Read these 16 Pregnancy Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Mom tips and hundreds of other topics.
Having real help in the first week or two at home after caesarian section cannot be overdone. You may have prepared meals in advance and done all the laundry, but tasks that were once no-brainers, like opening or closing the dishwasher take on a whole new dimension - pain. Use your tolerance level as an indicator of how much is too much and increase only a little at a time.
Ask the nurses to leave one side rail up at all times. This is not necessarily to prevent you from falling off the bed, but rather as a ready support to help pull yourself into a different position without another person to assist. Just changing from lying on your back to one side has never been more of a challenge. When you are being settled in for the night, ask for both sides to be put up, especially the first night.
Re) Learning good posture is never as important as now, immediately following abdominal surgery. This holds for when you have to lower yourself onto a toilet seat. The term 'squat to pee' holds a lot more meaning now, especially when your arms are being used to hold your incision area like a splint.
If the lochia (post delivery bleeding/period) has changed to blood streaked or clear, then suddenly changes back to real blood, mentally review your recent activities. Often this is a sign that you have overexerted yourself with what you 'thought' was just enough. Sit down and relax and go back to the day before's acheivements.
You now have to learn to walk again. Once you have figured out all of your new attachments (I.V., catheter, maternity pads and belt, bulky wound dressings) slowly increase your target distances. First, the bathroom. Next to the doorway of your room. The nurses's station. The end of the hall. Do a little more each time you get out of bed. You MUST walk to help prevent gas, rid your body of remaining anaesthetic drugs, prevent blood clots and prevent pneumonia.
Invest in a roll (single bed size) of eggcrate sponge to take with you to the hospital. Help make up your bed with this underneath the sheet. It will provide a little softness, prevent slipping, and be cooler than hospital plastic covered mattresses. It is almost guaranteed that it will collect blood and other fluids, so don't plan on bringing it home with you - it will have to be discarded, but the little bit of comfort it will provide is worth the investment.
Deep breathing and coughing is a required excercise post general anaesthetic. Grab a pillow. Hold it as tight against your abdominal dressing as you possible can. Then do it. Big breath in. And huff cough. The splinting of your incision will help lessen both the pain and the fear of pulling everything apart.
Hospital beds can be intimidating. They are higher than your bed at home, and quite a bit more narrow - especially if you are used to double, queen or king size. Practice with the controls before you need to use them.They are a great tool for helping you sit up and prepare to stand for the first time post-op.
Drink, drink, drink. Post C-section surgery is no different from other major surgeries in this respect. You will have an I.V. (intravenous) and a catheter to drain your bladder. Both will stay in place until you are drinking well, and your output is regular and clear.
Your obstetrician will leave orders for heavy duty pain medication available for your use for the first 48 hours. Do not be a martyr. Use them. You have years and years ahead of you to play the role. For now, lessen your pain, gain back your mobility and get at least one last good night's sleep.
Manoeuvering around with your new I.V. ('pole-ish') friend and hand (catheter) bag is a challenge. Most I.V. poles have a hook about a foot from the floor to hang the catheter bag and a loop of the connecting tubing. Use it. This will free one hand to help 'splint' your incision and/or use the support bars available in the washrooms or along your walkways. Use the other to push the pole. Don't use it for balance, though.
Your first few trips out of bed might have you both looking and feeling as if you were a hundred years old. By leaning/bending forward, you are actually not helping yourself return to full functioning. There is a lot of "free" space inside where your baby used to live, and your bowels and other organs need to shift back into position. Take your time and try to stand tall, everytime out of bed.
The first time out of bed after surgery is not an activity to be undertaken by yourself. First of all, you have drugs still floating around inside you. Your judgement as well as your balance and blood pressure are all impaired. Getting from your bed to the washroom, whether 6 feet or 26 feet away, is never going to be more difficult. You may feel dizzy and light headed, you will experience a great rush of fluids between your legs, your abdomen will be jelly like and sore, but... you might be able to see your toes! Just do it! Practice often.