When I was pregnant with my daughter, I signed my husband and me up for all the classes that our hospital offered. Birth, breastfeeding, newborn care…you name it, we were there.
The only one we missed was the night they discussed c-sections during our 8-week long birth class.
But I mean, no big deal, right? The baby was head down and LOW. I have what some may call “child-bearing hips”. We didn’t need to know all the things about c-sections. I was going to give birth the good ole fashioned way.
Haha. Ha. Ha. Ha.
Fast forward to the morning my daughter was born and I was googling “C-section recovery” on my phone. Because that was the road we were headed down and I was pretty much driving blind.
Now that I have the gift of hindsight, I can look back and realize that there were 5 things that I could not have lived without during my recovery:
- Belly Binder – my hospital provided this but you can also get one off of Amazon. This thing was SO GREAT. When they put it on me in the hospital my reaction was something like “Where has this BEEN all my life??” After you’ve had major abdominal surgery you need something to help support everything – this was key.
- Boppy (or any small pillow) -I loved my boppy pillow. Yes, it was great as a positioner for breastfeeding (more on my breastfeeding must-haves here). But it was also nice to prop the baby on that and not have her resting on my incision. I also used it to brace my stomach when I sneezed, coughed, or laughed. Because yes, you will need some support to do all of those things for a little while. “Please warn me before you say anything funny so I can grab a pillow” – an actual quote from me while I was recovering.
- Granny Panties – Let me let you in on a little secret, no one has ever accused recovery from childbirth of being a glamorous experience. Granny panties. You need them. Get thee to Wal-Mart and getcha some. Or hoard the mesh panties they give you at the hospital. Either way, get something that will sit high enough that it won’t apply any pressure to your incision. Now is not the time for glamorous underpants.
- Bedside Bassinet – You will want something that is about the same height as your bed, that is lightweight, and that is just easy to get baby in & out of. I just didn’t want to mess with putting the baby in a crib in those first few weeks of recovery.
- Hair Dryer – Not for your hair, silly. For your incision. Duh. If you are lucky enough to be taking a shower then you need to make sure to keep that incision nice & dry. Don’t apply soap directly to it, just let water/soap run over it. And then after you towel off, put your hairdryer on cool & low and get it very, very dry. TMI alert -the ONE TIME I forgot to do this I ended up with an infection. Learn from my mistakes, don’t let this be you.
Final thoughts – don’t let the c-section get you down. This is another post entirely, but if you had an emergency c-section as I did, chances are you’re a little shaken up by it. That is okay. Give yourself some grace and remember that you absolutely gave birth to that tiny perfect human. Good work, momma. You did it.
What about you? What are your post-c-section must-haves? Do you have any advice for mommas that find themselves recovering from an unplanned cesarean?