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Reality of recovery once home.
36 replies to this topic
Posted 27 January 2018 - 11:16 AM
It'll be a caesarean for us due to previous surgery.
I'm realistic about pain and lack of ability to move much in hospital.
But practical tips for recovery at home? What was ability like to do basic house keeping, driving, washing etc?
We're quite isolated from family who can help for large amounts of time.
What can I put in place now to help later?
Posted 27 January 2018 - 11:19 AM
I was able to do all tasks within.a week .
Just went at my own pace so not to overdo it
Posted 27 January 2018 - 11:27 AM
I was able to do most things just bit slower! I would find if I tried to do too much then I could tell and just wind back a bit.
I didn’t vacuum for a bit ( as that movement was difficult) and I found lifting the basket of wet washing pretty heavy. But I think everyone is different.
I would save some jobs until dh was home.
I used the clothes Airer so I didn’t have to carry washing basket up and down stairs.
You could look at hiring a cleaner if the budget allows.
Posted 27 January 2018 - 11:33 AM
I was driving after 2 weeks. Vacuuming after a week. First few days I was sore but after that I was fine.
Posted 27 January 2018 - 11:37 AM
I have had 3 c-sections and have been fortunate to have a quick and easy recovery each time. It was a bit painful for the first few days (while still in hospital) but as long as I kept up with the pain medication is was fine.
I was pretty much pain free by the time I got home (spent 5 days in hospital each time) and did not alter my activities at all - ie did what I would have done even if I had not had a c-section.
Posted 27 January 2018 - 11:39 AM
It can depend on the individual as to how they recover. Take it slowly.
Pre-make meals & freeze them. Accept vacuuming & mopping won't get done as often. And I agree with PP about using a close horse for washing. I put the basket of wet washing on a chair as well to minimise reaching. Do a big bathroom clean now so you can let it slide for a bit in the first few weeks.
Posted 27 January 2018 - 11:44 AM
I was driving after a couple of weeks, but took things easy around the house. Its important to be moving and doing stuff but not overdo it. Pushing the pram up or down hills was a challenge, I think downhill was particularly bad, as was carrying a capsule. Mine weighed a tonne, I shouldn't have carried it at all tbh.
On driving, phone up your insurance company and make sure you are covered. Apparently some of them require you to wait 6 weeks after a c-section. Mine didn't, so not all of them are like that. You can always change policies if you need to, as its a bit ridiculous.
Posted 27 January 2018 - 11:49 AM
I have had two.
My best advice is to take all the drugs they offer for the first few days. The first one I though best to cut back and my recovery was much slower. Not terrible - but i did get a bit of pain if I sat up the wrong way.
The second was brilliant. I took the drugs religiously for the first couple of days and then slightly reducing for the next couple of weeks. I found I was able to most things very slowly (although I don't think I tried vacuuming in the first two weeks! And I didn't drive for a month.
However I didn't test it - as my husband was home I just didn't need to). I also didn't try picking up my then almost 2 year old for about 3.5 weeks - but we got around that by her just climbing on me when I was sitting. I think I just planned things around not lifting heavy items for 3 or so weeks maybe a little bit more.
Also had problems reaching the clothes line - but really not essential stuff.
However getting around the house, changing nappies etc were all fine. I don't recall heaps of cooking - but doubt that had much to do with the case sat
Posted 27 January 2018 - 11:54 AM
Your pain should be well managed post C/S, enough for you to be able to get out of bed within 12 hours (or less) go to the loo and care for your baby.
By day 3 as a midwife caring for mums it was very often hard to tell who'd had a C/S and who had a tear or episiotomy.
The incision is very low on the abdomen and this means you are not as conscious of guarding your tummy as you are when you've had other abdominal surgery.
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised about what you can do in a relatively short time but much of your post op recovery can depend on whether you have other children at home, whether your newborn is unsettled or not or whether you have someone at home to support you.
