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I am a postpartum doula and have a client who is having a scheduled C-section in March. What ideas can I give her to make her recovery and day to day task easier?<br><br>
Obviously, as the doula, there is a lot I can do for her, but she will have to do a lot herself, too, as she does not have family in the area and her husband is away for work 5 days a week (as in - leaves Monday morning and not home again until Friday night). She also has another child who will be about 21 months when the baby arrives.<br><br>
I was going to suggest to her to buy paper plates/cups/etc to avoid having to do dishes, keeping a huge basket of snacks and juice boxes near the couch for both her and the toddler.<br><br>
Obviously, she will need to keep lots of baby supplies near her, too.<br><br>
What other helpful hints can you suggest?
 

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Take the ibuprofen. It's an anti-inflammatory as well as an analgesic; for it to work as one, though, you have to take it every X hours (follow the instructions on the label). It helps a lot to speed healing and reduce pain. They'll probably also give her vicodin or something similar as needed for pain; it's ok to take them both.<br><br>
WATER. This was just huge for me. Get a case or two of sport bottles or something so that there's always fresh water in easy reach. Juice is nice, and snacks are important, but water trumps everything.<br><br>
That's what springs to mind immediately from my c-section recovery... you might find out also if she had any luck with nursing lying down with her older child, and if so, how long it took to get the hang of it. It can be tricky at first. What finally worked for me (at 8 weeks, so still pretty floppy-newborn age) was to lay on my back, position baby appropriately, then use my "bottom" arm to hold him in place while I rolled over onto my side. This was WAY easier than trying to get him in position when I was already on my side (and only had one effective arm). The bottom arm then supported his head and helped hold his body close.
 

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In line with what Ironica said, I strongly recommend getting her to try different positions for breastfeeding, and let her choose what works. With my first section, lying on my side was fine. With my second and third, it was okay, and usually what I chose for night-nursing, but it was quite uncomfortable. Had Aaron lived, I wouldn't have been able to nurse him on my side at all, as I was totally unable to get onto my side at all until about 3 weeks pp, and unable to stay there for more than a couple of minutes until about 7-8 weeks pp. It was excruciating. They've all been quite different. As for nursing sitting up - most of the literature treats the football hold as the Holy Grail of nursing for moms who've had c-sections. I hate it - doesn't work for me at all, and almost made me give up bf with ds1.<br><br>
My take is to encourage her to try all kinds of different positions, with respect to breastfeeding, clothing and her own relaxation. (The only part of the hospital I like is the bed - it's so nice to have that help to get vertical!) It's too easy for support people to get into the "this is what works for c-section moms" mindset, and forget that every surgery is different and we all react differently.<br><br>
Honestly - I'm not a huge fan of the pain meds. I take them to get to sleep, but other than that, I tend to avoid them more and more all the time. Some of them are actually good enough to kill the pain, which invites an injury, imo. Most of them don't do squat for the pain for me, anyway - so why bother? A slight reduction in pain, when the pain is still awful, doesn't seem to be much of a benefit to me. Some women love them, and the doctors swear by them, so YMMV (well, your client's mileage, obviously).<br><br>
Everything else will really depend on her recovery. I would check on numbness. With ds2, my section ended up causing numbness (appears to be permanent, but we'll see) in my bladder. I can no longer tell when I need to pee. If she experiences anything like this, encourage her to pee at regular intervals, just as you would with a woman in labour, because it <i>really</i> hurts when you realize that the reason your incision is bothering you so much is the pressure of your bladder on it, and then try to get up to pee like that!
 

