Continued from What to Expect During A C-Section Delivery.
Once your doctor has finished your c-section, the nurses and surgical assistant prepare to move you off of the operating table. At this point you still can’t feel your lower extremities and I distinctly remember trying to move them but they were heavy and wouldn’t budge. They got me moved back into the hospital bed and handed me my baby after what seemed like forever. I immediately held his hand and was happy that I finally got the chance to hold him. The next few days are the hardest as you adjust to being a mom while recovering from a c-section. It is important that you take your recovery serious and allow your body to heal without over doing it.
What to Expect When You Leave the Operating Room?
Once they moved me back to the labor and delivery ward, I remember that it was pretty chaotic. The nurses were feeling on my tummy and started pitocin to help my uterus contract. They also gave me pain medication to ease the pain from my surgery. Once things settled down a little bit, I attempted to breast feed my son for the very first time. He did great and latched on perfectly. Things were going great until my spinal block started wearing off. I started shaking uncontrollably and I was so scared of dropping the baby while I fed him. I explained this to the nurse and she helped me change his position so that I wasn’t directly holding him. She laid him in the football position tucked under my arm while he was laying a pillow or bed (can’t remember). This position helped ease the fear that I was going to drop him since I was shaking uncontrollably. After I was monitored for an hour, maybe a little longer (it was a blur during that time), they moved me to another room where I would receive all of my post par-tum care until I was released from the hospital.
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What to Expect During Your Postpartum Stay at the Hospital After a C-Section?
The nurses prepared to move me to my new room. I remember nursing my son as they wheeled me down the hallway to the postpartum wing which was on the same floor as Labor and Delivery. The nurse told me that we were in a public area so I made sure that I covered myself up, so that I didn’t have to deal with the negative comments. Once they got me settled into my new home for a few days, I was able to visit with family and friends who came to see me and the new baby. I wasn’t in pain but I wasn’t able to get up at this point. My catheter was still in place and I was still getting IV fluids/pitocin, which left me restricted to the bed (not like I was ready to get up at this point anyhow). I was also still experiencing some symptoms of the spinal block wearing off, the pain medications made me sleepy, so I was pretty out of it for a few hours. Things were slowly improving as the night went on and I was able to cat nap between feedings. The nurses came in every few hours and check on me and the baby, so you get interrupted sleep.
Get Up and Get Moving But Don’t Over Do It
The next morning they removed my catheter. They wanted me to get up and start walking. It was painful to get up but moving around actually helps your body begin to heal. I didn’t walk the hallways but I think some doctors and hospitals encourage it. However, remember don’t overdo it and only do what you feel comfortable with as long as it doesn’t increase your pain levels.
The day after my c-section, the nurse encouraged me to take a shower that evening and change clothes. Luckily, the hospital that I had my son at had a shower that allowed me to sit down. It was also equipped with a detachable shower head so that I could remain seated while showering. The shower felt great and refreshing. If you are uncomfortable showering alone, ask your husband or a nurse for assistance. I remember that it was very difficult undressing and getting dressed, especially, putting on undergarments.
Be Your Own Pain Management Advocate
Most nurses are pretty good about reminding you that it is time to take your pain medications but there are some that don’t give them to you unless you ask. It is important that you monitor your pain management and take your medication on time. Don’t wait until you are already in pain to ask for more. It is best that you don’t try to be a super hero and manage your pain without medications after all you did have major surgery. Also, if you are breastfeeding your pain medications were approved by your doctor and are considered safe to use. If you have any concerns, talk to your nurse, ask to speak to the lactation consultant, or your doctor.
Rest as Much As Possible
Sleeping is difficult when you are in the hospital. Don’t be afraid to ask the nurses and staff for help if you need it. Always try to sleep when your baby is sleeping and limit visitors if necessary. I remember that I cat napped quite a bit when I was in the hospital.
What to Expect For Your Baby During Your Post Par-tum Stay?
During your postpartum stay your baby will more than likely remain with you during your stay and will only go to the nursery if you request it. The day after your baby is born, a pediatrician will come to the hospital and examine your baby. Also, if you had a boy, he can be circumcised before you go home from the hospital. Once the baby is 24 hours old, the baby will have a phenylketonuria test (PKU) test and most hospitals also perform a hearing screening to determine if your baby has any hearing issues.
Feeding Your Baby During Your Hospital Stay
If you are breastfeeding your baby, let the staff know so that they don’t offer your baby any formula without your permission. Whether you breastfeed or use formula, it is important to feed your baby every 2-3 hours. A newborn’s tummy is very small and doesn’t hold much food, which is why they need to be fed often. Feeding often also prevents your baby’s blood sugar from dropping too low. When the baby’s nurse comes to check on the baby he/she will ask you how much you are feeding your baby and how often. If you can’t remember, it might be helpful to write down each time you feed your baby.