While not all C-sections are planned, in some cases, a doctor will recommend this procedure ahead of a patient’s anticipated delivery date. Knowing in advance that you’ll be having a C-section can be an advantage, as it will give you time to prepare for a smooth recovery while you care for your baby.
Here are some ways you can get your home and yourself ready for your return after a scheduled C-section delivery.
Consider Meal Prep
Having precooked meals on hand is always a good idea when bringing home a new baby, but it can be especially convenient during C-section recovery. Leading up to your delivery, consider batch prepping a few dishes to freeze or scheduling meal deliveries. If you have all the baby supplies you need, let your family and friends know that you would like food delivery service gift cards so you can spend more time with your baby and less time cooking!
Assess Your Sleep Arrangements
You may find it uncomfortable to get in and out of a bed that’s too high or too low in the first few days home from the hospital. Placing a small step stool near your bed may be helpful. Many new parents also choose to share a room with their baby so they can respond to the baby’s needs quickly. Designate a location for your baby’s bassinet or crib before the delivery so you don’t have to worry about it upon arriving home.
Please keep in mind that your bed is not a safe place for a baby to sleep. Babies who sleep with a parent in bed have a higher risk of sudden infant death. Learn more about the American Academy of Pediatrics Safe Sleeping recommendations here AAP’s safe sleeping guidelines.
Place Everything Within Easy Reach
Bending over drawers and cabinets will likely be uncomfortable after your surgery, and you’ll also be advised to lift nothing heavier than your baby as you recover. It is suggested to have all of your postpartum recovery essentials and baby care items within easy reach.
Prepare your bathroom with pads or mesh underwear for postpartum bleeding and a peri bottle for easy cleaning. You might also choose to set up a small tote basket or wheeled cart equipped with your baby care items, such as diapers, wipes, diaper cream, nipple cream, sterilized bottles, formula, and your breast pump.
Make Feeding Comfortable
Breastfeeding can take some getting used to, especially while you’re healing from surgery. To make the process as comfortable as possible for you and your little one, you may find it helpful to have props on hand, such as a breastfeeding pillow or extra couch pillows. This will allow you to get into positions that may be less likely to irritate your incision, such as side-lying or a football hold.
Gather Pain Relievers & Other Meds
Having the right medications on hand can help you manage post-op side effects. You’ll probably begin receiving stool softeners in the hospital to fight constipation, which is common after C-sections, but plan to have some at home, too. Eating fiber-rich foods and drinking plenty of water will also help. Additionally, choosing foods high in protein has been found to reduce pain and speed healing. Consider protein shakes as well. Your doctor can recommend the right pain relievers to address your discomfort levels, as managing pain effectively will help you get through the earliest days of parenthood.
Ask for Help
Bringing home a new baby is one of the most exciting times in any parent’s life, but it’s certainly not without its challenges. Asking friends, neighbors, and family members for help in advance can provide invaluable peace of mind. Whether it’s creating a meal train, having someone walk the dog, run errands, or simply hold the baby while you get a quick nap — don’t be afraid to take others up on their offer to lend support.
Staff at Covington Women’s Health Specialists know that giving birth is life-changing. That’s why we’re here to support you through every step. To schedule a prenatal visit, call our office at 770-385-8954 or request an appointment online.