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If you are having a caesarean....(188 Posts)
I've just made up a 'hints and tips' list for my friend who is having a caesarean soon (I've had two) if you want me to e-mail it to you let me know!
Take packets of dried fruit to the hospital. Post C section constipation is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Mints and grown up wet wipes are nice too, though not essential. Sometimes you feel so grubby in a hot hospital bed.
Don't use soap or salt in your bath or on the wound - these will dry the wound out which is the last thing you want ( same applies for tear or episiotomy). Use a few drops of tea tree or lavender oil instead.
Second the advice re massaging the scar daily with oil. The physio explained that it also helps the tissues heal a lot better and reduces risk of scar tissue building up. I did it religiously and my scar looked great.
Arnica, arnica, arnica - in 30c or above strength.
Re. the feeding, do what feels right and listen to the experts in your hospital! When DS was born weighing 5lbs 1oz, he was tiny and did not have the energy to bfeed. He was put to my breast every feed time to feed as much as he could. I expressed colustrum into a syringe and that was given to him. Then he was topped up with formula. Once my milk came in, same routine except he was topped up with EBM. I was in floods of tears based on stuff I had read on mumsnet. That formula was really not great stuff, that he wouldnt breastfeed since he had been given a bottle. The list is endless. The bottom line is that by day 4 DS was feeding brilliantly. At discharge on day 5, he had not lost any weight and he thrived. So I for one second the advice re. topping up with formula in the early days if needed.
If your baby is a healthy weight then maybe it isnt so much of an issue. But I would not hesitate to use formula again in the early days if the MW's/ Paeds thought it was needed.
Oh and after those initial days of formula I exclusively bf DS until he was weaned at 5 1/2 months.
Thanks for the tips I'm probably having a planned section this time so want to be prepared!!
Roll on deoderant instead of a spray one for at the hospital when you shower (if you need to take baby with you).
had an emcs 4 weeks ago and wanted to add the following:
1. thought i felt better until i was discharged and had to walk upstairs to my bedroom - had the most intense burning pain ever and actually took me an hour to get up 13 stairs, with help of DP who couldn't believe in how much pain I was, I was winded and couldn't talk due to the pain and that was on the painkillers - TAKE IT VERY VERY SLOWLY YOU CAN DO IT. After a few days rest I felt better again, it does get easier.
If you find you can't walk very well due to the pain then walking backwards can take the edge off it. I think having SPD made my emcs pains worse though - as many people don't report this burning sensation. I was checked for haematomas etc so I take it the burning draggin pain was muscle pain.
2. don't be afraid to buzz for the midwife to lift your baby over to you, and put baby back again - don't be scared thats what they are there for
3. i second the breastfeeding advice - very emotional time and some MW want you to get baby onto formula, ask for a cup feed top up, and a breastfeeding support worker, don't give up even though it can be very very awkward
4. I was advised to roll out of bed on my side instead of a sitting up motion, this is to help with healing and also to avoid any further widening of any gap you may have in your stomach muscles
5. Yip, try to stand up straight, but take it slowly too
Brilliant thread, my elcs is in 2.5 weeks eek!
I'm a bit worried about stairs as we live in a 2nd floor flat- so I've definitely got to climb up them all on discharge day. I'm too heavy for DH to carry . Once up, presumably I'll be confined to barracks for a few more days until I think I could do it again. Has anyone managed this problem OK?
fatseal hopefully the pain I experienced trying to get upstairs or downstairs was only largely due to me being in a long labour where my epidural failed on my RHS and having SPD pains too before being sectioned. It seems to be (from what I have heard) that an elective section is somewhat less painful (might not be the case although others can advise I am sure).
Don't worry about this too much, it might neve happen for you. I now weigh about 6 stone heavier than my DH so there was no way he was about to lift me up the stairs. I did though at one point sit on the stairs and lift my bum up to the next one - DH then lifted my legs up. If you do find you are in pain then just take it really slowly, you will be able to do it. Can I just confess to having to pee in a jug at my bedside as once I got upstairs I couldn't actually move for a few days. I was not too bad in hospital but once discharged I don't know why the pains became a lot more. It did subside and with each day I was able to contemplate actually getting to the loo with my crutches. After about a week at home I felt a lot better and DH did run about after me and make all my meals etc.
As I say - I think my SPD pains kicked in & it seemed to pain me more where the epidural failed and didn't help. Here I am 4 weeks later trying to think of what I can wear, and exactly when will my tummy shrink down?
