When I heard that February is Pregnancy Awareness Month, I immediately wanted to share more of my pregnancy journey with you. Now that I have my hands full with a toddler, it’s easy to forget to chat about pregnancy and everything that comes with it! But then I remembered that there was an important part of my pregnancy that I haven’t touched on – after pregnancy. And I realised that many women don’t really know what to expect after they’ve had a c-section. The thing is, things don’t always go to plan. You may be completely set on giving birth naturally and by all means, stick to your decision as best as you can. But sometimes the unexpected happens and you and your baby’s safety and health may depend on medical intervention. And just like with natural birth stories, there are both bad and good caesarian birth stories. Mine was fortunately a good one, so I wanted to share with you how I recovered from my caesarian, to help calm the nerves of a c-section mama.
I thankfully knew a few weeks before I had Kai that I was going to have a caesarian. I believe my doctor and I discussed it in my 34th-week appointment so it wasn’t a surprise. Knowing about it before definitely helped me read further and manage my expectations of Kai’s birth. If you read my birth story, you’d know that even though I had a c-section scheduled, Kai was impatient and decided to come four days earlier than planned. So I went into labour anyways, which was of course a huge surprise! For my full experience, have a read here. I was in the hospital for a total of three days afterwards and I would classify my recovery as really good. I was able to hold and breastfeed Kai straight away and was never unable to do either in the following weeks.
By the second day, I had to get up and walk around to get my blood circulating which is so important as it lessens the risk of blood clots. I made sure to take my time and of course, the nurse helped me get from my bed to the bathroom. The pain meds I was on were really strong, so I didn’t feel more than a dull ache a couple of times throughout the day, just before my next dose. My doctor also came to check in on me and my wound soon after and told me what I needed to look out for during my recovery to prevent any complications. The medical team was fantastic and made sure to bring my meds on time and be on call if I needed anything else. They also brought in a physiotherapist who instructed me what exercises I had to do to help my stomach muscles and also what movements to avoid while I was recovering. He also advised that the heaviest thing I can carry was my little boy.
Once I was home, I had to use Micropore tape on the incision, which is a sort of masking tape lookalike but for your skin. It holds the incision together to help it heal. I then applied and massaged Bio-Oil onto my incision over the tape twice a day, every day for a few weeks, changing the tape every couple of days. Bio-Oil is mostly recommended by doctors to help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Thankfully, I’m one of the lucky few who didn’t get stretch marks while pregnant but I used Bio-Oil to help with the appearance of my inevitable scar. I finished my painkillers about 10 days after returning from the hospital, and my wound was only a bit sore when I would get up from the sofa or bed by using my stomach muscles, which I shouldn’t have. I also continued doing the exercises the physiotherapist showed me to do until I was strong enough.
I’d definitely advise that you have a someone to help you around the house, to pick things up, and of course do housework as the less bending you do the better so you can rest and recover quicker. Walking was a bit slow initially, but I was back to my normal mobility about a week after birth. I carried on using Bio-Oil for just over two months. That, combined with my doctor’s precise surgery, I can barely see my scar anymore. When I look very closely in the mirror or run my fingers over it, it’s about 3.5 inches wide and just above my bikini line. It’s a very discreet reminder that I used to have a precious tenant in my womb 🙂
I know that many women feel like a failure if they end up having a c-section, but the way I see it, it’s not how you brought your child into the world that matters, it’s that you did. Don’t let the end of the journey dictate or nullify that you created, nurtured and carried this little human into being.
WIN a Bio-Oil hamper!
**Competition closed. Congratulations to Isabel Tsungie! Thanks to all who entered.**
I’ve partnered with Bio-Oil to give away a hamper of Bio-Oil goodies to a mama-to-be or new mama! Bio-Oil is the skincare brand doctors and medical professionals most recommend to help to heal stretch marks and now you know it can also be used for c-section scars. One lucky mama will win this adorable hamper for herself and her little one. I’m also giving away a hamper on my Instagram, so up your chances of winning by entering there too!
