Realistically how much help will I need after a c-section?(24 Posts)
I have a c-section booked for 4 November and I'm not sure how much help I might need afterwards.
DH is currently planning to take his two weeks' paternity leave then go back to work. I have a 2yo DS to look after as well as the new baby.
I have a nanny who will be coming in between 8.30 and 2.30, leaving me to look after both DS and the new baby on my own from 2.30 until DH gets home at about 8.30. Is this realistic at 2 weeks post-c-section? Have any of you successfully looked after a newborn and a toddler soon after a c-section on your own?
I don't want to be precious, obviously I hope it will be absolutely fine, and I realise I am very lucky to have a nanny come in for a few hours a day, but I genuinely have no idea really what physical state I will be in by that time.
Might not be able to pop back for a couple of hours but any experiences/advice very welcome.
I had an unplanned crash section and was totally unprepared. My DH was home the first week, then my mum came over to help for a week
After that I had a young girl come in to help me with DD (who was 2yo) between 9am and 4pm.
By that time, I was pretty much able to cope alone. I was not doing much housework as I was lucky enough to have a cleaner.
Try and be as organised as possible before the birth. If you can, cook some meals in advance that just need heated up (lasagne, shepherds pie, fish pie, stew etc).
If anyone asks if you need anything, ask them to do your ironing or make you a meal
I had a planned sewction with DS. I left hospital on day 3 after and for the following 2 weeks DH took every second day off work - however we were househunting so did a lot of that in that time! I only really needed help with the very heavy stuff like baskets of washing or changing bedding other than that I pottered around just fine but I did only have DS to look after.
Flowery, yes, you will be absolutely fine by then.
Well, as fine as you can be with a newborn and a 2 yo .
I had no help after DC3 was born by c-section (DH had one day off for the birth). My other two DCs were 4.5 (in Reception) and 2.5 at the time. I managed although it was hard.
Just to add a note of caution...
I had DH at home for 2 weeks, and then MIL for a few days and my Mum for a week, I then spent a week at my parents while our new kitchen went in.
I was really glad that I had as much help as I did, and I only had DS. My section scar got infected and I healed really slowly. Even walking was agony for 3 weeks and I would have struggled with a toddler. We had a cleaner coming in so I didn't need to do any housework.
Obviously you could just as easily get an infection from a tear or whatever following a vaginal birth, and hopefully you will be absolutely fine, but I would suggest having a back up plan in place to give you some extra support if you find you need it.
I had an emergency section with dc1 and took 6wks to fully recover, DH went back to work on day 8 and then had another week off at 4wks. You can do somethings, but lifting was a problem and I couldn't walk very far. I couldn't drive for the full 6wks either.
I suppose the answer depends on your toddler, what they can do for themselves and what sort of things you usually do in the afternoons, does your nanny sort meals? If so you only need worry about the evening meal, and as others say you can have things ready prepared. If your toddler naps in the afternoon, and/or goes to bed early then you'll probably be just fine. You may not be able to bath at bedtime as you may not be able to lift them in and out. Also if they need lifting on and off the loo, that might be hard.
I guess I'm saying that the more your toddler can do themselves the better, so maybe you could start teaching them to climb into the car, up to the loo etc now?
I would also add that I know alot of people who've recovered much faster than me, esp if they've had a planned rather than emcs.
Good luck, I'm expecting dc2 in 2 weeks and am hoping for a VBAC but I'll be watching this thread with interest just in case I don't make it! DC1 is almost 3.
That's all really helpful, thank you.
I do think bathtime is going to be the problem if anything. I have been training DS to use his step and he's pretty good at getting in and out of the bath with support rather than actual lifting now. Toilet's a bit more tricky and he still needs lifting on and off, but might work on that a bit more.
I've also got him climbing into his car seat but only after lifting him on to the door sill as the car is quite high, but actually it should be relatively easy for me to avoid having to go out in the car with him/both of them by myself until I'm fighting fit again.
Have started cooking already for the freezer, made a gigantic bolognese sauce yesterday! Our nanny will do main meals for DS at lunchtime anyway, so it's just feeding DS a sandwich or whatever at tea time then something easy for DH and myself for dinner, which DH can do when he gets home...
It sounds as though it should be do-able, as long as things go reasonably well. In terms of a contingency plan, well if all goes to pot DH might be able to take a bit more time off, the nanny might be able to do a bit of overtime and I might be able to get my MIL up as a last resort as well.
flowery that sounds good
Just double check with your car insurance what their policy is post section. I wasn't insured to drive until 6 weeks post-partum. In my situation I wouldn't have wanted to, but you may be feeling fine and want to get out and about.
Just one other tip that I've thought of. I had changing gear downstairs as well as upstairs, the less you need to go up and down stairs the better. I changed DS on a big footstool in our living room for the first few weeks because getting up off the floor holding a baby can be very hard initially.
2 weeks post section you still wont be able to lift. That's the only sticking point in your plan . Could you abandon night time bathing and get your nanny to do that in the morning? Just for a few weeks?
