Like most new moms, I started my first pregnancy off with my heart set on a natural birth, but those plans took a little detour after I found out my little guy was frank breech.
I remember those same feelings you’re feeling right now. After you find out you’re having a scheduled c-section, you’re SO excited to finally meet your baby for the first time.
But you’re also feeling a little anxious because you aren’t completely sure what to expect– especially when it comes to the recovery process.
While I can’t promise you a walk in the park (I wish I could), I can definitely share some of the tips I’ve picked up after two c-section recoveries of my own.
These post c-section must-haves and recovery tips will help you prepare!
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Wear the best c-section underwear
And when I say best c-section underwear, I mean high-waisted and supportive!
Post c-section, you won’t want a waistband (or anything else for that matter) rubbing against your incision. High-waisted underwear is a must.
The C-Panty was designed specifically for c-section recovery. These have a silicone panel that helps protect the incision area while helping to minimize scarring and irritation. Best of all, there are no hooks, bands, or any of that uncomfy stuff you don’t want.
If you don’t want to go quite that fancy, these are also a popular choice and still provide the durability and support you’ll need as you recover from your c-section.
Wear comfortable clothing post c-section
What are the best clothes to wear after a c-section?
As far as the rest of your clothes go, make sure to avoid buttons, zippers, and anything that might hang on or irritate your surgical tape or staples (I had staples with my first and steri-strips with my second).
Once your incision area has healed up a bit, try some supportive leggings like these to help everything feel “held in” as your tummy shrinks back.
Use the best nursing pillow after c-section
Do you plan to breastfeed?
After a c-section, it can be tough to find a good breastfeeding position that’s comfortable for both you and baby.
So, what is the best nursing pillow to use after a c-section? Moms love the My Brest Friend nursing pillow because it keeps baby from rolling down towards your incision.
This would be the perfect thing to add to your baby registry if you haven’t already!
If you already own the popular Boppy pillow, don’t worry, it’s still a great choice once you’ve healed.
Keep the incision area clean and dry
If your c-section experience is anything like my two were, you’ll be allowed to shower by the second day.
You’ll have to (gently) pat your incision area dry with a towel while you’re still at the hospital, but once you’re home, try using your hair dryer on the coldest setting to dry the area. This works soo much better than the towel method!
But what about c-section scar healing?
It’s not recommended to put anything directly on your incision until after you’ve been cleared by your doctor at your 6 week postpartum checkup.
After that, some moms swear by Bio Oil, but I personally used Palmer’s Skin Therapy Oil after my 6 weeks were up. I’m right under 9 months postpartum (at the time of writing this), and my scar looks great!
Even if you put nothing on your scar, it will still fade as time passes. I can only see my first scar if I look really closely. And even then it’s very thin and light.
Make sure you have a stocked fridge
When you first bring your baby home, you will want to focus on your family and your recovery– And you should!
Long walks at the grocery store won’t be on your radar for at least a week or two.
You can even take this one step further (if you feel up to it) and prep some meals before baby’s arrival. This is actually one thing I wish I would have done. Think how nice it would be to come home from the hospital to your meals all ready and prepped.
Preparing ahead of time will make the next tip much easier…
Drink plenty of water and eat well
Sometimes your digestion can be a little sluggish following a c-section. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding processed/junk food will help.
Vitamin C is needed for tissue repair and wound healing (source). Adding foods like oranges, mangoes, and strawberries is an easy way to get more vitamin C into your diet.
Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of iron (it’s common to be a little low in iron afterwards. I was after baby #2).
I’m in love these vitamin C packets— just check with your doctor first if you’re nursing.
Walk every day
Standing up post c-section can be so incredibly painful the first few times.
All you will want to do is sit there, take your pain meds, and take cute pics of your new baby. You do need to do those things and get lots and lots of rest, but it’s also good to try and walk a little every day.
If you sit too long without moving around, you will start to feel stiff and it will hurt even worse when you do have to get up.
This is one thing I did differently with my second c-section vs. my first. I didn’t overdo it, but I did make it a point to walk every single day, and I truly think that’s part of the reason I recovered faster this time around.
Listen to your doctor
Your doctor will give you certain instructions before you leave the hospital. Please listen!
Even if you think you’re feeling up to it before the time frame your doctor gives you, I wouldn’t chance it. A c-section is a major abdominal surgery. You really need to take it easy for the first few weeks. This usually means no heavy lifting, no baths, no frisky time with the hubs, and no exercise of any kind until you’re cleared at your postpartum appointment.
Be patient with yourself
When you get home from the hospital and finally get the chance to look at yourself in the mirror and see your incision for the first time without nurses around, it can feel a little overwhelming.
Trust me when I say that it gets so much better after the first couple of weeks. The incision looks a little scary right afterwards, but mine is barely there now. It fades soooo so much over time, and you will get back on your feet and back to doing the things you used to do in no time!
Ask for help when you need it
This is one of the most important c-section recovery tips… and probably the most ignored.
It’s 100% okay to ask for help. You just had a major surgery, and now you have a tiny new human that depends on you. You’re one person and you can only do so much! This is one time I’m telling you it’s okay to take off the supermom cape for a few if you need to. <3
Recovering from a c-section is by no means easy, but it slowly gets better day by day. Before you know it, you’ll be back to doing everything you used to do (only this time with your little mini at your heels)!
What are your best post c-section recovery tips and postpartum c-section must-haves? Pop them in the comments below for other mamas to read!