Most women will opt for normal delivery of their childbirth. But for some, they have to have Cesarean section due to various reasons.
And just like any other medical surgery, C-section delivery leaves your body in a more tender and fragile condition. So your body need extra care and attention to recover. After C-section, your body will go through two major recoveries. They are postpartum recovery and post-surgery recovery. So, there’s a lot of going on in your physical system during C-section recovery.
Having experienced two C-sections myself, I found the first few months afterbirth are the crucial time for me to look after myself. Because you want to get yourself right in order to be able to look after your baby, don’t you? Normally, your body takes 6-8 weeks to recover after the childbirth. But of course it all depends on many factors and your circumstances.
I found that it takes effort, care and discipline for quick C-section recovery.
The followings are the things that I did during my C-section recovery time. I’m hoping they can be good takeaway for you and be a part of all you need to know for your Cesarean section recovery.
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1. Have Bone Broth Everyday
My sister in law used to make this simple clear chicken soup for me literally every week. She used to make in a batch, enough for me to drink one cup everyday. It’s a very simple bone broth which is very good to replenish the nutrients for your body after the surgery.
You can make the broth by using chicken parts with bones e.g. wings and legs. But you can also make it with cow or lamb bones.
Basically you can make the broth with any broth recipe you like. However, the way that my sister in law used to make is by boiling few pieces of chicken wings/legs in about 1.5 liter of water with 1 inch of ginger, few cloves of garlic, few pinches of turmeric, 10 black peppercorn, 6-7 cloves. Boil at low heat for about 1-1.5 hour after water reached boiling point.
2. Drink Turmeric And Tamarind Mix
I used to make this concoction towards the end of my pregnancy. It’s based on Indonesian traditional herbal drink, jamu. There are so many types of Jamu mixtures (herbal drink), but the popular ones for afterbirth is the mix of ginger, tamarind, turmeric and palm sugar.
The mixture is good to accelerate your postpartum C-section recovery and to get your stamina back. Because all these spices have beneficial properties anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. As for palm sugar, it contains trace of minerals such as iron, magnesium, etc.
To make one litre of Jamu, I put 1 inch of fresh ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 50 gr Tamarind block, and about 2 tablespoons of palm sugar (you can adjust the amount of sugar according to your taste) in approximately 1.25 litre boiling water. Let the mixture shimmer until the water reduced to about 1 litre. Drink one cup of this concoction everyday. I used to have it every morning after breakfast.
3. Wear Tummy Girdle
In Indonesia, women would use tummy support called “Gurita Ibu” after childbirth. It’s basically a tummy girdle with ribbons like strings. And just like a tummy girdle, this gurita ibu gives support over your abdominal and stomach.
The idea is to give support to your uterus while it heals after the hard work of pregnancy and childbirth.
I personally find it good to support the stitches area. Especially when I walk. I used to make sure I wore this girdle when I move about, and I would take it off before I lied down or sleep.
But when I had my second baby, I used to use the normal tummy girdle. And I found that tummy girdle was easier and more practical to wear with the same benefit.
4. Do Pelvic Floor Exercise
This simple exercise is similar like Kegel exercise. It’s a muscle holding and tightening around your pelvic floor as if you’re holding your pee.
The hospital midwife advised me to do this exercise since day 1 after childbirth. Apparently, this simple and easy-to-do exercise is very good for the muscles around your bladder, pelvic floor, vagina and back passage.
Also, this exercise can prevent incontinence and treat prolapse that can happen afterbirth.
5. Eating Healthy Food
I can’t stress enough about the importance of healthy diet after C-section. As you need the right food to give you energy to recover and keep you in the right track of recovery. You also want the right food that keep you away from constipation problem and prevent any other illnesses.
Because, when you have the stitches on your tummy, the last thing you want is the need to cough or to put any strain on tummy area.
6. Enough Rest
Cesarean section is a major surgery. So it takes time for your body to heal. Besides, you’ll constantly lack of sleep due to feeding your baby in the night.
Therefore, if you want a quick c-section recovery, you’ll have to give your body good rest as much as you can. And try to rest during the day whenever your baby having day naps.
7. Don’t Lift Heavy Weight
Because of the cut and stitches that you’re left with, you’ll have to be extra careful with how much weight you carry.
So you have to make sure that you don’t do any strenuous job either. Basically you have to go easy on yourself that you don’t do any work which requires a lot physical effort just yet.
8. Go For A Gentle Walk
Within the first three weeks afterbirth, I tried to stay home and avoid going out of the house. Because I wanted to make sure I rested well so that the stitches will heal better.
But then after three weeks, I started to go out for a gentle walk with my baby in the pram. I think this gentle exercise has helped my muscles to gain their strengths back.
Initially, I went for half an hour walk around the neighborhood. As I built my strength, I then walked longer and further.
Cesarean section is a major surgery which takes time, patience and care for its recovery. Having experienced of two C-sections myself, I’ve found that self-care and discipline are important for quick recovery.
Besides the medication and all suggestions from the doctor, midwives, and nurses, I think the things below have helped me through the recovery process. Hopefully, they can be good takeaway for you.
- Have clear chicken soup everyday
- Drink Turmeric and Tamarind mixed drinks
- Wear tummy girdle
- Do pelvic floor exercise
- Enough rest
- Eat healthy
- Avoid heavy lifting
- Gentle walk
All the best.