After the C-section .....at home, what next?Dec 23, 2021
Here are some helpful tips.
Many underestimate the impact of surgical birth, a surgery that is actually classified as a major surgery! Though it will be tempting to want to get home soon after your baby is born remember to pace yourself.
That said, all things being well, you can be discharged from the hospital anywhere between 24 hours to 5 days, depending on your recovery.
Rest is vital to healing and recovery so it's strongly advised to accept all offers of help. It's a good idea to create and fix a ‘mother and baby sleeping’ sign to the front door daily at a time when the baby is sleeping, and you can catch up on sleep or at least rest.
Some women have mixed emotions after their caesarean, so don’t hesitate to access a helpline to talk through your feelings with a trusted health care provider, such as your Maternal and Child Health Line or the Post and Ante Natal Depression organisation (PANDA).
You can resume driving once you have clearance from your doctor; usually at six weeks after your C-section. However, if you are pain-free earlier, you may be able to drive sooner.
If you are breastfeeding, know that it takes some time to feel confident with feeding, seek breastfeeding support from a lactation consultant or local breastfeeding counsellor if needed. While it is the natural way to feed your baby, it doesn’t always come naturally. Personally, I always felt it took about three weeks to feel like I had finally mastered the art! You may find it helpful to engage a lactation consultant to help you in the early days. The Australian Breastfeeding Association provided wonderful support for me and I found their member newsletters full of helpful advice. I can recommend a membership subscription as a fantastic gift for any mother who chooses to breastfeed.
Continue regular pain medication for a few days after your discharge from the hospital and gradually wean off. Using a wound splint and a heat pack can help with lingering discomfort. It's so easy to lose track of your medication times so I have developed a free postpartum planner to help record your last dose as well as some other handy reminders.
Another helpful thing can be to seek out local mother-baby groups, they provide an opportunity for ‘baby talk’ and learning from each other. I can still remember the relief I felt at my mother's group when we shared our baby's sleeping habits and learned that I was one of the seven out of ten mums whose baby didn't sleep through the night. All of a sudden I was in the normal group!!
Pain and Scar tracking or monitoring are two other key areas to master after a C-section and you can find specific resources on our website to support your recovery and outcome for your scar. Download your free scar tracker here.
You can find much more information in the ‘Woman centred Caesarean Care’ eBook in our shop. View here
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