stabilize your midsection without causing added pain. At first you will not be ready for and sort of compression wrap or girdle yet, but you will still want support, trust me the Ace like bandage is the first tool needed!
Then after swelling has gone down and you can move around a bit more comfortably, the absolute best c-section support tool out there is the Abdomend C-section recovery kit . This thing is the support need for exactly c-section patient needs. Other post-pregnancy girdles or belly wraps often put a lot of pressure and therefore pain on the incision site and don’t help at all.
Then lastly these awesome c-section recovery underwear are made to be able to use as your recovery continues past the first several weeks. They continue with the compression on the incision site, along with silicone to help heal the skin and reduce scarring. These are great cause they help provide support without the bulk. And the support may be need for quite some time. I was not much of a fan of the high-waist kind, however they do a great job at support. I absolutely recommend every mama going through c-section recovery to get a few pairs of these!
3. Bone broth For healing
I am a big fan of bone broth and if you remember a while back I talked about how to avoid excessive pregnancy weight gain. Bone broth is one of those things that helps your body to get the nutrients that it needs including amino acids which speeds recovery and healing. Check out this site for more on bone broth, and how to make it, it’s super easy, so no worries there. Regularly consuming bone broth to will be one of the best things you can do for yourself nutritionally to speed the recovery process
4. Heat for pain relief
Pain in childbirth is unavoidable, however the pain with c-section is a whole different thing. Surgery after 9 months of stretching and growing, followed by the typical after pains but in a newly cut uterus. It’s all just to much. Luckily there are ways to help with the pain. In many cases c-section recovery will take months to feel good again. One of the best and fastest forms of pain relief I ever found was heat. A heat pad on a low setting was great in times of relaxing, and the heat certainly helps the blood flow. As we have all experienced during times of working out warm sore muscles hurt less than cold sore muscles. So go on add a little heat, when rocking your new baby, nursing or simply laying down to take a nap is so extremely helpful.
5. Proper nourishment is a must
Your doctor will probably recommend you continue to take a prenatal vitamin, I recommend you take one that is raw and not synthetic, quality vitamins cost more but they are worth it. This is what I take Here. But it can not stop with vitamins. When you body is trying to heal and recover from a major even like pregnancy let alone a c-section it needs all the great nourishment you can give it. Real, whole, fresh, organic foods I can not state that enough. I am also a huge, huge fan of naturally probiotic and cultured foods, especially after baby and surgery you want everything moving right internally, if you know what I mean. Here and here are two great sites for fermented and cultured foods.
6. Sleep when you can
I know this one is difficult, everyone says get lots of sleep but the whole aspect of having a baby kind of takes away from getting that sleep. Especially when your significant other returns to work almost immediately after, which is the norm for American life, unfortunately. However this is a great time to down grade everything you are involved in or do. If you garden step back a bit, if you work from home try to take on less (if you can). Rest more and go less, (seriously this is always hard for me). Naps can be super helpful, sleep when baby does. Your house does not need to be perfect you have other things to do.
Something to take away
So maybe you leave the hospital unsure or unprepared on how to really recover from c-section. I know I never felt like they guided me very well. However, here is a list “my keys to a quick c-section recovery” if you will. These are the best tips I have learned from 4 c-sections. These are things that work and I feel like I bounce back quicker than most. There is no way to feel perfect, but you can lessen the damage, or the down time. C-sections may be almost the norm in the baby world but it is no less a major, major surgery. However the body is amazing give it the right things to heal and recover and it can in fact heal from all sorts of craziness ♡♡♡
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