Hey friends! A few weeks ago I asked my IG followers to share their experience with C-section recovery, and also any “Tips and Tricks” they knew. Here’s a round up for you!
“I think I had a relatively easy recovery. I had expected to be in agony for a few weeks but after a few days I was ready to be out and about. I only ever took ibuprofen for the pain. I forced myself to not walk, do stairs, etc too much in the first 2-3 weeks so I didn’t overdo it and sideline myself for longer! I could always tell when I did too much, because I’d have more bleeding after it had stopped. [Of note, this was spotting and not heavy bleeding!]”
“I had an unplanned c-section in September. I went from running the morning I went into labor to needing help getting out of bed after the surgery. The physical comeback has been hard. I still don’t feel like my core strength is near what it was before, but the hardest part was absolutely the mental aspect of coming back. I really struggled with 6 weeks of no running, and pushed it too far with walking several times because I was impatient.”
“This might sound random, but the actual incision on your uterus is higher than the incision you can see externally; so it can hurt higher than the scar point. And it's not fun when your infant kicks that area!”
“So I think the biggest thing for me was having noooo core strength after it! Like getting out of bed and even out of a chair was so tough. I was lucky that mine healed well and never got infected, but it still itches and I’m 17 months post!”
“I’m sure everyone’s experience is different but my scar still itches now sometimes (from 2 years ago). It healed well and very quickly but that itchiness still pops up from time to time even now.”
“Walking is great! Keeps blood flowing to prevent clots. At one point I unfortunately had some foot swelling which sucked but walking, gentle core exercises, and low impact movements at home helped me feel a lot better. After 3 weeks of “resting” after the c section my body got so tight and sore. Make sure you do plenty of stretching too for your back and legs!”
TIPS AND TRICKS
“This was my second c section though so I made adjustments I didn’t make last time, like only allowing one trip up the stairs per day (to go to bed). I stocked a pack-n-play with diapers and everything downstairs so I could be down there with him and not go up and down the steps constantly.”
“After the incision had healed I massaged the scar LOTS with oil or body butter, I still do, to break up the scar tissue, promote healing, and decrease visibility of the scar. I had read a blog once about a runner who had pain in her scar when she ran and it stopped after she began massaging it- so I just started that from the get go!”
“Get a nursing pillow! It will save your body while you recover!”
“I did wear a belly binder over my incision for the first few weeks AND while exercising in the beginning.”
“Wearing [my baby] in the Ergo was really comfortable and I felt like it made getting around easier because it was so supportive in my lower abdomen and back.”
“My biggest fears were coughing and sneezing. My tip is to keep a pillow nearby and have your partner to be quick to jump up to help (grab the baby) if you’re holding baby and start signaling that you have to cough 🤣”
“And be extra careful if you plan on shaving! Even now if I accidentally cut my incision it’s super annoying!”
One “what not to do” story: A fellow mom walked TOO much too soon — close to 6 miles per day — after her c-section. It ended up delaying her healing, and she became anemic which set her back farther. Remember that even with a c-section, you need to shed the uterine lining and the area where the placenta detached needs to heal!