Take it slowly but move, take all the analgesia you are prescribed before you are in too much pain and if someone wants to cook you a meal or do your shopping then let them.
Good luck at this exciting time.
Posted 27 January 2018 - 11:57 AM
By day three in hospital I was sitting on the bed with crossed legs. Was wearing jeans (high waisted) at home with the first. I walked slowly with the first and had more ills with the first because I had a tear (failed forceps).
Posted 27 January 2018 - 12:04 PM
It's different for every one I think.
I've had 3. The first was very painful, with a slow recovery. I needed help getting in and out of bed for a few more days. I didn't vacuum for a couple of months. Pushing trolleys at the shops was really painful for a few months, but the pram was fine after about 2 weeks.
Second was much better. Still sore, but almost normal activity level after a couple of weeks.
Third was long and painful. I still have some issues and it's been a year! Multiple post operative infections, nerve damage etc.
Things that help - putting the folding on a table so you aren't bending all the time
Get someone else to load/unload the washing machine
Put groceries on the bench to unpack
Skip the vacuuming for a month or so
Get groceries delivered if you can - you'd be surprised by how much your tummy is used when steering a trolley.
Some gentle stretching, like laying on the floor with your arms above your head can help. Keep in mind, without your stomach muscles working properly, your back may get sore.
Posted 27 January 2018 - 01:28 PM
I had my second CS 12 days ago. I’m fine to cook dinner, hang washing etc but haven’t attempted sweeping or vacuuming and probably won’t for a couple of weeks yet. Looking after baby isn’t a problem. My 2yo is struggling to understand that I can’t lift her up but is mostly ok to climb in and out of her car seat (I’m not driving yet) and I have help for bathing her. I probably could do more if I had to but I learned last time that resting and being a bit more conservative is what works best for me. It’s so individual- my recovery this time has been much quicker than after my emergency CS last time.
Posted 27 January 2018 - 01:47 PM
Lifting anything heavier than the baby ( around 4 kgs) ie. basket of wet washing, bags of groceries ,toddlers etc. not recommended for 6 weeks.
A lot of Doctors recommend not driving for 6 weeks, check your car insurance too.Might be in trouble legally if you are in an accident, driving against Drs orders( I'm not a lawyer) btw.
Edited by skicat, 27 January 2018 - 01:50 PM.
Posted 27 January 2018 - 02:00 PM
Another thing I found hard was a weekly grocery shop.
Putting a few things in the trolley is one thing, but putting one thing after another, over and over again, then getting them out onto the conveyor belt, then the bags in the trolley, bags in the car, bags in the house... that was too much for quite a while.
Posted 27 January 2018 - 10:49 PM
Two planned C sections here.
I didn't drive for 6 weeks after each. I felt ready from about 3-4 weeks each time but wasn't covered by insurance.
With housework, I found that the most important thing was to take it slowly and listen to my body. There were things I could do comfortably from early on and others I couldn't do for weeks or even months.
I used a clothes airer to hang washing if DH wasn't around to do it- I couldn't reach up to hang washing on the line for weeks both times.
I didn't do a lot of sweeping or that sort of housework but was OK to make simple meals pretty soon afterwards, as long as I could sit down often.
I'd suggest having at least some food in the freezer, stocking the pantry with all the long life staples (eg pasta, sauces, etc), and consider having some readymade meals on standby. Buy up on things like toilet paper, dishwashing liquid, etc as well. If it's an option, getting groceries delivered can be a big help.
I tried to save most freezer meals for after DH had gone back to work. It was easier for one of us to cook a meal from scratch with us both home and save the easy options for later.
If you have any stairs in your house, try to limit how many times you need to go up and down them each day.
Oh, and take the drugs when in hospital. Being in pain from trying to soldier on without painkillers slows your recovery. Ask me how I know... (Luckily I learnt my lesson quickly!)
