ICAN of Monterey County



Recovering from a cesarean can be a short-term process for some moms and for others, it takes much longer. Cesareans have an impact on us socially, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically. They also impact our babies. Here are a few suggestions for recovery:

Don't be afraid to ask for help. Physical recovery means just that. You need rest, fluids, good food and only light physical activity. If someone comes over to visit, let them know what you need done around the house like laundry or dishes. Your job is to relax with your new baby, not entertain company.

Moms aren't the only ones who need recovery time after cesareans. Often, the process of being born can result in sore muscles for baby. Many moms find cranial-sacral therapy or chiropractic helpful for their infants, but even just taking a bath with mom or lying in bed skin to skin is relaxing and helps the two of you to form important bonds. If your baby came early due to the cesarean, it can sometimes take a week or two to really get the hang of breastfeeding for the baby as well. Try not to become discouraged and reach out to your local breastfeeding support or lactation consultant.

Cesareans can raise the risks of postpartum depression and some women develop PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and should seek further help from a therapist who is skilled in dealing with birth trauma. These therapists should not be dismissive of your needs or concerns and realize that there is more to birth than a "healthy baby" and that even the healthiest of babies can come through a traumatic event to the mother. You have the right to mourn your birth and your trauma while celebrating your child. These are two different events in your life, even if they are happening simultaneously.