Real C-Section Recovery Storiesby Elizabeth MacDonald
It’s Cesarean Awareness month. Instead of listing all of the c-section facts, I decided to poll the experts: REAL MOMS. These ladies have held nothing back; they are sharing their c-section recovery secrets with you.
Remember that a c-section is an abdominal surgery. It takes weeks of recovery, so treat yourself kindly.
What to Expect With a Cesarean Section
“If it's planned, shave your vagina, perfectly. I thought I did a good job and 5 mins before surgery a nurse inspected me and brought in shaving cream and a razor to get any areas I missed! So embarrassing!”
"The aftermath of a c-section is not pretty. The belly is scary looking, numb, itchy and foreign feeling."
The numbness may not ever go away. “I’m still numb 13 years later.”
The itchiness may come and go. “Seven years later, and I’m still itchy!”
Your stomach may never be the same. “My belly fat is lopsided at the site of the incision. A bathing suit covers it, but I still know it’s there.”
“The hospital won’t let you leave until you poop, and pooping is horribly scary after surgery.”
“They push on your uterus (on your abdomen) after the surgery and the pain is intense!”
“You may not be able to move your legs for a few hours afterward.”
“You still bleed. You still cramp. You are still swollen, just as if you gave birth vaginally.”
“It hurts to cough.”
“If you have the choice, choose the glue over staples!”
“The part of recovery that was worst for me (and I'm going to be graphic here) was that I had pushed for 2+ hours and THEN had a c-section... so I not only had to deal with the abdominal healing, but absolutely horrible hemorrhoids.”
“Vaginal swelling and an incision make it near impossible to be comfortable.”
“Sneezing, coughing, or rolling in your sleep can reopen stitches.”
“A nursing pillow will be your best friend to keep baby supported up higher during breastfeeding.”
“Be prepared that the spinal tap and pain killers can cause major itchiness to the face. I was rubbing my nose so badly I needed Benedryl which made it really hard for me to stay awake and it may slow milk production.”
“I'm not sure if this is true in all hospitals but in mine they use Velcro straps to hold the wrists of mom by sides of her head so that she won't accidentally/instinctually reach behind the curtain and injure herself.”
“It's normal for the wound to open a little and "spit out" internal stitches meant to dissolve in you.”
How to Aid Recovery
“Binding can really help hold everything together and aid in recovery!”
“The binder is your best friend! I wore mine for about 3 months following all three of my sections! It gave support when moving, made me feel safer/less vulnerable to injury, and helped with the air entrapment. I even wore it at night for about 6 weeks.”
It feels better to stand up than to sit or lay.
Even if it's 2 steps and you rest and take 2 more steps.
“I felt 100 times better when I moved around versus lying in bed all day.”
“As hard as it feels, the more you move, the faster you heal.”
Let the Air OUT!
“In the days following your c-section, there is a lot of air that makes its way in from the cut, and it has to get out! DON’T hold it in. It’s embarrassing as all get out, but it hurts even more to hold it in.”
“Gas pains can accumulate in the shoulder area, and can be extremely painful”
Wear Loose Clothing
“Dresses were my best friend.”
Just Take the Meds
“Don’t be the hero, a c-section is major surgery. Take your pain meds and rest.”
“Take the laxative.”
Pelvic Floor Therapy
“Head to the Pelvic Floor Therapist! You won’t regret it.”
Scarring and Bruising
“Mederma is amazeballs for minimizing scars!”
“Arnica is wonderful for the bruising.”
Ask for Help
“Don't be afraid to ask for help!! 3rd baby was an emergency c section. I had a 6-year-old with special needs and a 17 month old at home. I needed help, but felt like people would think I was a bad mom if I asked for it. I finally caved and asked for help and I got better faster once I got it. Looking back, I wish I took people up more on their offers to help.”
Take Your Time
“Take your time getting in and out of chairs. Take long showers. Let your body be your guide.”