Today I’m sharing my c-section and postpartum recovery must haves. In honor of C-Section Awareness Month (April) I figure this to be a very relevant post. I also feel that no one, at least in the blogger space, talks about this.
Y’all, recovering from a c-section is no walk in the park. It’s hard let’s just throw that out there. However, clearly it’s not impossible or unbearable. To top off recovering from major abdominal surgery, you have to take care of your baby through any pain or discomfort. Thankfully I found the following things to be tremendously helpful.
Postpartum Belly Binder
Ladies, you will thank me later. My hospital did not provide one of these or have a belly wrap for me after my c-section. I can’t tell you how uncomfortable you will be. Between your organs shifting around, gas pains and your uterus cramping from shrinking, things can be, like I said, uncomfortable. The belly binder simply keeps everything in place. Unfortunately for me, I went 4 days in the hospital without one. As soon as I was discharged I ordered this one from Amazon.
To go along with my belly binder I was gifted this c-section support garment from Motif Medical. I love this one as opposed to the binder I got on Amazon because it’s less bulky. It can be worn discreetly under clothing and even acts as shape wear. Here are a couple of other health benefits to wearing this support garment:
- Aids wound healing after a C-Section birth.
- Speeds up postpartum recovery time.
- Delivers gentle compression to reduce swelling (edema).
- Stabilizes the abdomen with gentle support panels.
- Relieves conditions like pelvic girdle pain.
- Supports lower back and hips for improved posture.
- Tightens and tones belly, hips, waist, pelvis, and lower back.
Whether you give birth vaginally or c-section, your vagina will bleed. Vaginal births obviously more than c-section. Make your bathroom experience neater with a peri bottle. The hospital will have one for you to use but it’s limited in motion. I highly recommend this one from the Frida Mom postpartum kit. The bottle itself is rubber and it’s shape is ergonomic so it fits perfectly in your hand. Regular peri bottles are just stiff, straight plastic. The best part about this bottle is the bidet like spout. You can move and maneuver it however you need to place it.
Stool softeners because hemorrhoids. Yea I said it and let’s talk about it for a sec. Bowel movements are few and far between after a c-section. Also, the thought of them is actually terrifying lol. You will probably be prescribed stool softeners in the hospital. If you are not, make the drugstore your first stop on your way home. When you finally do get the urge to go, you may strain or have difficulty. Take the stool softeners, trust me they help. Also, don’t be weirded out or afraid of hemorrhoids because you more than likely will get them lol. And bless you if you don’t…I’m jealous lol.
Frida Mom Perineal Foam and Liners
Speaking of hemorrhoids, one thing that will help tremendously is witch hazel. Luckily in the Frida Mom postpartum kit comes this perineal foam and these pad liners/wipes. You can also purchase them separately. These have been so crucial for me in dealing with hemorrhoids or any discomfort downstairs. I won’t go fully into detail on how to best use but if you have any questions you can always ask me lol.
That’s right. Just because you aren’t pregnant anymore doesn’t mean you skip out on the vitamins. Plus prenatal vitamins are a great source for your hair, skin and nails.
Prescribed or OTC Pain Reliever
You most certainly will need some sort of pain reliever. Your doctor will prescribe you some and then after that you might night an over the counter (otc) pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen aka Advil or Tylenol. Just make sure to manage your pain properly and with the guidance of a professional.
These can be any underwear of your choice. Just make sure they are high waisted, cotton and seamless. You want to make sure you don’t irritate your healing wound. The hospital will have and even give you the most comfortable mesh disposable underwear. If you have the Frida Mom postpartum kit it comes with disposable underwear. That kit is amazing to have whether you deliver vaginally or c-section. Otherwise here are the ones I’ve been wearing from before giving birth to right now. They come in a pack of 5 and are fantastic!
The best advice I received was “Keep your nipples lubed.” Since Cora was a NICU baby and I’ve chosen to breastfeed, I am pump dependent. At least until she feeds solely on the breast. Until then between pumping and breastfeeding your nipples get worn and sore. Don’t add to any discomfort further by having them be cracked or bleeding from being dry. Ahh the thought of it makes me cringe. I use this nipple balm after every single pump or breastfeeding session. I have this one too but I don’t really like how thick it is.
Motif Medical 3-Step C-Section Dressing System
Step 1, Step 2, Step 3. These are great for wound care. You could just leave your incision alone or go one step further and use these. Each step tells you what it does. Note, don’t use these while your incision is still healing. I waited until after my steri strips were taken off of my incision and it was on the mend of healing. Ask your doctor before using.
Stretch Mark Treatment
So many people focus on stretch marks during pregnancy that they forget about after. Just because you are no longer pregnant doesn’t mean you should neglect your skin. I’ve talked to a couple of people that didn’t get any stretch marks while they were pregnant but got them afterwards. Just like in this post, I still use Bio Oil. I also realize that stretch marks are genetic so sometimes you just can’t help getting them.
Pumping/Nursing Bra Combo
If you plan on pumping listen up. Everyone always talks about nursing bras but forgets about a pumping bra. A nursing bra has one flap to give you access to nurse your baby. The only downside is if you need to pump you will have to hold your flanges. Trust me it’s annoying and inconvenient. A pumping bra has two flaps, one with a hole for your pumps to fit in so you can pump hands free. The other to pull down and nurse your baby. The two I use are here and here. These are my nursing bras.
Breast Therapy Packs
These are so great because you can warm them up or freeze them. Warming them up and then using them helps promote more milk production while you are pumping. It can also help if you get a clogged duct, which I had unfortunately. Thankfully with the help of my Haakaa I got it out.
How I forgot to include the picture of these, I have no idea. I use these nursing pads all day every day. Trust me, if you’re nursing you will leak at some point during the day. I pop these in my bra and go on about my business. They are disposable too which I love.
Warming Lactation Massager
I didn’t include the picture of this in my collage because it would look too cluttered. This lactation massager is a miracle worker if you ever get a clogged duct. It’s also great for helping milk production.
Boppy Nursing Pillow
This thing is a life saver when it comes to feedings. I use it when I nurse and bottle feed. A big part of breastfeeding is making sure the baby is in a comfortable position or they may not latch properly or just get frustrated. Not only does the baby need to be comfortable but so do you. This pillow helps both mom and baby get comfortable. It relieves so much stress and strain from your back. Trust me, if your baby feeds for long periods of time you want to make sure y’all are comfortable.
This isn’t an item but definitely one of the best things you can do for yourself in healing. I know it seems counterproductive since you are recovering from a major surgery. The best thing to help with recovery is to move. It will help move around any gas pain you might have. It also just helps you get back on your feet since you do have a baby to take care of. Once my one nurse got me out of bed and really moving in the hospital I felt so much better. I’d go on regular walks to and from the NICU. Once home, family walks outside helped.
That’s it! I’m pretty sure I probably forgot or left out something accidentally but these have all helped my recovery. Are you a c-section mama? Did I miss anything? Hoping this helps some of you. If you aren’t a c-section mama I hope you found this post informative.
Thanks for reading!