This is me in recovery right after my emergency c-section. I know, I know. I look just fabulous. I guess that’s what happens when you rock the preeclampsia and labor for 32 hours only to be cut open.
All joking aside, I think it’s pretty common knowledge that a c-section is a huge surgery. Because I never, ever thought I would ever have a c-section, I never knew what to expect mentally or physically but the truth is 32.8% of all deliveries in the USA are by cesarean. So while you may not be expecting it, it’s important to be prepared for any outcome.
The call button is your new best friend. Don’t be afraid to call your nurse when you need help, that’s what they’re there for.
Stay on the same page with your nurse and establish your wants and needs with every shift change.
Decide if you want your pain medications on the dot or as needed but don’t try and be superman. Accept the help.
Keep baby close to you, walking hurts.
Rest. Rest a lot. Don’t be afraid to limit visitors, you need to recover.
Sleep when baby sleeps. Apply this to the next few months.
Take short walks around L&D. You need to keep your blood flowing.
Keep hydrated and eat foods stuffed with fiber.
Decide who will be able to help you at home, especially if your partner won’t be available.
Remember that your priority is taking care of yourself and your new baby. The laundry can wait.
Don’t lift anything heavier than your baby.
Keep baby close to you at night. The less walking and bending over the better.
Keep diapers and wipes throughout the house.
Keep snacks and water close to you for easy access.
You are recovering, make it about recovery. Always be sure to increase your activity gradually.
On narcotics you will feel “better”. Be extremely careful not to overextend yourself. You WILL feel it later.
Don’t clam up, it’s okay to cry. Share your feelings and talk about your experience, you’d be surprised how much it helps.
Accept your feelings. Understand that it’s completely normal to experience a large range of emotions from happiness to anger.
Consider organizations such as ICAN. It’s nice to talk to others who have been through the same thing.