It's pretty standard now (barring serious complications) after the operation to be up and about within 12-24 hours. I had to take it very slowly but found that this was great (especially having a shower!). I think it helped me recover as I felt less "sick", if that makes sense.
Posted 28 January 2018 - 12:18 AM
Just echoing most of the above advice. I had two c/s and found I could do most things within a week or two but just a bit slower than before. One of the most painful things, unfortunately, was laughing! I found that holding my operation site helped when anything funny happened.
Posted 28 January 2018 - 12:41 AM
I had almost no pain from either of my c-sections and felt pretty comfortable doing most things after a week. I did refrain from lifting anything much other than my big baby, and I didn’t push the pram up the hill with the toddler and baby in it (was ok with just the baby). Listen to your body and don’t overdo things.
Posted 28 January 2018 - 06:48 AM
I always find the advice around driving interesting. I felt ready after about 3-4 weeks, but was able to wait till the 6 week mark luckily. We have a manual car and using the clutch for the first time was definitely noticeable after the Caesar, so in reality I’m not sure I could have driven safely at 3 weeks even though I felt ready. I could be wrong, but have always wondered if the driving experience of others depends on the type of car (auto vs manual)
Posted 28 January 2018 - 07:40 AM
The driving thing becomes a bit of an urban myth. I've had two c-sections, and had changed insurance companies between them. Neither company had any opinion on when I could drive, apart from not been under the influence of sedating painkillers. My OB said I could drive when I felt up to it.it was more about been comfortable braking and turning to check blind spots, etc. I drove st three weeks post- op, but could have done I think at two weeks. With number two I was out walking with the pram by the time he was two weeks old. I was going stir crazy. The second planned one was much less painful.
Like others have said, take the drugs and take it easy, us honestly it's not as bad as it's made out to be. Mastitis was way more painful.
Posted 28 January 2018 - 08:14 AM
I've had 5 c-sections and the recovery was really good for all of them. I had to keep reminding myself to not overdo it because I felt good but it takes longer to heal internally even though you feel fine. My husband was home for the first couple of weeks to help out which was nice
Posted 28 January 2018 - 08:25 AM
The physio at my hospital told us that even if you feel up to doing the things you are supposed to avoid post-CS, you still shouldn't do them as you can do damage without realising.
Driving I was doing when DH went back to work, so about 3 weeks after DD2. Insurance company was fine as long as my OB was, and he just required me to be off my pain meds. Which I was when I left hospital as I didn't need them anymore. DD1 was different as I was still on meds for my BP (I had PE) which made me woozy. It was still before 6 weeks though.
As above, using a clothes horse inside, as reaching up to the clothesline is something they say to avoid, and having meals ready to go in the freezer once DH went back to work were very handy.
Posted 28 January 2018 - 08:32 AM
There is a difference between what you can do and what you should do. Overdoing it will compromuse your internal healing. I wouldn't be lifting anything heavier than your baby or stretching too much e.g vacuuming, hanging out washing, mopping floors. As my OB would say to all her c/s patients, it may look good from the outside, but the inside is more important especially if you are planning more pregnancies.
Posted 28 January 2018 - 08:38 AM
I found it pretty easy to be honest. Within days I'd forgotten it had happened. I guess it's because it's so low down it doesn't impact many muscles in your tummy, so I didn't feel anything much when I'd bend or crouch for example. I DID find wearing a compression type undie helpful for the first few days, really supportive. Not super tight but just enough to give a feeling of being held. As an added bonus the light compression helped my tummy squish down after the birth!
Posted 28 January 2018 - 08:49 AM
You need to listen to your own body. I found it relatively easy. My advice for hospital is to take all the medicine they offer you in hospital and get moving as soon as you can. They make you anyway, but apparently some people fight against it.
When you get home. Take it easy. Don’t try to vacuum or hang washing. Push yourself gradually.
Posted 28 May 2019 - 04:01 PM
Just bumping to see if anyone has anything else to add. Booked in for tomorrow so appreciate any other thoughts...
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