I recently wrote about my unplanned C-section recently on here, and today I wanted to share a few tips on how I had a good recovery from the surgery. Remember – your body is recovering from major surgery, as well as adjusting to caring for a newborn, so have realistic expectations! It will take a week or two to feel some semblance of normalcy.
1. Stay on top of your meds
For me, it was most important that I took the pain medications that were prescribed to me as routinely as possible. In my hospital, I had to request the medicines each time I was due for one- my nurse didn’t come in to offer them to me. I was on a 4 hour and 6 hour schedule, depending on the medication. I found the easiest way to stay on this was to set an alarm in my phone.
Oh, and if you are offered a stool softener like Colace, you should strongly consider taking it. It made my life much easier.
2. Get up and move as soon as you feel able
There’s a strong chance you’ll feel like you’ve been hit by a truck. It’s a little brutal. But it’s important to get out of bed and walk the hall or take a shower as soon as you feel ready. My nurses encouraged me to move as often as I could- and I definitely think it helped me feel better sooner.
For a certain period of time, probably about 12-24 hours after your surgery is complete, you will not be permitted to eat. But once you are able to, make sure you get some food in your system! If you can’t stomach the hospital food, ask a visitor to bring you something you prefer (if your hospital allows outside food). But you’ll need your strength and energy- so make sure you eat three solid meals.
As often as you can, try to get some rest. Between caring for your newborn and welcoming excited visitors, you’ll be busy. But never feel guilty for asking a visitor if you can have some quiet time to rest! Your body has been through a lot in a very short period of time. Rest = healing.
5. Keep your incision clean and dry
You’ll likely be given specific instructions for caring for your incision. Be sure to follow your doctor and nurses’ orders. If you’re like me, and have never had to care for an incision before, it will seem uncomfortable to touch and handle. But you’ll want to keep it clean and dry to avoid an infection. Oh, and with that said- loose clothing is your friend.
6. Take it easy
In the hospital and especially once you get home, don’t push yourself too hard. You’ll likely be given strict instructions- don’t carry anything heavier than the baby, no steps, etc. Do your best with that. In my home, the bathroom is on the second floor so I had no choice but to go up the stairs. I tried to spend the majority of my day upstairs and only take the stairs once or twice a day- and slowly. Don’t push too hard! Listen to your body. You will heal in time.
7. Get help
Perhaps the most important piece of advice- get help, however you can. Having another set of hands and eyes will help you get through those earlier days. Let someone else run to the grocery store, switch the laundry, cook you dinner, and care for any older children you may have. Your biggest priorities the first weeks are to care for your newborn and take care of yourself. Everything else needs to temporarily take a back seat.
Have anything you’d add to this list? Leave a comment below to share with our readers!