Important Tips for Your C-Section Recovery
Whether your C-section was unexpected or planned in advance, you’ve just undergone major abdominal surgery. And, though C-sections are fairly common and account for over 30% of all births in the country, that doesn’t make it any less serious or make your recovery any easier. It’s incredibly important to acknowledge the extent of this surgery and provide yourself with the necessary rest and care to recover, even as you adjust to having your new baby. Here are a few tips to help you to recover more quickly from your C-section.
Get the Rest You Need
First and foremost, it’s incredibly important that you get the rest that you need to recover. Take things very slowly for the first week after your C-section to avoid ripping your stitches. This may mean asking for assistance with even the little things, like sitting up from a supine position. You should avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby as well. If any activity strains or causes pain at the site of your incision, stop right away and ask for help.
We strongly advise enlisting extra help around the house after you’ve had a C-section. Ask friends and family to help care for other kids (especially toddlers who may be asking you to pick them up), assist with household chores, and provide meals for your family for a couple of weeks. Get as much rest as you can during this time.
Take Short Walks
Though rest is incredibly important, you should also be taking regular, short walks whenever you can. This can be as brief as walking from one end of your house to the other. What matters is that you encourage blood flow in your legs, as the risk of developing a blood clot in the legs is quite high after a C-section.
If you’re genuinely unable to get up and walk, even with assistance, your doctor may provide you with special cuffs that will compress the legs to encourage blood flow, or they might recommend wearing compression stockings for this purpose. You might also ask your partner or another family member to rub your legs occasionally to keep the blood moving in your lower extremities. Talk to your doctor about what you can do to prevent clots after a C-section before taking any of these measures, however.
Nobody wants to talk about it, but constipation is a serious issue post-partem. And for those who have had C-section straining your abdominal muscles due to constipation can result in stitches popping or tearing. Talk to your doctor about taking a stool softener, and eat as many high-fiber foods as you can, such as prunes, to encourage things to get moving again.
Care for the Incision Site
When caring for a new baby, it’s easy to forget to care for yourself. However, it’s incredibly important that you properly care for the surgical wound to prevent infection. Your doctor will provide detailed post-surgery care instructions; you’ll also receive regular checks and care for the incision for the 2 to 4 days that you are in the hospital.
However, once you return home, it is generally recommended that you try to keep the wound clean and dry. While it’s okay to get it slightly wet when cleaning the incision, you should avoid soaking it. If you need wound care products or moisture barrier bandages for your surgical wound, contact a nearby Medical Xpress location and ask about what items we have in stock. We will typically have a significant inventory available.
Most surgeons will use dissolvable stitches so you don’t have to worry about having them removed. Be sure to make it to any follow-up appointments your doctor schedules so they can check your incision site and ensure it’s healing properly.
Manage Pain as Needed
Pain levels will vary from one person to another. While some new mothers recover from their C-section with nothing more than extra-strength acetaminophen, others require heavier pain medications prescribed by the hospital. Whatever you need for your pain, be sure to stay on top of it and take doses regularly, rather than waiting until the pain become debilitating; remember, the medication will take a little while to take effect, so you want to ensure that you’re taking the proper dosage before the pain becomes unmanageable.
You should also utilize other tactics to manage your pain as you see fit, whether that be through meditation or simple rest. Take whatever steps you need to minimize your pain as you recover.
If you need any items to help care for your C-section incision or to make your recovery more comfortable, contact Medical Xpress or Arlington Medical Supply. We carry everything from wound care items to wedge-shaped pillows that can help prop you in a more comfortable position in bed. Contact us or stop by one of our locations today.