With my first pregnancy, I did not research, prepare, or even think about a caesarean birth. After the car accident, I woke up in a neck brace and started to come out of the concussion. I gradually realized my baby girl was here via c-section… it was all too much to process at that time. I didn’t actually start thinking about the fact I had a c-section until days later.
After my first unplanned c-section, I decided to have my next 2 deliveries as planned caesareans. It was nice that we didn’t have to worry about me giving birth in the car driving to the hospital (unless the baby decided to come early). We were able to plan the delivery and homecoming! Below was my plan for C-section deliveries and recovery!
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1. Preregister at hospital. You can have all your data and insurance information ready to go with the hospital. You will have enough to think about the day of your surgery, preregister to get that off your plate and ease your mind.
2. Buy C-section underwear and stomach binder. They have great options on Amazon. The underwear is not really sexy but, what after birth underwear is cute? You will want the comfort of no underwear cutting into your wound, ouch! The binder helped me feel like I wasn’t going to split in half! Plus, it helps hold in your belly and keeps your back straight. I personally loved my binder and used with all 3 babies.
3. Pack your hospital bag at least 6-8 weeks before your delivery date. You want to be prepared just in case the baby gets here early. Underwear, binder, robe(s), comfy going home outfit (I chose to wear dresses home and flip flops), toiletries (toothbrush, face wash, makeup, hair brush, etc..), phone charger, any electronics you want to take. Also, pack any breastfeeding supplies you wish to bring. Nipple cream, breast pump, etc…
4. Pack baby’s hospital bag. Swaddles, baby blankets, baby hats, baby mittens, baby wash, baby book, and outfit for going home. Make sure you pack a comfortable going home outfit for the baby. Luckily I had all my bags ready and I brought an adorable dress for my baby girl but, it was scratchy on her. I took comfy clothes for my boys after that experience. You don’t need diapers unless you have special ones you want to use. Check with your hospital, they usually supply diapers for the baby and take home leftovers!
5. Pack significant others hospital bag. Extra clothes, camera, toiletries, electronics, snacks, camera, and chargers. Also anything they desire to keep them occupied while waiting for discharge home. Don’t forget favorite pillows and blankets!
6. Arrange for trusted loved ones to babysit or house sit while you’re at the hospital. You may even want someone (other than your significant other) to stay with you while your recovering to help with kids, chores, cooking, etc.. I was blessed to have my Mom and Mother in law helping me after all 3 pregnancies.
7. Prepare bathing station for baby so you don’t have to bend. We put the baby bathtub on the kitchen counter which worked really well. You will not be doing any bending or picking up so make it easy for yourself! We also made a changing station downstairs and upstairs so it would be easier for me and I could still bond with my babies.
8. Mentally prepare. Try not to think about the actual procedure. Think about your new baby and recovery. You will not be able to lift or bend. You will be in pain for a few weeks. But, you WILL recover, listen to your body and your doctor. Self-care is essential! Make time for you, let someone watch the baby while you get your hair and nails done. It is so important to do things that make YOU feel good. Your body has been through a lot and you have to take care of yourself. You’re baby doesn’t need a perfect mom, they need a HAPPY mom!
9. Prepare the nursery! Start that nesting phase early, who cares! Get that crib built. Wash the babies bedding in baby detergent right before you leave so it’s fresh when you get home. I was lucky enough to have my mom wash everything the day we were coming home. Everything was so fresh and so clean, clean!
10. Have a sound machine or crib night light ready for baby. The Hatch is pretty impressive, it connects to your phone and you can change the color and music from there. My kids all used the Baby Einstein Sea Dreams and they loved it! Some parents prefer to use the heartbeat sound with newborns, the baby is use to the sound so it helps them sleep.
Once you have your baby, you have now entered the 4th Trimester. Congratulations and best of luck to you! The long, sleepless nights will all be worth it and remember these times are fleeting! Hug and kiss your baby as much as you want, mama!