Updated: Jan 17
I have only ever had c-sections. I have had three to be exact. It wasn’t a choice. Over the past seven and a half years, I have definitely learned what helps you to recover physically and mentally from a c-section. Although this is for all mamas who are recovering from a c-section, there is a note for mothers who had to have a c-section but left the hospital empty handed. If you know someone who has experienced the loss of a baby or has had a premature baby and is recovering from a c-section, please share this with them!
Tip #1: Invest in Always Discreet Boutique, Incontinence & Postpartum Underwear
These were a lifesaver. Everyone raves about those mesh panties the hospital gives you, but it only takes once for them to stick to your incision, and you’ll never want to lay eyes on them again. Plus, I really don’t like readjusting my pad when it gets all cattywampus. Trust me! You NEED them.
Tip #2: Nightgowns
I loved breast feeding nightgowns for postpartum. Again, you really won’t want anything touching your incision, and you won’t be able to bend over to pull up pants.
Tip #3: HELP!
Have one person designated to helping you, Mama! Everyone is going to want to take care of your new bundle of joy, and who can blame them, but someone is going to need to help you! You will need help for the first week, at least. It will be hard for you to get up, down, and all around! Someone will need to lend a hand or two! Also, speaking of help, make sure you ask for it when you need it! Most people won’t know unless you ask, and that goes for postpartum depression, as well! If you notice signs before you leave the hospital, talk to your doctor!
Tip #4: Take your meds!
C-section incisions hurt. Man, what an understatement, but luckily your doctor should prescribe you some great medication to ease the pain. Be consistent with them. Take them as prescribed and set alarms if you have to! It takes time for them to build up so if you skip a dose, you will pay for it. I used a pill organizer to help remind me, and I took it with me everywhere. I promise, you’ll thank me later!
Tip #5: Listen to your nurse!
When you are at the hospital before you go home, they will give you a trillion sheets of paper, and they will go over it with you. I highly suggest listening to your nurse, and have someone there to listen with you incase you forget something! They are going to tell you A LOT of important things like how to clean your incision, when to take your prescriptions, and how much rest you should be getting versus how often you should get up and walk. Ask them anything! They are so knowledgeable and super helpful!
Tip #6: Keep a journal! You just had a baby or babies, which means your hormones are wakadoodle. It is a fact. Accept it for the next 6 months to a year postpartum! Keeping a journal during this time will be such a blessing later! Not only does it help you express all of those thoughts you feel like absolutley no one will understand, but it is a great way to document all of the newness during this season! You’ll have epiphanies about motherhood and life, at least I know I did! I look back now and read my perspective from seven years ago, and marvel at all of the growth I made during a season that rarely felt like I was making progress.
Tip #7: Give yourself some grace, please! I know you know this, but you just had a baby. Your body made a human, they sliced you open, took the baby out, stitched and glued you back together, and now you are responsible for raising this new human... like immediately. My second child was brought into recovery and laid on my chest and it was the best moment ever, but I am not going to lie to you... I could barely hold my eyes open, and I itched all over. I felt like a “bad” mom for thinking that way, but I gave myself grace, and you should too! You won’t fit into your favorite jeans right away and let’s be real... probably won’t for at least 10 weeks, or if you are like me MORE than 10 weeks. You know what though? You are not supposed to. Don’t be so hard on yourself! Love where you are! Thank your body for working so hard to bring that beautiful blessing to you and your family! The only person that expects you to “bounce” back is you. If there is someone putting pressure on you, tell them I said to go kick rocks! Give yourself grace, please!
Tip #8: Drink water! I know! I know! Its always the last thing I want to hear, too! Its true though! Drink a gallon a day if you can! Your body lost a lot of blood. It is working overtime to replenish your blood volume, and also heal an unnatural wound. You need the water! Drink!
Tip #9: Soak it up, sister! Everyone says it, which means that it’s true. Soak it up! Every yawn, adorable sneeze, grin (even if it is gas), and finger squeeze is a sign that you did it. You are incredible, and immensely blessed to love and be loved! Every sleepless night, and poopy diaper is a reminder that they need you for this season, and although the days seem to drag, the years fly by in a blink. So, sister soak it up!
If you are a mother recovering from a c-section and your baby was stillborn, hear my heart. You are far more amazing than most women I know! You are incredibly strong and should be beyond proud of yourself! You are loved beyond measure, and your pain is unlike any other. You are not alone, and I surround you with prayers of peace and comfort! You do not have to hide your heartbreak and disappointment from anyone EVER! Feel the feelings! Let them out! Seek help and talk to someone, when you are ready! I am here for you. I have walked this road, and it is lonely even when you are surrounded by the biggest and best community on earth. Reach out to me! I will always listen! Allow yourself to greive the loss of a child you planned to raise, but instead had to bury. Grieve the dreams and plans for the future. You are my hero! Don’t you give up! Don’t you feel guilty! This is not your fault, and there is nothing that you did wrong to deserve this. You are not being punished. This is not karma! Hold your head up, and know you are not a failure! You are an inspiration! May God bless you and keep you! May He comfort you and give you peace!
If you are going home from the hospital, and your baby is still in the NICU, you are also my hero! I too have walked this extremely exhausting road! You hold your head up! This is not your fault, and you are not a failure! You are blessed beyond measure! Your baby is a strong tiny fighter! It made me proud to know my preemie fought hard to survive, and against all odds, she is magnificent! Hold onto hope with all of your might! My granddaddy always said, “Where there is life, there is hope!” This is a season! This too shall pass! You will take your baby home, and you will rejoice all the more, and never take their life for granted! Lean on your loved ones for support, and do not be afraid to seek help!