If you have had a caesarean delivery you will need to remind yourself that have had significant abdominal surgery. It is easy to forget & end up in trouble because you have overdone day to day activities
The first few days will be a challenge as you are trying to manage a baby & look after yourself as well. Moving around will help with surgical recovery but you need to temper this with resting frequently. Regular ankle rolling & flexing up & down will help control the swelling in your legs.
The best way for you to get in & out of bed is to ignore the monkey bar above the bed & roll onto your side & use your arms to push up. Jack knifing up with or without the bar or a helpful husband will pull directly on the abdominal muscles that have been parted for the surgery, & on the wound itself.
If you need to sneeze or cough this will be more comfortable if you support the wound with your hands or a pillow. Wearing a supportive tubigrip bandage around your abdomen will help to take the pressure off your abdominal muscles & wound. You can ask the midwife for this.
If your wound is particularly bruised, swollen or tender ask your midwife to contact Genesis Physiotherapy for some therapeutic ultrasound. We are on the Maternity wards every day.
A caesarean does have a protective effect on the pelvic floor muscles. However, the hormones of pregnancy & lactation, softens the supportive ligaments & fascia around the pelvic floor. This means you still have some work to do to get your pelvic floor back to its pre - pregnant state. You can go back into a normal program ( e.g. 10 x 5 second contractions twice a day ). Your eventual aim could be to do 2 sets of 10 contractions held for 10 seconds twice a day.
At home the challenge not to overdo things is even harder!! Those who are house proud, in particular, will find the urge to do your normal activities difficult to resist. Your babys & your own health is more important. If friends or relatives offer assistance accept it gratefully. They may not do things your way but it will not be forever!!
Avoid lifting anything heavier than the baby for at least 6 weeks. You tissues need time to heal without excessive strain placed on them.
Driving is dependant on the speed of your recovery. When you are able to jam your foot hard on the pedal & turn your body quickly to look over your shoulder without hesitation – you are ready to drive. It is a good idea to check your insurance policy as some do have time restrictions post caesarian.
Getting back to general exercise needs to be strictly low impact for at least 6 weeks. Start with a short walk & some gentle tummy exercises. If anything is uncomfortable ease off & gradually work up again. If you are unsure & would like some guidance you can make an appointment on this website for an assessment & exercise program.
If your wound is still tender & restricting activities, you may gain some benefit from Ultrasound therapy & can book this also through the website.