With the c-section rates climbing steadily in the U.S.A., chances are you, or someone you know, is about to go under the knife. And really, for a lot of people, it's not that bad. Of course you should try to go into labor, and find support for a vaginal birth. But sometimes the best plans go awry, and we wind up on our backs, not feeling a thing.
I had two c-sections, the first an emergency, the second because I went late and my doctor was no longer psyched about me having a VBAC. Quite frankly, I wasn't either as he grew, and grew, and grew some more. While I would have loved to have never had major abdominal surgery, there are a few things I wish I'd had on hand post-op, for myself and the babies. Percocet is obvious. But a few other things, not so much.
1. A Husband with Paternity Leave
You can't walk up stairs, carry anything heavier than your baby -- and in my case -- get out of bed without help, for quite some time after a c-section. When you need to eat, or a nursing bra in a larger size, you need someone who understands you, and would do anything for you. And you don't need him miles away, at the office. Alternately . . .
2. A Postpartum Doula
With my second child, I hired a doula hoping for a VBAC. Once that was out of the question, we went postpartum and it's the one expense I'm glad I did shell out, no matter how painful spending the money was in a tight time. Your doula can hold your baby while you shower, do the dishes while you feed your baby, or wrap you and your baby up in a blanket and encourage a good nap. All of which, are crucial to your health and well-being.
3. A Hospital Breast Pump
Depending on your situation, if you never labored (which was my case, with my first child) your body may not be ready to produce breast milk and your hand-held pump will not cut it. Ask to borrow, rent, or put on layaway a temporary pump from the hospital. The industrial strength you need can only be found in these serious suckers.
4. Low-Maintenance Friends
Even though you may want to, you cannot entertain your friends after you have a c-section. Remember that whole no lifting thing? This goes for trays of drinks as well. Anyone who wants to see your baby post-birth, especially in this situation, needs to show up with their own food, drink, and napkin.
5. Low-Riding Sweatpants
You will be sensitive around your scar area, so a nightgown might chafe. While it could be depressing, pick up some trendy sweat pants that girls who have never had babies buy. You just need something comfortable, that hits below the belt.
6. A Chauffeur
In lieu of the husband with the magic paternity leave, you have to have someone available to drive you around, as you will not be allowed behind the wheel for some time. You will, however, need to take your baby to the pediatrician, and yourself to your follow-up doctor visits. If you don't have anyone who can work around your schedule, have the number to the local taxi service on speed dial.
7. Some Good DVR
Since you won't be going anywhere for awhile, might have bouts of insomnia, and will definitely be up at all hours taking care of your baby -- program your TV. It's easy to zone out to the late-night infomercials, but why not catch up on that one show you meant to watch, but never got around to? You'll feel productive, in a completely different way than the whole care taking thing.
What do you wish you had for yourself or baby after a c-section?
Image via isafmedia/Flickr