Written by Sandra
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 3 births in the United States are delivered by cesarean (C-section). The reason why C-sections are on the rise (they've increased over 50 percent since 1996) is unknown, but what I do know is that with more women undergoing major abdominal surgery, it really helps if we share even the most intimate detail about recovery with each other!
For my first delivery, I had a scheduled induction and after laboring for 10 hours, complications led to me having an emergency C-section. Luckily, my doctors were great! After surgery, I received a pamphlet of pertinent medical instructions for recovery (of which my nurse explained to me in great detail), but it was the little things that the doctors and nurses didn't share that I also wish I would have known! Several of my Baby Talk Mom friends and I talk about recovery after a C-section; we laugh about all the silly things that we did to make recovery more bearable, but the funny thing is that we all had a very similar experience. So why don't we know about these little helpful tips beforehand? Are these topics taboo? Taboo or not, here are some tips that I learned from my recovery:
- Buy the right underwear: So what is the right underwear after undergoing a C-section? Answer: Granny panties! The higher, the better! I liked the granny panties that went up to my belly button. I even found that some with a little tummy control worked best to help alleviate some of the pain (this may not be the case for everyone though, so buy some without tummy control and find out which works best for you). Remember that the pain after the surgery is not limited to the area of the incision alone, so having underwear lines away from the area in general is very important.
- Taking pain killers as prescribed: This sounds like common sense, right? Well, I tried limiting my intake of pain killers (I usually have adverse reactions to them) and this was NOT a good idea for me! Not only was I in pain without them, but between my pain and my hormones, I became a wretched person; anyone who would come near me would incur my wrath! Short of isolating my family and friends, I decided to take pain killers as prescribed during the beginning of my recovery and I slowly phased them out in just a couple of weeks. You will be going through a lot in the beginning – your hormones are completely haywire and you're adjusting to a new baby – so take it easy on yourself! The last thing you need is to push people away when you need them most. Again, this advice is not for everybody. I have friends who never took a single pain killer and were completely fine!
- The constipation: One downfall to taking prescribed pain killers are the side effects! Percocet causes constipation, so at the hospital they will give you stool softeners along with your pain meds. However, after my first cesarean delivery, I found that the stool softeners did little or nothing to ease my discomfort. I can't describe to you the pain of having to "go" with an abdominal incision! OUCH!!! After my second delivery (which was also a C-section), I only ate light foods that were also high in fiber. That made a world of difference!
How about you? Do you have any advice for new moms who are about to have a C-section? Please post, as your advice is invaluable to all of us! For more information about Baby Talk Moms, please visit our website at www.babytalkmoms.com.