Good Luck to everyone
Great, thanks for the extra info. That sounds awful though, glad you're on the mend now.
This is a tip given to me by my midwife. To make sure wound is dry sfter bathing use your hairdryer on slow cool setting. Will dry area more comfortably than using a towel and more quickly than air drying! Worked for me and I had my 4th section last May.
tea tree oil to be dropped into warm water for bathing wound. Use paper towels to pat dry.
peppermint tea or water to help with trapped wind.
A few additions from me (as well as seconding the BIG pants) four weeks after my EMCS..
- Maternity trousers are likely to hurt a LOT as the 'under-the-bump' versions sit right on the scar. Drawstring trousers and maternity leggings are about the only things I can wear at the moment.
- A rocking chair was fantastic for my first week home as I had half a chance of getting out of it unaided. I found it also helped with my sore back.
Would be great to know if there are any good resources for C-section recovery (what you are and aren't supposed to do, and that sort of thing?) - never got any advice on this in hospital and not sure where to find out..?
Does anyone know when you should start massaging your scar? I had my section last week and want to know if I should be starting yet?
The NCT string big pants are great and haven't dug into my scar and yes, some lovely big over the bump trousers are the only ones I want to wear.
Raising the bed was the best advice and if you are told to keep putting the surgical stockings on for bed, try and get someone to do this for you - I did this after 4 days and nearly ruptured myself!
after having a bath i found it easier to dry the scar off with my hair dryer to make sure it was totally dry...the look on my 5 year old daughters face was priceless...!!
Forget lactulose - go for the 'golden bullets'
Glycerine suppositories are magic
if you feel like your stomach is about to rip open .... it probably is
sorry couldnt resist
on a more positive note:
- rest, rest, rest and more rest
- do not underestimate the importance of a good diet to recover from surgery
- dont come home too soon
- dont do anything for at least a week
- make sure you buzz for MW to help you with everything
- start massaging it as soon as is safe with some bio-oil(despite my disaster my scar now looks relatively normal)
- after shower dry with hairdryer
- take your painkillers as long as you need to and take them regularly
Definitely big pants and pants without zips (like track suits) for a few months.
NO BATHS, it is the best way to get an infection. just short showers, and proper old fashion soap (no smellies, no antibacterial) or nothing if you can't find it.
And take it easy after birth, you don't have to be the supermum everybody (the newspaper) wants you to be. Just enjoy your baby, and that's it, you just had your belly open twice
It's perfectly ok to stay in your nightie and not leave the house for several weeks. Big nighties with buttons down the front (very fetching) are ideal as you can breastfeed.
fatseal, I live at the 4th floor, and I managed OK on the discharged day (5 or 6), slowly and looking like an granny. Was confined indoors for a few weeks though, mainly because of the snow
Wow, talk about thread resurrection. But, good stuff on here.
Get DH/P to take charge of all the older children, and you look after baby.
I hated being cooped up and would never ever stay in the house for 4 weeks. I drove as soon as I felt comfotable with the emergency stop - about 2 weeks.
Make sure they prescribe the proper painkillers. I have had two EMCS now and both times they have forgotten to give me codeine. Ibufrofen and paracetamol on their own just do not cut it - no I haven't got a headache, I've just had major surgery, thanks! Ask for the strong stuff for the first night (I had morphine) and then check where your codeine is.
2nd everything above! Also, if you're on the larger side of life, or you just have a bit of overhang afterwards, then I found it helpful to use a maternity pad on thebe scar, especially when it's hot! (4th section coming up in December!)
Lavender and tea-tree oil in the bath works fabulously - there must be a point when arnica and/or calendula creams would be helpful for healing, but not sure when! I'd also recommend taking the arnica tabs well beforehand if possible - I took them 3 weeks before having all my wisdom teeth out and didn't have a single bruise.
Be aware that you might need help getting in and out of the bath - I was fine last time, but the previous two were agony.
Also, you'll need to pack your bags differently - last time I did one for 1 for recovery, with a smaller, transparent one for theatre inside, and then a much larger one for the rest of the stay.
Will think some more on this one!
ooh - getting in and out of bed - if there's something to attach it to, apparently a rope is helpful, but I couldn't do that, so I ended up swinging my legs round or rolling over and getting off backwards before I got up.
And if your plug doesn't come out beforehand, be aware it might come out days or weeks later!
Do your pelvic floor exercises, even if you had a c-section!
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