Healing from a Caesarean section birth

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So you've recently had a caesarean, you are incredible! Birthing via a c-section may have been planned or unplanned, here are a few tips and things to consider, that will hopefully support your recovery journey. Remember to go slowly, not only have you just given birth, but you've also had major abdominal surgery. 

Tips for caesarean recovery

1. Live in loose clothes, dresses, dressing gowns and big pants! You can also place a maternity pad across the wound for comfort. 

2. Looking at your scar in the mirror everyday (or getting your partner to, if you're not ready) to notice any changes or signs of infection 

3. Scar massage and de-sensitisation can be done from 4-6 weeks postpartum, once your scar has healed. Although the skin will have healed on the outside, the deeper layers of fascia may have adhesions which get 'sticky' and can leave people feeling discomfort, painful to touch, numbness, or a a tingling feeling, as well as a 'shelf' around their scar. Here is a great article explaining how to do scar desensitization and scar massage

4. Make home life as supportive as possible, with others doing the hoovering, nappy changes, pram pushing/sling carries etc where possible. If you do have to change nappies, make sure you have a raised surface to do it on, and have supplies up AND downstairs for convenience.

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5. If you need to sneeze or cough, hold a pillow to your tummy to support your scar. 

6. Keeping on top of pain management as needed

7. If you are struggling with constipation, try taking on extra water and orange juice, and chewing gum can help to get bowels moving. If you're struggling with trapped wind, try nettle or peppermint tea (being mindful this can affect breast milk production) or windeze may help too. 

8. Get up from sitting or from bed, by rolling to your side or pulling on something in front, to reduce the load on your abdominal muscles

9. When feeding, use a feeding pillow so baby doesn't put pressure on your wound, or alternative reclined positions or the rugby ball hold 

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10. You will understandably feel protective of your wound and scar for some time, standing up straight may feel strange. Where possible, slowly work towards standing more upright, and using your calming breathe to signal to your body this is a safe movement. Once you feel comfortable to, add in some gentle arm raises and gentle seated spinal movements to maintain mobility.

11. Consider hiring a postnatal doula for additional postpartum support for you and baby - this is something I offer for families local to Cirencester and surrounds, read more about my doula services here 

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