C-section Recovery by Lorraine Scapens

Introduction

Exciting News! We will be welcoming a new contributor to speak to the topic of Cesareans, because – as you already saw – Lorraine, who originally covered this topic, is now covering “Diastasis and Fetal Alignment.” We are thrilled about this update and just trying to wait patiently on the new contributor! Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to expand this vital education course! 

Now please enjoy this lesson from Lorraine a wee bit longer!

Hi, I’m Lorraine Scapens of Turning Baby and Pregnancy Exercise, and I believe that mums who have kept strong, fit, and healthy during pregnancy tend to recover faster from any birthing scenario, be it vaginal or C-section, compared to mums who haven’t. If you have had to give birth to your little one via surgery, then here are my 5 tips to help speed up your recovery.

Rest

Although C-Sections are very commonplace nowadays, and surgery has improved, it’s easy to forget that it is still a major abdominal surgery that your body has undergone – and on top of 9 months of pregnancy. Resting is vital in allowing your body to recover from surgery and your pregnancy. When you are resting, your body is repairing itself. You may also need to mentally recover from a C Section delivery, as it may not have been the birth you had hoped for. Give yourself time, and rest as often as you can over the next three months. I love this saying, and new mums need to ensure they do this!

Nourish

Following any kind of delivery, vaginal or C Section, it is important to increase your protein intake. Protein is your body’s building blocks, and therefore helps with cellular and tissue repair. So try to remember to include this vital nutrient at each meal and snack. It really helps if you are prepared, so try to make sure you have protein snacks and meals during your hospital stay. Post birth is the time to eat all that soft cheese you may have been missing out on during your pregnancy!

Hydrate

During Pregnancy, your body’s fluids have increased by approx. 30%. You need to help your body excrete all the extra fluid that has been retained. Breastmilk needs to be made and drugs need to be used to relieve pain, these factors all increase hydration requirements. To increase the efficiency of removing waste products from your system, and to help increase your milk supply, you need to drink upwards of 3+ litres of water a day, especially during the first 6 weeks.

Wear a C-Section Recovery Binder

When you are sore, in pain and have extra fluid around your abdomen, the brain finds it hard to connect with weakened abdominal muscles. What tends to happen is your body starts to compensate by over using the lower back muscles, which can quite quickly lead to lower back pain. Binding your sore abdominal muscles sooner rather than later, and with a specific C-section binder, will really help promote recovery!

Fit2B calls this “splinting” and you can click here to see the ones that Beth and I recommend be used in concert with exercise.

Please note: Over-wearing support binders will eventually weaken your abdominals instead of strengthening them, so it is REALLY important that you combine both exercise and binding.

Exercise

It is important that you soon start to activate your own muscle belt. You don’t want to leave it too long before you start gentle rehabilitation exercises for your deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. The longer you leave it, the harder it gets for your brain to connect and contract with weak abdominal muscles.

Around 10-21 days post-partum, you should no longer feel as sore, and you can start a more specific post birth exercise program. Recovery programs are not like a typical exercise program you may be given at the gym or down at your local Baby Boot Camp. Instead, programs like mine {or the Foundational Five here on Fit2B} allow you to recover from your birth and help you to correctly engage and connect with weak abdominal muscles. They prepare you for other, strenuous activity so that you are really ready.

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