Post # 1
Hi bees, I’m having a c section in less than 2 weeks!
Some background: My daughter was born vaginally 3.5 years ago. This is a c section I elected to have for what I know to be very good reasons. It wasn’t an easy decision but the best one for me, and my docs were completely on board.
Anyway, I know c sections are very common, in fact far more common than they need to be. I’d love to hear your experiences and recovery tips!
Post # 2
I’ve not had one, but everyone I know who has said that you should get up and about as soon as possible.
Post # 3
Twizbe : Yup, will try to do that as soon as I’m cleared! You’re due anytime now aren’t you? Hope it all goes smoothly!
Post # 4
I had one following two vaginal deliveries. The recovery was much more challenging, especially with other young children at home. Take it easy. Be kind to yourself. Accept all the help that is offered. Let your toddler crawl into bed, onto the sofa/chair with you, don’t pick her up. Follow your doctor’s instructions. This is major abdominal surgery and it takes a while to heal.
Post # 5
Mine was EMCS, and scheduled sections are WAY more calm and apparently easier to heal from, but here’s my advice. Do get up and walk as soon as you can. But also let D.H. bring baby to you instead of doing a lot of bending and picking up. Have a nice soft bed pillow from home that you can hold against your incision if you need to cough, laugh, sneeze, etc. High waisted yoga pants are good too, but lose enough that it’s not really pressing into you. You might still want to get a peri bottle because bending and wiping is still hard after a section.
At home, waking around some will help, but also have everything you need to feed, diaper, change, etc set up in easy reach where you don’t have to bend over. Don’t push activities too quickly or you’ll end up being in pain longer. Def take your pain meds as instructed for the first couple of weeks, even if you feel great because it will hit you like a ton of bricks if you don’t. And have people come watch and play with your Dear Daughter because it’ll be really hard to keep up with a toddler for at least a couple of weeks.
Post # 6
Was due yesterday. Soooo over being pregnant. techmom :
Post # 7
beethree : catmom17 : Thanks ladies! Thankfully my mom is visiting to help, so between my husband and her, I think we should be covered. I wonder how people do it without help..
Twizbe : I hear ya! Hang in there, can’t be too long now. 🙂
Post # 8
Had an emergency c-section 4 years ago with my son and am now 15 weeks pregnant and will be scheduling another!
– Get up and move as soon as possible. Typically they make you start getting up around 6 hours post op (some earlier, some later). This is agonizing. But I promise, it gets easier. It helps you heal. But it sucks.
– Be gentle with yourself. That could go for all birth. But really, don’t feel bad about being “needy” or whatever. Ask for help, get what you need. Treat yourself.
– Get plenty of rest. It’s a major surgery. I completely avoided vistors the day of my c-section because honestly I just needed time to myself. I would highly recommend that honestly.
– Whenever you have to sneeze or cough, hold your abdomen to protect the incision. Use a pillow to brace it. It is SOOOOO painful to laugh, cough or sneeze within the first few hours. I had to get intubated and my throat was so irritated, so hopefully this won’t be an issue for you as much!
– Keep an eye on your pain levels. There were times when I was at the 4 hour mark and called my nurse in to give me the next dose. Sometimes they aren’t as on top of it as you would be.
– Pack enough for your stay, I liked having outfit options, because I wanted to be out of the hospital gown as soon as possible. Bring things that won’t bother your incision, like very loose pj bottoms, or night gowns.
– Prep your house. Stairs will be very difficult, so if you have them, prepare to try to stay downstairs if possible. I basically camped out on the couch after getting home so we moved all the babies stuff into our living room. You have time on your side since you know ahead of time, so prep as much as you can now!
– Drink lots of water!
I think that’s all I have for now. But feel free to pry for more 🙂 I’m happy to give advice!
Post # 9
techmom : Oh, and stool softeners. Have those at home. You’ll want them for obvious reasons 🙂
Oh and – about a month before I had my son I did a bunch of freezer meals. If you’re up for it, it’s a really good option because I didn’t have to cook for a month. We would just take a meal out and throw it in the oven. Totally unnecessary, but it really helped me focus on recovery instead of worrying about meals and all that 🙂
Sorry I keep adding but I keep thinking of things:
– Bring flip flops for sure, my feet swelled after my CS and I couldn’t fit into my regular shoes!
– Pillow from home for the car ride home, for the same reasons of coughing and sneezing, it feels good to hold something over the bumps in the car
Post # 10
techmom : I think you will have it much easier because it’s scheduled, so take comfort in that! My BFF and I had kids 10 days apart, both c-sections. The difference was her was scheduled (her first was a c-section as well) while mine was after a full day of labor. She has a MUCH easier recovery than I did. In my friend’s case it was calm, planned, and she went into it knowing exactly how things would go. She was up moving as soon as she was cleared and overall just had a great/easy recovery.
Meanwhile I was induced after my water breaking at home but no progression on my own, and spent all day in labor on pitocin until finally at 11pm we decided a c-section was needed. I was so tired and physically and emotionally drained that it made recovery so so much harder because by the time my baby was here I was on 24+ hours of no sleep.
