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C section recovery essentials/tips?

24 replies

bells2810 · 25/01/2023 13:53

I’m having a planned C section at the end of February and just wondered if anyone has any suggestions for essentials I might need for recovery?

So far I‘ve been told that I need lots of high waisted underwear to avoid irritating the scar, and I’ve also stocked up on the Always boutique disposable underwear. A friend gave me some Expert Midwife Spritz for Bits which she said I can spray on my scar to help it heal.

Does anyone else have any tips or suggestions for things that they found helpful for c section recovery?

thank you in advance!

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Nothingbuttheglory · 25/01/2023 13:56

Grabber stick (you won't be able to pick things up off the floor)
A fuckton of painkillers and fybogel

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stackhead · 25/01/2023 13:59

The biggest surprise for me is how much I bled afterwards, like I expected them to do some sort of suction to get it all out 😂 So I wore disposable underwear for a good 2/3 weeks.

Have lots of things prepped, and at waist level. Having an armchair or a pillow wall helps with getting off the sofa so you're putting a lot of pressure through your arms rather than your stomach muscles.

Don't take things too quickly, but try and get walking around asap.

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Panda8383 · 25/01/2023 14:03

I used CBD oil with my second section, didn’t take any painkillers, this took the pain away and the anxiety away

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RoundUpRuby · 25/01/2023 14:04

Make sure you keep on top of your painkillers! Don’t wait until the pain hits to take them, it’s too late by then. Take them on schedule even if you don’t feel like you need them.

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ArseInTheDogBowl · 25/01/2023 14:08

Peppermint tea! Massive pants. I can't think of too much specific to having a c-section really. Definitely having a good stock of paracetamol and ibuprofen.

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Namechanger355 · 25/01/2023 14:14

Just had my second c section - elective was easier than emergency but here are my tips as in all honesty I forgot how tough recovering from pregnancy and birth can be:

  1. buy lots of paracetamol and ibruprofen - you won’t be able to buy it in one go. Then take 2 of one kind and 2 of another 2 hours later keeping within limits. Put alarms on your phone and don’t forget a dose - it is agony in the first two weeks or so and you need to be on top of your pain.
  2. buy lots of maternity pads - the big kind initially and can then switch to ultra kind. Boots do good ones. I bled or had some discharge for 6 weeks and it’s really annoying but is what it is so need to make it comfortable. And the first few days are really heavy


3 don’t overdo it in the first week or so- and make sure you have some help to sit up and sit down etc. turn onto your side if getting out of or onto the bed. Don’t walk up and down the stairs too much in the first week- you will feel it if you do and your insides need to heal

4 likewise I found lying on a recline helpful when sleeping - I couldjt sleep flat on my back or on my sides

5 if you want to breastfeed ask the midwife for tips on how you can do so post c section - eg a rugby hold can work to reduce pressure on your scar

5 you may need to wear compression socks and May need to inject yourself with blood thinners for a few days/weeks after - the doctor will tell you.

all in all it might be a little tough for the first few weeks but it will soon be much easier as the pain/bleeding etc should subside pretty quickly
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Eranzer · 25/01/2023 14:18

Tie your dressing gown draw string to the end of your bed to haul yourself up.

Eat clean and fibre filled foods prior to your section, and accept the lactulose afterwards. Loads of water too. Basically do everything you can to ensure your first poo isn't a battle.

Take peppermint tea with you/peppermint capsules. You'll likely have the most horrific trapped wind after the surgery. Peppermint helps sooooo much!

Hold a pillow/cushion over your scar if you need to sneeze or cough.

Slip on shoes for the first few days, no laces or anything you need to bend down and pull up!

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Toomuchinfor · 25/01/2023 14:18

The best advice I got was to take all the pain killers regularly on a time table, not when you're in pain. Don't push yourself - your partner has a golden opportunity to get competent in baby handling while you rest and that is so useful for everyone.

The other thing was to eat at least one orange a day - my mum brought them to me in hospital already peeled. It keeps things moving.

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Toomuchinfor · 25/01/2023 14:18

I didn't have any trapped wind - it doesn't always happen.

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Eranzer · 25/01/2023 14:19

@Toomuchinfor you lucky bugger! It was the worst pain I've ever endured! 😨

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Toomuchinfor · 25/01/2023 14:20

Just reading the posts here - they are so useful but don't be scared by the warnings of agony and horrific pain - that really is not everyone's experience.

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Krakenes · 25/01/2023 14:20

I have to say mine was a wonderful experience! I took paracetamol and ibuprofen regularly but I didn’t really experience any pain at all (probably because I kept on top of the painkillers for the first few days). I hated the disposable pants, I used lillets maternity pads and they were great with high waisted pants. I didn’t get any trapped wind, but get some peppermint oil just in case. Try and move around as soon as you get feeling back. I was discharged 10hrs after the section and was walking around fine. I wouldn’t spray anything on the scar. I rinsed with water and let it dry and I barely can see a scar 18m on.

Our toilet is up a steep flight of stairs but didn’t really have any issues going up and down. Felt well enough for a walk and pub lunch on day 3!

Hope all goes well - I’d have another in a heartbeat!!

