C section recovery

(33 Posts)
Caterpillar0 Thu 09-May-13 08:44:51

I'm having one shortly and would really appreciate any any advice on aiding recovery. I've read arnica is good - is that in tablet form? as a homeopathic treatment? cream?

Also I've seen c section belts on the Internet. Are they useful?

Can you bath normally?

And will the cradle breast feeding position (the only one I've ever used) be ok, say with a pillow over the scar?

Thanks

iheartshoes Thu 09-May-13 09:39:16

Arnica is good . Take your painkillers religously. I didn't use the belt instead got some big m&s knickers and where my stomach was quite bloated I just cut into the elastic much more comfy. Get big pants that come up to your stomach not ones that rest on your bikini line. And this may be too much info but lactulose and prune juice really helped in the going to the toilet department !! It's been nearly 4 weeks since I had mine now and feel completely fine, best of luck x

iheartshoes Thu 09-May-13 09:41:24

I showered rather than bathed as it was easier for me to walk in and out of the shower than get into a bath but have heard salt water baths are meant to help healing

weebarra Thu 09-May-13 09:45:36

Re breastfeeding - I think I used the rugby ball hold initially as even with a pillow cradle hold was a bit sore.

DoodleAlley Thu 09-May-13 09:46:11

I had c section four weeks ago. I do rugby hold more often for feeding as I used it lots last time after emergency c section that left me with a lot more bruising than this time.

I can do front feeding if needs be but dd prefers rugby hold and takes less air so that's what we do.

HappyJoyful Thu 09-May-13 09:46:49

I think if it's a planned one, it's meant to be easier recovery than a emergency one - I guess they can take a bit more 'care' with it all..
I had an emergency one and left hospital the next day, probably a bit hastily (but it was Christmas Eve). I definitely make sure you stay in the recommended time. I wasn't in any pain mind you if that helps, do take any drugs on offer!

No idea about c-section belts, don't know anyone that used them.

Breast feeding wise, it was my first so no idea about positions, I breast fed fine, assume in a sort of cradle position with a cushion on lap.

I don't recall having baths, had to shower, there was a big sticky plaster over cut.

Big knickers another must as said by iheart.

Only other thought is, that if you drive, I know you're not supposed to drive for 6 weeks. However, I know many women that have checked this out with insurance companies and been able to drive much sooner as they recovered fine and asked a dr who agreed they were fit to do so if they could do an emergency stop.

Good luck!

DoodleAlley Thu 09-May-13 09:50:09

Meant to add that the midwives at hospital will show you alternative feeding positions if you need to learn them. But you'll have to ask them too.

And just because you've never done a different position doesn't mean you can't - each baby is different and will feed differently so it will be a learning experience for you and baby in some way anyway.

Good luck and enjoy all those newborn cuddles! And make sure you get some lovely skin to skin in the recovery room if possible. First time round I was encouraged to feed DS quickly which was fine but this time round they just encouraged dd and I to have lovely prolonged skin to skin and it made the most wonderful memory and start to our bonding.

iheartshoes Thu 09-May-13 09:57:13

Forgot to add ... It's really important that u eat well and keep your strength up especially if u are breastfeeding so try and make sure you have lots in for easy meals

MolotovCocktail Thu 09-May-13 10:07:59

Hiya, I had an ELCS last April. It was a lovely, calm birth :-) In answer to your questions:

Arnica - be careful when taking arnica. Unbeknown to me, my blood is 'runny' (according to the surgeon whilst I was having the CS). This meant that it took longer than usual for my blood to clot. He asked if I had taken arnica; I hadn't. Good job, too, as it acts as a blood thinner (like warfarin) so as to prevent clotting/bruising. Lots of women take it with no ill effects, but I was so glad that I didn't.

C section belts - wouldn't bother, your wound will feel a bit weird to start with. Not painful because of meds, bu you won't want anything tightly pressed against it for a while. Certainly not for the first 10 days so as to prevent wound infection.

Bathing - Let the wound completely dry out first. Bacteria love warmth and damp. Showers are the order of the day for the first couple of weeks; baths when you feel able to get up and down so far. Don't forget to thoroughly pay your woud dry when coming out of the shower (I used a separate, clean flannel, then dried the rest of my bod with a towel).

