Today is Cesarean Section Day, and to be quite honest, I have no idea what the holiday is supposed to be about, but I thought it would be a good time to discuss what NOT to do when recovering from a c-section. Alas, I have very intimate first-hand knowledge of this topic, as my c-section went wrong in so many lovely ways. The only part of it that went right was the part where they dragged my premature, full-breech son out so he could live. Of course, they broke his arm in the process, so even that part was a little flawed. That picture over there is me about three days after my c-section. I was still majorly swollen from the preeclampsia, but it was the first time I held my baby, so it’s a favorite.
I almost feel bad writing this, as I don’t want to scare any new moms-to-be. Let me be clear, most women recover from a c-section without any major issues. Sure, you’re sore afterward for a bit, but in general, you heal fairly fast and everything is just peaches and cream. At least that’s what I’m told! Mine was abnormal in so many ways, and part of my post-childbirth actions definitely contributed to the issues. Without further ado…
What NOT to do when recovering from a C-Section
- Don’t mistake “walk around the floor a bit” with “walk to the NICU ten times a day on your own.” Shortly after your c-section, a nurse is going to come to you and tell you that it’s time to get out of bed. They want you walking a little to help with the healing process. By this, they mean walk the unit floor, staying relatively close to your own room in case you tire out. I got sick of waiting for people to come take me to see my baby, so I walked myself back and forth to the NICU on the other side of the floor about ten times a day. I started doing this less than 48 hours after my c-section. Even the nurses were flabbergasted, considering I had also just come off a mag drip and wasn’t exactly the vision of health at the time!
- Don’t assume the doctors know better all the time. This was my biggest downfall I think- trusting that a medical intern knew better than what my logic told me. When my staples came out and the steri-strips went on, there was about an inch at the end that wouldn’t close. The strips kept falling off. The intern told me not to worry, it would be fine and close on its own. I spent the next six weeks getting that part of the incision packed because it did NOT close properly on its own. Logically, I knew the intern had to be wrong, but I figured since he was a doctor, he had to know better than me.
- On the other hand, don’t completely ignore all your doctor’s advice to take it easy! While the lack of proper closing procedures on the incision contributed significantly to the six weeks of packing, the fact that I ignored advice to take it easy and attempted to resume life as normal less than a week after the surgery could have also contributed. I climbed steps, went grocery shopping without using one of those fancy motorized carts, and basically did anything but rest. The only thing I didn’t do was drive, because I always obey when it comes to the safety of others. Just not so much when it comes to myself.
Let me tell you, my friends and readers, getting your incision packed for six weeks because it didn’t heal properly the first time around is NOT fun. Not even remotely.When you are recovering from a c-section, do what you’re supposed to do, follow directions, and take it easy. Trust your instincts too. If you do those things, and avoid doing what I did, chances are your c-section will go off without a hitch.