Although C-sections are becoming more and more commonplace you should never forget that a cesarean is a major abdominal surgery and it as such, it should not be downplayed. Recovering from a C-section can be swift or it can drag on for months, so if you want to be back on your feet in the shortest time possible there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Take Your Pain Medicine
You might think your superhuman powers have kicked up a notch since your C-section because the pain medicine you get during and after your surgery numbs the pain of your incision so you can manage to move around. Even if you are the type of person to sail through your monthly period without so much as a Midol for the discomfort, you need to take the pain medicine you go home with seriously. If you skip a pill and you allow yourself to feel the full extent of the pain you will regret that decision and you will probably throw your recovery time back as well.
Hug Your Pillow
After the surgery, coughing, laughing or sneezing will all be difficult. You’ll definitely realize just how important your stomach muscles are to almost everything you do. Hugging a soft pillow close to your stomach can help to ease the pain or discomfort you feel so keep lots of extras close by.
Get Moving as Soon as You Feel Able
The day after your C-section you will be in an immense amount of discomfort and depending on your threshold for pain you might not want to venture off the bed or even try to sit up for fear of causing it to get worse, but the only way to get better is to get moving. This does not mean you should try to jump out of bed as soon as your anesthesia wears off, but it does mean that you can’t sit back and nurse your cut for days on end. You need to start walking slowly at first. A trip to the bathroom or a walk to peep in on your baby is all the exercise you need in the days following your surgery.
Relax and Accept Help
Although you might want to do everything yourself you will simply not able to handle the demands of taking care of a newborn baby after you have had major surgery. So if your mother-in-law offers to help you bathe the baby or your mom wants to stay over for the week, let them.
Take Care of Your Incision
Finally, you can’t stress it enough… a C-section is surgery. You will have an incision in your lower abdomen with stitches that need to be removed. When your dressing is gone you’ll need to clean the area carefully. Follow the instructions given to you and don’t skip any steps.
You may be excited to get down to the business of being a mom to your newborn baby (or babies) but the most important thing on your “to-do list” when you come home after your cesarean should be to ensure you do everything you can to stay healthy. It is only when you are in good health and in good spirits that you can provide the best care for your baby.