Breast feeding - whatever position works for you is a goer, as long as baby isn't directly on your tummy or you're not twisting your body. We manage 4 weeks EBF before moving to mixed feeding.

Good luck!!

LowLevelWhinging Thu 09-May-13 10:15:22

Primark seamless knickers!

Soft with nothing to dig in.

And whilst it is difficult at first (have had 3), I found that each day feels better and the worst passes quickly.

Good luck!

MolotovCocktail Thu 09-May-13 10:36:08

LowLevel, may I ask what having 3 sections has been like? Particularly the 2nd compared with the 1st?

I've had 2 babies, one by ELCS. My DH would like another but I'm wondering what a 2nd section might be like, how my body might fare afterwards (how it feels and looks).

Sorry for the slight hijack, OP.

LowLevelWhinging Thu 09-May-13 12:27:08

Molotov The recovery was much quicker for the second for me (though I appreciate everyone is different). I cried and cried when I was told I'd have to have DC2 by ELCS, but it really wasn't as bad as I was expecting. And I loved the calmness and predictability of the ELCS compared to the first EMCS under general that I had.

As far as how my body looks ... well, there's definitely a different shape to my stomach now... but the DCs make that pale into insignificance smile <boak>

whohellhe Thu 09-May-13 12:30:57

Be aware you might get quite bad trapped
wind! I found that more painful than anything. Peppermint tablets really helped. Good luck.

LowLevelWhinging Thu 09-May-13 12:44:36

oh god, the trapped wind was worse than the contractions! but at least they passed quickly.

Xiaoxiong Thu 09-May-13 12:52:43

Yes to the trapped wind. Pureed prunes and peppermint oil tablets definitely helped.

Also for breastfeeding - I think I did nothing but rugby hold and lying down in bed for the first week or so, then I added the cradle hold with a bed pillow across my lap. (Now he is 17 months he mostly stands up grin)

Omnishambolic Thu 09-May-13 12:57:42

I've had two - one EMCS, one ELCS. Second time they went in through the same scar (but had to make it bigger as baby more than twice the size). Healed fine.

I had baths as soon as I got home, I prefer them to showers, had no problems. Big granny pants from M&S (which I got quite addicted to). Take the drugs but actually found that as soon as I got home so a couple of days after the op I was cutting back substantially. I did get a lot of pain in my shoulder bizarrely the first few days - that was more painful than my stomach and the drugs didn't touch it.

First night or so in hospital the magic moveable bed is your friend - make sure you keep tight hold of the control pad (they left me with the bed controls clipped to the wall behind my head, I couldn't sit up to reach it unaided, but I couldn't reach the call button for help without sitting up, which I couldn't do...)

Breastfed in the reverse cradle just cos that's how I was taught, both times with no problems and a cushion which I would have had anyway to raise the baby up.

My biggest advice would be don't assume it's going to be horrendous. I had an EMCS after failed forceps and ventouse, but was mobile (if a little doddery) within less than 6 hours and only needed paracetamol and diclofenac as pain relief. I think to be fair I got lucky but I was so scared about having a dreadful recovery (thanks, NCT...) and it was a load of wasted energy.

Definitely take the pain relief religiously though. Once you're in pain it's a lot harder to treat it.

I never had any problems breastfeeding in the cradle hold; just needed a cushion to bring her up to the right height.

Caterpillar0 Thu 09-May-13 14:17:20

thanks everyone! v helpful. Yes NCT does psyche you up for a miserable recovery if you end up with a section. I'm pretty nervous about the whole thing. Never had an operation

LowLevelWhinging Thu 09-May-13 15:14:42

don't worry OP. The worst of it is over in 7 days or so. by 14 days, you'll be tonnes better!

and two weeks out of a lifetime is nowt. Honest!

iheartshoes Thu 09-May-13 15:19:03

Seconded , after the first week you will feel SO much better

octanegirl Thu 09-May-13 15:44:10

I agree with previous posters. It's really not bad. I was off the painkillers after 3 days, didn't need them. Got that horrible burning feeling when sitting up for a while but it soon goes. I was back on my horse at 6 weeks, jumping by 7, skiing by 8!

