How to recover well after elective cs(46 Posts)
Hi all! It's likely I'll have an elective cs, I'd always assumed I'd 'go natural' so have read up tons on that so this is a real shift. My real worried are:
Establishing breast feeding - did anyone get skin to skin afterwards?
Ensuring good recovery while having baby to look after. I'm very overweight to start with.
How did you prepare for this? I'd love to hear your experiences. Thanks!
I hope you get a recovery like mine, by about day 4 I felt pretty much normal again. In the shorter term take all the painkillers you can. In the longer term Pilate's is brilliant.
Also follow whatever advice you are given about what to do when. As I said, I felt great but was still healing so had to be careful about how much I was doing.
That's great Nicola I assume you'd recommend it? Did you get to lift/ change/ feed baby from the start?
Go easy once you start to feel better. I felt great on day 5 or 6 then did too much and it set me back as the pain got worse.
I could lift dd as soon as my epidural wore off, but it did hurt.
At home, I had a travel cot downstairs for during the day and had to change her nappy standing up / on a high changing table rather than on the floor as it was hard to get up and down for a few weeks as my tummy muscles healed.
Also, I had a baby bath that I would fill on the kitchen table as it was too difficult and painful to hold dd in the normal bath as it was so low down.
I think you need to remember that it's effectively major abdominal surgery and you need time to recover.
Totally agree with pp about taking it really easy, even when you start to feel like you're doing okay. It is so easy to do too much too soon. I did after my first CS and ended up with a wound infection. With my second I get like a fraud sitting with my feet up on the sofa after a few days when I was starting to feel better - but overall my recovery was so much quicker and easier!
I had an ELCS - baby was on my chest in theatre and full skin to skin in recovery. I was in recovery from 10-4 because I had a bleed and he was skin to skin the whole time.
I did struggle it's feeding but persevered and EBF for 10 months.
Mrsmugoo That's really good to hear about skin to skin and baby on chest in theatre , did you have to negotiate that? Do you talk to midwife or consultant about that? Thanks
I think we did mention it to the midwife looking after us but it all seemed to happen automatically - I think the hospital are just very pro bonding after a c sec.
Good luck with yours - birth is a beautiful thing regardless of the method.
Dh held dd for most of the time in theatre, but the staff did ask if I wanted her on my chest so I had her there for a bit. We did skin to skin as soon as I got to recovery, I was about to ask but the midwife was already suggesting it. So did skin to skin in recovery, on the way back up to the ward and for a couple of hours once on the ward.
Breastfeeding was painful for the first week or so, but that was because her latch wasn't quite right.She was exclusively breast fed for 6 months, and after that had one bottle of formula a day, I stopped breastfeeding just before her birthday.
Such positive stories thanks!
Did your milk come quickly enough to not need a bottle at the beginning, and did you take/ do anything to help it?
Agree with all previous posts-
just listen to your body and take it really easy. Definitely avoid stairs whenever possible.
I had a great recovery with help from my very supportive partner- he did pretty much everything, allowing me to just care for baby. No problems with breastfeeding and skin to skin contact was possible immediately after baby had been weighed (when she was carried by DP)
I was recommended to have a high protein, low fibre diet for a day or so beforehand to aid healing and reduce trapped wind/ large bowel movements (sorry) which can apparently be a wee bit painful
I also took homeopathic remedy specifically for surgery recovery after the op (if you believe in that kind of thing!)
Just seen you're other post- no problems with milk coming in.
I was bed bound for the first day or so but after that I was able to care for him. Like pp, I couldn't lift from the floor for the first wee while but we set things up so I could do most things at waist height. I had skin to skin in recovery for hours, it was lovely. I also had gallons of milk. The only fly in the ointment was that DS wasn't keen to suck and had to be cup fed for the first few days but even that, while stressful at the time, was sorted pretty quickly and he was fully on the boob by about 2 weeks.
I'm fully aware I might have been very lucky but for me the ELCS was a really positive experience.
My milk came in on day 3 as normal. A few days of hand expressed colostrum in a syringe and then EBM by cup while he was figuring out latching/sucking but fully on the boob by about a week in.
I did have a slight problem establishing breast feeding which may or may not have been due to the CS (emergency) - once I got home from hospital it was so much easier so it might have been the 'stress' of being in hospital and also DS was born with quite a serious medical condition
and the midwives were tyrants.
