Pregnancy and childbirth can be an unpredictable time for many women, even if they’ve given birth before. Some women may experience mild discomfort or have a safe vaginal birth. Others experience terrible morning sickness, heartburn, constipation, or may end up getting a cesarean section.
A cesarean section, commonly called c-section, is a surgical procedure done to remove the baby from the uterus. Whether you had a planned or emergency c-section, it can affect you physically, mentally, and emotionally. In the aftermath of delivering your bundle of joy via c-section, you may experience pain and discomfort for a few weeks or months. This can make it difficult for you to do normal daily activities. In fact, breastfeeding, even sneezing, can cause major discomfort.
Below are 9 tips to help you bounce back faster than you anticipated.
Take your pain medication
The demands of being a new mom can be overwhelming. While you want to do your best to give your newborn the care she needs, you should also remember to take care of yourself. This involves maintaining good hygiene, eating well, drinking lots of water, and taking your pain medication. You should speak with your doctor if the pain gets worse or the medication doesn’t seem to be working.
Prevent incision infection
Surgical incisions such as a c-section can easily get infected if it is not properly cared for. Clean the wound daily and avoid strenuous activities as directed by your doctor. Watch for symptoms of an infection such as redness, swelling, or pus discharging from the incision site. Excess bleeding, severe abdominal pain, pain while urinating, or a fever over 100.4ºF (38ºC) are also signs of an infection.
Pain from the incision and tiredness from parenting may tempt you to remain in bed. Instead, you should walk as much as possible. This helps with blood circulation, reduces the risk of blood clots, and promotes healing. Walking is also a form of low-impact exercise that is recommended for c-section moms, beginning from the first day of surgery.
Be mindful of your emotions
Giving birth is both a physical and emotional experience and having a c-section, especially an unplanned or emergency c-section, can affect you psychologically. It is normal to feel emotions such as sadness, shame, or guilt even though it is not your fault. However, it is important to process all these mixed feelings so you can quickly transition into parenting mode.
Get adequate rest
While you need to walk regularly, you also need plenty of rest and sleep. Yeah, who gets plenty of sleep with a new baby in the crib? Seriously though, the body engages in cell repair, whole-body regeneration, and healing during sleep. So try to get a few hours of shut-eye especially at night. You and your partner can take turns caring for the baby so you can replenish your energy.
Keep constipation at bay
Chronic constipation can be harmful following a cesarian. Weakened abdominal muscles, reduced mobility, and hormonal imbalance can contribute to trouble moving your bowels. Drink plenty of water, move around often, and avoid straining when trying to move your bowels to keep constipation at bay. Your doctor may also advise you to eat high-fiber foods and take a stool softener.
Ask for help
Ask moms who had a cesarian and they will tell you that caring for a newborn after this type of surgery is no walk in the park. You have to deal with pain, keep up with cleaning the incision, breastfeed, tend to the baby every 1 to 2 hours, and do other things. This can take a toll on you physically and emotionally. So ask for help or accept help offered to you. Your spouse, friend, or family member could assist with the dishes, laundry, and taking care of minor children.
Phytoestrogen for faster recovery
Estrogen is the one that’s responsible for the maintenance and healing of your reproductive organs. It’s the one that maintains the vaginal tightness as well as the health of your pelvic muscles.
Pregnancy and delivery can cause a significant damage to your vagina, afterall, you just pushed a watermelon sized baby out of your vagina! Your body might find it hard to get back into its state before pregnancy, and might need some help in that department.
Phytoestrogen are the estrogen from plants that helps you heal and helps your body recover faster. It’s made from plants and all natural so it’s very safe to take and has no side effects. Just be sure that you are no longer breastfeeding when taking phytoestrogen.
You can get some high quality phytoestrogen pills from Vagifirm (www.vagifirm.com).
Speak with your doctor
Coupled with the mixed emotions of happiness of seeing your newborn but sadness or guilt about the c-section, you may also feel anxious or depressed. Some women experience postpartum depression also called the “baby blues.” It is important to speak with your doctor if the emotions become overwhelming or you have thoughts of harming your baby. You can also lean on your partner or therapist for emotional support.