WHAT’S IN MY C SECTION SURVIVAL KIT?
So, after giving birth (via my first C section) about 3 weeks ago, I am just now starting to feel somewhat like my pre-pregnancy self, although I do feel like I still have ways to go. Feeling MUCH better from that first postpartum recovery week, I felt like it was time to start sharing my recovery tips for other mamas, I mean, why would I keep all my lil secrets to myself when they can help another mama out, right? I want to start off by sharing what helped with my C section recovery first, because some of these necessities are marked at REALLY great prices, (make sure you click on the links below to cop the awesome deals & get them delivered right to your front door) and you can start stocking up on them during any part of your pregnancy.
*This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using this link.
So what’s all in my kit…?
- Arnicare Gel is the truth! First off, you’re not going to be walking around smelling like a tube of IcyHot or Bengay, so that’s an automatic brownie point right there. Second, IT’S NATURAL! I mean what mama doesn’t have her moment where she’s going to prefer a natural product over everything else..especially if she’s pregnant or nursing. I was lucky enough to get a travel size tube of this product at my OB office, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ll use this product even after I’ve recovered, if I may still experience random aches and pain. I used it on my back most of the time and I would notice a difference of my pain level within 10minutes! I will also recommend this gel for the women that STILL deal with the back aches and pain that may have come from the epidural.
- Mesh PostPartum Panties. Yes, I know these aren’t from the sexiest line of Vicky Secrets, but who cares?! And these are probably WAY more comfortable than some $25 pair of panties anyways. I wore these for about 2 weeks after my C section, and I couldn’t imagine recovery without them. The hospital I delivered at sent me home with a good stash of the panties, but I ended up ordering a few more, since I disposed a pair after every use. Now I also brought a pack of cotton panties to wear during postpartum, but I would not have been able to wear them just yet, because of that elastic band that would’ve landed right on my incision (not pleasant right?), so try to stick with the Mesh Panties for the first couple of weeks.
- The good ‘ol stool softener. Because not only do we already have to recover from a major procedure, BUT we also have to deal with the constipation that comes with it. The constipation was one of my worst things to deal with after birth, simply because it adds onto the pain & discomfort! Now, I’m usually ms.store brand to save some coins, but they just didn’t work for me. Colace worked the best for me, because it actually worked fast-which meant faster relief. It was safe to take while breastfeeding, and it was gentle on my stomach. The other ones gave me HORRIBLE stomach cramps, I felt like I was in labor again, so Colace is a winner to me.
- Nursing Tank Tops, chile even if you don’t plan on breastfeeding…this is still a must-have! They’re so dang comfy!! Now if you do plan on breastfeeding, then these also win in the convenient department, because you can literally just pop a breast out & get right onto feeding your little one(s). I’m so much for comfort, that I didn’t feel the need to wear any bras (not even my fave sports bra) with this tank top, especially since I’m stuck in the house the first couple of weeks recovering.
- Cotton Panties were also a must on my list, especially after the Mesh Panties ran out & my incision was not has sore. I brought these before delivery, but soon realized that I wasn’t going to be able to wear these until I was almost close to a full recovery. Everything about them was comfortable, EXCEPT for the fact that the elastic band on the top of them would sit right on my incision & that was a no-no for me. (Tip: I did buy a larger size of these and was able to pull them way over my scar so it wouldn’t touch it. I know it isn’t appealing, but again, who cares at this moment?)…but this wasn’t until after my Mesh Panties ran out. I also have to add that you’re going to have to buy the pack of the granny panties, honestly they’re the best ones for recovery, since you’ll most likely be wearing a pad for the next few weeks.
- Pain Medication. So we all know that the hospital will send us mamas home with prescriptions to help ease the pain & discomfort, but those prescriptions will eventually run out and you may still need something to help with the aches that still linger. Make sure you discuss your choice of over-the-counter pain medication with your physician so that you can be advised on the dose and how to take them and any possible side effects. What worked for me, may not work for you..but Advil was my go to. Thankfully, I recovered pretty fast and by the time my prescriptions ran out I was 95% healed so I didn’t need the Advil much, just for headaches and other minor aches.
- The heating pad was my saving grace (& on some days still is even after 3 weeks postpartum). I used it primarily for my low back pain and stomach (especially dealing with those constipation/bloating cramps). I love my heating pad because it had an automatic timer that would turn off my pad after certain time, so that made me feel safe while using it.
