Healing from a c-section can sometimes be overwhelming. You, a warrior, just had major surgery. Now you not only have to care for yourself, you have to care for your baby! This is a challenge that is sometimes forgotten.
Once you’ve left the hospital, how can you easily care for your newborn?
First of all, your baby doesn’t need daily baths.
Since your newborn can’t be submerged in water until after their umbilical cord falls off anyway, just wiping them with a damp, soft cloth to clean them off is perfect. Even after the umbilical cord has fallen off you can continue with a gentle wipe down instead of baths for a bit to allow more time for healing.
Diaper changes can be done on any flat surface.
Your bed, the couch, even the floor will work. Put together a diaper caddy with a changing pad and you’re set to change your newborn anywhere you happen to be resting. There’s no need to use a dedicated changing table, meaning you don’t have to stand to change diapers.
Snuggling baby is going to be your main job for a while but little feet can often find their way to your cesarean incision.
Protect your incision by placing a pillow over it. Even a nursing pillow like a Boppy wrapped around your midsection can be a great tool!
This is also helpful when feeding your baby. Little feet like to kick and push just like when they were inside your belly. If a pillow and cradle hold is uncomfortable, try a football hold! It safely puts baby’s feet behind you, allowing them to kick all they want without hurting you. Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, either way the football hold can be used.
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to keep yourself isolated to one floor.
Stairs can be difficult when you’re recovering from a c-section. Make this easier by creating a basket or rolling cart full of all your essentials. Nursing pads, lip balm, personal cleansing wipes (handy for quick clean ups before visitors arrive!), a hairbrush, deodorant, snacks and a refillable water bottle are all great ideas. Keep burp cloths, a change of clothes for baby, and swaddle blankets nearby as well and you’re all set!
Consider having a postpartum doula care for you and the family when you first get home from the hospital.
She can come daily and do things like: care for baby while you nap/shower/take a break, give you breastfeeding support or prepare bottles, organize the nursery, prepare meals, load the dishwasher, fold the laundry and more. She is an expert on infant care, feeding and sleep and can educate you or fill the in gaps wherever needed.
Remember, you just gave birth! Your body needs ample time to rest and heal. Lay down and sit when you can, moving only as much as your doctor has instructed you to. When taking care of your newborn post-cesarean, there are sometimes limitations and considerations you need to take. While handing your baby to your partner is great, it’s not always feasible. Take a few precautions and have friends or family help prepare some items for you and you’ll find it’s much easier than you may have considered.