If you follow my blog I’ve written numerous articles on pregnancy and essentials for newborns. I’ve also written about my V-Bac experience. I haven’t really focused on my C-section as such because well, apart from being last minute and completely unexpected it was uneventful I guess. What you would expect from a C-section.
What I can talk about is, for me personally, how awful the recovery was. Not that anything went wrong, it didn’t, it was seamless, but rather because for me, it was HUGELY painful. Something that I would prefer not to go through again. So I was encourages to write a post on my personal recovery essentials, and what got me through this phase.
Apart from an incredibly supportive family, who helped me push through the emotional pain, there were a few items that made my life easier.
C-shaped nursing pillow
These nursing pillows are fantastic, not only do they help position your baby for better feeding, they reduce the pressure on your scar. They keep baby at breast level for proper latching and provide the perfect arm rest for mama’s tired arms. You will continue to use them as baby grows, for sitting support or tummy time. For me, they are my number one buy. Locally you can get “Snuggletime”from leading retailers.
After your surgery it literally feels like your insides could fall out with the slightest movement, getting up too quickly or shifting to fast, you can literally feel your entire inside cavity moving around (it’s the most bizarre feeling in the world). A belly binder can literally change your world. It supports your insides and encourages our muscles to join back together. In more traditional cultures they have been binding belly’s after birth for generations. The best one I have seen is from “Bellefit” and is especially developed for c-sections, but locally “Carriwell” have a Velcro closing band which I used after both my pregnancies.
Elastic Waist Pants
You have internal and external swelling. You have stitches. Enough said, you do NOT need to be fussing with zips or buttons. You need comfort.
I was so unprepared for the whole newborn/breastfeeding thing. I didn’t even own one button down shirt, apart from a pair of PJ’s. My mum and mother in law went out shopping and came back with about 5 button down shirts to make my life a whole lot easier. In the beginning stages when you are still battling with recovery and learning how to feed, a button down shirt is a lifesaver.
Post Natal Vitamins
If you thought you didn’t get enough sleep in the last month of pregnancy, you were sadly mistaken. Nothing prepares you for the lack of sleep you get when you are dealing with your first baby, and then you are expected to produce milk to feed this kid? Its some kind of sick joke. Enter post natal vitamins. They are crucial for your overall wellness and help with combating the fatigue. Keep taking those pre-natal vitamins and I swore by Vitaforce’s Schlehen Blackthorn Berry Elixir. It is the most magical thing for new a mum and you can make up some “jungle juice” to increase your milk supply.
Don’t be afraid to take them, particularly in your first week and as you move from hospital back to your home for the first few days. They have been prescribed for a reason and will aid you in recovery.
Ask for help – PLEASE. If you have family around do not be afraid to ask their help. That’s what family is there for. I was so blessed to have my mother and amazing mother in law both around to help me. The biggest thing was emotional support and cooking! You have to take care of a newborn, but with a c-section you also need to take care of YOU. Having family/ support around allows focus to be a little on you and takes some of the pressure of to allow you to recover properly.
Finally, take it easy on yourself. Take one day at a time and try to get help when it comes to chores and cooking, remember you aren’t allowed to lift anything heavier than your baby. You will need help getting in and out of bed and avoid sitting straight up when getting up. Sleep whenever baby is sleeping and focus on healing.