If you are like me, and planned on having a vaginal birth only to be met with a c-section, you may be totally unprepared for what to expect in the weeks following it. I honestly wish I had some idea of what was in store, because I felt a little out-to-sea. If you are recovering from a c-section – or have one planned – here are some things you should know about your recovery. Don’t let the icky details freak you out too much – if you are the kind of person who likes to be prepared – read on. If not, don’t worry about it. You’ll get through it regardless. I did.
1. People will be very concerned with your ability to poop.
Pooping is almost impossible – and they won’t let you leave the hospital until you do. They will offer you a suppository, about which you will probably initially think, “No. Please no. I’ve been through enough.” Take it! If you take nothing else away from this article, please don’t ignore this piece of advice. If you allow yourself to get to a place where you are having crazy gas pains – you will regret it.
2. Ditto on your ability to fart.
You’ll have no shame after the suppository – don’t worry. They will offer you gas pills to chew on. Take them.
3. The first time you lift yourself out of bed will be painful.
You will literally not want to do it – but push through. You will feel so much better if you force yourself to walk – very, very slowly – as much as possible.
4. Same goes for the first few steps you take.
Don’t worry – this passes. I remember calling one of my friends from the hospital in tears, thinking I would never be able to climb the three flights into my brownstone apartment, and never be able to go home. Just go slow. It gets better.
5. You may be freaked out about looking at your incision.
Your doctor will want you to check and make sure everything is peachy once you get home. Make your partner do it. Seriously – force them. You just birthed a baby, for god’s sake.
6. You won’t necessarily have stitches/staples to be removed.
7. Incision scars are really no big deal.
They’re small. They’re low.
8. You are still going to need to wear pads for weeks.
Even though you didn’t have a vaginal birth, there’s a lot of stuff that will be exiting your vagina for a while. Don’t be alarmed.
9. Someone will be man-handling your belly.
A nurse will come in and massage your abdomen frequently. Just take a deep breath. They have to make sure everything is shrinking like it should be. It’s really more uncomfortable than painful.
10. Take all the drugs.
They will offer you drugs in the hospital for pain management, to which you should gladly proclaim, “Yes, please!” Take the drugs. After the first few days the pain will lessen, but you’ll need pain management in the beginning and that’s okay. Whatever they offer in hospital is safe for breastfeeding if you choose to do so.