No matter what the reason is for your C-section, you will feel better knowing you are prepared.
Preparing for a C-section can feel overwhelming. No matter what the reason for your C-section, you will feel better knowing you are prepared.


A scheduled C-section feels strange. You know the date your baby will arrive, but you also have a major abdominal surgery in your future. After three C-sections, I feel ready for another in the future. One of the reasons I feel so comfortable with my births is that I understand how to prepare and recover.

1. Prepare for Your Hospital Stay

When you have a C-section, you typically stay in the hospital between three and five days, depending on your recovery. I opt only to stay 48 hours because I recover well and prefer to be home. Don't feel rushed to leave! Leave when you are ready.

Related: Third Time's a Charm: My Healing C-Section

Pack your bag knowing that you will stay a minimum of 48 to 72 hours. I suggest taking leggings or comfortable stretch pants. You also want nursing tanks or shirts, along with cozy socks because the floors are cold. Purchase a pack of underwear that is a size larger. In the hospital, you can use the mesh panties, but larger panties at home will be more comfortable.

2. Understand the Routine

You will feel better knowing what to expect. Typically, the hospital will give you instructions. You should arrive two hours before your scheduled surgery time. During that time, you will answer questions, have your pubic hair shaved, have a catheter inserted and be wheeled into the OR.

3. Prepare for Recovery

Recovery is the hardest part of a C-section. You have a brand new baby and an abdominal surgery to recover from. I do have some tips that made my recovery easier.
  • Eat as soon as you can after delivery. I ask my doctor to eat right in recovery.
  • Get your baby to breast as soon as possible. The contractions will be painful, but necessary!
  • Don't wait to ask for pain medicine. Take it diligently around the clock. You should ask for your first dosage in recovery.

Related: 5 Reasons a Cesarean Birth Might Be the Right Choice for You

  • Get up and walk as soon as you are able. My third child was born at 12:13 pm, and I was up walking around 8 pm. Yes, it is uncomfortable, but important for recovery. Walk as much as you can, take frequent breaks and don't push yourself too hard. Walk to the bathroom, and then rest. Walk to the window and look outside, then take a break.
  • Take the gas and laxative pills; they help with the discomfort!
  • Use a Boppy or breastfeeding pillow. It helps to reduce the pressure on your stomach while breastfeeding. It also makes it easier to hold your baby.
  • Create freezer meals for your arrival at home. You don't want to have to worry about cooking meals for at least a week.
  • I create an area in our living room for my recovery. I put a bassinet for the baby with diapers and clothes nearby. I typically sleep in the recliner; laying flat with staples can be uncomfortable.
Do you have tips for preparing for an upcoming C-section? I would love to hear them!