8 Essential C-Section Recovery Tips
First and foremost, keep in mind that you and your body have done (or will soon do) a truly amazing thing. For the first couple of weeks and months, you will be busy adjusting to the new changes that have taken place in your family– perhaps you’re becoming a family for the first time! It’s important to keep things in perspective as you navigate this new season of your life. Have grace and compassion with yourself, and don’t let anyone treat you with anything less than that.
HOW TO ENSURE A SMOOTH RECOVERY FROM YOUR C-SECTION
A Cesarean Section (commonly referred to as a C-section) is a major surgery. Which may leave you wondering how long does it take to recover from a C-section anyway? Obviously, each person and their body will be different, but generally it takes about 6-8 six weeks for your C-section to completely heal. This healing process can be made easier by following a few key tips!
1- Keep Your Incision Clean
Now that everything is said and done, you’re feeling the effects of what was a major surgery. Many women underestimate how sore and painful recovering from major abdominal surgery can be. Even though it might be painful to do so, you must clean your incision at least once a day. Follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions to the best of your ability. Don’t be ashamed if you need a little bit of help from your partner. Pregnancy has probably bestowed upon you a little extra skin, and it can be extremely scary to try to clean an incision underneath there. The most important thing is to get it done - if you don’t clean your wound properly, it may not close as it should, and it may even get infected.
2 - Take Your Medications
Sure, you might be superwoman, but even she needs painkillers every once in a while. Your surgeon prescribed very specific medication for a reason. Unless you are experiencing unwanted side effects from an opioid-containing pain killer, take those meds! Keep in mind, however, that the pain medication is masking your body’s natural checks and balances, so don’t overdo it. Take the medication that you need to take to keep yourself functioning for your newborn babe. You’ve got this!
3 - Things To Avoid After A C-Section
Because C-sections are such a major procedure, letting it heal properly is going to take some tender love and care. This usually involves being gentle with your wound by avoiding certain motions or activities like bending down, lifting heavy objects, sex, and even how much (and how hard) you laugh and cough.
Bloating, gas, and indigestion can also cause your wound extra pain, so as you heal, try avoiding foods like citrus, coffee, carbonated drinks, processed foods, and spicy foods, as well as alcohol and fried foods. Not only can these types of foods cause you pain, they can also affect your breast milk, and the health of your baby.
4 - Be Prepared For The Bleeding
Now, everyone tells you that you’ll bleed a lot, and they mean it. However, first-time moms tend to underestimate the validity of those statements. Put simply, you’re going to bleed exuberant amounts, especially if you move around more than you should (yes, we understand, it’s impossible not to). Send your partner or another family member to the store with one goal: to find the largest, most absorbent pads– with wings– that they can find. You will be glad they did. In fact, some women throw their hands up and just go with incontinence underwear. Your choice, girl.
5 - Get Plenty of Rest
Healing requires lots of rest… and new mothers don’t get a lot of that. That being said, we’re not going to assume that you can get a nice 10 hour, uninterrupted stretch; however, don’t be afraid to ask for help. We know you want to be the strong, independent super mom that we know you are inside, but your body needs you to accept a little bit of help right now. Call your mother-in-law and have her watch the baby for an hour. Take a nap– you deserve it.
6 - Try Collagen Powder
In the realm of dietary supplements, collagen powder is one of the more powerful healing supplements. Good collagen supplements can help your body restructure and properly form new skin– a critical part of wound healing. As with most supplements, it can’t hurt to try, and if it helps your body heal properly, it’s worth the minimal effort.
7 - Massage Your Scar
Depending on the amount of nerve damage to the wound area, this may or may not be an uncomfortable action for you. If you think your scar is too sensitive for massaging, try rubbing an analgesic topical product (assuming your incision has completely closed), like peppermint, on the area prior to massaging. However, the main purpose of scar massage is to stimulate the body’s restructuring process for scar tissue.
8 - Use A Scar Kit Made For C-Section Scars
Finally, as soon as your incision becomes a scar rather than a wound (aka, once the wound fully heals), you should start applying scar treatments to it. This will help minimize the appearance of your scar, including size, texture, and colour, helping you avoid noticeable raised scars. Because C-section scars are so common, we made a Scar Heal Kit tailored specifically to C-sections!
Comprised of medical-grade silicone scar sheeting fitted to the size of a C-section scar and Rejuvasil scar gel, the scar kit works together to keep hydration locked in, preventing the excessive collagen production that often leads to raised, noticeable scars. Simply use the silicone sheeting to cover your scar at night and Rejuvasil during the day to soften and flatten your scar!
Healing from a C-section is no easy feat, especially as you are learning to take care of your new little one. Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself too with these 8 C-section recovery tips, and our C-section scar treatment kit.