The C-Section Recovery Guide

The C-Section Recovery Guide

Today I have a guest post written by the brilliant Violet from Violet Glenton blog. I’ve recently had a baby and I documented my pregnancy every few weeks. I never planned for a c-section and I have realised that I would have been completely unaware of what to do and how to care for myself afterwards, should I have needed one. This caesarean recovery guide has been carefully written by Violet, mum to Jasper, who has drawn on her own experiences to help other mums who are in a similar position.

The C-Section Recovery Guide

Had a Caesarean? Read every article under the sun about natural deliveries? Then here’s a guide that may help you with recovering from a C- Section.

Whether yours was a planned Caesarian or an Emergency, it is a major operation. I had my little boy Jasper in November via emergency c section and was not prepared in the slightest for recovery. I’d bought a peri bottle, numerous remedies to assist with any tears, cushions galore and lots of chocolate. I had no idea how to combat a totally different delivery.

The The C-Section Recovery Guide by Violet Glenton over on https://lukeosaurusandme.co.uk

A pillow is your best companion for the bathroom

I know, I know. Nobody wants to talk about this. Whether natural delivery or not, your first experience on the toilet after delivery is alarming. If you’ve had a Caesarean, it’s likely they’ve plugged you up with numerous drugs and given you laxatives to assist. However, the urge to use your stomach muscles is the most daunting obstacle. I found myself panicking I’d pop a stitch as it really is hard to “let go” after delivery. I found placing a cushion against my stomach, taking my time and gently using it to assist me worked an absolute wonder. Definitely take your time if you can though, which is hard when there’s likely a baby calling you. So I’d recommend going when someone is in the house to help (eep!!)

Shower briefly and cautiously

The first few weeks are critical for the healing of your scar. Whilst you’re likely to have dressing on for a while, it’s wise to keep it as dry and clean as possible. I used to shower with my back to the water flow. That way I could ensure less water got onto my dressing. After a shower, gently pat the towel in the area of your scar. It will be sore (even with the antibiotics) so tread very gently and carefully.

Accept help

I’d been awake 52 hours when I was let out of hospital. I was absolutely shattered. Throw into the mix that you’ve started this crazy (and wonderful) journey and your mind is a little confused. My first night home my mum and sister came round to help me. They helped me into bed and I slept for a good 13 hours.

If I’m honest, I required help for a few things. Bending over to pick up items was extremely uncomfortable. This lead me to do an awkward squat whenever my baby dropped his dummy. I struggled to get in and out the shower so needed help from my husband. Half the time I didn’t have an appetite and I found the blood thinning injections a gruelling task every morning. For all of these things I asked for help. I’m so glad I did, don’t forget you’ve undergone a major operation and recovery is hard.

Share the night feeds

Whether you’re breast feeding or bottle feeding, your partner can help. It’s near impossible to sit up in the middle of the night numerous times after a C-section as your body feels so stiff. My husband often helped me sit myself up, position myself and ensure I was comfortable whilst he either took over a night feed or I laid with my baby feeding. It’s hard, but within a few weeks the soreness reduces and you become stronger.

Oil is your friend

When it comes to removing your dressing, you’ll find lots of sticking residue all around your stomach. What’s worse is due to the soreness you can’t rub too hard to remove it. I read all sorts online about using nail polish remover (NO NO NO) and home remedies. I found applying olive oil gently twice a day worked perfectly. Within a few day all of my adhesive bits had come away.

Familiarise yourself with your scar

It’s not scary, it’s a wonderful sign of life. You did a great job and now you have to care for it. Whilst I’m not suggesting rubbing anything into it, you should have a good look in the mirror when you’ve removed your dressing. This is so you can recognise any signs of infection. Your midwife will check this too, but you’ll soon spot anything that looks abnormal.

Move little, but often

For me, I found it difficult to keep still. I was sore, but wanting to be up and looking after my baby myself. I found if I moved a little bit (even just re arranging myself) but often, I felt less stiff and more agile. I actually stared going for a walk around my street the day after I got out of hospital (day 3 post Caesarean). I must have only walked 4 or 5 houses, but a week later I could do the whole street. As with everything though, you know your own body. If you feel tired or weak, then rest up! You should never push yourself to do something you don’t feel comfortable with. If in doubt ask your doctor.

Do you have any top tips for any C-Section recoverers out there? I’d love to hear them!

You can follow Violet on her social media channels: Twitter, and Instagram.

The The C-Section Recovery Guide by Violet Glenton over on https://lukeosaurusandme.co.uk

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35 comments

  • Oh wow, I’ve read plenty about the cesarean procedure itself, but never thought about what came after! These are some very helpful tips, thank you.

    • I think everyone after birth should be able to ask for help, but in these circumstances it’s definitely one to remember.

  • I had two planned C-sections, and the best advice I was given before them was to get moving as soon as possible after your anaesthetic wears off. I was on my feet 6 hours after each birth, just for a few steps at first, but walking helps to get blood flow to the incision and starts the healing process.

  • I ended up with two emergency c-sections and to have something like this guide would have been fab! The pillow in the bathroom is genius as I really struggled with that!

    • Oh no! I’m so sorry you struggled in the bathroom, I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to adjust to life after a c-section, especially if it’s your first.

  • I’m very grateful to not have had any C sections, though it was a close call in my first pregnancy with the baby turning at the very last minute. It’s great you’ve pulled together these tips to share for other mums who have had a C section.

  • These are brilliant tips. Especially getting moving a little but often. It’s so tempting to try to do more, but OMG, if you over do it, the pain afterwards isn’t worth it. I still wince if anyone mentions the word c-section. My scar still pulls and feel odd 6 years later. X

    • Yes! It’s so important to make sure you take it easy. I know you get the urge to try and do lots, especially when you’ve got visitors coming round etc but you’ve got to remember to take it easy.

  • Wonderful advice, my mummy had a natural birth however she knows what it’s like to have scars to care for and an op. After lung surgery she needed a pillow to help her cough x definitely accepting help is the hardest thing to do sometimes x

    • Wow lung surgery – that’s a biggy! Yes, asking for help is definitely something you need to learn to do!

    • I haven’t either, I’ve read so much about the process and women’s experiences, but I’ve never read anything about recovery before so this was really interesting for me. 🙂

  • I had two emergency c-sections. My best tip, after those you have suggested, is sleeping with a pillow between my ankles and knees. It gave me lots of support. My children are now 7 and 10, and I still have that pillow 🙂

  • Brilliant advice, I had a csection with my twins and it’s a very different recovery than a natural birth. However they both had different things to be aware of. Looking after the scar is so important

  • Some fab tips! I’ve had an emergency and a planned section and agree with these points. My husband was fab with helping, especially at the night time. X

  • Thankfully your loving, caring mum and sister did exceptionally well in supporting you. Sleep is a necessity. There must be quite a difference between recovering from a planned procedure, and an unplanned / emergency procedure.

    Maybe antenatally:- Midwives could invite a speaker, one who can share what was beneficial in her recovery process. As it seems most preparation is in preparing for the experience of labour and birth. Also maybe postpartum preparations is also topic relevant to husband / partner, family and friends :- As these are the people likely to be providing company, assistance, support, etc. So knowledge is required to enable them to provide appropriate support, etc.

    Community supports are essential :- Access to healthy nourishment. Appropriate rest periods ( peace and quiet). Etc, etc.

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