Those of you that have been through or will be going through a C-section rather than a vaginal delivery might notice a difference in recovery after the birth. You might not go through the pains of labour, you might be unlucky enough to have to do both but you will definitely realise that your body will need to recover once the baby is out. Your body will be sore in many different places and recovery time will be longer in comparison to vaginal delivery.
Rest whenever you get the opportunity in the first 4-6 weeks. A good form of general exercise is walking, starting with as little as 5-10 minutes daily and gradually building the time up to 30-40 minutes over the first 2 months. It is also important to do specific exercises to strengthen and stabilise the lower trunk. This includes pelvic floor muscle exercises, transverse abdominal exercises and pelvic tilts. I will go into more detail on these specific exercises next week.
It is also important to move in and out of bed correctly. Pretend you are still pregnant (yay). Move slowly and try to avoid using the abdominal muscles in the first 4-6 weeks. To get in: sit on the edge of the bed, lean down onto your elbow towards the pillow, bend your knees and lift your legs onto the bed, then roll onto your back. Reverse this action to get up.
When coughing and sneezing support your lower abdominals by placing your hands or forearms over the caesarean wound. Contract the pelvic floor muscles before the cough or sneeze. To clear your chest take three slow deep breathes in and out, then huff (as if to steam up a mirror), then support your cough as above.
Avoid all unnecessary lifting (so lots of excuses can be made to the hubby about housework.) Avoid lifting heavy objects (anything bigger than the baby) for the first 4-6 weeks. To lift, keep your back flat, draw your tummy in, squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and bend your knees. Keep the object close to you as you lift it up. Use your legs to take the weight of the lift and not your back. So avoid strenuous housework – this definitely includes but is not limited to the laundry basket and the bucket of water to wash the floor.
Driving should be avoided for 6 weeks but you will need to contact your insurance company for individual policies. You must be able to do an emergency stop without hesitation or pain before you can drive again.
You must also speak to your own doctor about pain relief, especially if you are breast feeding.
If you are suffering from pain would like to book an appointment, please contact me on 0544485086 or by email to email@example.com. I can arrange to see you in Bishvilaych Women’s Comprehensive Medical Centre in Givat Shaul, Jerusalem or a home visit if you live in Gush Etzion.