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What you need to know to prepare for a c-section

I was just writing a blog about the best quotes for when you have had a c-section and I started doing a mind dump of the things I wish I had known before my c-sections. Recovering from a c-section is really painful, especially if it was an emergency c-section so anything you can do to make your life easier is ideal so here it goes.

Preparation for your c-section

  1. Stock up on lots of ibuprofen and paracetamol. In the UK you can only buy two boxes at a time so it takes a few trips to build up a good supply.
  2. Wear loose clothing (ideally with buttons down the front for breastfeeding), dresses are the best as you only have to think about one item of clothing, followed by high waisted trousers. maxi dress so you can float (hobble??) around the postnatal ward.
  3. If possible, plan for someone to stay with you for the first night in hospital. When I had Theo, none of us had visitors overnight (thanks to Covid) but I don’t think I really acknowledged what we were missing. When I had Sebby there was a woman on the ward and she didn’t have anyone staying over and I think she really struggled.
  4. Buy a few pairs of big high waisted knickers – during my pregnancy I had avoided big knickers because I just wore my normal ones under my bump but that was exactly where the c-section scar was.
  5. If you have a planned c-section and all is well then you can still request to have skin to skin. They literally plonked Sebby on my chest as soon as he was born, it was a million miles from having Theo being taken away from me for over an hour while he had emergency antibiotics.
  6. Have a small bag or box of all the things that you might need at an arms reach for the hospital bed – a hairband, lip balm, hand cream, snacks, water bottle, jewellery pouch (for when you are actually having the c-section) and any other little pick me ups that you love.

After the c-section

  1. Listen to your body – if your scar hurts while you are doing something, that is a sign that you are pushing your body too much.
  2. Make sure you keep on top of your pain relief – set an alarm if needed and I had spare pain relief for when the nurses got delayed doing their rounds but hopefully you won’t have to worry about that.
  3. The dressing (as pictured in the image above) is waterproof so it doesn’t matter if it gets wet when you shower.
  4. With the caveat of the bullet point above, try to get moving as soon as possible. I remember the nurse getting me up and about hours after my c-section, I was very apprehensive but I appreciate that being slightly uncomfortable is definitely the lesser of two evils when the other option is DVT!
  5. I hadn’t done much research about c-sections before I had Theo because I was hopeful I wouldn’t have one. But I would have guessed that you don’t bleed much after a c-section…. I was wrong!
  6. Only lift something as heavy as your baby for the first 6 weeks. I appreciate this is super difficult when you already have a toddler but it will only lead to more problems down the line if you don’t listen to it.

This has been very therapeutic writing everything down so thank you and I hope it may help someone have a better experience. For now, I hope all goes well, enjoy all those newborn cuddles, you have a lifetime of doing normal life so try and enjoy your newborn bubble for as long as you can. <3

No sweat mama, you’ve got this <3