Pregnancy can be a beautiful experience for a woman and her family. With all the different body and hormonal changes, it’s no surprise the million and one thoughts that can go through a woman’s mind during her first pregnancy.
For starters, my biggest concern during both pregnancies has been the actual birth of my children. And oddly enough both deliveries have been different life experiences.
Every Labor Experience Is Different
Sebastian was a c-section and Christian was a VBAC. Each had a different recovery time; 8 weeks for my c-section and 6 weeks for natural birth.
The healing process for my c-section was painful. Oftentimes I had to put pressure on the incision to help alleviate the pain. And to help ease that pain, I’d take Motrin. I took Motrin two or three times in the beginning to be able to move. Even when I wasn’t supposed to be moving around, I did my best to care for my first-born and my little family.
Jeff and my parents were a huge help after I had arrived home from the hospital with Sebastian. My father was with us during my second delivery. He helped care for Sebastian and Rocky while we were at the hospital. And now that Jeff’s two weeks of paternity leave are up, my father will be staying for an extra month and a half to help me care for the boys.
Despite the different birth experiences, there was one thing that was the same. Regardless of a c-section or natural birth, I had to not only care for a newborn but also for myself. Having family around definitely helped.
After my c-section, I had to make sure I didn’t overwork myself or bent over too much. I applied Mederma several times a day to help with the scar as well as the stretch marks that had appeared.
After my VBAC, there were certain things I had to do this time around that I didn’t have to worry about before. Giving birth to Christian caused a slight tear around my vaginal area. This made urinating very painful. Sometimes I thought about picking up one or the two pain medications my doctor had prescribed, but I remembered about the pain relief cream and spray I was given at the hospital for that purpose.
I used the cream and spray as much as the instructions had allowed, oftentimes I’d apply them first thing in the morning and before bedtime just to help ease the pain.
I received a lot of tips both in the hospital and once I got home on how I need to take care of myself. But I never really understood how exactly I was going to care for a newborn and myself. Everyone kept saying to be careful, take advantage of all the help you can get, and to not do any housework during my recovery time.
Because I felt it was a bit vague, especially since I have experienced both, below are a couple of post-labor tips I’ve been able to implement after both deliveries:
– Wear the hospital girdle for support when moving around.
– Do your best to rely on yourself when going to the bathroom both at the hospital and at home.
– Try to take walks around the hospital to allow blood to circulate throughout your body.
– Give yourself lower back massages to help ease the pain when passing a stool.
– Try to convince yourself you don’t need pain medications.
– Breathe through the pain and you will overcome it.
– Eat small snacks like fruits in between meals to help with breast milk production.
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