I have seen it happen time and time again in my practice, a woman goes into her birth with a super detailed plan, which includes having a natural birth, and never gives a second though to preparing for a Cesarean. Now I know most women do not plan on having a Cesarean, especially for their first birth, but with births anything can happen and it is best to be prepared. Then they end up blindsided by having a Cesarean and are likely not set up properly at home to optimize their recovery. Some of the things needed for recovery are similar, but not all. The basics that I covered in my blog post From Surviving to Thriving the First 2 Weeks Postpartum, apply (except doing a sitz bath) There are some additional supports needed to help with the recovery from both birthing, because having a Cesarean is still giving birth!! and from having a major abdominal surgery
7 Ways to Optimize Cesarean Recovery
- Pre-Made Food- It is very important to have healthy, nutrient dense, food on hand for at least 6 weeks. Food should contain plenty of veggies, healthy fats and protein and be easy to heat.
Probiotics- Mom will typically receive IV antibiotics prior to surgery. Probiotics for both mom and baby will help to replenish their microbiomes. This is critical for baby as they will not be exposed to the vaginal flora, which is how their flora is usually established. Babies born via Cesarean have a higher risk of developing thrush, which can complicate breastfeeding. Probiotics can help baby’s microbiome to get off on the right path. Probiotics can help reduce GI related symptoms in mom as well as reduce the risk of yeast infection.
- Probiotic for Baby- HMF Powder- baby does not need much. Wet your pinky finger and dip it in and give to baby
- Probiotic for Mom- NFH Recovery SAP- Higher dose than a regular probiotic and it contains multiple strains to help replenish after antibiotic use
- Bone Broth- Contains collagen and minerals which are helpful for healing the scar
- Collagen- In supplement form, helps the scar to heal quickly and helps with joint pain from reduced mobility
- Vitamin A, C, E and Zinc- All are involved in tissue repair and regeneration
- Magnesium- Magnesium Citrate helps to keep the bowels moving which is critical because straining increases the pressure on the incision. Magnesium also reduces muscle spasms which could cause pulling on the incision
- Nettle Tea/Infusion- Fluids given in surgery can lead to puffiness and fluid retention after. Nettle tea and infusion help to eliminate excess fluids. Aim for 1-2 cups of tea/day
Did you have a Cesarean Birth? What do you wish you did differently for your recovery?
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