The best advice I can give is to get a good night sleep the night before. (I was up all night with my water a slow trickle just anticiapting contractions that never came.) Most likely you’ll head to the hospital early and will probably be delivered and back to your room before lunchtime provided there are no emergencies. Get up and get moving as soon as they clear you, and ask for a belly binder!!!! Having something to “hold you in” will feel SO much better as you’re moving around. Take the pain meds and stool softeners, and keep up with them at home!
Let people help you! I’m sure it being #2 you know the drill, but I think sometimes moms don’t want the help because they want ALLLLL the time with their baby (and rightfully so!) but you get a lifetime with them so take that help while you can.
Have comfy clothing! I ended up doing Depends instead of the mesh underwear when I got home, to me they were just more comfortable. Also a peri bottle and the tucks or PrepH for Hemorrhoids from hard poops. I bought comfy black PJ pants in a size up so I could wear them above my incision. I also wore a lot of nursing tank dresses.
Post # 11
Oh yeah, for the hospital I ended up doing the tank nursing gowns and robes, because for obvious reasons going in and out of pants just wasn’t comfortable for practical. I took 2 gown and 2 robes. The first day I basically stayed in my hospital gown because I still had the cath in and I could barely function. It felt SO good to take that first shower even though I was sooooo nervous about having to get up and walk. I actually laugh looking back at all the stuff I packed and didn’t use. Totally took shower shoes and other things like that but when it came down to it, it took everything I had just to get myself in the shower I didn’t give a shit about shoes.
I also got a nice, but cheap pair slippers. That way I had shoes on for walking the halls that I could get in and out of easily. I then just threw them away when I got home.
Post # 12
I had a c-section on Novermber 15 and had an easy recovery thanks to the care of my medical team and my family!
1. Freezer Meals
2. Clean your house in advance. Things go by the wayside when you have a newborn and tasks like vacuuming and doing laundry cause strain. The less you have to worry about to start with the better.
3. Bedside bassinet. The Halo sleeper with the retractable wall so you can easily reach in for baby is wonderful for c-section mamas! I got the one with all of the bells and whistles (night light, timer, music, vibration) and frankly I think the plain one will work just fine. Many of the premium features were lackluster. They key thing is having baby where you don’t have to bend and exert yourself.
4. Ask your nurse for a compression belt/girdle or bring your own. This will help to give you support (like the pillow suggested above). I wore mine immediately after surgery and or the next week or so after.
5. Get out of bed and take gentle walks as soon as you are able. Staying active but not too active is key, I think, for a quick and easy recovery.
6. Stay on top of your pain medicine. You may think you don’t hurt and can skip a dose but pain medicine takes longer and more to work when you’re already in pain. After a few days you can take as needed but in the beginning you want to take the pills by the time elapsed.
7. Stay hydrated
8. Skin to skin and baby close to you as quickly and as often as you can. Those feel good hormones help recovery
Post # 13
I had an emergency c section after a failed induction/24 hour labor in December. I’ve never had a vaginal delivery but didn’t think the c section was that bad. I think moving around right away helped and the belly binder the nurse gave me. I limited going up and down our stairs for about ten days. I upped the stool softeners to dulcolax after a few days. Comfy loose clothes and good luck on the shoes, I was so swollen I had to leave the hospital in just my socks.
Adding – I wish I said no visitors the first day or not until like 6 hours after the c section. It was annoying and difficult being just out of surgery and having both sets of our parents crowding in the room asking questions and wanting to hold the baby. It’s hard to get people to realize/respect that you are just out of a surgery when there is a baby.
Post # 14
I’ve had two sections and I’m having a third in July. Honestly, I thought it was a breeze. I went the high waisted yoga pant route and had no problem wearing them around the house and hospital as I healed. I agree- getting up and walking is totally the way to recovery- even just sitting in a chair outside of bed. I agree with others- it wa as little challenging with a toddler at home but by the second week- I was honestly feeling really pretty good both times.
Advice- take it easy, take the pain meds AND the stool softeners. You just had major surgery- you don’t have to be tough and you won’t harm the baby. Watch the bending and twisting for a couple of weeks (think bend with your knees). Use this as a time to really bond with the new baby. Lastly- and I know this sounds odd- check out how low your bed and toilet are. Turns out our bed was really low and getting in and out of it was a nightmare. I learned the hard way with our first- so we now have a different bed but those are the two things that can be a little tough the first week. Congratulations!
Post # 15
I agree with cclarkrun1 – I had a section (totally elective, not medically necessary) in June last year and it really was a breeze. Don’t get too freaked out by it, you’ll encounter a LOT of people who are pro-vaginal birth who enjoy demonising c sections but it really isn’t that bad, particularly (I’m assuming) when it’s not an emergency. I got up within about five hours, and it all got better from there. Take the drugs as you don’t want the pain to get out of control but I had stopped everything after about three days except panadol. I felt totally fine by about week three so I got a letter from my OB and notified my insurance agency that I had been okayed to drive. I didn’t feel like it impeded my ability to take care of a new born at all, and after the first week you’re pretty much back to normal if all goes well. Look after the wound though, make sure it doesn’t get infected.
The upsides to to elective sections is that you’re really unlikey to have any of hte issues vaginal births encounter – prolapses, fourth degree tears etc. With birth comes risk so take it easy but enjoy the process – my OB, anaesthetist, paediatrician and the support staff (midwives etc) were so friendly and the whole process was so calm and friendly I’d totally do it again. Congratulations 🙂