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Caring for my wife after Caeserean(61 Posts)
My wife is having an unplanned, urgent Caeserean tomorrow. We are all set for it but I am quite unclear on how hard the recovery will be for my wife once we are back home. I would be really grateful for any practical advice from those who have had Caesereans or partners of those who have regarding caring for my wife over the coming days and weeks (and months?). Obviously I will give her all the emotional support possible so really I am asking about more practical stuff - is there anything I should get in the house so it is to hand or anything that I should be prepared for that isn't obvious? Any help greatly appreciated. Many thanks, Richard
Good luck to you both I'm
Sure you will be fine ))
I needed lots of pillows to sit up in bed and also on the sofa because my sofa was quite low.
Mine was an emergency c section so I was exhausted after a long labour but handling the baby was tough for me so my husband did all the nappies and dressing baby for the first few days!
I appreciated general help up from furniture!
If all goes as it should you wife should be able to walk ok and get up and down stairs after a couple of days (and she should be getting up and moving around as much as she can to avoid thrombosis).
Anything involving lifting, reaching, bending or kneeling down or crouching will be very hard and she should avoid that sort of movement. Also, she's not supposed to drive for quite a long time ... it might be a month or 6 weeks?
A friend of mine sent me a list! I'll pm it to you if you like. Get o.j. and fybogel though. No one needs to strain after that. That's my top tip.
I also borrowed a 'back support bed wedge' from a relative (can pick up on amazon or Argos)
I also picked up new underwear - super high waist knickers called full brief in a large size - you could probably get these in a large supermarket.
My skin also took a bad reaction to all the sticky pads for the surgery so I used 100% aloe Vera from boots
During the surgery I got a little freaked out as I could hear the surgeons speaking so it really helped to have my partner right in my ear talking to me to drown out the surgeons chatter
Peppermint tea helps too as she will suffer from trapped wind!
DH did all the nappy changes while he was on paternity leave (together with annual leave he took 4 weeks) as I found the bending and movement uncomfortable.
I was advised to take painkillers on a schedule rather than waiting to be in pain. Keeping on top of that schedule isn't trivial - if your DW is doing the same, at least noting down what's been taken when is very helpful. As is ensuring you have plenty of painkillers in the house - I was using over the counter paracetamol and ibuprofen.
I had an emergency csection. Good advice on here. I especially second massive full-style knickers to sit on her waist far from the scar.
I'd add buy lots of lovely fruit and veg in, and dried fruit (organic dried apricots are best!) to keep things moving in terms of digestion, no straining.
I also benefitted loads from saltwater baths- great for healing the scar. Get salt in too!
Good luck to you both.
Yes take the painkillers on cue. Massive help
I would stay with her in hospital all the time if you can. My sister had a C-section recently and there was no capacity to help her to water, pass her a crying baby, put a sleeping baby back in the cot again etc. That's the biggest thing I found after my first baby too (no C-section, but injuries). I felt completely abandoned in hospital. Take stuff for yourself (food, drink, change of clothes so that you're not having to leave her unecessarily.
Hope all goes smoothly.
Initially access to pain relief medication in hospital (and once out) can be an issue. I also found it hard to remember what meds had had!
I had some issues with breastfeeding DC1 at first, DC1 was v distressed for a few days, and was lucky to get good help from a midwife. with DC2 (2nd c section) used syringes of formula to supin first few days - not generally the “done thing” - then bfed until was a toddler.
I found a changing table useful as bending down etc was tricky.
DH did most of the early nappies while on paternity leave! Including at night. He also dealt with sick, wet sheets etc (DC1 was sicky, DC2 was skinny and nappies often leaked!), he got clean ones all ready to have to hand and changed DC.
And when DH returned to work he left as early as he could in the evenings to parent etc.
Yes, the hospital “care” was shocking! Massive London hospital. I have never been so happy to see DH as when morning visiting hours started, had been counting the minutes!
No advice as I haven't had one. But I just wanted to say hope it all goes smoothly and how nice it is that you came on here to ask!
Bring food and lots of water/tea etc. Sitting up, lying down again will be really hard for a while.
Lifting even the baby might well be hard for a few weeks and lifting older toddlers a definite no-no.
Everyone is different, but it took my about 6 days to be able to really move much at all, about 6 weeks to be 70% okay and about 6 months to be 95% okay.
I had live in help for 6 weeks all the time and I needed it. 2 weeks of my husband, 2 weeks one set of parents and 2 weeks the other set. But others seem to recover quicker. Plan for that though as worst case you can send someone home early!
Both mine were c section babies, and from experience- buy her huge pants so they don’t rub on the scar in the early weeks, and a nice supportive cushion/pillow. Do any housework needed for the first few weeks at least and if nappy changes require getting down on the floor to change baby then it’d be helpful to do plenty of those. Also she won’t be able to drive for a while so taking her places if she wants or needs to is very helpful. Helping her to pick up and put down baby in the early days is helpful and helping her up from sitting for the first few days as you just have no working abdominal muscles and it bloody hurts! Also have fibogel or similar to hand.