You will also still (possibly) be feeling quite tired and need your rest. Just make sure you use the time that the nanny is at your house to really chill out. I found I recovered much more quickly from my second section precisely because I allowed myself more time doing absolutely nothing afterwards.
Congrats and all the best, btw!
My dh went back to work a 10 days after I had my second c/s and I had a 2.8 year old at home and no help from anyone else and it was okay, really.
Thanks Ali and Bianca
I do need to check about the car insurance, although I'm not too bothered if they say not for 6 weeks, that should be fine. Good tip about having changing stuff downstairs - now I think about it I did that with DS anyway, we had it all set up on the dining room table, so I'll do that again definitely.
Bianca it might be a good idea to abandon night time baths for a couple of weeks, I agree. DS is pretty good climbing in and out now with me holding him rather than lifting him, but I can see it might be making things just a bit more difficult that is sensible!
I do plan to rest as much as possible, especially for the first couple of weeks when DH is here.
I had 2 c-sections and I had loads of help for about a week. I had absolutely no pain after the first 3/4 days, and was able to carry stuff, drive and carry DD after about 10 days.
As long as you take it completely easy for the first two weeks and while the nanny is there you should be fine.
No bending, cleaning, nothing that involves, bending, lifting, dragging or carrying.
I came home and cleaned the kitchen units and then stripped the bed and knew how stupid that idea was v quickly.
Just a thought. You do not have to do bathtime every evening (assuming you are at present). This is a Very British thing, evening bathtime. Here on the continent our DC get bathed a couple of times a week. And your nanny could do that during the day.
Flowery have you ever had any, even minor, surgery before? My experience is that it all depends on whether you are a slow or fast healer. I am slow and I needed every ounce of help I could get (esp as it was em c/s after gruelling labour) while one of my NCT group had planned section and is fast healer and was whizzing around all over the place within 3 weeks, while I still found walking difficult!
My only advice would be not to put a brave face on it or do things you think are too much. That way madness lies.
I had an em cs and was fine almost straight away and was back doing housework on day 3/4. A friend was in a lot of pain still 3 weeks later. It's not a competition. There's no time limit to needing help.
Could your nanny do a later shift for you (ideally covering bedtime)? Things always seem to turn to sh*t after 4pm with a newborn and toddler! Teatime and bedtime are the hardest part of the day. Mornings are easier spent bumming in PJs and often a newborn will go back to sleep quite soon after waking.
After my second c-section I didn't feel comfortable doing anything 'heavy' until 6 weeks (including driving). It was odd though because at 5 weeks it felt as though I was never going to be 'right' then suddenly things improved. I am sure that after my first c-section I felt better more quickly (but I was younger/fitter to start with).
flowery - I had a c-section 6 months ago, planned, and also had my 17 month old and 2 1/2 yr old at home to look after DH took a couple of weeks off then it was all down to me.
You sound very prepared, I didnt, and couldn't have driven for 6 weeks post op, I taught my boys to climb as much as i could, even simple climbing like onto the sofa and my lap etc. The biggest hurdle was nap time, my 2 1.2 yr old was in a toddler bed so he was easy, but my middle boy was in a cot still, with no drop side. I taught him to climb up onto a chair and climb over the bar, or to sleep on a ready bed on the floor.
IIf your little one is potty training/trained, i would consider having a potty in the lounge if you don't already, you'll be amazed at how slow you are getting around.
good luck, you'll be fine.
Ooh, more replies, thanks everyone!
ML I am currently bathing DS every night, yes. In a way for obviously reasons I'd like to keep his routine the same as much as possible but I can see some things might have to give at least for a while!
Never had any surgery before so I have no clue how quickly I heal unfortunately, so feeling a bit in the dark.
Kwaker5 I may see if I can get the nanny to do a few later shifts yes - she has a little boy herself at school so it's not straightforward but she is lovely and obliging and would juggle things to help me a bit I am sure.
diddle DS isn't potty training/trained yet. He's on the verge, so no doubt will suddenly decide 'now's the time' at the most inconvenient moment!
thanks ever so much for all help and good wishes!
Hi Flowerybeanbag. One more point on the driving thing. I had 2 sections and we live miles from anywhere so it was a big issue. Most insurers are happy for you to drive as long as you haven't been given medical advice not to drive. My GP said the acid test is whether or not you can hop. Provided you can hop on either leg, you have the muscle power back to do an emergency stop. For me it was 8 days first time, and 10 days 2nd. The tip about changing table upstairs as well as down is a good one, and definitely don't try to change on the floor cos your back will be very unstable cos no tummy muscles to support it. Good luck!
Flowerybeanbag, I've had 3 css. My DD was 15 months when my DS1 was born. I tried to be up and about straightaway because i was so worried about her missing me and it was a mistake. My scar ruptured and it took me longer to recover. With DS 2, born when DD was 3.25 and DS1 was just 2, i stayed in bed for the entire 2 weeks after he was born and focussed on the baby whilst my DH lookedafter them. it was hard on them in the short term but meant i recovered much much better. after the 2 weeks i was able to look after them all fine. best of luck - sounds like whatyou've got in place should be great. yo can always get nanny to bath DS in the morning?
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