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I had a fairly easy section recovery, but this is what helped or would have helped me the most had it been done<br><br><br>
Starting with while at the hospital:<br><br>
As soon as she feels able to get up and walk, and feels the urge to pee, get them to remove the cath, and let her up. (the first night, my cath backed up and I was in so much pain, and they didnt realize it for 8 hours......it really hurt for weeks afterwards to pee...our hospital policy is cath for 12 to 24 hours after a section)<br><br>
After my vag birth with my oldest I had trouble having a BM, they let me leave cause I could pass gas, but it wasnt til 3 days later I took a laxative and boy was it the best decision I made..lol With my section, I asked for one within the first few hours, and it made a huge difference in the first few BM's that I had......at about a week after I got constipated from my meds, and it was the worst pain, made getting up hard, made my muscles hurt bad around my incision, and actually going to the bathroom was the worst.<br><br>
At home:<br><br>
I didnt have my babies with me since they were in the NICU but the things I found helpful were:<br><br>
Go pee every 2 hours, whether I felt like it or not......even if I didnt feel like it, I would go, and soon realized I wasnt able to really tell too well when I did or didnt have to go. Which contributed to alot of my pain.<br><br>
Sitting up striaght made a huge difference.....even if it hurt a little, I just used a boppy or pillow if I needed a little comfort. When I used the recliner, it hurt more.<br><br>
Keep everything close by in one central spot.....I made sure I could get to it quickly (my pump and supplies and such). Getting up to walk as often as possible helped, so instead of having stuff right next to me, I made sure I atleast had to get up...plus I used that up time to go to the bathroom.<br><br><br>
Thats all I can recall righ now!
 

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1. Don't do too much too fast! I felt great 3-4 days after surgery, and did too much. Paid for it the next day!<br><br>
2. I agree with the earlier post about meds. I usually avoid pain meds unless things really get severe--but I wouldn't recommend it this time around. Keeping on a regular schedule with pain meds enabled me to sleep when the baby slept (w/o waiting for meds to kick in) and be there to focus on the baby's needs. It's hard enough to recover from surgery--doing it when sleep deprived and learning to BF is even worse. You're not a "wimp" for using the medicines.<br><br>
3. At the hospital, they gave me this "belly band" wrap, a big elastic that went around my whole midsection. It enabled me to move comfortably, and to cough (I caught a cold in the hospital) without feeling like my insides were falling out the incision!<br><br>
4. Be prepared, emotionally, to miss much of baby's first day. I had a nasty reaction to the anesthesia, which kept me loopy and vomiting for 24 hours. I don't remember much at all about the day DS was born. While she may not have such a reaction, the surgery may keep her out of it. For me, I had some pretty hard grief at missing out on this "most important day of my life." It resurfaced again at his 1st b-day. I couldn't really tell him much about the day he was born, except that we went to the hospital very early in the morning, and I was scared as hell. I heard his first cry and saw him in the OR, and don't remember much at all after that until the next day. My DH conducted his first breastfeeding sessions--he and the LC manuevered baby and boob while I lay flat on my back muttering incoherently, apparently. (I don't want to scare her--this is not typical, but it is also not unusual. Just something to be prepared for, just in case.)<br><br>
If I think of anything else, I'll add later... Best of luck to her.
 

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My midwife recommended limiting my trips up and down the stairs to like 3 a day for the first week. I would gather everything I needed on one floor of the house (our bedrooms are upstairs; living room and kitchen down), and just stay there for many hours. I limited the stairs to 2 trips a day. I think that helped alot.
 

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I don't have personal experience with C/S but my sister just had one three days ago. She said she really wishes she had brought night-gowns for the baby instead of the footed jammies because diaper changes would have been so much easier.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mama_in_PA</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10265033"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't have personal experience with C/S but my sister just had one three days ago. She said she really wishes she had brought night-gowns for the baby instead of the footed jammies because diaper changes would have been so much easier.</div>
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The nightgowns came in handy for us!!! Even 5 weeks after my section, my twins still lived in them.....made it sooo much easier!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>franklinmarxmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10264547"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">3. At the hospital, they gave me this "belly band" wrap, a big elastic that went around my whole midsection. It enabled me to move comfortably, and to cough (I caught a cold in the hospital) without feeling like my insides were falling out the incision!</div>
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Thats one I forgot to mention!<br><br>
This helped me out alot too...and in the first 2 weeks afterwards.<br>
I had to ask for one, they didnt offer one to me, and it took 6 hours to get a replacement one when they gave me one that was too small. But it really helped out alot!
 

