Preparing to deliver can be fairly stressful. Delivery is just one of the many things on your to-do list, right?
But what if birth doesn’t go as planned? What if you’re like me end up with a C-Section after a long labor? Then what? What if you planned a C-Section due to various reasons for the health and safety of both you and baby?
I’ll be honest. C-Section recovery must haves wasn’t even on my radar when I started preparing for birth.
I’ve had two C-Sections and both recoveries were completely different. My first C-Section happened after a long labor. My second was a repeat scheduled C-Section.
A brief overview of my labor. I was induced at 37 weeks due to preeclampsia. I was in labor for 24 hours, my epidural kept wearing off, and progress stalled at 9cm. My contractions weren’t strong enough to continue laboring and a c-section was needed before infection set in.
I felt prepared for a vaginal birth, but I didn’t have one.
I attended classes and read blogs. Books were purchased to guide me.
I’m an advocate for knowing your body, having discussions with your doctor, and making an informed decision that works best for you.
I was way more prepared for my second C-Section having already had the miserable recovery after my first. My C-Section recovery must haves are a mix items I had to quick buy after I came home from the hospital with my son (thank you Prime) and items I stocked up on before my scheduled C-Section with my daughter.
C-Section Recovery Must Haves
This post does contain affiliate links and I recommend every product to a mom recovering from a C-Section.
High Waist Support Underwear
Your cute underwear you’ve been waiting to wear has to wait. Anything low cut is going to stay in the drawer until you heal.
Get high waist underwear. I ended up getting some from Fruit Of The Loom in a size bigger. I also stole a pack of my husband’s new boxer briefs because it was just better to wear around the house while I wasn’t feeling well. While not incredibly sexy, I was feeling more like a truck hit me so the size of the underwear didn’t bother me.
The mesh underwear from the hospital was great, too. Get as much of this as you can! I avoided switching back to my regular underwear for a few months while my scar healed.
Loose Fitting Clothing
I didn’t plan too much into what I was going to wear home from the hospital and opted to wear a maxi skirt and a maternity t-shirt. The outfit was perfect for having a C-Section.
The skirt hit my incision and didn’t hug my lower belly and incision area. The shirt was loose and comfy.
I’d recommend for any woman to bring loose fitting clothing when heading to the hospital regardless of your birth plan. Be comfy, ladies. You just had a baby.
An Essentials Basket
So, one of my big things when I got home from the hospital was that not only could I not move but I needed to be able to do things one handed.
The one-handed snacks was an important one for me. I figured out early on that my son was going to spend most of his days in my arms. With breastfeeding, you know those early weeks can be brutal in building a supply.
I would get my basket ready in the morning and resupply when I had to get up.
Babywearing made the early weeks easier, but I didn’t even start until six weeks postpartum! To be honest, I don’t think I could have started to wear him immediately after my C-Section. I needed time to heal.
I used my large body support pillow that helped me through pregnancy to get me through the worst of my recovery from the c-section.
I would take my pillow, fold it up, and put it under my knees to relieve the pain and what felt like stretching on my incision area.
Think about your hospital bed and how you can sit up, sit back, and move the bottom portion to get your legs up.
Having my legs up really helped me during those first few weeks.
I also used a lot of pillows to prop myself up in bed. This one is “find what works and feel better.”
One thing you need to do when you have a C-Section is keep your incision dry. After showers, gently pat your wound dry. Taking a shower after the C-Section was very difficult for me and I often needed help in those early weeks.
After my shower, I would lay in bed. With the help of my husband, we would let the fan dry my wound and he’d help pat dry.
Speak to your doctor if you feel like something is wrong. At four weeks postpartum, I did make the call and they had me come in right away. There was a small opening in the wound.
Follow all directions given to you by your doctors. Seek help if you feel like something is wrong immediately.
To help keep my wound dry, I would use these pads for absorbency. They were a game changer for me and really helped with the healing process. Again, speak to your doctor!
If you are prescribed a medicine for pain, take is as prescribed. I had only been given one week supply of medicine and asked my doctor for more.
Trust your body and speak to your doctor.
I am not one to take medicine often and find other ways to help myself if I can. To reach out and ask for more medicine meant I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t function. I truly needed the medicine for another two weeks and then switched to a non-prescription medicine.
Without the support of my husband and family, I have no idea how I would have made it through those first few weeks. Lean on who you can.
We don’t live near family, so once everyone left after meeting our son, my husband helped make sure I had what I need to get through those long nights and days while he was at work.
He’d also make sure I took my medicine properly and that I was eating and drinking.
I couldn’t move for a few weeks without pain. He cooked, he cleaned, and most importantly, helped with the baby in areas that I just could not.
Getting up and down for a lot of diaper changes was very tough on my recovering body. He took on a lot of that while I rested.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Rely on family if they’re around and can help. Yes, we can do it all but we don’t have to. We have to take care of ourselves too.
- Be kind to yourself. Just because your neighbor was moving all about three weeks removed
from her C-Section doesn’t mean you will be. Take your time. Your body just went through a major surgery after you had just carried your child and are now thrown into a world of not sleeping and confusion. Having a baby is hard, man.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps. Everyone says this, but it’s so true when recovering from a C-Section. I know I did not get enough sleep and it’s the number one thing I recommend to all new parents however their child got here.
- Talk it out. I had terrible feelings that I wasn’t “woman enough” after my labor stalled and I ended up with a C-Section. Comments about how your child is born started to sting. Anyone who’s gone through C-Section recovery knows they are woman enough to take on anything and did whatever they could to get their child here safely.
- How To Recover From A Cesearean Section Faster by A Mama Tale
- Being Kind To Your Postpartum Body
- Five Useful Ways To Help New Parents
Did you have a C-Section? What were your C-Section recovery must haves?