If you've been to my blog before or know me personally, you probably know that I've had a c-section (2 actually!) before. My first one was astronomically different than my second one, and I wanted to offer up some C-section recovery tips from both of my experiences that nobody might've told you before! Having just had my second one a month ago exactly, they're still fresh in my mind and if I knew some of these, my recovery might've been a lot different!
1. Take your stool softeners.
Not even joking here, guys and sorry to be so frank in the opening of this post, but it's seriously important! With my first, I took them regularly and had no issues so I figured that I was magically exempt from them the second time around and skipped the stool softeners. I was SO WRONG. Like, level 99 wrong guys. Take them or you will regret it!
2. Ask for help.
With my first, we were living in a place where we didn't really have anyone to help us around the house in the beginning or to hold the baby for a while so we could shower, grocery shop, and feel like humans again. If you have the opportunity, ASK FOR HELP! Do not be ashamed to ask for help, and that extends to your hospital visit as well. With my first baby, I didn't want to send her to the nursery for anything which resulted in me being awake for 4 days straight, delusional, exhausted, and it was just an overall terrible experience. With my second, whenever my husband and I found ourselves nodding off, we sent him to the nursery where the nurses cuddled and loved him for a few hours so we could get some sleep. I can't express how much of a difference that made for me. I'm inclined to believe that my first experience with 4 DAYS of no sleep directly contributed to my postpartum depression. This time around, I've been well rested, and so far, the ugly monster of PPD has yet to rear her head.
3. Take it slow.
In all aspects of your C-section recovery, you should take it slow. If you're in pain, rest. If you're tired, take a nap when the baby does. Just do not push yourself to a point of no return because you could really do a lot of damage. If you start to feel sick, experience a fever, chills, and pain that seems abnormal, get checked out. With both of my babies, I ended up with a pretty massive uterine infection after delivery and had to be put on two weeks of antibiotics. If I had let that go untreated, it scares me to think where I'd be right now.
4. Consider using a belly band in recovery.
With my first, I was given this awesome belly band to use in recovery that helped a lot with getting in and out of bed. It is similar to using the pillow against your belly that helps relieve the pressure with counterpressure, but a lot easier to manage. I've also been told it helps your uterus contract faster, and although I'm not sure if there's science to back that up, it certainly can't hurt!
5. Stay ahead of your pain.
Don't let the pain medicine wear off until it gets unbearable. If you know you're already starting to feel the pain and the medicine is wearing off when you're due for your next dose, just take it! One time during my second recovery, the nurse I called didn't relay the message to my nurse on duty that I needed my next dose and by the time she showed up, it was an hour past when my dose was due and I was in unbearable pain. Don't do that!
6. Keep hydrated and fuel your body!
Keeping hydrated is an important thing anyway, but especially during C-section recovery. It will help with your milk supply if you plan to breast feed, it helps avoid constipation along with your stool softeners, and can make a world of difference in how you feel. Additionally, putting good, healthy foods into your body can provide you with extra energy and won't make you feel sluggish and even more tired like bad foods. Keep in mind though, at the end of the day as a busy mom, eating any food is better than no food at all!
What are the C-section recovery tips nobody told you but you wished they had? Share them in the comments below and we can discuss!