How to enter:
In the comments box below, tell me how you plan to use your Bio-Oil hamper.
- The competition will close at 4pm on Wednesday 7th March, 2018
- This competition is open to South African residents only
- One (1) blog winner and one (1) Instagram winner will be chosen and announced on this post by Saturday 10th March
- Blog: best answer will win. Instagram: winner will be chosen randomly.
- Only answers submitted in the comments below and on Instagram will be valid.
- The winner will be contacted via e-mail so please be available to supply full contact and delivery details, if requested in the announcement. If the winner does not respond to the email within 48 hours of contact, another winner will be chosen.
- Each hamper will consist of 2 cotton dribble bibs, a soft grey storage pouch, a handy 25ml Bio–Oil and stretch mark guide.
- All prize delivery logistics will be handled by a Bio-Oil representative.
*Sponsored by Bio Oil
Shared on the parenting portal Baby Yum Yum
This was an enlightening article especially for someone who’s always heard the horror stories about c-sections. Because of that, I elected to give birth naturally to my daughter (She was born last Thursday, the 22nd of Feb) and after the long labour and pain I experienced, I now understand why some people choose to go the c-section route- whether because of a medical reason or for personal preference. I wouldn’t change a thing about my daughter’s birth and would still go through those 19hours again to have her perfect little body in my arms.
I was fortunate enough to not gain stretch marks during the earlier part of my pregnancy, however towards the end I got a large number around my belly button. Right now my uterus is still a little swollen so I can’t see the full effect yet- but I would love to win the Bio-Oil hamper to help reduce their appearance. As women we go through so much and this will always be a reminder of my strength, but I know having these warrior marks less visible will definitely get my confidence levels back up, especially as a young mommy. So if I win this hamper, that’s what I’ll be using it for!
I hope you will pick me 😀 and thank you for sharing your story!
Hi Shalom, I’m glad you found my post enlightening. Give yourself time to fully recover, it could take awhile before you feel like yourself again. Thanks so much for sharing your story and congratulations on birthing your little girl!
I’ve had stretch marks since i was 17 years old, they are all over my behind, thighs and slightly on my boobs. And i’ve lost confidence because of them, i always have to compare myself with other people who are fortunate enough to not have them. i dont really wear short stuff or even a bikin at the beach because i feel like everyone will be looking at me. Im currently 5 months pregnant and i smear coconut oil( my hairfood) on my stomach and boobs after every bath just to try not to get more stretch marks. I could really use the Bio oil so that i can at least wear the bikini top at the beach.
I was also lucky enough not to get stretch marks but I use bio oil every day on my c-section scar and well as a little scar on my leg where I cut myself 🙂
In all honesty I would gift it to my sister how is 5months pregnant
Hi, thanks for sharing your story😁. I gave birth last year in April via c-section and as I’m reading this I’m surprised I didn’t know I could have used micropore tape(first time I’m hearing of it)on my incision, because a week after giving birth I had a tear on my incision and it was a horrible experience because they had to restitch and all. Hmmmm.. i’m now currently pregnant(yes again🙈) and due in May. I’m scheduled for another c-section and I’m really hoping and praying all goes well during and after the c-section.
Really appreciate you sharing your story cause now I have much more idea on how to take care of myself after the operation.
I plan on using the bio oil on my c-section scar.
Hi Sylvia, thanks for sharing your experience too. I’m so glad sharing mine may help you with your upcoming birth and recovery. I wish you the best mama!
I plan to use the Bio-oil for my C-section scar and stretchmarks
I plan to use it on my C-section scar and on my stretchmarks. Bio-oil is the best
I absolutely loved reading your article it was absolutely interesting and enlightening.
Thank you for this wonderful giveaway which will be appreciated and well used.
I will use the Bio Oil for my stretch marks it will help to reduce the clearly visible stretch marks which makes me very conscientious especially on my tummy and thighs.
Thank you Anusha! Glad you found it interesting and I hope it’s helped you.
The hamper will help me reduce the new stretchmarks from my weight gain and help to fade the unsightly scars on my body