- My Vitamin E serum came in handy later on during my recovery, but I am so glad I brought it! Now I want to say that my Doctor did an excellent job on my procedure and on my incision, so my scarring isn’t too bad. Even though I’m feeling like superwoman after this delivery & I am not ashamed of my scar, I am still my own worst critic and want to be able to improve the look of my scarring as much as possible- even if it looked a little bit more smoother, or even-toned, however this Vitamin E oil came in handy & did just that. I would advise to wait to speak with your OB on when it would be a good time to start treating your scarring, to make sure your incision is fully closed and healed.
- I used these tummy pads after my mom helped me remove my dressing off my incision. I would mainly use these after a shower to make sure my incision stayed dry. It also helped, because I definitely have the saggy mommy pooch and the tummy pad kept my loose skin from rubbing all over my incision.
- Pads. These are a no-brainer to have on hand, regardless if you had a vaginal delivery or c section. We all know the leaking of body fluids we deal with weeks after delivery, so make sure you stock up on these!
- Squirt Bottle. Okay when the hospital sent me home with one of these after my first baby I was like wtf am I supposed to do with this…and then I found out how great they were and it’s been part of my postpartum kit for every single one of my pregnancies now. If your hospital doesn’t provide you with one, please do yourself a favor and order one..like NOW! It’s just going to help cleanse and rinse in those hard to reach areas, especially when it’s already a struggle to bend and move.
- Gas Relief pills came in handy, because I did not realize that air could get trapped inside of you while you’re on the operating table cut open. Because of that, I dealt with really bad gas pains (even pain all the way in my shoulders!) and cramps my first few days of recovery. I want to add that walking around helped a bunch with the gas discomfort, but I know that asking a woman who just came from out of a csection is asking a lot…so if you’re not ready to walk out the gas pains, please get you some gas relief medication that’ll help you along the way.
Now these aren’t in my list above but they’re just as a MUST HAVE as all the other products above…
- Compression Socks are great to have period (especially if they’re cute like these!), but I found much relief in my legs while in the hospital. For the first 24 hours after delivering my baby, the hospital wrapped my legs in this automatic compressor which helped prevent blood clots. So ordering your own pair wouldn’t hurt to help make sure you continue to stay away from any blood clots, plus you can always use them for future purposes!
- This Postpartum Belly Support is a must have for several reasons. It gives you relief, comfort, great posture that’ll help with back pain, and it’ll speed up that process we all want on shrinking our mommy bellies and waistline. Now I already knew I wasn’t going to bounce back to the size I was before babies, but if it was at least going to help shrink my uterus back down…then I was all for it & I am so glad I ordered it. (Stay tuned for my postpartum journey that I’ll be blogging/vlogging about soon, so that you can see how it helped along my journey). What I liked most about this belly support was the comfort it gave me. If you haven’t figured it out by now, comfort is pretty much my #1 goal in all things lol. Yes, you can see it through tight enough clothing, but I wore it mostly around the house since that’s where most of my recovery happened.
- LOOSE FITTING CLOTHES!!! I left the hospital wearing maternity cotton leggings, a large tshirt, and a jacket….and that’s still pretty much my wardrobe, 3 weeks postpartum. You DO NOT want to be wearing tight pants/jeans, thats going to go right over your fresh incision, OUCH!! Just don’t even do that to yourself. If your baby is born in the spring/summer, then just call it a day with plenty of sundresses and you’re good to go! If your little one was born in the cooler months, like mine, stack up on comfy leggings, flannel PJ pants (I brought mine in larger sizes), and loose fitting shirts. Now usually I am a fan of some good yoga pants, but I don’t even think they would be good for a time like this so I skipped on those.
- And last, but it’s really one of the important essentials is…REST & RELAXATION!!! Please listen to your Doctor’s orders and sit your bottom down. You’re really not going to have no other choice once you find the pain and discomfort your body will be in. Now I am not gonna lie to you, this was hard for me for the first few days, because I’m so used to being on the run & being busy (I mean come on, I’m a stay at home mom with 2 boys under the age of 5 running around & now a newborn…and just a whole household to take care of). I had excellent support at home from my husband, and my mom also would come by and help, and that’s going to help your recovery go by much easier and less painful. If you need help, ASK!! I would try to help around the house here and there, but I would end up hurting myself more and end up being more sore than I was! My husband had to literally tell me to go sit down, and I am so grateful he did because there’s no telling the damage I could’ve caused to my body by just simply not resting.
I hope my list of Postpartum Essentials for your csection really helped you on getting prepared for your bundle of joy. If there’s something you would like to add on that helped your recovery go by smooth, please share with us moms below in the comments!!