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So chances are if you’re reading this post you’re either scheduled for a c-section already, concerned that there is a high chance you will be; or you’re just doing what I wish I had done and planning for the unexpected.
All in all let me start by saying – it will be okay. Take a deep breath because I can promise you medicine has come such a long ways from the horror stories we hear from our mothers and grand mothers who probably had theirs 20+ years ago.
This post is primarily advice and helpful tips to know before the big day. If you’re more interested in the aftermath and days following, you can read about my experience [HERE].
I think the biggest piece of advice I can give before the baby arrives is to remember that the baby will not know you’re body was just cut into and needs to rest and heal. They will require just as much time and attention as they would if you had them naturally. My point to this is:
PLAN FOR IT
I chose to breastfeed and my husband was right back to work a couple of days after Bradley was born which meant childcare – and the night shifts – were on me. Luckily we had already set up a twin bed in the nursery so I didn’t have to move too much to get Bradley every couple of hours. I also used pillows to prop myself as far upright as I could and yet still be able to sleep.
Which leads me to tip #2: PILLOWS
Make sure you bring at least 1 pillow with your for comfort on the drive home. Chances are the hospital will be able to offer as many pillows as you request and/or require for comfort during your stay. Pillows will be your best friend. Despite having had your ab muscles stretched thin and not utilizing them for months; a c-section requires your abs to be cut apart in order to get through to baby. The ability to sit up and hold youself up will be difficult. Having all the extra pillows will take off some of that strain from your body.
Tip# 3 – PAIN MEDS -> TAKE THEM!
Now is not the time to go holistic or try to be a tough-ass. If you make sure the DR and nurses are aware of your intent to breastfeed (if you choose to do so) they will only give you pain medication that is safe for you and your baby.
I am not one to advocate taking pain killers for any little aches or pains in general. However, after having my c-section, those pain meds helped IMMENSELY in handling life the following two weeks. I would say 1.5 – 2 weeks after having Bradley, I was completely off of all medication.
Like I said, baby is still going to need you every couple of hours (at least) so while I believe in listening to your body and it’s limitations.. don’t make life harder than it has to be.
Tip# 4 – STRETCHY WAIST BANDS
Your body is going through a lot of quick changes which will now include a new incision. If you’re like me and get paranoid over things like that (touching a wound) I highly suggest some loose fitting waistbands on your clothes. Think sweats, pj bottoms, skirts, etc. Something that won’t be super tight over that area.
To be completely honest, I lived in my bathrobe for 2 weeks because between nursing every couple of hours and not wanting anything to touch – let alone rub – the area it just wasn’t worth my energy to get dressed (yes I did still shower regularly and do laundry)
Tip#5 – PLAN FOR BABY AS USUAL IN ADDITION TO THE PREVIOUS TIPS
At the end of all this, you will still have a baby that needs caring for and a household that needs tending to. If you’re not living near any friends or family members that can help you out then plan for it. Stock up on essentials. Create your stations (diaper changing, breastfeeding, etc). Meal plan and make freezer meals. have snacks on hand for grab & go.
Having a C-section can be a scary thought. I went into the hospital DETERMINED to birth naturally. After having that process completely flip-flop on me, I’ve come to accept the process and am entirely content having the rest of my babies via C-section. I will gladly take the surgery if it means my baby will make it safely into the world.
PS. Since I was already opened up during the procedure, my doctor was able to correct my Diastasis Recti – so that was an unexpected plus 🙂