5 top tips for speedy C-Section recoveryPublished on
Today we're delighted to hand over the Pura blog to the fabulous team at The 360 Mama. Read on for invaluable tips for healthy C-section healing.
At The 360 Mama, we are passionate about supporting women through the postpartum period and believe that mothers are able to thrive after birth if they are provided with the right information and advice.
C-section births are on the rise. In the UK, the number of C-section births has increased consistently each year since 2014. Unfortunately, many women report the aftercare they receive is really limited, and they often find themselves at home, caring for a new baby, with very little information about how to support their own healing.
Your recovery after a C-section will heavily influence how you cope in the early days of motherhood, and your ability to enjoy that time with your new baby.
Here we’ve got our 5 top tips for ensuring your postpartum healing goes well after a C-section.
#1. Plan ahead
Have conversations with your support network before your birth to ensure you will have the opportunity to rest as much as possible afterwards.
We know this can be challenging, but there really is no substitute for rest. It’s important we recognise that a C-section is major abdominal surgery, and to recover well from it you need rest. This will look different for everyone, but if we can set realistic expectations for the first 2 weeks then it’s easier to achieve.
You should move around a little bit at regular intervals to prevent the risk of DVT and other post-surgery complications, but this really extends to visiting the toilet or making a cup of tea, not walking around your local park!
Ask friends or family who might be asking to visit to hold off for a while so that you are not constantly hosting visitors. Not only does this limit your opportunity to rest, but also feeding, sleeping, bonding patterns you’re forming with your baby.
You can ask your partner or another close family member to spend time with your baby to allow you to sleep, and let others take care of the housework (or just leave it altogether)! We know some people find that difficult, but really, the hoovering can wait for a couple of weeks!
#2. Eat and drink to support healing
What we feed our body is what it has available to use to start the healing process. This requires a huge amount of energy, and the better your diet is, the better your body can function.
Staying hydrated is so important if you want your scar to heal well, and for the scar to form so that it is flexible and mobile. A ‘stuck’ scar is often the cause of many of the problems we discussed above. Staying well hydrated means it is easy for blood to move around the body and deliver oxygen and key nutrients that the wound needs to heal.
Ask friends or family to prepare some nourishing meals for you and bring over if they’re visiting. If you can, prepare for this stage by stocking your freezer with home-cooked, or store bought, healthy meals. This means you’re less tempted to rely on fast food or grazing on sugary snacks when you’re exhausted.
#3. Care for your wound
Keep a close eye on your wound and be vigilant about noticing any sign of infection. Infected wounds can take much longer to heal, and you may be left with a lot more scar tissue.
This affects the appearance of the scar itself and the surrounding area (for example the overhang or pouch that so many women dislike), the function of the nerves in the area causing your tummy to feel numb, tingly or itchy, the function of your digestive system, causing bloating, bladder and bowel problems or a lack of connection to your deep core and pelvic floor muscles.
Signs of infection include: angry redness, pain, a weeping wound, bleeding or feeling unwell or flu-like. If you’re concerned, see your GP or midwife as soon as possible and push for intervention. Medihoney is a really effective treatment option for scars that are not healing well and can be prescribed by your GP.
#4. Apply oil
Scar massage is not advised until at least 8 weeks after birth, but some specialist oils can be applied to the wound after two weeks and can promote healing. We recommend the Naqi repair oil (discount code for Pura readers 360MAMA) as it is clinically developed and proven for this purpose. Many other oils are not and should not be used before 8 weeks as this can interfere with your wound healing or present an infection risk. We really advise against using perfumed oils, or those that are made from synthetic ingredients.
#5. Massage your scar
When you are ready to start massaging your scar, this can be started with gentle touch away from the scar itself and even through clothes, meaning that if you’re feeling squeamish about touching or looking at your scar you’ve still got options.
Scar massage is a process you can gradually increase, and it is known to improve the appearance of your scar, reduce your overhang or pooch, restore normal sensation to the area and support good pelvic floor and core function. It may also contribute to improving symptoms such as painful intercourse, bladder or bowel incontinence or digestive issues which are commonly reported in postpartum mothers.
Like this blog? The 360 Mamas will be joining Pura for an Instagram live session in November (dates to be revealed soon). If you have any questions for the Mamas, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
The 360 Mama is a team of women’s health specialists who are passionate about improving pregnancy and postnatal care for women. Our online recovery courses are designed to provide mothers with everything they need to flourish in pregnancy and postpartum.
Emma Bradley is a Women’s Health Physiotherapist, Mummy MOT practitioner and Pre/Post Natal exercise specialist.
Hannah West is a certified scar tissue and soft tissue therapist with extensive experience of working with women after C-section.
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