C-section moms usually stay in the hospital from three to five days before going home. In this article we look at what you can do during that time to get the best start on your c-section recovery
You may feel groggy or even nauseous after the surgery, but make an effort to get up and go to the bathroom during the 24 hours after surgery. This will help you heal faster. When you first try to get up, it’s very important to move slowly and have someone’s support, because your wound is so new it will be painful and there is a risk of reopening it
Anything that puts pressure on the abdominal area will probably be painful at first, but you;ll feel a bit better day-by-day. Be sure to use your hands or a pillow to support your incision when you cough, sneeze, or laugh. All of these simple acts will be much more comfortable if wearing a belly binder. And if sneezing or laughing hurt, you get some idea what getting out of bed the first time will be like!
If you intend to breast feed, you can start post surgery in the recovery room. You will need to to nurse in the side-lying position or using the football hold, so there won’t be pressure on your incision, the nurses should be able to show you how to do this. Breastfeeding after a c-section is another challenge that can be much reduced by wearing a c section support belt. A binder after c section will also give some protection to your fresh incision when handling your baby.
Breastfeeding can be a bit more challenging after a c-section because of the pain from the healing incision. If you feel concerns or have any difficulty ask to see the lactation consultant as soon as possible. If for some reason the hospital doesn’t have a lactation consultant, ask for the nurse who’s the lactation expert. These women are there to help you, they want to help you so don’t be uncomfortable about asking.
During your time in hospital your doctor will come each day to see how you are and check that the incision is healing properly. It is likely you will feel numbness or soreness around the incision. As it heals the scar will be slightly raised, puffy, and darker than your natural skin tone. This will change over time and with our self massage program you can reduce future potential complications, as well as create a small smooth scar.
Our c-section recovery binder was specifically designed to be worn immediately post surgery to give your wound the support and enhanced healing effect from binding. Wearing it will reduce your pain and allow you to move with comfort and confidence, while also giving your incision a degree of protection
While you are still in the hospital take slow strolls, or if available, sit in a rocking chair. This will help to speed up healing by getting your circulation moving and help with the inevitable gas after abdominal surgery.
Pain is normal after the surgery and you will be provided with painkillers. Some women though find they leave them groggy an diminish from those first precious days of bonding with baby. Another concern some women have is the painkillers getting into their breast milk. The first few days of breastfeeding you aren’t yet providing breast milk for your baby but colostrum.
Binding is a very effective form of pain management and it’s use in c-section recovery will reduce or even eliminate the need for painkillers
Post surgery you will experience heavy bleeding. This happens because your uterus is shrinking down to its pre-pregnancy size. You will have a heavy flow of bright red blood for up to six weeks post-surgery. During this time do not use tampons. Use extra-absorbent menstrual pads or special post-delivery pads. Over time the bleeding will change color to pale pink or dark red, and then eventually to a yellowish or light color.
In the next article in this series we will look at you c-section recovery after you leave the hospital.
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