Baby Hints & Tips

Advice for Cesarean Section Recovery

Advice for Cesarean Section RecoveryMy friend has just gone through a 23 hour labour resulting in an emergency Cesarean. Her n bub are fine. I’ve never had a c-section so I don’t know what advice to give her about healing and in general getting back to normal everyday life, can anyone give me some advice to give her?

Read here about how mums knew if they were overdoing it post c-section

  •  Get up and move asap, it hurts at first but she really needs to move (and rest heaps) don’t lift anything heavier then bub.   Meg
  •  Take all the meds they offer they allow you to heal faster, get up ASAP and move around gently but walk tall, don’t hunch over, take baby for a walk in the crib around the ward. I was feeling pretty good at two weeks this is what my obs suggested to me and I followed, even sitting up in bed rather than laying down first day. Can be awkward/ sore with catheter have a shower once it is out she will feel so much better. Wear clothes that won’t grab on the cut/ stitches granny undies which are cotton and breathe. Congrats and good luck I was driving at 3 weeks just local but felt ok and able to stop in a hurry.   Belinda
  •  Keep moving but not to push herself too hard rest when needed, accept help when offered not to lift anything to heavy keep an eye on surgery area make sure it doesn’t get infected…. it will feel numb and funny for ages sometimes 12 mths or more but feeling will come back eventually.   Tammy
  •  Take her some big bad ass granny undies, she doesn’t want anything over the wound AND take her more maternity pads to pop on the inside as you don’t want to bump it either.    Michelle
  •  She will be super exhausted and maybe in the next few days just a visit from you and a chat about how she is feeling and about the birth would be good. I found it better to release what i was feelings rather than bottle it up. Check she has some granny undies lol.. Ones that won’t rub on the scar. Maybe her washing and dinners if she doesn’t have family close by. Also I wish I bought them last time get her maybe to buy some SRC recovery pants they are great for recovery and help everything go back nicely. Mostly just your support whether by phone and in person its a massive change first time round and then trying to recover from surgery… hope she feels better soon.    Sonya
  •  Apart from everything everyone else has already mentioned, make sure she is ok emotionally/mentally. Having a c-section can be hard for some to deal with especially after labouring. Let her know it’s ok to feel upset and be there for her if she needs to talk.    Ashleigh
  •  Keep on top of the meds even if she feels fine. Take it easy, I am 12 months post c-section and can hardly see scar.    Rachael
  •  Up and move around even if its slow walking around the hospital then at home. She will know what she is capable of doing and not doing everyone is different I was up and about straight away I hardly had any pain I did find it hard to get dressed as in pants so found nice loose dresses perfect. Keep area dry at all times until it heals. Coughing and sneezing maybe hard but found hugging a pillow helps. I found buying cheap pads fold in half then put over it so helps with both any sweating and so undies dont rub and irritate the cut best advice I was give.   Kylie
  •  Congrats to your friend on the arrival of her bub. I would tell her take things slowly and one day at a time. C-section usually has a 6 week recovery time and takes a while to feel back to normal. Eating well and drinking enough water will help her prevent constipation which can happen when taking painkillers after c-section. Doing small walks up the ward will be important in the early days for circulation and for getting the body moving again. Also keeping the wound clean and dry will help prevent any infection.    Angela
  •  Yes get up and move but no lifting. if she needs to get down and pick something up, bend with the knees. When coughing or sneezing, I found holding a cushion on my belly helped.    Kristy
  •  I would really suggest your friend get onto metamucil or something to help with bowel movements. The good ol bowel can be pretty sluggish even after a c-section, making it really hard to crap and prone to piles! Just tell her not to overdo things and make sure she has a lie down every day for at least a fortnight. Keep opsite on the wound and covered and then replace in a fortnight. Take pain meds if in pain. You heal pretty quick when you’re resting.    Renee
  •  Get up and moving about as soon as she can.    Lisa
  •  And try sleep lots helps with the healing.   Belinda
  •  I’ve had 2 Caesars first by emergency after 12 hours of labour and it took a good 6 weeks before I could start to get around comfortably! Take it easy get as much sleep as possible and listen to your body! I put a nice big pad along the cut to stop it rubbing and as soon as the glue comes off put micro pore tape along it for as long as you can as it keeps the wound flat and reduces scaring. The physio also got me to wear a tubular bandage around my belly which really helped to support it.   Kelly
