For the expectant mother, the thought of a c-section can be scary. Whether you are looking at a repeat or a first-time c-section, there are ways to have a quick yet still healthy c-section recovery. Here are 6 keys, not from a nurse or a doctor, but a mother who has had several and knows what works.
It’s baby season around the homestead (goats, chickens and soon a human). All these babies have me thinking about c-sections (as that is the way all my children have entered this world). So begins the quick and healthy c-section recovery planning. Wha??? Baby brain and I have lost my mind, right? Is a quick and healthy 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. However, there are some simple tips to speed your c-section recovery, get back to your usual self faster than you ever thought possible.
How to recover from a c-section quickly
30-35% of babies born today are born via c-section. That is both emergency and planned or repeat c-sections. I don’t know anyone who likes 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 are the best tips I have learned from 4 c-sections (on my way to 5). The “how-to” for planning a quick and healthy c-section recovery if you find yourself under the knife in a freezing surgery room, waiting nervously for the cries of your c-section delivered baby.
Regardless of how you feel or the information you may (or may not) be armed with as you leave the hospital with a brand new 6+ inch scar across your lower abdomen. You can recover faster than you think, and you can feel better than you imagined, and you can do it in a very healthy way.
1. Movement is your friend
Shortly after surgery, you may get several hours to let the 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, lay in bed and simply tighten the 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 the 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, always making sure you feel in control of your body, and don’t overdo it.
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. One very important factor in a quick and healthy c-section recovery is giving your muscles support. This is the point where a little outside help is awesome. Start off with the very first time you get out of the hospital bed putting on a wide ace bandage and wrapping it from the 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 any 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 a 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 you will want 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 because they help provide support without the bulk. And the support may be a 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
Internal healing after a c-section is so very important, and bone broth is one of those ancient secrets to healing and recovery. Bone broth helps your body to get the nutrients that it needs including amino acids which speed 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 too much. Luckily there are ways to help with the pain. In many cases, c-section recovery can take months to feel good again. One of the best and fastest forms of pain relief ever is heat. A heating 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.
5. Proper nourishment is a must
Your doctor or midwife will likely 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 the best vitamin I have ever found Here and it is a life saver when the body needs a little more nutritional support. But you must not stop with vitamins. When your body is trying to heal and recover from a major event 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 to 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 many families. However, this is a great time to downgrade 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), if a clean house is a must think about hiring someone to clean your house for a season. The point is to rest more and go less, (seriously this is always hard for me). Naps can be super helpful, sleep when the baby does. Your house does not need to be perfect you have other things to do.
C-Section Healing Tips
Leaving the hospital unsure or unprepared on how to really recover from c-section can be daunting. New baby, tons of pain and no idea how to juggle it all! Trust me I know. However, here is a list of ” keys to a quick c-section recovery” if you will. These are the best tips I have learned from 4 c-sections (almost 5). There is no way to feel perfect, but you can lessen the damage or the downtime. C-sections may be almost the norm in the baby world but it is no less a major, major surgery. Know that your body is amazing, give it the right things to heal and recover and it will, in fact, heal from all sorts of craziness. Including quickly recovering from that c-section that you needed to bring your beautiful baby into the world ♡♡♡
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