Pregnancy Tips

Helpful Tips For C-Section Recovery

C-Section Recovery

Were you planning on having a C-section or are you recovering from an emergency C-section now? Either way, you may be swimming with thoughts over how to handle recovery after major abdominal surgery while also taking care of a newborn. It can be a lot to handle so don’t feel bad if you feel overwhelmed. Everyone deals with it in their own way. To help make your recovery a little easier, check out these helpful tips for dealing with this major change in stride.

newborn baby in hospital

1) Have. Your. Boppy.

Or any pillow really, by your side at ALL times. This is the most important tip. When you feel a cough, sneeze, hiccup, laugh, etc. coming, grab your pillow as soon as you realize it, and hold it firmly against your incision. Trust me, if you don’t, it’ll feel like your incision is going to violently rip open. Save yourself from that.

2) If you try a vaginal birth first, you’ll feel like you’re recovering from a vaginal birth AND a C-section.

My first C-section was because my eldest son’s head got stuck. This wasn’t determined until after 2 hours and 40 minutes of pushing and him getting part of the way down there. I still had to deal with my cervix going back to the right size. I still had to get the accursed abdominal massage. I still had to pretty much recover from a vaginal birth even though he didn’t make it all the way out of there. If your C-section is brought on by something going wrong while trying a vaginal birth, you’re pretty much going to be recovering from both.

baby being born

3) Even if you don’t start it out with an attempted vaginal birth, some things in your recovery will still be the same.

Pro-tip: Take your stool softener like it’s your life source. My nurses referred to the first poop after birth as the “pop can poop”. Otherwise it’s the size of a d@mn pop/soda can. Even once you’ve had that first BM, keep taking your stool softener. Poop #2 is very bad as well. You’re still going to have mesh undies and a spray bottle. They will be your best friends. Keep them by the nearest toilet at all times.

The labor shakes that you may have during a vaginal birth might start up in the Operating Room. It happened to me in the OR with my first but my 2nd was far, far worse. It was a mixture of the meds and an adrenaline rush. I shook like crazy, like a grand mal (tonic-clonic) seizure but I was fully awake and aware of my situation. They also wouldn’t let me hold the baby until the shaking stopped. It lasted SO long too.

4) It’s okay to grieve the loss of a vaginal birth.

It’s an idea and a plan that you’re had in your head (possibly for decades) and lost in the blink of an eye. That hurts, I know, and it’s okay to feel that way. Talk to someone, work through your emotions, and process it at a comfortable pace.

5) Pack Your Hospital Bag With the Operating Room in Mind

Whether you’re having a scheduled C-section for multiples, a breech baby, previous C-section, or anything else, it can still be a scary situation. Hang in there mom, you’ve got this! A lot of mom’s go through it and you can too. I’ve been through 2 C-sections so I’ve been through this. Getting ready for a scheduled C-section isn’t much different than preparing for a vaginal birth (planned or not), but there are some key differences. I discuss those differences in hospital bag packing below with some additional discussion about why these things should be included. Check out my post below for a more in-depth breakdown of what to pack in your hospital bag keeping the surgical aspect in mind.

9 things to pack for a scheduled c-section

6) Make finishing your recovery at home easier on yourself.

I was blessed with a bassinet with storage space underneath. I kept all necessary diapering materials, a few changes of baby clothes, some of those tiny, 2 oz. premixed formula bottles, attachable nipples, and a bottle of water for me underneath there for both births. Only having to get up to pee was wonderful. My bassinet was on wheels too so I could easily pull the baby close to me (right up to my side of the bed) when he needed something during the night without having to walk even across the room.

7) Fill your prescriptions before you go home.

You will need them. Don’t go home with the intention of getting them later. You can easily get wrapped up with the baby or any number of other things and forget. Before you know it, you’ll be out of medicine and running out your current dose. Don’t risk it.

8) Operating Room Reminders

The OR table will seem oddly small. It very much felt like I was going to fall off of it both times. Also, if you’re getting a spinal block, they’ll brace you in a sitting position against a stand. Once it’s in, they’re going to get you laying down as quickly as possible. Somehow, my heart rate monitor got tangled up in the stand that was holding me up so they couldn’t let me down right away. They had to rush to untangle it, the nurse then grabbed my already fully-numb legs and the anesthesiologist hooked his arms under my armpits and spun me SO FAST to get me laying down before I fell off the table. This all took about 3 seconds. Spinal blocks work FAST.

9 things about having an emergency c-section

However you’re dealing with your recovery, take it in stride. You can only recover as fast as your body is capable. Don’t push yourself or your recovery will take longer (I know that’s hard to do when you have a newborn and possibly older children but try your hardest). Congratulations on your little bundle of joy and I wish you and yours nothing but the best!


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I'm a mom of 3 boys who loves to share parenting tips (especially for babies), crafts, little eater friendly recipes, and mommy-centric bullet journaling tips and layouts.

(1) Comment

  1. So useful. Thanks for sharing

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