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Toomuchinfor · 25/01/2023 14:20

Eranzer · 25/01/2023 14:19

@Toomuchinfor you lucky bugger! It was the worst pain I've ever endured! 😨

I really feel for you! It sounds awful.

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STom2 · 25/01/2023 14:38

I had an elective section with my first and the recovery was pretty smooth. Best advice was to take both paracetamol AND ibuprofen. And take them frequently. The ibuprofen helps with the bruising, which gets worse before it gets better and I initially panicked thinking it was an issue with the healing. But no, it was as I'd not taken any ibuprofen at all as nobody told me to do this until my MW came to visit and asked when I mentioned the bruising!

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ArseInTheDogBowl · 25/01/2023 14:43

The other thing to do, sorry if obvious, but space out the paracetamol from the ibuprofen so you are topped up throughout the day.

I didn't haul myself up but instead kind of gently rolled on to my side before getting out of bed.

It won't necessarily be really painful- I don't think it was that bad for me both times! I had great experiences and very good recoveries.

Do the exercises they tell you to do afterwards- I regret not doing those more.

And by all means get out and about and keep moving, it will help, but don't do what I did and go for a long uphill 3 mile walk to the shops around a week after the section. I thought I was fine and managing well but on the way back it became agony all round my core muscles/abdomen/hips and it hurt for a few days after.

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Sallycilantro · 25/01/2023 14:46

Move about a bit but don't overdo it.
Don't soak in a bath. I did this with my second section because i never had issues with my first but this time it went soggy and got infected. Shower if you can and try to keep it as dry as possible for the first week at least.

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bells2810 · 25/01/2023 16:09

Wow thank you so much for all of your replies! I’m very grateful for all the tips and tricks 😊

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trrk · 25/01/2023 16:57

Lots of pillows so you can sleep propped up comfortably. The worst bit of the whole thing for me was not being able to sleep comfortably on my side for ages. While I was happy to get home I missed the adjustable hospital bed.

Take the stool softeners straight away, don’t wait 2 days. Ask for them if not offered any or bring your own. Bring your own paracetamol and ibuprofen to the hospital in case they are late or forget to give them to you.

Move around but don’t overdo it.

I also tried to carefully dry the scar and air it for 20 min everyday after showering.

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mummmmyj · 25/01/2023 19:50

Help doing things around the house
don’t overdo it even when you feel ok
huge knickers
painkillers
tie a sheet to bedpost to help you get up and down / in and out at night

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lookslikeabombhitit · 25/01/2023 20:11

Must haves:-

  • Windeze tablets (simeticone is the active ingredient)
  • Slippers that slide on rather than you have to put feet in them
  • MASSIVE knickers that go over the scar. 6 years on from my last section I still have to wear them as I hate the feeling of anything touching the scar.
  • A little pillow (about the size of a hot water bottle) to hold against your wound when coughing/ sneezing/ laughing. First few days putting pressure on it for those kind of movements is really helpful
  • Laxatives.
  • Pillows to prop you up on couch/bed in varying positions so you can be comfortable and feed baby etc.
  • A little basket/ bag that you can keep near you full of helpful bits and bobs- snacks, nappies, wipes, lip balm, pain relief, muslins etc. So then you don't have to wander around getting what you need.


    Other tips:-
    *keep on top of pain relief
    *take it slow, giving yourself a haematoma because you think you're wonder woman is no bloody fun. Neither is the op to remove said haematoma.
  • As long as you can emergency stop and you're happy to do so you can drive- I found driving easier than trying to walk everywhere post op!
  • Stock freezer with ready to eat meals now. You're chopped liver once the baby arrives and cooking/fending for yourself is no fun post op.
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LeapingCat · 25/01/2023 20:18

It’s all so different for everyone! I didn’t need laxatives, I actually had diarrhoea. You can’t alternate paracetamol and ibuprofen if you’re on blood thinner, which I was. I just had paracetamol and it was fine. I didn’t think the pain was that bad, no worse than the 2nd degree tear I had with a vaginal birth.

Think about where the baby will sleep. We had a next2me crib and it made getting out of bed tricky to start with.

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CurbsideProphet · 25/01/2023 20:33

A small cushion for the car ride home to hold against tummy.

I had awful wind pain. Plenty of peppermint tea bags for those early days.

Movicol / laxido to help bowel. I was told it's normal not to go to the loo for 4/5 days after c section.

I just wasn't prepared for feeling so weak and incapacitated after surgery, but I had an anxious pregnancy and then PPH. I wish I had refused discharge after 24 hours and stayed in hospital for another day to properly establish breastfeeding.

Don't feel you should be up and about as normal within days. Some women feel fine but as a midwife said to me, you've had surgery and it can be tough on the body. Try to be sensible with going out for walks etc and not overdo it too soon.

Fill the freezer with tasty and nutritious meals in foil trays that can go straight into the oven.

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Crispynoodle · 25/01/2023 20:38

Eat very good quality protein between now and c-section. We're talking pulses, eggs, steak and fish. Pulses I think have a higher protein count than meat, I think. I've done this before major surgery and orthopedic surgery and both times my wound healed very well and quickly.

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tenbob · 25/01/2023 20:41

My top tip is to get a dressing gown cord or TRX strap and attach to the head or foot of your bed

then you can use it to pull yourself up with your arms, and not put any pressure on your abs while they heal

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