C-section Recovery Tips March 14 2013, 0 Comments

"After delivering my first child by unplanned cesarean (after a long labor), my body felt foreign. I noticed I was using my shoulders and my back to lift my new baby. Because of the scar tissue and general soreness, my abdominals were unfamiliar and I was in pain. I started to listen to my body, researching which muscles were tight and where I needed to stretch. I knew that although I was anxious to start walking and get exercise, I needed to open up, lengthen and release before I started to build strength. After consulting with doctors, numerous physical therapists, fellow Pilates instructors and most importantly, other moms recovering from c-sections, I created my COREnection class to offer support to others in this process."
—Wendy Foster, creater of My Birth Recovery

IN THE HOSPITAL

  1. Breathe deeply. Use your diaphragm to expel stale, old air and breath fresh, renewed air into your body. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
  2. Ask your doctor what stretches/exercises are safe immediately.
  3. Request a prescription for physical therapy.
  4. Start walking as soon as possible. Begin by walking to the window in your room and then down the hall, slowly adding distance.

RECOVERY FROM HOME

  1. Continue to Breathe deeply. Use your diaphragm to expel stale, old air and breath fresh, renewed air into your body. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
  2. Do a hot castor oil compress to draw out toxins and “emotional baggage” from your scar and core area.
  3. If necessary, talk with your baby about your feelings around your labor and delivery. Re-birth with your baby your ideal birth.
  4. Ask for and receive support from others.
  5. Stretch your hamstrings, open up from your shoulders, stretch your spine.

WHEN YOU ARE READY

  1. Receive myofascial massage on your scar by a trained therapist.
  2. Exercise. Any exercise is better than no exercise and movement can help elevate mood and bonding with your baby. Start slowly and be patient with yourself.
  3. Get acupuncture to open up energetic blockages, improve circulation and healing and decrease pain.
  4. Have your adrenal and hormone levels checked if you are still feeling tired and foggy, or overwhelmed. Remember that sleep deprivation can impact both your energy level and your mood.
  5. When you feel ready and your baby is weaned, consider doing a cleanse or fast to remove toxins and “emotional constipation.” Always check with your health care provider before cleansing or taking any herbal supplements.

Recommended reading

Silent Knife: Cesarean Prevention and Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC)
by Nancy Wainer Cohen, Lois J. Estner

Mother Nurture: Mother Depletion Syndrome and More!
by Rick Hanson, Jan Hanson, and Ricki Pollycove

Healing resource for C-section recovery

Nurture Therapeutic Bodyworks: Savannah Mayfield 503.473.4754
Dr. Sarah Ogushi, ND: 503.703.7825
Mississippi Health Center: 503.282.5358
MotherRoots Counseling: 503.287.2295
Womens Healthcare clinic of Oregon: Dr. Brendan Carroll. Strong advocate for VBAC 503-256-1470