Welcome! I am guessing you have either just had a c-section or you are going to have one in the upcoming months. Either way, Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! I am so excited for you, your family and the new journey you are about to embark on. Motherhood has been such a wonderful and life changing experience for me. It has truly shaped me into the person I am today. When I went into labor the first time, I didn’t expect to have a c-section. My birth story with my first son is a whole post by itself, so I will save that for another day. Fast forward, I had an emergency c-section and woke up to a new baby and no idea how recovery would be. My husband and I had signed up for prenatal classes, but go figure the ONE class we missed was the ONE CLASS on c-sections! I had no idea what I was getting into. With the birth of my second son, I had more of an idea of how to prepare and what to expect during the recovery process from past experience. That being said, each recovery process is EXTREMELY different. It took me much longer to recover with my first son than it did with my second. Maybe I was in better shape with my second son? I am not too sure why. I just know that I felt much better in the recovery process with my second c-section. Another side note, I am only 6 weeks postpartum at the moment, I still have a TON of recovery to do. I still have the dreaded c-section shelf and stretched out tummy. This time the “shelf and extra skin” is NOT as good as the first time, but I know that this too will get better with time. It took us 9 months to get here, give yourself AT LEAST 9 months to get back.
As I was thinking about the recovery process, I was also thinking about some things I wish someone would have told me before I went in! So I wrote the following 10 tips to help out anyone that is about to go through the c-section process or is currently going through it (I’m right there with you!). Some tips I would have truly benefited from!
#1 Expect Blood
There will be vaginal blood! I didn’t understand, “I had a c-section! Why am I still bleeding?” Well comedian Ali Wong explains this best…
“Nobody told me about all of the crazy s**t that comes out of you after you give birth. You know what happens after the baby comes out? You know what else exits? Her house. Her living room, her pillows, the Bob Marley poster. All the food that went bad in her refrigerator.”
Photo: Ken Woroner/Netflix
It is true. Everything that was inside still has to come out! There will be blood, a lot of it!
#2 Walk, Walk, Walk!
Maybe this is why I recovered faster with baby #2. I knew that the faster and more I walked, the better I would feel. I think the nurses thought I was crazy. A few hours after I came out of my second c-section I was already asking when I could get up to walk. I wanted to walk AS SOON as I was physically able to. They let me walk about 20 hours after my c-section. I have heard stories of people that were able to get up and walk even sooner. If I could have ,I would have. No matter how uncomfortable or scared you are to take those first steps, DO IT! I promise, you will feel better!
#3 It may Take What Seems Like FOREVER to Poop Again
This did not happen after my first c-section. I even went in the hospital! However, with my second c-section, it took me almost A WEEK to poop again! I was terrified to take that first postpartum poop and I was taking stool softeners like candy! The pain medication causes constipation and it is THE WORST! Well, at least it was for me! I am happy to report that all is well now and we are back to a normal flow of things! It will get better.
#4 Take Your Time With Lifting
You aren’t supposed to lift anything heavier than your baby! If this is not your first child, and you have another little at home, this will be so hard! I had such a hard time not being able to lift my son! Know that no matter how bad you want to lift, or do any of the things you have been put on restriction from, there is a reason why you are not supposed to do it! You need to heal! Even if you incision looks PERFECT, don’t do it! The inside is still healing and you need all the rest while you can!
#5 Drink A LOT of Water
There are so many reasons for this! Swelling and constipation are the main reasons though. You thought swelling at the end of pregnancy was bad? Well get ready to see your legs after your c-section! After all of the fluids being pumped through your body, your legs and feet will swell like you have never seen before! I wish I had a picture from my bottom half after my first section so you could see. I am sure I don’t have a picture because I was horrified and never wanted to remember looking like that!
#6 Wrap up Your Belly!
Some hospitals give a belly binder to put on after your c-section. I was lucky enough to have the hospital give me a belly binder and wrap me up before I took my first steps. I never got the “I feel like my insides almost fell out of my body” sensation that I hear other women have had. This might be due to having the belly binder on? I am not too sure, but I do know that the belly binder helps you do normal activities and with abdominal support when you need it most. I would not have survived without one, plus it helps shrink your uterus back up and it helps make your belly look a little smaller 🙂
Side note: You need to wean yourself off of the belly binder slowly. You need to work those abdominal muscles without the binder in order to strengthen them again. You might be sore, but you have to do it!
#7 Buy C-Section Panties
The C-Panty is life! I can’t say enough about them. I own three pairs and would have loved to own more. They have great compression to help shrink back your uterus and this cool little silicon piece that covers your c-section incision. It made me feel extra secure just because I had a little more coverage over my incision. It also helps with itching and the healing process. LIFE SAVER!
#8 Take the Pain Meds!
Take the pain medication as long as you need. Don’t let your pain meds lapse. I did that one or two times and I regretted it every single time. Set a timer on your phone, make your significant other remind you, do what you gotta do! It will make you feel better and there is no reason you should suffer or put yourself through pain. You will know when you are ready and feel like you can go without it.
#9 Don’t focus on how your tummy looks
I am one to talk! I am still worried about how my stomach looks after baby #2. I can tell you that my stomach looks a lot better 6 weeks postpartum than it did 2 weeks postpartum. After both c-sections I looked at myself in the mirror when I got home and I CRIED (the hospital didn’t have a mirror low enough for me to see my WHOLE body- Now I know why!)! I was devastated and couldn’t imagine living the rest of my life looking like that! I know it sounds vain, but it is honest. I kept asking my sweet husband for reassurance that my stomach would get better with time. He reassured me until the cows came home and I think he was exhausted from saying the same things 20 times a day. It does get better, it just takes time. Sometimes it takes a lot of time and work, but it will happen! I made a pretty good recovery from baby #1 and I am determined to make a good recovery from baby #2. It is just going to take time, dedication and hard work. I will never be back to my pre-baby body, but I know it will get better!
#10 Get some c-section friendly clothing
If you can, buy a few staple pieces for your wardrobe. Buy pieces you will feel comfortable and good about yourself in. You also want to think about clothing that will be comfortable on your incision while still flattering your post-baby body. I recommend items like maxi skirts and yoga pants. Motherhood Maternity now has these WONDERFUL “bounce-back” products. I love my “bounce-back” pieces for when I want to feel nice or I am going out. If you are planning on breastfeeding, you need to think about tops that will be easily accessible for you to nurse in as well! Do this before baby comes, you will be happy you were prepared!
Lastly, just REST! Rest is so important for not only your recovery, but also your well-being. Even if this isn’t your first baby, try to rest as much as possible! Dishes, laundry and all other housework can wait! Trust me, it will still be there for you when you are healed and ready! 🙂
I hope these tips are able to help you! Good luck on your recovery process <3 I would love to hear you share your tips as well! If you have any questions about ANYTHING, you can message me through one of my social media outlets. Congrats again!
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