Blog post courtesy of Birth & Beyond Doula Services
Whether planned or emergent, recovering from abdominal surgery, like a cesarean section, is no joke (as you’ll find out the first time someone makes you laugh). It will be about 6 weeks before your incision heals but you’ll start feeling like your old self before that. Getting the rest and care you need will ensure your recovery is smooth. You will need extra support during this time.
Expect added value from visitors.
If your friends and family are not coming to help, they shouldn’t be coming over. They can wait to meet the baby. The last thing you need when recovering from a cesarean birth (or just birth!) is a house full of people you feel like you have to play hostess to. Many clients have us put together a chore list that visitors can choose from to earn snuggle time with the baby! I’d be happy to put one together for you.
It’s no fun to laugh, cough, sneeze, or throw up.
Pro Tip: I always recommend you keep a pillow within reach in every room of your house and in your vehicle. When you feel a cough or sneeze coming on, hold the pillow tightly against your incision. This will reduce the discomfort and prevent that “my stitches are going to rip apart!” feeling.
Have someone else do the driving.
It is recommended that you take a break from driving after your baby’s birth. It may be up to six weeks before you can comfortably manage to load your car seat and baby into the car. Ask your doctor when he/she suggests you begin driving again. In the meantime, we’re happy to help you run your errands. Uber can drive and we’ll carry the car seat.
Are you tired of being told to stay hydrated?
You need extra fluids to replace those that you lost during delivery and continue to lose if you are breastfeeding. Your body needs to be adequately hydrated to heal efficiently. Have your support people bring you water often and remind you to drink. With all of the postpartum body and new baby care stuff going on it can be easy to forget to stay hydrated.
Rest and relax.
It’s called postpartum recovery for a reason. You are recovering. Treat yourself that way. The housework can wait or be managed by someone else. Avoid heavy lifting and standing for long periods. Accept help offered and ask for help as needed. You’ll be your best self if you can care for you first!
Hire a Postpartum Doula
New parents need support after birth, both physically and emotionally. We can meet you at home when you arrive from the hospital. Get the rest you need, let us do the heavy lifting, light housekeeping, and more. Learn more about postpartum doula care and book a consultation today.