Cesarean Birth.. After support

In light of some events in the last week and like a gazillion posts on facebook and twitter about vbacs my brain as been going crazy with thoughts of c-sections and VBACS. I personally did not have a c-birth so i am not gonna begin to speak to how hard it must be for a mom to wrap her head around it emotionally. and being a natural birth advocate i am not even gonna touch on how crazy i think moms are who joyfully ask to have scheduled c-birth. what i do want to touch on is the available support out there for moms who ended up in c-birth and didn’t want to be there. and for those moms who are onto the next baby and are considering VBAC. Tonight though to honor a friend who asked for some info i have put together a little bit of information on support after a c-birth then later this week i’ll post information on the safety and options of a VBAC.

ok so here it is support after a C-birth…..

1st and foremost! Hold your baby, nurse your baby. Wear your baby, co-sleep. whatever it takes. having baby close will increase your oxytocin which will heighten your mood and a happy mom is a happy baby!

2nd contact ICAN, find your local chapter go to a meeting and meet other moms like you who have had a c-birth and are looking for support!

3rd talk your birth through! write it out as painful as it may be, in as much detail as you can remember, get it all out on paper how you feel, how you felt, everything write it all down. even if you never share it its at least on paper! Plus when you go on to have your successful VBAC you will have already released your fears and pains from this birth.

According to ICAN here are more ways to help your self how a successful and positive recovery…..

Healing in the hospital:

Ask for assistance when you need it and keep the nurse’s call button within easy reach.

If possible, obtain a private room so that a family member may remain with you.

Take pain medication as needed for comfort. Many mothers have found that narcotics (like codeine) can manage pain very well but can also cause constipation. Ask your doctor about using a stool softener.

Use pillows to support your stomach when turning, standing, coughing, and nursing.

Rest as much as possible and limit visitors. Sleep when the baby sleeps.

When you are ready, take short walks to prevent blood clots. If you cannot walk have someone massage your legs and ankles in bed, and keep your feet raised on a pillow. Also consider using medical support leg hose to prevent clotting if you cannot move or have to travel within six weeks of the caesarean.

Eat healthy food and drink plenty of fluids. Avoid soda and drinking with a straw since that can make you swallow air and cause gas.

Remember to urinate at least every 3 to 4 hours. This helps avoid or reduce the bladder pain that some mothers have after the surgery.

If you are planning to breastfeed, talk to your nurse or a lactation consultant about positioning that will be comfortable around your incision. While some women experience a delay in their breast milk production after a cesarean, extra support will help you get a good start.


Healing at home:

Take care of yourself and your baby only.

Remember not to lift anything heavier than your baby for four to six weeks after surgery.

Have a list of tasks ready for when people offer to help and don’t be shy to ask people for help.

Let others do household chores like cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Have frozen meals prepared.

If you have other children, ask a family member or friend to help you with their daily routine.

Consider enlisting the help of a postpartum doula or other support person for your recovery.

Have several diapering areas so you can change your baby easily.

Clothe yourself based on what you need. Staying in your pajamas can remind people that you are still recovering from birth and need extra help. On the other hand, taking a shower and getting dressed can help you feel refreshed and recharged.

Keep the baby near you at night so you do not have to get up.

Fill a basket full of little useful things that you can carry with you. Items can include healthy snacks, your medications, a book, lotion, or a cordless phone.

Eat well and drink plenty of fluids. Have a pitcher of water or juice near you.

Increase activity slowly.


Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

Any bleeding in your incision. It can mean the surgical stitches have separated.

Unrelieved pain, or if the pain has increased.

Pus, leaking, redness and swelling in your incision, which can indicate an infection.

A fever can also suggest an infection, most likely in your incision.

Pain or cramping in your arms or legs that will not go away is a serious symptom and can suggest the presence of a blood clot. Other symptoms can include sudden swelling in the arm or leg, red or discolored skin, and skin that is warm to the touch.

Continuous headaches, dizziness or back pain could suggest after-effects of the anesthesia used during surgery.

Symptoms of postpartum depression can include tearfulness, anxiety, appetite changes, sleep problems, extreme fatigue, and difficulty focusing your thoughts, among others.


Long-term healing:

Keep your baby near you as much as possible.

Vitamin E capsules can improve the skin on the cesarean scar. Wait until the scar has healed, open a capsule, pour the oil on the scar and rub slowly.

Share your feelings with others who understand how you feel and talk about your experience as much as you feel necessary.

Write the story of your experience, with as much detail as possible.

Seek support from available resources including breastfeeding, parenting, and cesarean support groups like ICAN. Look for an ICAN chapter near you or join the online ICAN community.


Is it estimated that 80% of the women who have had a cesarean can still experience a vaginal birth. In the United States, there are women who have had VBAC after two or more cesareans. The research shows that the birth centers where natural birth is most respected have the lowest incident of cesarean without incrementing risks to either mother or baby. Becoming informed is the best way to avoid an unnecessary cesarean!

And of course, i am a firm believer in education yourself and reading so here are some ICAN recommended books for post cesarean birth support…

Cesarean Recovery

By: Chrissie Gallagher-Mundy

 The Essential C-Section Guide: Pain Control, Healing at Home, Getting Your Body Back, and Everything Else You Need to Know About

Cesarean Voices

By: Maureen Connolly and Dana Sullivan

Now i put the question out to all you amazing Moms who birthed your baby’s via cesarean (you are the experts here not me), what things helped you wrapped your mind that day, and get you through your emotions?


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