Early Recovery Tips after a Caesarean Section

You want to be prepared for those early days of recovery no matter what kind of birth you have, but a C-section delivery brings with it some unique recovery challenges. 

Have you recently welcomed your little one to the world via C-section? Congratulations! Have you got an elective C-section planned? Power to you, mama! Are you gathering knowledge in case an emergency C-section is needed? We love that kind of thinking! No matter what led you here, you’re in the right place! 

38% of all women giving birth in Australia had a caesarean section (AIHW 2023). While this type of surgery is quite common, it’s still a major abdominal surgery. A Caesarean involves careful navigation through seven layers: skin, subcutaneous tissue, fascia, rectus muscle, peritoneum (x 2), and finally, the uterus. That’s why giving your body the time it needs to heal is so important.

For Caesarean Awareness Month, we’re sharing our evidence-based, tried-and-tested tips to help make those first few days of recovering after a Caesarean a little more comfortable.

Tips for Early C-Section Recovery

1. Take the pain relief

You’ve undergone major abdominal surgery, whether elective or emergency. Managing your pain is crucial. It will make it easier for you to move gently after the operation and care for your newborn. Pain relief is there for a reason — don’t be afraid to use it to your advantage.

2. Don't skip the stool softener

Saying yes to pain relief means you may experience some constipation (a common side effect of strong pain relief). After a C-section, you want to avoid straining on the toilet, which can put unnecessary pressure on the incision site. Taking a stool softener can help your bowels move with ease (not effort)!

3. Try abdominal support aids

Gentle compression can feel incredibly supportive for both your incision and stretched abdominals. Options such as Tubigrip (provided by most hospitals), a belly band, or specialised recovery tights (we love SRC Health Recovery Tights) can be a godsend during recovery. At The Wellness Boutique, we can measure and order SRC Recovery Tights for you at 36 weeks — they’re amazing for both C-section and vaginal birth recovery.

4. Use the bed mechanics

Getting out of bed can be one of the day’s most challenging parts post-C-section. Familiarise yourself with the features of your hospital bed to make getting up a whole lot easier (and let’s be honest — a lot more fun)!  Watch our short video to see how to do this.

5. Rest and bond with your baby

The first few days in the hospital offer precious time away from the rest of the world to bond with your little one. Enjoy this quiet time with your newborn, soaking up all the snuggles. Stay horizontal and rest as much as possible. You’ll only get this opportunity once, so slow down and embrace it. Your body will also thank you!

Bonus tip! 

Don’t forget to pack your maternity pads or disposable undies. You’ll still experience postpartum bleeding vaginally for 4-6 weeks, even after a C-section.

Every recovery journey is unique. While these tips are intended to provide guidance, listening to your body’s unique needs is the most important thing you can do. Recover at your own pace; remember, it’s not a race. 

We hope these tips help you recover after a C-section with a little more care and confidence. If you’ve been through this journey, feel free to share your C-section recovery tips and advice in the comments here to help other expecting mamas.

We’re here to support you

At The Wellness Boutique, we recognise that every woman, every pregnancy, every birth, and every recovery is different. Our experienced physiotherapists are dedicated to supporting you throughout your journey. Explore how our  Bump & Beyond program  can support you from pregnancy through postpartum. Already given birth? Book a postnatal assessment with one of our dedicated women’s health physiotherapists to support your body’s recovery.

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