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I've heard about the belly band. Does it really help that much? I can't even stand having underwear on my stomach after a section - I'm more comfortable with it right on my incision than around my belly! It would be nice to be able to cough, laugh and <i>cry</i>, without the pain.<br><br>
What pain meds do you all take? Except for whatever it was I got in the hospital, I haven't found anything that actually did much for the pain...and the stuff in the hospital did too much.<br><br>
OP: Reading the stuff about the belly band reminds me of the women who say they like "granny panties" after a section, because they stay off the incision. I hate them. So - I think, especially if this is your client's first section, it's <i>really</i> important to bring things up as suggestions. One of my biggest problems, especially with my first section, was that the nurses would tell me "this is the best way to do X when you've had a c-section", so that's what I'd do - and it was totally wrong for me much of the time.<br><br>
re: sleep deprivation. Talk to the client about that, too. I took pain meds last time to let me sleep at night...but I didn't do that during the day, because it takes me <i>weeks</i> of sleep deprivation before I reach a point where I can fall asleep during the day, anyway. I've never been able to "sleep when the baby sleeps", except at night. I'm obviously in the minority in being so down on pain medication, but I really don't like it post-op.
 

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I second the advice about WALKING! Walk soon, walk often...if you don't feel like it WALK ANYHOW! Walking WILL speed recovery & make things so much easier! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Baby in lap! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Turmeric & Bromelain combination will work as antiinflammatory and mild pain reliver. very helpful for me. Red rasperry leaf tea aand Dr tori hudsons "pregnancy prep" after birth to support uterus. I dont believe any of these contraindict nursing and I used them all this time and has had no adverse effect on my supply.<br><br>
A little rolling baby supply cart, they sell these in the baby section of target. when I came across it the other day I immediately thought that would have been helpful after my c/s! hth
 

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From things I've read...<br>
Raw honey, and it has to be raw, on the incision will help keep infection at bay as well as helping it heal faster. It's like all natural neosporin!<br><br>
Taking homeopathic arnica tabs before surgery will help the body heal faster and taking it after as well as applying arnica cream or gel wherever she hurts, but not directly on the incision.<br><br>
There's somthing called the Reset Breath that helps the body recover soooo much faster after anathesia. I was looking for a link, but can't find one right off... The idea is that the oxygen and cardon dioxide levels in our bodies get all wacked out and by doing this breath, you reset them, and so reset your health as it were. It can also be used when you start feeling sick or stressed or off or whenever. It's a good practice to take up. Anyway...<br>
Take one slow deep breath in, exhale it all out and don't breathe in again until you can't not and then try to wait some more. Then breathe deeply slowly in. Breathe normally for several breaths and then start again. Do this for about 4 minutes a day. It's based on the work of Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks.<br>
Cheers,<br>
Chelsie <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I have had three c/s, and each was a little different in terms of recovery.<br><br>
For me, taking the pain meds and staying ahead of the pain made a world of difference in my pain levels and my mood. If her doc prescribes a med that's not working for her, encourage her to ask for something different. Pain meds are quirky and people react differently to them.<br><br>
Ice packs on my incision felt GREAT.<br><br>
After c/s #3, I was horribly constipated and didn't have a BM for a WEEK. It was awful, but a fleet suppository took care of it in about 15 minutes. Why did I wait so long???<br><br>
Good luck to your client!
 

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A small pillow was really useful. Coughing or laughing made my incision hurt pretty badly, but holding a small pillow firmly over the incision helped quite a bit.
 

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I wish I would of had a few breakfast items ready for my todder ds in my bedroom, so that if I couldn't get up right away (nursing newborn, changing diaper, exhausted from being up all night, etc.) he would of had what he needed, instead of getting frustrated waiting. (Plus I had a lot of pain with the stairs.) I think a basket of bananas, apples, granola, etc. that he could pick from would of saved me a lot of tears!! (Come to think of it, that would of been nice for me to eat from too!!)
 

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I haven't read the other replies, so I may be repeating them, but... a midwife (also a nutritionalist) I know said to ALWAYS eat lots of protein in the days after a surgery, because it aids in repairing the tissue. It's extremely important in the days after surgery.<br><br>
So lots of nuts, seafood, beans, etc. Maybe protein bars to snack on.
 
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