Sunday, July 19, 2009

Post caesarian section recovery tips

My dear fellow surprised me with an early birthday present yesterday - he couldn't wait! I've always wanted a mixmaster so I think he was pleased with my reaction.

Having just given birth to my fourth child by caesarian section I thought I'd offer some recovery tips that have helped me over the years.

IN HOSPITAL

1. Try not to think of your c- section as merely a surgical procedure. It is a medically assisted birth. Focus on the birth, not the surgery.
2. After the birth start by wriggling your toes as soon as the spinal anaesthetic begins to wear off. As more feeling returns in your legs move them gently about, rotating ankles, slowly bending your knees. Continue these gentle exercises while you're confined to bed.
3. Get as much help as you can at this point, ask someone to pass the baby to you for feeding etc, don't try to do too much.
4. When it is time to get out of bed for the first time, once again, ask for assistance if you need it to sit up. Roll onto one side, place your legs over the side of the bed. Push yourself up from the bed using the strength of your arms. Sit on the bed until you feel ready to stand, sometimes you may be dizzy. When you stand make sure you shuffle, don't take big steps. You will feel much better after a good shower. The midwives always recommend to me to urinate standing up (if you need to) in the shower rather than sitting on the toilet for the first time.
5. To alleviate any wind pain you may experience I have found peppermint tea to be effective.
6. To assist your bowels to start moving again naturally, without medication I have a bag of soft licorice and nibble a few pieces each day, I've found it really helpful.
7. Once you're up and about take regular short, shuffling walks. Spend most of your hospital stay resting, actually lying down with your legs up.

AT HOME
1. This is the time that you need as much help as possible, particularly if you have other children.
Hopefully you have a supportive husband or partner, but if not, enlist the help of anyone who is willing. If no one offers to help, ask. If you are not comfortable asking for help, offer to make up for it somehow at a later date. I can't stress how important it is that you receive help.
2. Even if you feel well you need regular rest (lying down) to alleviate the stress on your body and allow it to readjust. Your recovery will be so much faster if you give your body time to rest.
3. Do not lift anything heavier than your baby. Really important. You can introduce strategies eg. I get my toddler to climb onto a chair, then into her cot so I don't lift her.
4. Drink lots of water, eat nutritious food. I usually feel ravenous the first couple of weeks, this is a normal effect of breastfeeding, don't worry about how much you eat, just try to make it healthy and keep the fluids up high.
5. Find a comfortable position for breastfeeding, use pillows to support baby and your back.
6. Start pelvic floor exercises (you can do this a few days after birth)
7. Don't commence any exercise regime (walking, sports etc.) until you have the approval of your obstetrician or GP.
8. When walking around the house, continue to keep your steps small to prevent strain on your softened and weakened ligaments. Avoid bending over to pick things up. Get in and out of bed carefully, rolling on your side and using your arms instead of abdominal muscles.

Please contact me if you have any questions I may be able to help you with. Please note, I am not a medical professional, just an experience mother.

2 comments:

mirage said...

curls that is great advice, i wish I had read it before my first c-sect! After three now I found the best thing is to get moving as soon as possible, albeit "baby steps" but moving all the same.

Congrats on the mixer, it looks so shinny and lovely just waiting for lots of yummy foods to be cook, what a thoughtful partner you have.

Karen said...

Congratulations on little Anna's arrival - my what a darling little things she is!
Great tips - another that a dietician friend of mine advised for naturally getting the bowels going is cloudy pear juice! One glass a day does the trick.
Thanks for the blog award, I'm not a good one at continuing things on as I always end up with the same people - but I feel very pleased that you selected my little blog.
Hope all is going well with your new bundle.