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Support for Sister After C-Section?

615 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Mizelenius
My sister just had her 4th child. The first three were vaginal deliveries, 2/3 with some element of complication. The fourth (today) was delivered via an emergency c-section due to a short cord.

Now, my sister never planned for a natural birth (e.g. without meds) but she never dreamed she'd have a c-section. She may feel fine with it-- I don't know. How can I be supportive-- both in words and logistically? What do you wish people had done/said for you (or NOT done/said?)?
1 - 7 of 7 Posts has a great list of things to say and what not to say. Best thing right now is to listen without offering any advice or opinion or personal experience stories. Just let her do all the talking, she'll need to talk to someone about how she's feeling. And how she feels today doesn't mean she'll feel the same way tomorrow or next week or next month, even. Tell her it's ok to feel that way, it's ok to be happy the baby is alright and it's ok to grieve the loss of the birth she thought she would have.
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I had a csection for my 3rd after 2 uncomplicated deliveries and it wsa a shock. I needed help with the other kids and stuff around the house- food, cleaning, etc. I could handle the baby stuff, but other than that, I just couldn't do it. Fortunately, dh was off work for 2 weeks and I had a week alone (I think just 4 days) then my mom came for a month, so she did the hard stuff for me.
Yes, definately be there for her to talk about it. I know I really needed to process mine w/supportive people. Of course, when talking about it let her take the lead, say whatever she wants, reassure her that it wasn't her fault, etc. Logistically, if she has 3 other kids, offer to help w/the older 3 as much as you can. After a c- she may need particular help w/driving the older ones where they need to go, taking the older ones on special outings, that kind of thing. And there is always the cooking & cleaning that is so much harder after a c-. What a great sister you are for thinking of this.
listening is good, and that site has some great examples of things to say. but after my c-birth, i would have LOVED to have a sister who could come over and just plain ol' sit with me! or help with cleaning, or cooking, or even all the little things like helping me get my shoes on if i couldn't bend. someone to prop me with pillows so i could hold the baby more comfortably. a back massage. a manicure! anything that helps her feel good in her own body.
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I agree with another poster about following her lead. Please don't say "at least the baby's okay - that's the important thing". I, and many other c-section moms, find that one really, really hard to take.

I don't know what else to say. She's had vaginal births, which I think would have made a difference for me, but not everyone's the same. And, some people are perfectly okay with it - my SIL almost threw a party when they told her they were taking my niece by c-section, and to this day she thinks I'm crazy to want a, it may not be a big issue.

And, I definitely agree - help out physically any way you can, especially in the first few weeks. It's so hard to take care of the day-to-day stuff when even standing up and walking are difficult. She's lucky to have a sister like sister's idea of support was telling me I'm pathetic to have had a section...

for being so thoughtful.
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Thank you so much for the words of wisdom, mamas. When I called my sister, I felt more prepared. I did what you said-- I made listening my #1 priority. When I first posted, I was worried what to say . . .how to reassure her without it being stupid, but "just" listening felt so right.

The only words of advice I gave her and sharing of experiences was to tell her that when I was having pretty severe BF difficulties with DD2, I practiced saying YES to offers of help. My sister is not one to want help, ever. So, I will make an effort to do things (e.g just bring food over) w/o asking what she needs.

Thanks so much again, mamas!

ETA: that Victorious Birth site is wonderful!
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