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C section vs vaginal birth recovery

Recovery from birth is a beast whether you brought your babies into the world vaginally or abdominally.

Your body went through one of the most physically and sometimes mentally challenging, yet exhilarating things and now you have your beautiful baby to show for it. BUT the attention and close monitoring and abundant guidance you received from healthcare providers when you were pregnant is almost non existent after the baby makes it earthside.

It’s like congrats on your new bundle of joy, you got it from here don’t you?

By the time you get home, not only do you have to figure out how to be a parent to your fresh baby but you are also left wondering what’s next?

Your body feels foreign, you may have stitches to be mindful of, you dread going to the bathroom and everything hurts.

I remember being there myself. I work in this profession and I still was feeling overwhelmed so that’s why I want to walk you through the different steps of recovery and things to think about whether you gave birth vaginally or via C section.

Let’s talk about general recovery whether you had a vaginal or C section delivery first. .

General recovery Dos and Don'ts:

  • Don’t have sexual intercourse or insert tampons until cleared by your physician

  • Do keep the area clean and dry as much as possible

  • Don’t get back to your regular exercise routine until cleared by your physician

  • Do take short walks and practice 360 breathing as you are able

  • Don’t strain to have a bowel movement. Use a squatty potty, breathing techniques and stool softeners as needed

  • Do rest when you can and lean on your partner, family, friends, etc for physical and mental support

  • Do change your pad every few hours to keep things feeling more fresh down there. It can go a long way for your mental health (yes even with a c section you still have vaginal bleeding and soreness)

  • Do take medication such as Tylenol or Motrin for pain relief as needed (always ask your physician first before taking any medication

Now let’s talk about some extra precautions to take if you had a C section delivery:

  • Don’t wake a bath until your incision has healed and you are no longer bleeding

  • Don’t lift anything heavier than your baby

  • Don’t repeatedly use the stairs

  • Do keep things you may need on the main floor of the house

  • Do experiment with different breastfeeding holds to avoid baby laying over C section incision

  • Do be aware of signs of infection and call your healthcare provider with any concerns

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