Coping after a cesarean on your own(18 Posts)
I am 33+3 and am due to be induced at 38 weeks for medical reasons. However, baby has been head up in pretty much the same position since 20 weeks. Breech babies can't be induced so if the situation doesn't change I'll have to have a cesarean.
I'm single (by choice) and the plan was that my parents would come and stay after the birth to support me, especially if I have a CS and can't lift etc.
My mum broke her arm last night and is looking at at least 6 weeks in a cast so at the point I would come home after a cesarean she won't be able to lift the baby. My dad has (early ish stage) Parkinson's so wouldn't be confident enough to be carrying baby about, and certainly not up and down stairs, and things like the precision to get the car seat into the isofix base might be beyond him.
So essentially I have to plan for me managing baby on my own after a CS. Is this possible? There must be plenty of single women (or women whose husbands are away with work) who have coped on their own after a CS.
Please can you tell me that it'll be ok!? Which specific baby-related tasks will I be unable to do?
You'll be fine. Stay in hospital for as long as you can (3 nights if possible). I came home day 3 and whilst I do have a supportive husband there wasn't anything I couldn't manage. Keep on top of painkillers and you'll be ok. To be honest it was emotional support I needed the most rather than physical help so your mum can still be useful. Sign up to Amazon prime and online supermarket shopping. There's very little you can't get within 24 hours delivered to your door. I was driving within a couple of weeks and out and about with the pram way before that.
I've not been in the situation but I would plan to stay in bed a lot. Co sleep. Get your dad to change nappies on the bed (on a changing mat). Your mum will still be able to lift the baby and hold just won't be as comfortable with the cast on. After a week or so your mum should have the cast off and regaining strength.
Do you have a nice community hospital near by that allows you to stay in? The two near me let you stay in for up to a week after the birth and give you all the support, even if you didn't give birth there.
I wouldn't recommend lifting the baby in a car seat for the first week or so. Do you have any friends who could pick you up from the hospital and get you home? Does you dad drive?
Leave the car seat in the car and just lift the baby in and out, a lot lighter and less fiddly.
Hospital should help you get the baby into the car if you are struggling when you leave.
Thanks for your responses.
My dad does drive so if the hospital will allow me to take the baby to the car to put in the car seat that will be fine. Then the car seat can just stay in the car (of course I bought a particularly heavy car seat because I need a lay flat one for a long journey we're doing in July).
I'm quite reluctant to co sleep as I'm one of those people who wakes up to find they've rearranged the bedding in the middle of the night; I wouldn't want to rearrange the baby in my sleep! I could put the cot next to my bed with the side partially down though.
The community hospital idea is a good one. I'll ask my midwife about it when I see her at 35 weeks if baby is still head up.
You'll probably need to put the baby in the car seat before you leave the ward but I'm sure they will help you to the car if you ask. I found a stretchy wrap sling invaluable, put in on first thing in the morning then popped baby in and out as needed, so left the car seat in the car. Easier on the tummy muscles than holding in your arms and no heavy pram to push. Consider getting a cosleeper cot (snuzpod/next to me/bednest). Can be rented or bought on eBay, just get a new mattress. Then you can slide baby over to you in the night, change nappy on bed, feed and slide back over. The other option would be a sleepyhead or equivalent, or both! Don't use a cot with the side half up, it could be dangerous. Maybe somewhere downstairs for baby to nap, such as the pram carrycot or Moses basket that you don't need to carry upstairs. Have a full set of change stuff and spare clothes upstairs and downstairs to minimise stair climbing for you.
I managed the majority in my own after section the only thing is not lifting the car seat - I would recommend if it's one that attaches to a pram bring the entire thing to the ward at discharge point so you can wheel it out - or make sure there is a friend / mw to help you carry it out.
Stay in as long as possible perhaps so you are fully mobile and confident moving about - I came home less than 24hrs after and in hindsight would of stayed longer just to rest! I was doing the school run alone on the Tuesday ( section sat night) - with baby, 10month old and 8yr old and just took it slow good luck!
My dh had to go straight back to work after I had ds so I was alone all day with dd and newborn ds.
Picking up ds was ok (but not poor dd who found this hard to understand but I used to sit down and she would come to me for a cuddle) make sure you have a Moses basket or a cot on a high stand so you are not leaning up/down too far.
Do not try and put up/collapse a buggy, I left it up in the hallway all the time, or outside front door if weather was nice. However take walking very slowly, literally just round the block at first.
Bath the baby in the kitchen sink, do not attempt to get in/put baby in/clean the bath at all it will be too low. Have showers.
Do not attempt hoovering, cleaning floors or anything similar in the first few weeks. Just let it go! Or get a friend round to help. My friends were very good and popped into see me.
Do online shopping, stock up cupboards before hand and then get deliveries afterwards.
I actually recovered far quicker from my cs than my 'natural' birth.
Nappy changing - get a cot top changer for upstairs, downstairs I had a changing may behind the sofa and changed him on the floor. Do not do nappy changes on your sofa unless it is leather/wipe clean! If you are having a boy (?) have a wet wipe/flannel/Muslin handy as they always wee when you take their nappy off!
Thanks again everyone . I'm feeling less panicked now!!
I'll get a stand for the moses basket my friend is lending me.
I already have a cot top changer for the actual cot and downstairs there's a big coffee table I could change baby on so I don't have to bend down to the floor.
My hunch is that baby is a boy so I'll make sure I'm always prepared for flying wee!
Following this post as likely to be in similar situation
I've had two sections while single, I did have my mum around but very limited help..I think you will find it easier than you think. Stay in hospital for as long as possible, just do the minimal when you are home. It normally only takes me a couple of weeks to recover.
I used to leave the car seat in the car and transfer the baby into the carycot (on pram wheels) when going out. Carrying the baby was no bother, they don't weigh much, but I agree that you might feel more confident with a stretchy sling. It's worth having a changing station upstairs and downstairs where you can change nappies at a comfortable height. Make sure it's well stocked with clothes and supplies before you undo a nappy.
Have a look at a Snugglebundl, sounds like something which could make lifting easier for all three of you
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If your mum's none broken arm is her dominant arm she'll still be able to do a lot. I had a c-section and I was much more mobile/a able than I expected to be, I just moved in slow motion for the first 10 days.
I'd say you will be able to do most baby related things to be honest except lifting the pram which is very heavy. You will be able to lift and carry baby about, change nappy get baby in and out of moses basket beside bed, wheel pram but not lift it. To be fair you don't feel like going too far for the first few weeks anyway post c section, get midwife to help you out with car seat then just leave it in the car til you feel you need it again. You can take baby out for walks etc in the pram just.
I found it best to stay gently active and keep on top of pain killers for the first week. Another good tip is if you live in a house with stairs leave moses basket upstairs and use pram downstairs so your only carrying baby up and down.
Honestly you will be fine it's only for a few weeks. I was back to normal by week four and driving by week 5.
Also you don't mention the option of getting baby turned which is something to consider if you want to try and avoid c section
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