Are you scheduled for a c-section and worried? Are you wondering how you can have a smooth c-section recovery? Don’t let fear get the best of you. It’s really not as terrible as you might imagine.
And if the outcome is a healthy mama and healthy baby, that’s what you want, right?
I had a c-section. It was quick and easy for the most part, and I want to give you some tips to help you recover and be back on your feet in no time!
Here are my top 5 tips for a smooth C-section recovery!
1- Get Moving!
I have my mom to thank for this tip.
My C-section was scheduled, so I had time to process what would happen, my recovery, etc.
Because my mom is a C-section expert, having recovered from 4 herself, she had some great tips for me as a first timer.
I remember her saying, “Get moving as quickly as possible. It will help with your recovery.”
This is so true.
As soon as they would let me get up out of the bed, I did!
You know what?
It was painful, but it really helped in my overall recovery. I was standing and walking laps around my floor by the next morning.
Just because I started moving, didn’t mean it was pain-free movement. I felt every muscle moving that I didn’t know I had!
My mentality was “no pain, no gain.”
I wasn’t strong enough to get out of bed and change diapers or physically pick up Addie on my own, but at least I was moving.
The reason I listed Get Moving as my first tip is because I think it’s so important in jumpstarting your recovery.
2- Ask For Help
Another way to help with a smooth C-section recovery is to ask for help.
This may seem obvious, but not every mom is comfortable asking for help, and sometimes you might think you should be able to do things on your own.
I’m here to tell you that there is nothing wrong with getting help!
Think about it: you just had major surgery to remove a human from your uterus! That’s a big deal!
And your recovery is no joke.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help: from the nurses in the hospital, to your husband and extended family, even neighbors.
Here are some great ways that people can help:
- Setting up a meal train
- Help with doing laundry
- Maid service for a month
- Taking older kids out for playdates
- Having diapers delivered
- Holding your baby so you can NAP
Those are great options if there are people in your life who are wanting to serve and love you during your recovery!
Take them up on their offer to help.
It will bless you and bless them as well!
3- Seriously Take Your Meds
Want to have a smooth C-section recovery?
Take your meds! I am 100% serious.
Take the pain meds and also the stool softeners.
I know it sounds gross and looks gross to even write stool softeners in a blog post, but for me, that first bowel movement after having a c-section was super painful.
I thought, This is what it must feel like to push during labor!
The pain was so horrible I cried. I remember leveraging my legs against the wall at a super awkward angle trying to create any means of helping me go to the bathroom. (TMI…but it’s true!)
Looking back on it, I remember that they didn’t put me on stool softeners until the following day after my C-section. Major fail!
Being a first time mom, I didn’t think of insisting to the nurse that I be allowed to start taking them right away.
My advice? Take them ASAP!
Just take a minute to think about what your body has been through:
- Your body was numb for a good while, including your bowels
- You’ve had a catheter in for a few days
- Remember, you just had major surgery on your abdomen and uterus
- The milk factory is gearing up to start nursing your newborn
- Hormones are all over the place
That’s a lot of trauma and recovery for one person in a short amount of time, not to mention this precious little baby that is now in your care.
Do yourself a favor and take the pain meds and the softeners.
It will help you have a better recovery so that you can be more present for your family!
Moms tend to laugh at the common piece of advice, sleep when your baby sleeps.
However, there is a lot of truth and wisdom in that statement.
I get it. There are 8,000 things you could be doing when that baby finally goes down for a nap other than sleeping. And who knows if it’ll be a cat nap or an amazing 2 hour nap? Babies are unpredictable!
You may want to hop in the shower (yes!), drink a cup of coffee, eat a hot meal, go for a walk, watch a show, fold laundry, or just sit in the peace and quiet.
Those are all great options!
Because your body is in recovery mode, sleep is very helpful in getting you to a healthy place.
Did I always sleep when Addie took naps? Nope!
Many times, that was when I showered and put on make-up to feel more awake. I also took advantage of that time to actually eat a hot meal, uninterrupted. Dreamy!
But there were for sure times where the exhaustion took over and the only thing I could think to do was sleep.
And I would crash hard!
I’m not suggesting that every time your baby sleeps you should sleep. Every now and then? Absolutely!
Your body and your family will thank you for it!
5- Give Yourself Grace
I saved this category for last because I think it is so important and I want it to stick with you.
We don’t give ourselves enough grace as moms.
This needs to change.
There’s a tendency to always be comparing ourselves to others, which normally leads to negative thoughts, jealousy, and feelings of inadequacy.
You are good enough Mama, because God has chosen you to be this baby’s Mama!
No other person can fulfill that role but you.
Don’t worry about keeping a clean house, having laundry ready to go, and cooking dinner every night.
My daughter is almost 7 and I don’t even cook dinner every night! Give yourself a break!
Remember that healing and recovery is a process.
Give your body time to recover, and give your emotions and hormones a chance to settle.
If your friend just had a baby too and is already running in the neighborhood and hosting dinner parties at her house, it’s okay if you want NOTHING to do with that.
Her recovery is different than yours.
Focus on yourself and your family, and getting to a place that’s best for you, not anyone else.
Do things that bring life to your body, mind, and spirit:
- Slowly work your way back into exercising
- Ask your friends to bring you healthy meals
- Binge watch a favorite show while nursing (I picked Parenthood and Gilmore Girls)
- Get your hubby or friends to have your favorite food delivered
- Schedule a newborn photo session. I loved these pictures!
- Make birth announcements to mail out to friends and family
- Enjoy this time while your baby is tiny, because it’s over so fast
This is a unique time in your life that may not come around again! And whatever you choose to do, just remember to be kind to yourself.
Let’s Wrap Things Up
If you’ve read this far, that means that you are really wanting to have a smooth C-section recovery! I hope it all goes well for you and baby.
For all the note takers out there, here are the tips one more time:
5 Tips For A Smooth C-Section Recovery
1. Get Moving!
2. Ask For Help
3. Seriously Take Your Meds
5. Give Yourself Grace
Remember that your healing and recovery is a process, so don’t waste your time comparing yourself to your friends or people you read about on the internet.
Go at your own pace, and soak in the moments with your precious newborn.
You can do this Mama! Stay motivated even when it gets tough!
Best wishes for a healthy delivery and recovery.
Lots of love to each of you!