WOUND CARE

I'm Home, Now What?! Asking For Help From Others After Caesarean Section

WOUND CARE

I'm Home, Now What?! Asking For Help From Others After Caesarean Section


 

Taking care of yourself after your Caesarean Section

 

By Dianne Clifton, Registered Nurse and Registered Midwife, Queensland, Australia

 

When you first go home from the hospital it is a period of adjustment for everyone. Mum, Partner, and siblings need to get used to a new little person in the house.


If you have had a caesarian section you have the added stress of caring for a wound and taking extra care of yourself all the while with limitations. If you knew you were planning an elective caesarean section then maybe you have already thought of some of the things I will mention in this article.

 

Take care of yourself.

The longer you can avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby the better your wound will heal and the quicker you will be back to your normal pre pregnant self.

So, no hanging out washing, lifting grocery bags, driving ( for at least 6 weeks), housework or lifting little toddlers. No swimming (until your vaginal loss has stopped and your wound healed), no going back to the gym until you have given your wound time to heal - usually a few weeks and when you do go back ensure your program is designed for a new mum. Your ligaments can still be easily overstretched and damaged from the hormone Relaxin that has been active in your pregnancy.

 

This is the time you accept help. This can be a very hard thing to do. Being a Mum is a full time job and it is tiring.

 

 When your neighbour asks if they can help - say yes please, hang out my washing or cook me a meal.

When your friends come to visit, don't clean the house beforehand, ask them to clean when they come. and then put on the kettle, have a cuppa and share the yummy cake or healthy snack they have brought.

When your Parents or Parents-in-Law come to visit, give them a job, don't give them the baby, that is your job. They can mind your toddler, pick up your kids from school, buy some groceries, cook a few meals for your freezer. and then mind your baby so you can have a rest.

The wisdom our Mothers' shared with us - rest while your baby is sleeping, is true today as it was for them. You do not get to choose when you will get to have a sleep so make sure you rest/sleep when your baby does.

When your partner comes home from work, give them the baby. They can bath the baby, take him or her for a walk and just give you a break. Maybe then is when you have a shower, go for a walk, sit in the garden, enjoy a HOT cup of tea or coffee or even eat something that you haven't had to put down mid mouthful to attend to your baby.

This is a great opportunity for your partner to bond with and get to know their child and a great time for you to step back a little and give them some space.

 

Parenting is a lifelong commitment and if you are fortunate enough to have a network of friends and family around you then use them. They will benefit by helping you and you will receive their love and care and help which in turn will make you a happier parent.

 

If you do not have a network of family around you then your friends and meeting people through Child Health Mothers Groups or setting up Facebook Friends will be a way that you can establish a network of like minded people.

 

Your GP will want to see you at 6 weeks postpartum. Some will want to check you out when they do your baby's first check.

This is the time to ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have including your wound, vaginal loss, contraception, returning to sexual activitity, driving and returning to an exercise program.

If you have any questions prior to your GP visits or in the middle of the night there are a range of phone numbers you can call including:

 

 The Child Health Hotline, 13 HEALTH (13432584)

 If  you have concerns regarding postpartum blues or depression call

Your GP first to discuss how you are feelling

PANDA (1300726306)

Beyond Blue  (1300224636)

 

The main thing is that you reach out for help and never feel you are alone. There is always someone, somewhere that can help or give you some advice.

 

 

Dianne is a Registered Nurse and Clinical Midwife. She has been in this profession for over 35 years. Dianne believes it is a privilege to work with parents and families caring for their babies.

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