Healing From a C-Section: Physically & Mentally

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.

Hospital Recovery

  • 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.

    Home Recovery

  • 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.

    Mental Recovery

  • 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.
  • Thoughts?

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