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Filtering by Tag: birth boot camp

7 Amazing C-Section Recovery Tips

Chelsea Gonzales

Whether your cesarean was planned from the beginning or a complete surprise, the recovery is something you'll need to go through. Luckily, you'll have your new bundle of joy by your side, softening the pain and more difficult days a little. However, a C-section is still major surgery, and as with all major surgeries, recovery isn't exactly fun.

That said, there are ways to speed up the recovery process and make it go a lot more smoothly. By knowing the right steps to take, you can help ensure all goes well in the weeks postpartum.

Walk, then Rest

Surgery leaves even the best of us feeling groggy and in pain. For this reason, walking is likely the very last thing you want to do. Still, walking is one of the necessary steps you must take before leaving the hospital. It's also beneficial during recovery because it helps get blood moving, reducing the likelihood of clots. For this reason, you will want to do a bit of walking around the house each day.

With that said, I must point out that this walking should be kept to a minimum in the first few weeks. No strenuous exercise should occur until at east 6–8 weeks postpartum, and even then, a new mama should get permission from her doctor.

Eat Well, Drink Plenty

Nutrition is hugely important when your body is working hard to recover. Besides, if you're breastfeeding, you're providing your baby with all of his or her nutrients. Therefore, you simply must eat well after having a C-section.

Besides eating a well balanced diet that is full of fruits, veggies, and lean meats, you will also want to make sure that the foods you choose contain plenty of fiber. This will help prevent the post-cesarean gas and constipation that so often plagues new mamas.

Additionally, plenty of protein, iron, and vitamin C are all musts in an after-surgery diet. These nutrients help your body rebuild muscle, recover from blood loss, and fight off infection.

Finally, you will need to consume A LOT of water. In fact, I recommend drinking around a gallon a day. Your body needs water in order to function properly, and with a post-operative recovery on its plate—as well as the usual postpartum work—it's going to need as much water as it can get.

Add in Supplements

During the months postpartum, be sure to continue taking your prenatal vitamin. Not only will this help baby get plenty of nutrients through your breastmilk, it will also help your body recover more quickly. Other supplements you may consider should include 1) a quality probiotic in order to restore order in your gut, as well as 2) zinc and magnesium, also for gut health.

Baby Your Scar

One key part of recovery is making sure your scar heals correctly and without infection. The best way to do this is by babying the area.

Stick to showers in order to avoid submerging your scar, never scrub that area, and gently pat it dry after showering. Put aloe vera gel and vitamin E on the scar to reduce swelling and visibility, and keep it covered with a organic or free and clear maxi pad or some other sterile, soft covering for the first two weeks.

Banish Pain

Of course, you're going to feel some level of pain after a C-section. In order to reduce this pain, be sure to use the painkillers prescribed by the doctor. As you wean off the prescription drugs, slowly make the switch to over-the-counter options such as ibuprofen.

Other options that can be used along with these painkillers include essential oil aromatherapy, arnica gel, cinnamon supplements, garlic supplements, coconut water, omega-3 fatty acids, hawthorn berry tea, and hibiscus tea. Using a combination of a few of these should have you feeling a bit better.

Address Your Emotions

Not every mama is happy to have had a cesarean. If you are upset by the way your birth went, be sure to address this right away rather than allowing it to fester. Having your placenta encapsulated and adding the capsules to your daily regimen can help keep your emotions under control, but this shouldn't be your only course of action.

You will also want to find a way to express your disappointment, air your grievances, and allow yourself to wade through, make sense of, and understand the strong emotions you may be feeling. For many women, simply talking with their partner or a close family member or friend is enough. Others need a professional to help them sort through their emotions. Still others prefer to write, draw, or use some other form of creativity to express themselves and get through this difficult time.

Find what works for you and go with it.

Get Help

As you're recovering, you're going to need plenty of help. While your family is sure to help out as much as they can, it isn't always enough. For this reason, it's a great idea to hire a postpartum doula. Doulas are knowledgeable when it comes to postpartum recovery and newborn care, and are immensely helpful in nearly all aspects of life after birth.

Are you ready to hire a postpartum doula? I'd love to talk to you about your options. Please contact me today!

Making Your Birth Beautiful

Chelsea Gonzales

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Many people think birth is merely a messy thing that should be gotten through. They consider the process only a means to an end, and consider a healthy mother and baby the only true goals of labor and delivery.

The thing is, birth is so much more than that.

Childbirth is an amazing and beautiful thing. Sure, it’s messy, but those messes are minuscule when compare to the other spectacular things that happen during the process. Every single birth is an incredible miracle, and labor and delivery are so amazing that simply “getting through” them seems ridiculous to me.

In fact, doing what you can to make your birth a positive experience—and focusing on making labor a relaxing and connected time—could have an impact on you as a mama as well as your new baby. Therefore, I highly recommend removing yourself from the typical mindset of “getting through” labor and embracing the process for the miracle that it is. Do what you can to make your labor and delivery the birthing experience you dream of.

How can you create the beautiful birth you deserve? Try these simple yet effective methods.

Find Inspiration and Motivation

Great works of art are best created when a person is inspired, and athletes work best with motivation. Birthing is both an art and an athletic event. Therefore, you will want to have plenty of inspiration and motivation surrounding you during your pregnancy and labor.

Many women find it helpful to find affirmations that speak to them and create affirmation banners or flags to hang around their home and birthing space. Watching beautiful birth videos can also be inspiring during the last few weeks of pregnancy. Meanwhile, going into your birth both 1) informed of your options and 2) knowing what you want is certainly good motivation.

Create a Relaxing Space

Whether they’re delivering in a hospital or at home, creating a relaxing and comfortable space is very important for those mothers who wish to have beautiful birthing experiences.

Candles (real or battery operated) can provide the right kinds of lighting, and essential oils are a great way to fill the space with relaxing scents. As mentioned before, affirmation banners are always a good addition, and some favorite music can help make the space feel more welcoming.

Involve Your Partner

Nothing is more natural and calming than having your partner by your side during the delivery of your little one. Unfortunately, many partners feel uncomfortable and unsure of what to do during labor. For this reason, I highly recommend doing the last two things on this list as well.

Hire a Doula

Many people assume that hiring a doula means the partner of the birthing mama will be left out. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Doulas are actually great at ensuring both partners are involved in the process. They also work as advocates for the new mama and make sure she is comfortable throughout labor and delivery. Obviously, a doula is a must-have for those looking to experience a positive birth.

Learn Comfort Techniques

There are a number of wonderful ways to stay comfortable during labor, and most of them don’t require any drugs at all. From breathing techniques and new positions to water and imagery, learning plenty of different options can be immensely helpful.

Reading books and watching videos are two ways to learn these techniques. However, hands-on classes and workshops—such as this one I’ll be teaching soon—tend to be the best way to learn and get your partner involved. Not only will the class teach comfort measures, it’ll also cover communication during labor, making this an excellent way to help ensure you have a positive birthing experience.

Want to join my upcoming comfort measures class? Interested in hiring a doula? Either way, I’d love to hear from you and help you achieve the birth experience you want and deserve. Contact me today!