There are different reasons for having a c-section and this will form part of your own personal birth story. Sometimes it’s not important why but rather how you can start the healing process now that your body has gone through this major surgery. Everyone heals at different rates so listen to your body and respect it’s limits.
Ask for help. In the early stages everyday tasks may feel impossible. Start with gentle movement that you can do in bed such as leg slides, ankle circles and deep breathing. Build up your walking slowly to encourage blood supply but rest when you feel any discomfort. As the days and weeks go by you will find that your strength starts to increase and you can move more freely.
Nutrition is key to aid recovery. After trauma, the body needs extra calories, protein, vitamin A, B’s, C, E, zinc and iron to support recovery. The body uses protein to heal wounds, so if you aren’t eating enough it will breakdown body tissues to access the amino acids it requires. Fats are important to make up the membranes of new cells. They also provide energy. Carbohydrates such as vegetables and whole grains provide energy in the form of glucose for the cell building and wound healing processes. Keeping your fluid and fibre intake high (e.g. fruit and vegetables) will also help to avoid constipation and soften stools. For more information on this, please go to the nutrition page.
There is often some emotional healing as well as the physical healing that needs to be recognised. Research shows that emotional stress can often slow wound healing down so talk with your NCT friends, family or find a registered councillor where you can talk through how you’re feeling about the birth.
Once you have had your all clear from the GP you may feel unsure of what you should or shouldn’t do when returning to exercise. We believe that it’s important to build things up gradually to ensure the incision continues to heal well, internally and externally. If the intensity is too high the force caused to the abdomen area may cause pain and discomfort. Initially it’s all about reconnecting with your body and switching muscles back on using safe and effective exercises to enable you to handle everyday tasks. As your body progresses so will the exercises, increasing strength and mobility.