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I've Had Three C Sections

by Marie
(Norfolk, Virginia)

The most important things I discovered that helped with the recovery process was a positive mental attitude, getting enough rest, and getting up and moving around as soon as possible, and not being afraid to ask for help.

It might sound like a contradiction to get the rest and move around, but both are equally vital. The positive mental attitude is something I cannot possibly stress enough.

Far too often women feel like they have somehow 'failed' when they have a c-section. That mind set can lead to a 'funk' of sorts, and that can make the recovery process even more difficult than it has to be.

A c-section is by no means a failure. That is the first thing a woman needs to remind herself of. Things happen, and sometimes the unexpected happens, but that does not mean that the woman herself did anything 'wrong'.

Expect pain. I know that is not what you want to hear, but it is the truth. A c-section is a major surgery. It slices through your abdominal muscles. You use these muscles more often than you think, and for more things than you realize. It is going to be uncomfortable. While you are in the hospital make sure that you inform the nursing staff if your pain worsens. It does not make you 'weak' to have to take something to manage your pain. When you are in pain your mental attitude suffers, and that can affect your long term recovery process in a negative way. Don't feel that something is horribly wrong because this hurts, and don't feel bad for needing help to manage it. Properly managed, the pain is not that bad.

Rest. You must get rest. You must get sleep. The body requires sleep to heal. Rest is also vital to one's mental state. You have just had a c-section, and this means you have a new baby to deal with, too. Nap while the baby naps. It will help you regain your strength much more rapidly.

Move around! I know I just got done saying you need your rest, and you do. This does not mean you do not need to get up and move about a bit. Moving around will help the body in many ways. It prevents clots. It stimulates blood flow. It helps strengthen the muscles. It makes you FEEL better.

Rest is important, but moving about is equally important. They will try to have you up and walking fairly soon after your c-section, and you should continue to move about once you have been released from the hospital. There is a fine line between enough movement and too much movement. Listen to your body, and it will let you know when you need to rest.

Ask for help! If you need help then do not be afraid to ask for it. You have just had surgery. You have just had a child. Your life has changed significantly. On top of the normal sleep deprivation a mother goes through you are recovering from major surgery. Do not be afraid to let your spouse, your friends, and/or your loved ones know that you need a hand with things. It is far better to ask for the help than to try and over do it, and risk injury to yourself.

The first c-section I had, I did not move about enough and I failed to ask for help. I ended up doing myself injury, and exhausting myself at the same time. The second and third ones I knew what to expect, I followed the advise I have given here, and the recovery time was much more comfortable. I wish you luck.

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