Caterpillar0 Thu 09-May-13 15:52:29

Right, feeling pumped now!
What about lifting? How many weeks before I can get ds (16 months) out of his cot, do you think?

Heavywheezing Thu 09-May-13 15:57:13

I don't want to worry you, but it's not like that for everyone.

I agree with the big knickers, you'll need slippers or flip flops that you can just put on without hands.

LowLevelWhinging Thu 09-May-13 16:08:08

Hmm, off pain killers in 3 days may be quite an achievement... More like 4 weeks for me! But last time I had my tubes tied as well and was still getting internal pains, but nothing unmanageable.

MyDarlingYoni Thu 09-May-13 17:36:19

www.mumsnet.com/reviews/nursery/cots-cribs-cotbeds/9963-arms-reach-universal-co-sleeper-bedside-cot

Huge aid to my recovery if your not co sleeping, size of it great, out of all nct group I have had best sleep etc...

MyDarlingYoni Thu 09-May-13 17:38:40

BTW consultant said after section I was most nervous person they had had in a long long time., I have to admit I had a small panic attack when in theatre, just when i first saw it....

However, I don't think about the op now with any bad feeling or fear or anything....I think about the moment she cried and I saw her face!

Compared to first birth whose memory and trauma made me feel like I had been through a dreadful ordeal for five years!

Caterpillar0 Thu 09-May-13 21:32:50

MyDarlingYoni - I think I've managed to create something similar by taking the side off an existing cot. Much cheaper. Hope it works...

Stangirl Fri 10-May-13 19:40:18

I've had 2 ELCS and never used a belt. Off pain meds in 3 or 4 days (though really needed them during that time). Used a My Breast Friend pillow and usual hold (not rugby). Most annoying bit was how "tight" the stitch became before it was removed - felt like I was bending over a really nasty serrated plastic knife whenever I stood up - didn't stop me walking up hills pushing the pram before week was out though. Didn't use any arnica or anything.

Big knickers here too.

Oh and with the second ELCS I had a 17 month old and was picking her up from the day I got home.

PS I'm old and unfit so it's doable for some people of all types.

SleepyCatOnTheMat Fri 10-May-13 20:13:13

Make sure you take a natural laxative, e.g. Movicol, as the painkillers will make you constipated. I didn't go to the loo for 6 days after my CS and when I finally went it was excruciating.

It is major surgery, don't feel you have to be Superwoman afterwards (you wouldn't be expected to be after any other major abdominal surgery). It took me far longer than two weeks to recover from mine, I still needed assistance getting in and out bed several weeks later and was going to my GP's twice a week to have the wound dressed until DS was 4 months old (it got infected and took ages to heal).

SleepyCatOnTheMat Fri 10-May-13 20:15:31

P.S. My scar still aches sometimes four and a half years later!

mikkii Fri 10-May-13 20:27:11

I've had two planned sections due to placenta praevia. After the first I was ready to drive after 5 weeks so waited the normal 6, after the second I was much keener to get back to normal (she was number 3) and I wanted to get my life back having been so restricted during the pregnancy. I was driving after 3 weeks.

Big knickers are the most important, lactulose too as everything (inside and out) has been disturbed and can be tender.

After the second section I drank loads of water overnight so I could wee and get the tube out, the problem was they took out the catheter and an hour later I had to beg to be mobilised as I was desperate for a wee!

newbie6 Sat 11-May-13 00:05:09

Hi

I had an EMCS and healed very quickly. I honestly thought it was okay and like you had heard horror stories. First few days I felt a little tender but was up walking about and able to take baths etc. I took all the painkillers offered to me but was off them after 5 days. Was back riding my horse in 6 weeks and would not mind if I had to have another one. Obviously everyone will be different but best advice would be to take the painkillers and move about as soon as you can so you don't get too stiff and sore. X

Fruitbatyogi Sun 12-May-13 00:07:13

I went home 24 hrs post ELCS on the tube, husband had the babe in a sling..
I was out of hospital sooner than any of the other first time mums I knew.
No problems with breast feeding
10 days later I was going for 5 mile walks with the buggy, midwife, are you ok, me I'm fine, her are you sure, me well I walked to X and back earlier (2.5 miles away) mw - ok you really are fine.

It was a totally positive experience.

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