Apart from that I had no problem recovering from the operation, I was up and about at home - entertaining guests the night we got back (MY CHOICE), no problem lifting, carrying or doing anything really (sometimes I pretended I was tired just to get an hour or two in bed during the day time ).
I had my second cs 5 days ago (elective after an emcs 20 months ago) and I'm feeling pretty great.
My DH has been doing all the nappy changes and meals and caring for our toddler. I could do more but we both know that rest is key to me getting fully recovered quickly and to ensuring I can bond with ds. I can't recommend this approach strongly enough. You will kick yourself if you overdo it and end up with an infection.
With both babies I've had them on my chest but wrapped up in theatre as its a bit cold in there but skin to skin and feeding in the recovery room 40m later. Both babies have fed really well from the start. Neither even dropped the expected 10%, they just fed loads and gained from day 1. Again I think this is partly because I just laze around in bed cuddling and feeding them!
Good luck. I loved my elective. It was such a lovely calm start for us.
I had a complicated EMCS so no skin to skin in recovery, didn't even lay eyes on DD for 6 hours. She latched on no trouble, fed beautifully from day 1 and never drank any EBM or formula. Milk came in day 3/4 in abundance. Never had any issues breastfeeding. My recovery was slower because I had a bad infection but I was attending mummy and baby groups within 2 weeks so not too long. If I ever have another it will be ELCS and I wouldn't have any fears.
I didn't have a section but ds was born in theatre, I had been prepped for section so had a spinal and 40 mins if stitches after so quite similar start. I couldn't hold him for about an hour I was too exhausted and lost to much blood but it's not affected our bond I didn't bf because I was to tired and had a death in the family couldn't handle trying to bf but that didn't
our bond either.
I'm having an ELCS this time round won't be worried about bonding and bf at all and I cant imagine the recovery being any worse than what I went through before.
The post-op problems of c-sections are vastly overstated. I lifted my DS immediately, was up and walking around the room a few hours after the op and was back to normal by about day three or so. Take the pills, try to stay in shape during pregnancy (swimming, yoga) and don't worry about it. I also bf my son for six months, and yes unless the baby is poorly my understanding is that you can have skin to skin. Bear in mind the operating theatre will be quite cold though so make sure your dh brings a blanket to cover the baby with! Best of luck OP, enjoy it - c-sections are the only way to fly!
I had an EMCS but my advice would be to take huge knickers which go over the scar and dressing. Take it very very easy, I know a pp has stated that c section problems are overstated but not everyone bounces back so quickly and I was still needing help to the toilet and to roll over in bed way past day 3. Just take every day as it comes and before you know it you will feel better.
Also on the BF front, as long as the baby is healthy you won't need to give a bottle as they drink your colostrum until your milk comes in. The baby can be fed in recovery and if you do give a bottle be aware that it might not help you to establish breastfeeding, the general advice is to avoid bottles/dummies for 4-6 weeks until breastfeeding is properly established.
Good luck OP
Another one who had no problems establishing BF after my ELCS a few months ago. Milk came in on day 2 I think. I'm EBF and apart from a slight problem with his latch, DS has been feeding fine.
Yes theatre will be cold so take a blanket and hat for baby.
Complete the course of painkillers. Do NOT stop taking them after a few days if you think you feel better. I learnt this the hard (and painful!) way.
I'm sorry I don't agree with previous poster that post c-sect problems are overstated. The chances are you will be fine but every woman heals differently and while some may recover quicker than others I would strongly advise you err on the side of caution and just take it easy. I basically sat on my sofa for 2 weeks whilst DP was on paternity leave and him fetch and carry everything for me and DS. Don't feel pressured into going out (brief walk if you feel up to it) or having guests until you are ready.
Most importantly, enjoy your baby! I already miss those early days snuggling my newborn so envy you a bit
Can I ask, when people say milk coming in on day 3 for example (in other posts) does that mean you can't breastfeed til then, or that there just isn't that much? I'm wanting to ebf if possible and really don't want to have to use formula at all if possible, I have allergies that make my tum bad, want to do everything to prevent this in little one .
I mean exclusively bf not express bf! All these abbreviations lol! Thanks for your supportive replies, so nice to hear from those who have lived it .
Just reread and saw that you answered my question re milk coming in even before I asked Thub3lina , thanks!
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