The USA to UK Edit: 15 C-Section Recovery Tips

So guys I'm really sad to say this is our last USA to UK post this series! Hopefully we will be joining together again in the future to bring you more mommy/mummy posts but for now our series has finished. As our final goodbye we've worked together to create our list of tips and advice to aid in recovery after a C-Section should you ever have to have one.

So here it is, the true advice for recovering from a section, the advice the nurses don't tell you or don't stress enough. We've compiled it into a list for you, print it off if you've got one booked in like Brittany did, or remember it in case you have an emergency one like me!

1. Standing up for the first time after it literally winds you and makes you feel so sick, don't worry. But do get up and walk around! We remember getting up for the first time and you just aren't expecting it. It feels like you have an anchor tied around your waist and it hurts to stand up straight. The nurses will encourage you to get up and walk around, and although you'll be slightly resentful because I mean YOU JUST HAD SURGERY and felt like CRAP, it really does help! 
2. Try and stand as straight as possible, even though it kills! Keep things you need constantly.. water, breast pump (if you need one), phone, snacks on something table height. You DO NOT want to bend over anymore than you already have to... infact squat don't bend!
3. Be super careful when washing your scar, although it feels like cotton wool and numb, it hurts if you press too hard and its a big knock back. If you can and it is offered to you, take squirt bottle home with you. Brittany said it felt so good to wash her incision with that because it ITCHES LIKE CRAZY! If you don't have a squirt bottle like me, wet a flannel and when you're in the shower ring it out over it, works in the same way. 
4. Which leads me to the next tip, shower as opposed to bathing. Although standing is hard and exhausting, getting up out of a bath is worse. 
5. Your insides are probably bruised and battered, take care with them, know when to slow down or stop, my bladder was bruised for weeks. As cliche as it sounds 'listen to your body'.
6. The first time you go the toilet after a section... is... an experience, don't worry, everyone's felt it. And don't worry about all the um, 'stuff' that leaves your body (to put it politely). Make sure you have HUGE maternity pads or adult nappies for you, trust us you'll need them.
7. Ensure all the stitches/staples/whatever have dissolved or been removed fully before trying any creams or oils on it to ease the scarring. Brittany says she wishes she would've used 'Mederma' or something similar to apply to her c-section scar because she forms keloid scars and didn't even think about it. Her worries were with her gorgeous babies (understandably) but now she wishes she worried about her own scar more! Don't worry though, see it as a war wound if you can! 
8. Also don't push with exercising, no matter how much you want your pre pregnancy body back, dealing with a flabby body is better than a ruptured scar.
9. One I wasn't told was DON'T SNEEZE OR LAUGH OR COUGH. For like 6 weeks. Seriously. 
Press a pillow into your incision site if you have to sneeze, cough or laugh. It was a lifesaver, but try to avoid it!
10. Use a rice bag or heat pack of some kind. Put one of these on at the end of the day when you notice you're exceptionally sore or having those CRAZY uterus shrinking cramps while nursing!
11. Keep up on medication (for some reason you feel pressure to not be on pain relief. Brittany worried they would affect her babies and felt like she needed to be Superwoman. And like Superwoman she went 48 hours without pain pills after her C-section before finally deciding she was in way too much pain to try and do this without medication. I on the other hand accepted it straight away, drug me up nurses! 
12. Loose clothing and big knickers that wont hurt your incision sight are your new best friends. Think yoga pants and husbands/ boyfriend t-shirts - unless your boyfriend is like mine and skinnier than you, in which case maybe your daddy's t-shirts.
13. Accept help. My baby was obviously in hospital and I felt so guilty and rude asking for lifts places because I wasn't allowed to drive, but family and friends are there to help you in times of need and this is a good as time as any. If you have your babies home, accept help! Partners, friends, distant family you never knew you had, just accept it no questions asked.
14. Be honest with your midwives at check ups, the community girls will be used to the weird and wonderful world of postpartum recovery. If you have a worry, voice it with no shame. Pregnancy is not a graceful or dignified event. Deal with it. 
15. REST. I know we all laugh when people say 'sleep when the baby sleeps' but really for those crucial first few days/weeks after a section, take it as easy as possible. It seriously takes 6-8 weeks to recover. You are so tired and sore and drained for those first 6-8 weeks. I could tell my body was recovering, but seriously take it day by day because by 8 weeks it's amazing how much more 'normal' you feel. 

And that's it guys. Our 15 tips for an easier C-Section recovery. We've both really enjoyed working together for this collaboration and hope to return to it in the future if you guys would want us back! See you soon.

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