Are you having a c-section delivery? Here are 9 must-haves for your c-section recovery.
Having a C-Section birth is definitely not the first choice many moms consider when they first find out they are having a baby – but it’s become more of a normal practice in our world today. And there are several reasons that your obstetrician may recommend having a c-section over a vaginal birth.
Here are some reasons why your doctor may recommend that you have a c-section:
- having multiple babies at once
- having a previous c-section
- preterm labor
- problems with the mother’s or baby’s health
- failed induction
And although I have never had a vaginal birth my self, I have had two successful c-sections. However, neither of them was planned at first. In fact, with my first pregnancy, I had all the intentions to have a vaginal birth unmedicated. But when my due date came and passed my doctor thought that we should induce me.
Well, the induction didn’t go very well and after a full day of not dilating, we had an unplanned c-section.
And when I was pregnant with my second baby, I wanted to try to have a VBAC – (vaginal birth after c-section), but since he was sideways at the end of my pregnancy, we decided not to try to turn him and go ahead with another c-section.
The biggest reason that I made this decision was that I had just had a miscarriage before that pregnancy and didn’t want to lose another baby.
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Packing List for a Scheduled C-Section
So packing for a c-section delivery and hospital stay is completely different than packing for a vaginal birth.
For one a c-section hospital stay is always a day or two longer and you will definitely want some extra comfort items that will help with your recovery in the hospital. Here is what you simply must pack in your hospital bag for a c-section birth.
RELATED – What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for a C-Section Delivery
What to Eat After C-Section Delivery
Once you have had your c-section, you will be given a meal a few hours later or the next morning depending on what time you give birth. But your diet at first will consist of clear fluids.
This may sound like nothing to eat but the doctor is mainly trying to keep you hydrated and make sure that you are able to keep down the liquid diet before giving you anything solid.
Postpartum C-Section Diet
- fruit juice
- Foods that are high in fiber
Foods to Avoid After C-Section
- fried and fatty foods
- any foods that will likely give you gas
- carbonated anything
C-Section Recovery Essentials
1. Belly Wrap
After being literally cut open and then having everything sewn shut, you will literally feel like your belly needs support to heal.
I loved having a belly wrap like this one to keep my incision safe and also help my belly to heal better.
2. Absorbent Postpartum Pads
Whether you use disposable or cloth pads – you are gonna need them. The fact is that even if you have a c-section you are going to have some postpartum bleeding.
It will basically be like a very heavy period for a few weeks following childbirth. If you are all about using maxi pads that you can throw away, I think these will be the best fit for you.
And on the other hand, if you prefer cloth then I highly recommend these cloth postpartum pads.
3. High-Waisted Underwear
Investing in some comfortable high-waisted undies will literally save your life after having a c-section since many of the average underwear out there will rub right up against your c-section incision. Now there are two options that are great for postpartum c-section mamas.
There is the mesh underwear like you will be given to wear in the hospital that is so comfy but will be ruined after multiple uses with maxi pads. Or you can get some cotton high-waisted underwear like these that will last a long time.
4. Stool Softners
Giving birth can really make things a little rough down under especially in the pooping department. Sorry, it’s true though.
That’s why your doctor will likely start you on some stool softeners to help you go a little easier. I recommend taking these and never skipping one. They helped so much in the first couple of months during my c-section recovery.
5. Peri Bottle
If you have had a vaginal birth previously than you probably know how much the peri bottle helped while you were healing down there.
So it may seem like if you have a c-section you wouldn’t be hurting down below, but it does hurt – a lot. Even if you didn’t push your baby out of your vagina you still had tons of pressure and an incision that is not far up from your lady parts.
So having a peri bottle can help a ton especially with spraying off excess blood that has been coming out during your c-section recovery.
Are you planning to breastfeed after a c-section? I recommend these products as well.
RELATED – 9 Highly-Effective Tips for Breastfeeding after a C-Section
6. Nursing Pillow
I loved my boppy pillow so much. It literally was a barrier between my incision and my baby.
Having a boppy pillow also helped me with getting my babies up to my breast so that I didn’t have to bend or lean over and upset my healing c-section scar. I loved having somewhere that was soft enough for both of us to be comfortable as well.
And nursing pillows can even be helpful for formula feeding moms who have a c-section. Just by having that soft pillow to protect your c-section scar while you are holding your baby or feeding them a bottle can make a huge difference.
7. Nursing Pads
If you are breastfeeding your boobs are going to leak at some point so it’s better to be prepared. I wore nursing pads even in the hospital as soon as I started nursing our babies.
8. Maternity Tanks and Maternity Leggings
Although you will not be pregnant anymore you still will not be back to your pre-pregnancy size – so maternity clothes are definitely the way to go.
I recommend getting some comfortable maternity leggings that will go high up above your c-section incision to keep you comfortable. And try to pair some maternity tanks that double as nursing tanks that way you can use them before and after pregnancy.
Let me be the first to tell you that if you are breastfeeding your newborn that they will want to nurse constantly in the beginning.
And when you have to get up at night to breastfeed it’s very hard to get up and go to a different room multiple times at night. That’s why having a cosleeper next to or in your bed is the best idea ever.
We loved having our babies close by for easy feedings.
Wound Care After C-Section
Before leaving the hospital your nurse will give you some instructions on how to care for your c-section incision such as keeping it clean and dry and wearing clothes that do not rub against it.
So if you are a busy mom than your first question may be, “How long does a c-section take to heal?”
And honestly it takes several months for a c-section incision to mostly heal, but usually after 6-8 weeks postpartum your doctor will see you again for your postpartum checkup to give you the clear to resume normal activity cautiously.
Honestly, everyone’s recovery times are different depending on their amount of rest and how well they take care of their body postpartum.
After a few months, you will notice that your incision will heal into a scar that may still be tender or numb for a while. Of course, if you ever have any intense pain from your c-section scar be sure to contact your doctor.
Emotions After a C-Section
As far as how you will feel emotionally after a c-section, I have felt both completely depressed and satisfied after a c-section.
I believe that having an unplanned c-section can be a bit overwhelming on top of already having your hormones going whacky from childbirth. And that is okay. But talk with your doctor and be honest about how you are feeling just in case you are suffering from postpartum depression.
Once I had my second c-section, I had already been prepared for what to expect and I was just happy that my baby was healthy. I think being prepared ahead of time is what really helped me the second time around.
Intimacy After a C-Section Recovery
Of course, when you get the green light to resume normal activities after having a c-section delivery, one of the biggest and most long-awaited things is becoming intimate with your partner again.
And even with a c-section birth intimacy can be painful make sure that you take your time and use these helpful tips for sex after a c-section delivery.
RELATED – Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex After Having a C-Section Birth
Having my 4th c-section soon and I had to find out on my own that if you put warm water in the peri bottle and rinse BEFORE you pee it helps get things going without the pain of trying to start pushing pee out.