When you get home from the hospital your c-section recovery is really just beginning. For those who know they are having a c-section it is prudent to plan ahead and set up at home to best assist your recovery from cesarean delivery. In this article we look at what to do and what to avoid doing once you get home. Of course we recommend you binding your belly with our c-section recovery binder
You have just had major abdominal surgery, in addition you have the needs and requirements of a new baby. As such you mustn’t expect, or be expected to just pick up life as it was. For at least 4 – 6 weeks you should avoid all but light housework, any kind of strenuous activity and heavy lifting. The general rule is to not lift anything heavier than your baby for the first two months. If your bleeding increases, it can be an indication that you are doing too much.
How is anything going to get done you are probably asking? Hopefully you will get offers of help, so say yes to them and think ahead to what people can do – shopping for groceries (or stock up as much as possible before delivery), doing laundry, cooking meals are just a few basics to get covered. If you already have children, plan ahead for them too, extra play dates on weekends and after school for example will be fun for them and less stress for you.
If people don’t offer help, it’s time to put yourself forward and ask for it from your partner, parents, in-laws, and friends. Often people are more than happy to help out, start a meal wheel and run errands. The more people you ask the less there is for anyone person to take on. If you still do not have enough support, hire paid help if you can afford it, at least for the first week or so, at least for a couple of hours a day.
Arranging your home ahead of time can help greatly with your physical limitations. Set up the baby changing station and both baby and your clothes near you, to avoid unnecessary moving around. Avoid going up and down the stairs as much as possible as it may not be good for your wound, it is best to avoid or minimize such movements for several months.
Just as with other major surgeries you should not take baths, only showers, until your wound is healed and you are no longer experiencing vaginal bleeding (up to six weeks). It is best to avoid exercise beyond walking, until your doctor says you are ready for it. The same goes for sex, and don’t forget to discuss birth control with your partner and doctor.
You were probably given a stool softener in hospital, now at home drink plenty of fluids to avoid constipation. Especially if you are breastfeeding, eat simple and nutritious meals. This is important for your rejuvenation and to promote healing.
While it’s important to get plenty of rest, you will get much benefit from taken regular walks. Walking is a low impact exercise that will help assist your c-section recovery by getting your blood and lymph moving. Even with this it’s better to ere on the side of caution and pay attention to how your body is feeling. The golden rule for getting the rest that you need is to sleep when baby does. Also important in getting enough rest is to limit visitors, especially in theÂ first few weeks.
Avoid driving for as long as possible. Lifting baby into a car and strapping into a carrier can be awkward at he best of times and you risk tearing to do it soon after a c-section. In addition driving can sometimes require twisting your body and sudden movements, which also can be responsible for opening a new c-section incision.
Other articles in this series…