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Looking for some tips for c-section Momma’s? Whether it’s for yourself or someone you know, I have 5 tips for c-section Momma’s to help you heal quickly and healthy in order to be the best Mom for your baby.
A very good childhood friend of mine had her first baby a few days ago. She ended up having a c-section after 3 courageous hours of pushing. It took me right back to the days of my 2 c-sections. I remember laying there on the table, not knowing quite what to expect, scared and excited all at the same time. My 2 cesareans were very different, the first was an emergency at 29 weeks and the second was much more expected as we had one scheduled (she still decided to come 3 weeks early though!)
Anyway… here are my 5 Tips for C-section Momma’s:
1.Listen to your body/Don’t push it:
As I said, my 2 c-sections were very different and I recovered from them very differently. Lily was hard and it took me a long time to recover. The whole thing was traumatizing as she was 11 weeks early and we didn’t know what would happen with our baby, if she’d be healthy or even survive. I really had to take my time recovering, I was in a lot of pain and my hubby pushed me around the hospital in a wheelchair for probably 10 days after. With Maggie, I bounced back WAY quicker. I thought it would be harder as I had a toddler to care for too now, and we have a billion stairs in our house, but I just listened to the way my body felt and I was lifting my toddler within a couple days of having my second.
2. Ask for and Accept help:
This is a hard one for most of us. We all want to be considered super-mom even though we’ve just had a baby and gone through major surgery. I had to swallow some of that pride and accept a lot of help, especially when Lily was in the hospital. I couldn’t drive for a few weeks, so I had to ask for rides to the hospital. My Aunt and my Mom cleaned my apartment before we were bringing Lily home. Our church community and friends brought us meals to eat at the hospital (we were beyond blessed by the Ronald McDonald family room at Surrey Memorial Hospital). My husband was actually between jobs when Maggie was born, so he helped A LOT. He pretty much did everything with Lily the first few weeks, so I could concentrate on taking care of Maggie. Don’t let your pride get in the way!
3. Keep your Follow-up Appointments
I know… you’ve had your baby and everything is done now (besides raising him or her to become a decent adult!) Wrong! There’s a reason follow up appointments are scheduled, especially after c-sections. There’s the risk of infection at the incision site. And did you know there’s something called postpartum preeclampsia (I had preeclampsia before Lily was born which is why she came so early… read her story here ) With preeclampsia, your blood pressure goes way up and your organs, starting with your kidneys start shutting down (you can read more about it in my post What is Preeclampsia). You are at a real risk of seizures. I’m not trying to scare anyone, but if you have that you probably would want to get it checked out.
You know what they say… sleep when the baby is sleeping. Well, do it! Our body does a lot of healing when we’re at rest. If you have other kids running around, ask for someone to watch them for a while so you can rest (see #2). Again, I was so lucky Pete was home after we had Maggie. I pretty much slept whenever she did (she was a horrible sleeper, so I took whatever I could get!)
In the NICU with Lily, the nurses encouraged me to go home and sleep in my own bed. Leaving your baby behind at the hospital is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do and I wanted so badly to stay with her 24/7, but they were right. Even though I was up at home every 3 hours to pump, I got a much better sleep in my own bed then I would have on the couch in Lily’s hospital room.
5. Enjoy all the Newborn Snuggles
Seriously, who doesn’t love the smell of newborns?!? They are just so tiny and yummy! The only reason I want another baby is to smell that smell and have all the snuggles! No more babies here though… I just have to steal other people’s! The NICU encourages lots of skin to skin with your baby as studies have shown it to help improve the outcomes of premature babies. I don’t know if there are any studies on it, but I think it helps the Momma heal as well! It’s good for your soul.
I just want to end off by saying, you are no less of a mother because you had a C-section. I know there is a grieving period when your birthing plan does not go as planned (does it ever?) but, you did what was best for your baby and that is what being a Momma is all about. You sacrificed your body to be cut open for your little one to be born. How does that make you any less or a warrior mom?