Recovering from C-Section Delivery
If you asked me in early pregnancy about my birth plan, I would have told you we were trying for an unmedicated water birth with minimal medical interventions. First lesson in motherhood: the only thing you can plan on is that the plan is going to change. I found out at 32 weeks that Max was breech and I started doing everything I could to flip the little guy around. Acupuncture, moxibustion, inversions, chiropractic work, increased fluid intake, ice packs on baby’s head; you name it, I was doing it. I was committed to the cause.
Alas, at 39 weeks Max was still snuggled in the exact same position with his booty down, feet and head folded up into a V by my ribs. So, at 39 weeks we tried an external cephalic version (ECV) where the doctors tried to manually flip him and enable a vaginal delivery. The ECV, however, was unsuccessful and it ended in a cesarean section delivery.
Going into the c-section I was scared.
I was scared about the surgery, I was scared about the health of my baby and I was scared about my recovery.
Now, two months since Max was born, I realize I didn’t need to be so worried. There are a few things I have implemented in my recovery from c-section that have put me at ease about the health of myself and my baby.
Here are the top 3 things I have focused on postpartum that helped me and Max tremendously over the last two months.
Getting adequate nutrients for healing has been a primary focus for me. Vitamin C, zinc and collagen are all essential for wound healing and have been staples of my postpartum diet.
Foods high in vitamin C, like tangerines and bell peppers, have been some of my go-to snacks. I also love this Lemon Tahini Kale Salad, which incorporates these Vitamin C-rich foods. I like to make the salad in bulk for easy meals throughout the week.
Meat, think chicken and beef, are rich in zinc. One-Pan Rosemary Chicken and Veggies is a go-to dinner in our house. Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are also full of zinc. A big batch of Pepita Pesto is great to have on hand, adding flavor to your meals while getting the healing nutrients you need for recovery.
Collagen is a structural protein that aids in healing and skin elasticity. For this reason, collagen-packed bone broth is a postpartum superfood. Try this Chicken Curry Sweet Potato Soup or Collagen Gummy Bears if bone broth isn’t your thing. Smoothies blended with collagen protein powder are also a great one-handed option with baby in tow.
I haven’t been able to accomplish this alone.
Some preparation during pregnancy helped me fill my freezer with healthy eats prior to baby. A big shout out goes to my husband, Daniel, who has taken on a lot of the cooking responsibility since birth. Family members and friends have also generously brought us countless meals. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
2. Scar Treatment
A little scar seems like a small price to pay for my little Max man. Nevertheless, if I can minimize the appearance of the scar, I want to take steps to do so. Two strategies have worked great for me so far.
Silicone Scar Sheets
My OB recommended I wear silicone scar sheets for 2 months following c-section. They have already made a huge difference! The scar appears lighter in color and, because it is always covered up, my tendency to pick at things has not been an issue. I plan to keep wearing them for several more months considering how effective they have been.
A quick Google search can show you how to get started with this technique. I aim for 5 minutes of scar massage per day, which I typically do in the shower. I have noticed significant improvement in irritation and sensitivity around the scar, as well as a big reduction in the tugging sensation I felt in the first few weeks. I can now do a full body stretch without any pulling discomfort. HUGE WIN!
3. Baby Probiotics
Being born via cesarean section prevents baby from getting mom’s good bacteria during delivery. This jeopardizes their gut health and therefore their immune system which is rapidly developing in the first 6 months of life. In order to ensure Max’s immune system is developing properly after our c-section, baby probiotics have been a top priority for us from day one.
Evivo Baby Probiotic
Research shows that strain matters when choosing a probiotic. Evivo is the result of over a decade of clinical trials studying the importance of B. infantis during infancy. Without B. infantis in baby’s gut, bad bacteria can thrive, putting baby at risk for conditions such as allergies, diabetes, colic, eczema and obesity. Evivo is the only baby probiotic clinically proven to restore B. infantis to baby’s gut, resulting in an 80% reduction of the harmful bacteria that are linked to these unfavorable health outcomes. We started Max on Evivo immediately following c-section to make sure he had the right bacteria on board as soon as possible.
If you are planning to have or are recovering from a c-section, I hope these tips make the process a bit easier.
No matter how your baby makes their debut into the world, it is absolutely perfect.
Once you are holding that sweet bundle in your arms, the journey to get there quickly fades into the background.
As always, send us a message or comment below with questions. I am happy to chat more about my experience with breech presentation and c-section delivery if you are going through it yourself.
Here’s to healthy mamas and happy babies!
**This post was sponsored by Evivo. All opinions are my own.