C-Section Recovery – Tips for Recovering Quicker & Easier (part 1)

July 11, 2011

Thank you to Elizabeth McGee (who is the author of the Worry Free C-Section Recovery guide and C-Section recovery blog) for her guest post on the topic of C-Section recovery.  This will be a 2 part post with the second part following up this Wednesday.

Recovering from a C-Section can be tough, although there are women will tell you that recovering from their c-section was fairly easy.

Having had c-sections myself and studied women who have had both difficult and easy recoveries, there are a few things I’ve discovered that can help women recover quicker and easier.

They are:

•           Being Prepared

•           Maintaining a positive attitude

•           Maintaining Good Health & Fitness

•           Keeping communications open with family members and your doctor

Being Prepared

Not all women are prepared to have a c-section.  In fact most first time moms that have a c-section are generally caught off guard and unprepared for the event.

This isn’t so unusual, especially if you’ve had an ideal pregnancy, are healthy and have no complications during pregnancy.

So how do you prepare to have a c-section when you don’t expect one?

With about one in three births resulting in a c-section today, I always preach that it’s a good idea to be prepared for the possibility.  I get some raised eyebrows when I say that but then again, I’m the kind of person that likes to be prepared for anything.

As part of planning for your baby’s birth, do some preliminary research on what a c-section is, why it might occur and how to plan and recover.  Chances are if you don’t expect to have a c-section, you’re not likely to have one but in the event the situation arises wouldn’t you want to know what to expect and understand how to recover as quickly as possible?

Before your due date, create a birth plan and let your doctor review it. If your doctor is not on board with your wishes or your birth plan consider shopping around for a doctor that does understand your wishes.

If you do expect to have a c-section prepare wisely. Understand exactly what a c-section is, how to prepare and discuss the risks with your doctor, but most importantly plan every step of your c-section birth before hand.

Things to think about should include your wishes inside the operating room, for example, holding your baby immediate after birth, and types of anesthesia.  Next, how do you wish to care for your baby following the procedure, this includes breastfeeding and bonding.

Additionally have all preparations ready for arrival home.  Prepare carefully for the care of older children if necessary, have meals, errands and chores well planned out in advance.

Understand all possible complications that can occur and have ideas on how to remedy them. Your recovery at home should be a time to relax, recover and bond with your baby and anything you can do to effectively prepare for that time is a wise move.

I thought it was interesting to note that research has shown us that women who are mentally and physically prepared for surgery have fewer complications, less pain, and recover more quickly than those who don’t prepare. This is also particularly important with regard to anxiety and stress control.

No one is saying that you should expect to have a C-Section, but in the event that you need one, you have a much better chance of having a more positive experience the better prepared you are.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

When I had my first C-Section my initial reaction was fear, but later that fear turned to excitement.  However, after I got home and began to recover from my C-Section it was easy for me to let fatigue and frustration with pain get me down.

That’s where your attitude can make a difference in your life.  Your attitude in any situation can influence the outcome so it’s important to stay positive.

The power of positive thinking goes a long way in reducing stress and anxiety.  Never look at having a surgical birth as a problem or as a failure.   This is a time to reflect on what you have, not on what you don’t have.  Stay focused on the future, not the past and always keep solutions in mind.

We will cover the last two areas (maintaining good health and fitness and keeping communications open) this Wednesday!

Elizabeth McGee is the author of the Worry Free C-Section Recovery guide and C-Section recovery blog.  Having had struggles with her own C-Section surgeries and painful recoveries, Elizabeth has dedicated the last ten years to researching and finding ways to help other women have a positive C-Section experience and recover quicker with less pain and anxiety.

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