Postpartum: Recovering From a Cesarean Birth

At Home:
-- Have several diapering stations so you can change baby easily.
-- Let others do household chores like cooking, cleaning, and laundry.
-- Check the incision daily, or have someone check it for redness, which can be a sign of infection.
-- Have a list to things that need done, so when people ask, you can remember what needs done.
-- Take care of yourself and your baby only.
-- Remember not to lift anything heavier than your baby.
-- Stay in your pajamas, so people remember you are recovering from birth and surgery.
-- On the other hand, sometimes taking a shower and getting dressed really does wonders psychologically.
-- Even in the hospital, it can help to put on your own clothes.
-- Keep the baby near you at night so you do not have to get up.
-- Have a basket that you can carry easily with nutritious snacks, fingernail clippers, lotion, a book and other little necessary things in it.
-- Eat well and drink water freely. Have a pitcher of water or juice near you.
-- If you have other children, secure assistance in caring for them from family and friends.
-- Consider hiring a postpartum doula.
-- Increase activity gradually.

To Promote Emotional Healing:
-- Keep your baby near you as much as possible and get to know your new baby.
-- Breastfeed your baby to promote bonding and release beneficial mothering hormones.
-- Share your feelings with others and talk about your experience as much as you feel necessary.
-- It is normal to experience a wide range of emotions including relief, happiness, sadness, anger and feelings of loss and failure.
-- Write your baby's birth story.
-- Write letters to the hospital and your doctor, explaining what you did and did not like about your birth -- you can mail them, or not, but it is beneficial to write your thoughts down.
-- Seek support from available resources including breastfeeding, parental and cesarean support groups.
-- Read books on natural childbirth, cesarean birth and vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). There are many varied reasons why a birth may have ended in a cesarean section. If you plan to have any more children, it is important for you to know that it is very likely you can have a vaginal birth next time. When you are ready to learn about VBAC, ICAN can help you find the information and support you need.


International Cesarean Awareness Network, 1304 Kingsdale Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90278 (310)542-6400, .
This may be copied and distributed with retained copyright.

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