  •  It’s really hard picking things up off the floor! I had to kick things around into piles ready for the next able bodied person to pick up or try do it with my feet! It’s also really hard reaching up so hanging washing on the line would probably be appreciated.   Erin
  •  I’ve done both and while I prefer a vaginal delivery (even with episiotomy) I was surprised how fine I was with the c-section. It was nowhere near as bad as i had read! Best advice would be learn how to sit and stand properly and dont let your friend overdo it too soon.   Julie
  •  Get a good tummy support band- usually can ask for one from the hospitals physio if she can have one. A rolled up towel near the scar will work also when get out of bed, but the tummy sup is better. Try to get a lot of exercise but don’t overdo it. No heavy stuff though, or too much bending. When on the toilet lean forwards with your feet going towards the tippee toes & use that towel if doing a poo? She may be constipated first few days-offer a laxative.  I was too embarrassed to ask for toilet help even from my partner. And I had plenty walking as my bub got tests then shifted to nicu ward so I was constantly walking the halls up down from maternity-nicu. Every 2hrs for 1.5 wks.   Nellie
  •  Get some recovery pants helps to hold it all in.   Kristy
  •  Cooking food for a new mum is always very helpful, but after a c-section if is awesome if someone hangs some washing out and does some vaccuming as you can’t do these kind of things. Also be a listening friend as she is bound to have a lot of emotions and maybe feeling ripped off to have ended her long labour in a c-section. Good on you for being such a great friend!    Kristin
  •  Every day gets better and easier! By the 6th day after I was off all pain killers and feeling really good. By week 2 I was walking lo in the pram.  Laughing and coughing hurts!! Hold tummy when does to do either.  Get big granny undies that go up over your belly button, wear dresses or skirts up high so wound is not irritated.  Use hair dryer to dry wound after shower. Ask for help- even just to get in and out of bed to start with (I couldn’t bend and needed to ask for help putting my undies on first few days. ) I found hardest part was moving around in bed, getting out of bed and the first couple of minutes once you get up but after that feels much better.  Walk around the ward if still hospital as much as possible (short bursts and rest in between)  Some people get down about having to have a c section- she has had a rougher time than most having endured a long labour then a c sect. Make sure she knows she did a great job and mum and bub are safe which is the most important thing!! all the best x    Sarah
  •  I had an emergency c section following 12 hours of labour. I had the c section at 8pm and was on my feet the following morning. The pain is bearable, but keep up the painkillers they give to you. I also wore a support bandage for the first 6 weeks – best thing I ever did! I found eating well, keeping up fluids and getting sleep also assisted my recovery. I drove 10 days post surgery.    Cathy
  •  Keep walking slowly and stand straight i had same time frame of labour with my first and elective with second best advise i ever received.   Christine
  •  The best thing I found with mine was the hospital gave me a belly band. It was just one of those cream colour compression bands people use for strains but it went right around my belly and reduced the pain and heavy feeling immediately. I wore it non stop for at least 6 weeks. I then bought a belly bandit thinking it would be awesome but found it so uncomfortable that I went back to the free hospital band.    Bec
  •  Holding a pillow on tummy when coughing or sneezing helped a lot. Move as much as possible but don’t over do it. No lifting!!!! Besides bub. I was told not to drive for a few weeks. Not a lot you can do to heal any faster just rest and move about when you can. Keep the area clean too.    Brooke
  •  She will know her own body but get up and walk around as much as possible it helps recover so much faster then if u don’t.    Jacinta
  •  I had emergency cesarean 4 weeks ago for my boy. Make sure she asks for help and don’t be afraid to ask for pain relief! I got very constipated though and had to ask for something to make me go and ordered pear juice with meals. Coughing/Straining not good, still painful 4 weeks down the track. No probs with suture line just let it be don’t let your undies rub. It gets better each day expect the day 3/4 downer day where ur very emotional and feel useless it’s normal – hormones to do with milk production!! Feel free to pm if u want any more info.   Kristie
  •  My personal experience with 4 Caesars was to rest as much as you can for first 4-6 weeks. I felt fine within 8-10 days but most important thing is to not vacuum, lift heavy things and even hang out too much washing. It is major abdominal surgery so does take time to heal inside. I did do too much after my 4th and ended up ripping stitches inside and that was extremely painful. So sticking to the no lifting anything heavier than bubs for 6 weeks is very important, even if you feel fine, the body is still healing inside.   Peta
