The Road to Recovery
- The recovery of a C-section is different from a vaginal delivery recovery.
- You should be limiting activity, resting, and making yourself a priority so you can care for your baby!
- It's important to have a good support system and be your own advocate if you start to feel bad mentally or physically.
- No matter how your baby comes into the world, you will always be an amazing mom!
Sometimes C-sections are planned, and other times they can happen unexpectedly. A cesarean section (commonly known as C-sections) is another way to give birth, but it’s also major surgery. The reason for a C-section can be stalled labor, infant distress, a pregnancy of multiples (twins, triplets, etc.), or the mother’s health risks. After having a C-section, there is a lot of healing that needs to happen before you start to go back to your everyday tasks along with taking care of your new baby.
Your Body After a C-Section
Resting often and managing pain are two of the most important parts of C-section aftercare. However, having a new baby can make it more difficult to get the rest you need.
This is a great time to rely on helpers for support. The idea of allowing someone else to help with your baby can feel overwhelming, so start small. Allow a trusted person to simply hold the baby while you are eating or showering. Slowly move to longer periods of time, such as an hour-long nap or a nice walk outside. Not only will this support healing in your body after the C-section, but it will also help you be the best, most rested, version of yourself to care for your new baby.
Don’t expect to jump back into everything you did before you got pregnant. Your body needs time to heal so you can get back to the things you used to do!
Activities to avoid until your provider says it is okay include:
- lifting anything heavier than the baby
- sexual intercourse
Other C-section aftercare routines for the body include staying hydrated, eating healthy meals, and knowing your P.O.ST.B.I.R.T.H warning signs. Always contact your provider if you have questions or concerns about pain management or other things that may worry you. That is why they are there!
Your Feelings Matter
For many women who deliver via C-sections, the process can happen quickly and unexpectedly. Often this means there are a lot of things happening very fast that can be hard to process all at once.
Part of C-section aftercare is noticing and working through any negative feelings that might come up after the birth. Sometimes C-sections bring feelings of sadness or disappointment at not being able to stick to your birth plan or not having your ideal birth. Find reassurance and support by doing the following:
- Acknowledge what you’re feeling. It’s okay to feel disappointed or sad that birth didn’t go exactly as planned. You aren’t a failure.
- Share your feelings with your partner or someone you trust. Support from others can reassure you that you are still a great mom regardless of the way you gave birth.
- Look for support. You aren’t alone! You can search for a postpartum support group near you, or join a Facebook group for moms who’ve had C-sections, like these.
- Consider asking the doctor to explain in detail why the C-section was needed. Understanding why the procedure was necessary to provide the best outcome can help put it in a different perspective.
You are still a mom regardless of how your baby came into this world. You can still bond with your new baby like every other mother. Check out our blog on Bonding with Your Baby for more ways to strengthen that connection. Changing the way you bond or breastfeed with your baby to make it more comfortable for you and your incision is okay. If you are breastfeeding and having difficulty figuring out how to do so while allowing your incision to heal, consider doing the football position for more or connect with some breastfeeding resources near you using ZipMilk.
Giving birth is a marathon; there are so many changes and challenges your body takes on before, during, and after pregnancy. Be kind to yourself and remember to take it one day at a time.