Caesarean sections are a relatively common procedure in Australia with up to 1 in 3 women delivering their babies via this method. Osteopathy, Natasha Dalton, shares some tips and advice on how you can optimally recover from this major surgery.
Everyone’s recovery after a c-section will be different. However, there are some general recommendations that can help you on your way to recovery. One of the most important things to remember after major surgery is that the body needs rest. Additional recommendations include:
- Osteopathic treatment
- Good nutrition
- Breastfeeding support
- Pain management
- Emotional support
- Gentle movement
- Watching for signs of infection
The human body has an amazing innate capacity to heal if it is given the right conditions and support that it needs. So, be gentle with yourself and attentive to your body and offer it the support and care it needs to heal. A little bit of self-care will not only speed up your recovery but will also allow you to enjoy the journey ahead.
Osteopathic treatment after a c-section
Your osteopath can help by releasing adhesions close to the incision or scar tissue. Releasing adhesions and mobilising the scar tissue can help to alleviate lower back and pelvic pain arising.
Osteopathic treatment can help your body to readjust after pregnancy and birth by releasing any postural strains held in your spine and pelvis as a result of pregnancy and birth. Osteopathic treatment can help to calm your nervous system, improve your quality of sleep and balance your hormones – benefits many new mothers often aren’t aware of.
All osteopathy techniques are external and very gentle helping to reduce tension and aid healing and recovery.
Our top tips for your recovery after a caesarean section
Ask for help
Seeking additional support from loved ones or a trusted friend is essential. Newborn babies are very demanding and this comes at a time when you need rest to recover after major surgery. Overcome any obstacles you have around asking for help and allow people to help you. Remember 99% of people actually love helping and find it rewarding, so allow them to help you. It’s good for them too!
Go gently with yourself. It’s not a time to test your limits or tick everything off on your to-do list. Put aside housework for the time being or ask a family member to do a few jobs so you can rest. When your baby is sleeping use this time to have a nap yourself. Rest is essential for healing and repair, so rest as often as you can. Your body will thank you for it and the washing can wait!
Drinking plenty of water will help aid tissue healing & prevent constipation. You don’t want to add any further strain on the abdomen or pelvic organs by having to strain with going to the toilet.
Support for breastfeeding
Breastfeeding can be a little more tricky in the early days after a c-section. If this is the case contact a lactation consultant for advice and support. For a local consultant, we commend Susanne Burtt of Geelong Breastfeeding Support.
Remember, you have just had major surgery! If you are struggling with pain, talk to your doctor and/or naturopath about pain relief options. There is no need to be struggling with pain during your recovery.
Our naturopath, Christina Bodilly, has many natural solutions that can assist with pain and is safe to take while breastfeeding.
Process your emotions/debrief post-birth
It is a good idea to talk to someone you trust about any difficult emotions that arise. Giving birth is an emotionally charged event and for some women very traumatic. Expressing your emotions can assist your body to heal and offer you plenty of other mental and physical benefits.
Gentle movement and getting out
Whilst lifting and aerobic exercise are unsuitable at this time, you can still go out for a gentle walk. Ask a loved one to come along to push the stroller for you. Fresh air and gentle exercise are important for your recovery and general wellbeing. It’s amazing what getting out of the house can do for your mindset and long-term recovery.
Awareness of signs of infection
In the earlier days of your recovery, it’s a good idea to take your temperature every 24 hours to monitor for signs of infection. Other signs to be mindful of possible infection developing include swelling, intense pain and red streaks near the incision site and body chills. If you develop any of these symptoms seek medical attention immediately.
Osteopath, Natasha Dalton, is passionate about supporting mums in their health and wellbeing. As a mother herself, Natasha understands the joys, pressures and challenges that mum face, especially in the early days of motherhood. For those recovering from a c-section, Natasha’s gentle osteopathy techniques and caring nature may be key to your recovery.