  •  I think my OB was really good with the cut and stitches, etc as I was only in a little bit of discomfort for a of days. Best thing that u can do is not push yourself. Going for a slow walk will help with the getting out of the house craze that will happen. Offer help with the little things like doing dishes, bringing a meal over…… It’s the little things that are always handy to have done!!    Kelly
  •  I was in the same boat almost 8 weeks ago… My advice is to do what you can, in terms of walking around the house and doing things for bub and any other small tasks around the house.. I was told NO DRIVING OR HANGING WASHING for at least 4-6 weeks.. Was back driving 3 weeks after and now back to hanging washing out and going on walks as exercise.. Hubby helped me out with showering/dressing as it was very tricky same with getting out of bed once home from hospital… Within the week i wasnt as sore and had to remind myself to take it easy.. Dont forget to ask for help.. The more help the easier it makes things.. I flew from SA to QLD 6 days after i had bub.. To be honest, think i got lucky..   Kylie
  •  I recommend getting a belly band that will keep her belly in place particularly if she is a side sleeper. The Physio should be able to give her one. She needs all the help she can get and she basically needs to look after herself and bub and that is all. Lots of pelvic clenches to get up and move.    Rosealie
  •  Just a couple of wee things to add to the great advice already given, I found sleeping more or less upright with lots of pillows really helped the pain and discomfort at night and made it far easier to get out of bed for the night feeds, could kind of just swivel round and leverage myself up. Also once the scar starts to heal a silicon gel sheet like Scar fx works wonders, stops the scar becoming raised and itchy (plus can really help with the appearance of the scar in the long run which will be the last thing on her mind at the moment but might be a consideration in a few weeks time). Main thing is just not to rush it or try to do too much too quickly, it’s pretty major surgery and it takes a while to fully recover. I had mine after 30 plus hours of labour 12 weeks ago.    Kirsty
  •  I also had an emergency c section after a long labor. For recovery I found pain relief keep some nurofen or similar handy. Reduce what your friend lifts & does for the 1st month at least. I also found constipation after an issue so plenty of fibre in her diet will help. And just rest as much as possible.   Lucy
  •  Keep up the pain meds to keep moving but safely. Definitely no floor bending or above shoulder ( hanging washing). You want each internal layer healing properly first go to assist with any future pregnancies. Remember it is major abdominal surgery. Emotionally be supportive as she may be saddened to not deliver pv. Xxx    Gabrielle
  •  Walking is painful but has to be done. I made the mistake of hunching over when walking as was so sore to stand up straight and then I ended up with back pain as well. I also tried to limit my meds that were given. Another big mistake. Take all meds as they really do make a difference. For a week or two I used a pad between my scar and underwear to protect the scar from my clothes. Roll over on your side when getting out of bed so not to hurt tummy muscles. Plus all other tips listed above Just be there to lend a hand, especially with shopping and going out in general as no driving for six weeks.   Joanne
  •  Take all the pain relief offered and keep it up at home. The hospital physiology recommended a belly bandage, kinda like shape wear for your belly and that was fantastic. You can also just buy the shape wear shorts to go over the top.   Kat
  •  Had 4 csection. Number 1 was an emergency csection. Pain relief is essential didn’t keep it up properly with number 1 made a huge difference to recovery with number 2. Pain control is the key element to get you moving which helps recovery. Patience and accepting all help is great!    Sandie
  •  Wear high waist knickers, leggings, loose tops – anything else rubs the scar. And continue to take it easy even if she feels good – i felt great 3w post section, and pushed myself too far and the scar opened slightly making the whole recovery much longer. Hope she’s feeling ok and enjoying these first few weeks! Xxx    Natalie
  •  Take it easy, don’t be ashamed to accept help. Doing less reduces how long it takes to heal. If it hurts lye down and rest.   Robin
  •  With my c section I got infected. Clean with water, and I found laying under the fan until it dried was good, then cheap pads and bandage tape was good. I cut the pads in half as a whole one wasn’t necessary   Tamara
  •  A c section is a slow recovery. I only had one 10 weeks ago. The main thing to remind her is that she will get better with time each day is a little more mobile and able to do things. Tell her not to push herself in the 6 recovery weeks its not worth doing more damage. Keep up the meds too they help. Organise help for the first 2-3 weeks at home that helped me.   Kristy
  •  After having 2 c-sections myself, I would say to get someone to come to the house once a week and clean/ tidy up.. Floors/bathrooms/hanging washing etc is an invaluable help.   Melanie