Mostly though ask her what she needs and do that!
Agree about support needed in hospital. If your wife has a sister/mum/friend we actually had them stay overnight so that my husband was able to be the most helpful the next day.
Expect to do most of the cleaning, washing, cooking for a while as a) newborn baby! and b) standing, lifting bending are hard.
I found two emcs relatively easy. Bounced back. However, the trapped wind was unreal. Peppermint capsules in hot water are brill (stronger than tea). They'll have it in hospital but she should only drink it every 4hrs if breastfeeding. Shoulder pain is usually referred pain from trapped air in the abdomen so if she feels like she slept funny with an achy shoulder, it's likely that.
Big pants, lots of fruit and veg, tissues and support for day 3 or 4 when the baby blues kick in and follow her lead. I didn't want or need physical help but I did need adult company and box sets for the mammoth feeding sessions.
I’d say try to think ahead a bit about what she might normally do; i like a tidy house and I found it hard not being able to hoover and I felt bad continually asking my DH so I appreciated him noticing what needed doing.
Also things like my DH moved the toaster from the cupboard to the side so that once he was back at work I could still make myself toast as I couldn’t have lifted ours.
At first I needed help sitting up in bed and getting into the shower but that didn’t last long.
2x c sections here. 1st emergency, 2nd elective.
On both I was up and about and lifting babies the next morning. Getting in and out of bed was tricky for a few days but otherwise was ok. Obv heavy housework such as vacuuming was out for a few weeks. With both I was driving after 3 weeks. In all honesty, as long as taking pain relief regularly for the first 5 or 6 days, the pain was no worse than overdoing sit ups. My DH had 2 weeks leave, and I was perfectly able to cope once he was back at work.
I had a planned one- couldnt stand up long enough to change a nappy for a week- i felt too weak so dh had to
Lot of effort to stand up and pick my dt up
It is lovely that you are asking
Stay on top of some of the housework so she isn't stressed by it not being done.
Get freezer food so it's easy for you to reheat.
If your wife breastfeeds she will need lots of drinks and snacks to hand
Get a wicker basket or similar to keep nappies, wipes, muslins etc to hand
Lots of babygro's to hand too.
Make sure you're awake for night feeds to offer support. But take your cue from your wife.
Tell her she is both fantastic and gorgeous and try to find moments of lightheartedness in the tiring weeks ahead. Good luck!
C-section recovery varies massively I think, both of mine were very easy despite being emergencies (to the point of not needing any pain relief post spinal) and I could have managed without any help. Hopefully your wife will be on that end of the spectrum.
I watched my 2nd child come out (they dropped the drape completely) and it was amazing. Assuming there is no reason why they wouldn't allow it, I'd absolutely recommend. You can't see anything gory.
Also if squeamishness is a factor, distract her from the theatre lights as you can see everything and it's a bit odd, especially as the iodine looks a bit like blood in the reflection.
I found getting up as soon as I could really helped (and quite possibly prevented me having any trapped wind pain). With both of mine I was up within 5-6 hours of the surgery. Also she needs to try and walk straight rather than shuffle, it pays off quickly.
Along with pain relief, she needs to keep taking vitamins
Encourage/remind her to roll out of bed, don't go straight up/down.
Nappy change baskets: cotton wool, water bowl, jug with water in it (or wipes), cream, nappies ideally next to wherever changes will take place. Obviously it varies from woman to woman but I would have struggled with my dh doing all the nappy changes due to a few issues I had regarding my first section/subsequent NICU stay.
Feeding basket: snacks and drinks for her, cushion perhaps, muslins, blanket for her and baby as it's getting cold. All within handy reach regardless of feeding method.
Don't let her hoover, the midwife told me off for doing that in the first week.
Cook or have easy to throw together ingredients/meals planned.
Hope everything goes well for you both.
With regards to painkillers I would try and avoid any codeine based ones. They cause constipation and that is definitely not something you want post c-section.
My husband had a week off work and that was fine. The most difficult part I found was getting up out of bed at night as our bed was quite low. Stay on top of the housework for her as she won't be able to vacuum or stretch for a while. I was able to walk into town with the pram after a week but was very glad it was downhill on the way home. I was driving after ten days (just check with your insurance company first)
Super big pants, peppermint for the trapped wind, it seriously hurts! Plenty of pillows, i couldnt lie flat for a few days, maternity pads in upstairs and downstairs loos, box of baby essentials downstairs too, including nappies, wipes, muslins, blanket and baby gros. A stand for the moses basket, if not a coffee table will do. Silly things like making the bed, doing the washing, hoovering, just do them, dont wait to be asked! Some women bounce back from sections quickly others take longer, remember its major abdominal surgery.
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