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C-Sections and what that means postnatally...

One of the reasons I am asked to support women postnatally is because they’re booked in for a c-section and fore-sight is guiding them to putting some help and support in place.

Up steps the postnatal doula.


I have supported numerous women with c-sections and have found the immediate postnatal need is practical help. This is of course after they have got their head around the decision of a section. It maybe a decision they chose, welcomed or they were informed by medical teams.

A little bit about sections:

· 1 in 4 women in the UK are having sections and that number is rising.

· Recovery time is pitched at that ‘magical’ 6 week mark however it’s known it can be different for women

· Average stay in hospital is 3-4 days

· Painkillers will be offered to ease discomfort

· The wound will form a scar however this should fade and may be hidden by pubic hair

· Sections are consider as a safe procedure but like all surgery, does come with some risk – chat to your medical team about that (I am not medically trained so think it’s best I signpost)

What about when you are home from a section?

· Take your time to recover

· Listen to your body for pains and look out for infection

· Comfy clothes and BIG pants

· Hydration and nutrition – food is a key postnatal pillar, keeping up with both of these will help even more, esp for your loo visits!

· Get comfortable before feeding the baby; be mindful of sitting up and getting out of bed

· Lots of cushions can be your friend

· Plan for support whether it’s paid-for or family or friends – knowing when you can rest and recover and when support is coming will give you peace of mind

· Consider a scar massage (from a qualified therapist) when your scar is healed…c.6 weeks

· Do take small chunks of movement

And what about if you have child (thinking toddler age) with new baby via a section?

· Like having a baby, expectations are one to spend some time on – there could well be some challenges in the coming weeks but do try and remember it’s just for now. Not for ever.

· If your little one is in nursery/preschool think about upping the sessions to help get you through the recovery time (it mum guilt shows up remind yourself that you are doing it for the benefit of all)

· Routine vs free reign; this is totally your call. Whether you let your little one have more screen time for an easier day, then so be it. Equally if routine feels like its going to help things move smoothly, go with your instinct

· Try and have less plans for your recovery time. I am not saying you must be a hermit but certainly you do not have to have packed weeks.

· Have a chat to your toddler that mummy’s tummy is going to be a little bit sore – mummy cant be climbed over for cuddles or mummy may take a little longer to do things 😊

· Have a think if you are on your own how will your toddler get into get feeding chair for example. Is there a step they could use to help them climb in using your steady hand? Same with nappy change and sleeping.

Would love to know what you think about these ideas.

Please do let me know if the new support group –

See you in there!

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