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  1. Bree says:

    As well as what all the other ladies have mentioned about getting up and moving ASAP, and having a shower as soon as that catherder is out, and taking the pain relief as it is due – especially whilst in hospital.
    Definitely make sure she is okay emotionally. I had a similar labour experience as your friend and had the baby blues BAD, it started on day 3 and only lasted about 5 days but I would cry at the drop of a hat and just felt ‘down’ in general. Having family and friends around to talk to definitely helped.
    Using a maternity pad tucked into your underwear helped for a bit of padding along the suture line.
    Also make sure she has comfy clothes to wear, I was lucky as it was the middle of summer so I just lived in loose maxi dresses so I didn’t have anything anywhere near the suture line.
    If she doesn’t have a husband or partner around, or maybe has one that isn’t very domestically inclined definitely help with the washing and dishes etc, I felt more relaxed knowing my partner was taking care of all of that.
    Possibly help her sort through her gifts, we had so many lovely thoughtful gifts from people after our babies arrival which included lots of clothes and blankets, as we washed everything prior to our bubs arrival it was daunting coming home to bags and bags of now washing – as well as all the washing created in hospital.
    Maybe make a few freezable meals – we had lasagna brought around to us which was great as we ate it for tea that night and froze the rest in single portions in takeaway containers you can get from the supermarket – very handy to have in freezer, even for a couple of weeks down the track and cut up veggies for her and put into a glad bag in the fridge, they will last a while and so easy to just have to steam them – if not just buy those frozen single portion veggies steam bags or just some easy sides to go with meals.
    And lastly just encourage her to rest up, I started to feel really good around week 3/4 and started going out to the shops for longer periods of time and started trying to do more around the house. I did notice on the days that I was on my feet more or doing more than I possibly should have that my post baby bleed became a lot heavier and brighter in colour (sorry if this is too much information) – but just remind her even though she is feeling good if it is still within the first 6 weeks she is still in the recovery period.

  2. Alice says:

    Get your hands on some SRC Health Recovery Shorts! They are amazing! Also Belly Bandit have a great super soft Bamboo wrap that helps! http://www.survivalsister.com.au sells both as well as a stack of other Postpartum Recovery, Pregnancy and Breast Care products. I think they are the only place that stocks both online.

  3. Netty says:

    My doctor gave me a belt to hold my stomach in. Keep moving.

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