Whether you had a scheduled or unplanned cesarean section, the recovery may be a bit of a shock to you. There are a couple of things that you may not have heard about that can help ease your recovery and get you back on your feet in no time after surgery.
- Take your pain medications.
Don't laugh but so many moms stop taking their pain medications too early and they wind up in much more pain. It can become a really vicious cycle. So take your pain medications according to the clock and not how you feel to prevent "chasing the pain" and never really finding relief.
- Get out of bed.
Believe it or not getting up as soon as you can and moving around, even if it's just a little bit, can help you recover more quickly. It can help you feel better physically as well as emotionally. Just be sure that you get up with someone else for the first few times as you are going to be pretty shaky.
- Plan ahead.
Once you're home and recovering there, be sure to plan ahead. Be in an area that has a basket with everything you'll need: your phone, medications, bottle of water, book, TV remote, etc. When you're sleeping, sleep near your baby so you don't have to go as far to get him or her. You can also try to have meals brought to you that can be made easily. Frozen dinners work well if you're alone and don't have help. Remember, eating nutritiously will also help you recover.
- Get a small pillow.
Use the pillow to splint your incision when standing for the first few days, or when you cough or laugh. This can reduce the pain. Later the pillow can be useful to help with positioning the baby for breastfeeding.
- Go slowly.
Remember, you've just had a baby and major surgery. You need to increase your activity levels very slowly over the course of the next 6-8 weeks. Don't pick up anything heavier than your baby. And don't start exercising until you get the all clear from your surgeon. Also remember that even though your baby was born via your abdomen, you will still bleed vaginally. If you do too much sometimes you will notice an increase in the amount of bleeding.