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Common Misconceptions About C-Section Recovery (and What to Know Instead)

mom on surgery bed after a cesarean birth

Although commonly performed, cesarean birth is major surgery. Recovery isn’t always easy, but it can certainly become easier with the right preparation and planning. Here are some common misconceptions about c-section recovery.

038 | Nicole Alfred, C-Section Recovery Coach

Nicole Alfred is a cesarean recovery coach, registered massage therapist, and mother of two. She has given birth two times by C-section: one emergent and traumatic, the other empowered and planned.

Her different experiences opened her eyes to the lack of support mothers receive post-operatively. Nicole sees a need for much more emotional and physical attention.

Nicole believes there are essential steps that new mothers need to take beginning immediately after surgery and through the first 12 weeks postpartum to optimize their recovery.

These steps include restoring normal function with everyday movements, wound and scar healing, core muscle system recovery, and connecting with the incision scar to facilitate emotional processing and healing.

mom on surgery bed after a cesarean birth

How c-section recovery looks today

C-sections are the second most popular surgery done daily. With healthcare based in a man’s world, women’s care is not prioritized or often understood as what we need after having a baby, whether a vaginal or cesarean birth

Being responsible for a child in recovery differs from recovering from any other surgery or hospital stay. Many mothers fall into survival mode and can never turn that switch off.

Lack of knowledge and support – either from our doctors or others – affects women’s recovery significantly when we don’t know what to focus on or have the ability to do so.

What we should know in the first two weeks

C-section recovery requires a lot of rest. Practicing basic functional movements and listening to your body is essential in the first two weeks of recovery. Having support in those movements can help make the process less frustrating in teaching your muscles how to turn back on.

As time moves forward in your recovery, resting as often as possible between movements is important. Doing anything that requires intense movement, like trips to the store or walking long distances, can negatively affect your recovery.

“C-section recovery can be easy and feel empowering.”

Ways to Support Your Body

Mothers are so good at not prioritizing themselves. By caring for our bodies and minds in recovery, we are creating a better environment for our children to learn and understand.

A sequential order of things needs to be worked on regarding c-section recovery. Focusing on key areas like posture, breathing exercises, pelvic floor support, core system exercises, and scar massage are some ways to support yourself.  

Topics covered

What got Nicole started as a c-section recovery coach (1:41)

Three misconceptions around cesarean recovery (8:19)

See Also
postpartum mom body changes

What you should and should not do in the first two weeks (12:37)

Looking at the layers (19:26)

We should prioritize recovery (24:10)

Getting back to the basics (30:47)

Healing the c-section shelf (33:40)

Ignoring yourself (44:02)

Additional cesarean birth resources

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