Recovery after a c-section
Recovery after a c-section can vary from person to person, but as a general rule the NHS advises most women will spend 3 or 4 days in hospital after their baby is born. Once home, they recommend new mums to take it easy for several weeks, depending on how you feel. We spoke to Simone (pictured), founder of Simone Thomas Wellness , who told us:
“Never underestimate the impact of having a c-section and always appreciate the amazing work your body has done to bring your baby into the world. Women who had have a c-section will be given care guidance by their midwives and generally the incision is watertight within 24 hours of surgery and from there it will take time for the wound to heal.”
Listen to your body as much as you can, and if you have help around with the baby- take it.
Physical recovery after a c-section
Your midwife will encourage you to get up and moving as soon as possible after your c-section, but you’ll be advised not to lift anything heavy. Don’t worry- t is ok to lift your baby.
Gentle exercise is recommend after a c-section but again, listen to your body and don’t overdo it. Some actives will be out of bounds for a few weeks, driving included.
Your midwife will also give you advice on how to care for your wound once you get home from thee hospital. It’s recommend that you gently clean and dry your wound every day, and wear loose clothing that won’t rub or irritate it.
Pain relief after a c-section
Pain relief can be discussed with your doctor before you leave the hospital, and once you arrive home you might find you need to take paracetamol or ibuprofen for a time too. We’re all different and we all handle pain in different ways, but speak to your GP or midwife if you’re concerned.
Self care after a c-section
Self care is so important for new mums, whether you’ve had a c-section or not. Pregnancy and childbirth can take a huge toll on your physical and emotional health, so be kind to yourself and don’t try ti rush your recovery.
As `Simone puts it: “This a time to go easy on yourself, to eat good food and drink plenty of water. This is not a time to race back to your pre-baby body, but it is a time to let your mind and body recover, so look after yourself mama, and if you need support, ask.”
When do I give my baby their first bath?
So c-section recovery aside for a moment, let’s tackle the issue of baby’s first bath. Luckily for c-section mamas, the recommendations are for new parents to hold off on giving their baby a bath until they’re at least a week old, and some parents might wait even longer.
Read our post for more information on when to give baby their first bath.
Equipment needed for baby’s first bath
It’s no secret that babies come with a lot of ‘stuff’- and it’s no different when it comes to bathtime either. We’ve already written about what you need for baby bathtime- check out our post to find out our top tips and recommendations.
But, as a general rule, you’ll at least need:
- Baby bath
- Soft hooded towel
- Bamboo washcloths or natural sea sponge for washing
- Towel or cushion to kneel on
- A bath thermometer
Equipment to make bathtime easier after a c-section
There are also some items that will make abthtime a lot easier if you’re recovering from a c-section:
- A stand for your baby bath, or a safe, raised surface to place the tub onto- this will stop you from having to bend over and risk injuring your back or stretching your wound
- A handsfree baby bath towel, to make getting baby out and wrapped up quickly. Anything that makes the process easier will limit the risk of pulling or irritating your wound
- Changing table or safe, raised surface for dressing baby.
Our handsfree hooded baby towel can be worn, almost like an apron, before you start bathtime- so you have everything you need to hand when you need it. Wrapping baby up this way will also limit the amount of movements you need to make, and will prevent you from moving too quickly if baby becomes upset when you take them out of the bath.
Read our post on how to use the handsfree towel for more information on how it works to make bathtime safer and easier.
Tips for bathing baby after a c-section
Bathing a baby after a c-section isn’t really much different to bathing a baby after any other kind of birth. You might need to be a little more mindful of your wound, and remember to take things as slowly as you can at first, but there is no reason at all why you can’t enjoy these precious first baths with your baby.
Remember not to press your tummy into the side of the bath as you lift baby from the water, and keep your movements steady and controlled to prevent sudden movements that could stretch your wound.
If you find that bathtime is more than a little uncomfortable for you, there’s nothing wrong with a top & tail wash until you feel you have recovered a little more. It’s also a really good idea to ask for help if you need it too.
Can I take a bath with my baby?
Another great way to enjoy bathtime with your baby is to get into the tub with them- and yes, you can still enjoy this if you’ve had a c-section. However, there are some precautions you might need to take in order to aid your c-section recovery.
Simone told us that while new mums are able to take a bath or shower as they recover from a c-section, it’s also ok to wait a little too.
“Being able to get into and out of a bathtub might take a few weeks, so go easy on yourself- don’t put pressure on your body, and be kind. When it does come to being able to take a bath safely, do it at a time when you aren’t in a rush and when there is someone at home to help you, and to be there if things don’t go to plan.”
She also adds, “I don’t like taking my phone to the bath, it’s a great time to be screen free, but in this case, you might want to for safety reasons.”
Bathing after a c-section
If you’re ready for a dip- go for it. Here are Simone’s tips for bathing after a c-section:
“Make sure that the water isn’t’ too hot and while I would go easy on heavily scented products, using Epsom salts in the bath is a great way to further help healing, as well as easing any aches and pains- but if in doubt ,simply enjoy being in the water and take some time to relax while someone else looks after the baby for a little while.
When you get out of the bath, safely of course, be gentle with your body and scar, it maybe tender for a while, and if you do want to use a product, Rosehip oil is super gentle- if you go for an organic option even better.”