How to Get Your Best Sleep After C-Section
Congratulations on bringing your little human into this world after nine long months. While pregnancy can be one of the joyous phases of your life, a few aches and pains can also make its presence felt. However, if you have had a cesarean or a c-section delivery, you must take a few precautions to ensure you heal well while you get to know your little one. And sleep is a vital factor in accelerating healing. Therefore, read here to learn how to sleep after a c-section.
Why Good Sleep is So Important for C-section Recovery
The first few weeks after your delivery can be hectic as you have to concentrate on your healing and take care of your little bundle of joy. Here, sleep plays a crucial role. Why? Because when you take proper rest, you are more alert and can allocate efforts towards caring for your little one. Sleep is also beneficial for the healing process.
So, ensure you only rest in the first few weeks after your delivery. Remember, don’t hesitate to ask for help from your partner.
Tips and Tricks for High-Quality Sleep After a C-Section
Below are the essential tips on how to sleep after a c-section.
Create a Dark and Quiet Environment
Creating a dark and quiet environment is easier said than done when you have your tiny human with you. However, the first step to achieving good-quality sleep is to have a space that will relax you. And a dark room also promotes melatonin production, the sleep hormone. Also, ensure the room is cool, and the temperature feels just right.
Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach
The main sleeping position to avoid after a c-section is lying on your stomach. During your c-section, you receive two incisions, one in your uterus and one in the abdomen. Now, dissolvable stitches are used for the uterus. And the material of these stitches can easily break down. Therefore, sleeping on your stomach must be avoided.
Sleep When Your Baby Sleeps
As aforementioned, sleep is essential for your healing. And when your little one is up, it gets difficult to sleep. Therefore, tweak your sleep habit so that you go to sleep when your baby does. In the early months, you may also have to feed the baby multiple times; here, you can use an alarm. However, keep the volume low.
Use a Postpartum Belly Wrap
Belly wraps can be beneficial to support your abdomen when you are asleep and can also help manage back pain. However, ensure your belly wrap keeps you comfortable as it should not cause itching or dig into your skin. Also, make sure you speak with your doctor before using any.
Store Your Bedtime Necessities Near Your Bed
After a c-section, comfort is the key to your recovery. So, how to sleep comfortably after a c-section? One trick is to keep all your necessities near your bed. Some of the things you can keep by your side include medications, gauze, sanitary pads, books, blankets, and more.
Put Your Bed on a Low-lying Bed Frame
If you have a tall bed, it can get difficult for you to get in and out of bed. And if you are wondering how to sleep in a bed after a c-section, consider opting for a low-lying bed frame to keep things comfortable.
Add Extra Pillows to Your Bed
Keep several pillows on your bed to ensure you can use as many as you want to keep things cosy and comfortable. Even when sitting on your bed, you can use the pillows for neck and lumbar support.
Start Light Exercise After Your Doctor Approves
When you exercise, it enhances your circulation and promotes faster healing. Usually, after your 6-week check-up, your doctor can tell you how well your incision is healing and if you can start exercising. Once you get the go-ahead, make sure you start light and don’t overexert yourself.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A balanced meal is crucial not only for your body but also for healing. Foods rich in vitamin C and protein are known to reduce inflammation. Also, keep yourself hydrated and eat foods that keep your stool soft, as constipation is common after delivery.
Block out Distractions
As a new mom, chances are you would want to grasp any information you can on your little one or you are just taking a social media break for yourself and scrolling through everything you have missed. But sleep is essential for you, so avoid distractions before bed.
Best Sleeping Positions For Better Sleep After a C-Section
Now that you are familiar with effortless tricks to keep you comfortable as you sleep, let’s look at the best sleeping position after a c-section.
On Your Back
The best sleeping position after a c-section is to sleep on your back, as it helps relieve pressure. To make it more comfortable, you can place a pillow under your knees and a small one for your neck. Also, when it is time to get up, take it slow. Roll towards your good side and use your hands for support to help you sit up. You can also try the leg roll method.
- Bend your knees and roll towards your side
- Slowly move your feet off the bed
- Use your hands for support to push you up
- Throughout the process, make sure that your abdomen is relaxed
- Sit on the bed
- Finally, stand up
In a Recliner
For an afternoon nap, you can also choose a recliner as it can make it easy for you to get in and out of it effortlessly, especially when you have multiple feeding sessions to fulfil. You can always use a recliner with a footrest and use pillows accordingly for additional comfort.
On Your Side
If you are wondering, can I lay on my side after a c-section? The answer is yes. It is, in fact one of the recommended sleeping positions after a c-section. Sleeping on your left is known to enhance your blood flow, which can be essential for optimal healing. You can also use your body pillow to improve comfort levels and enable you to sleep on your side. Some new moms who have had c-sections also find feeding their little ones in this position comfortable. However, make sure you lay your little one down in the crib before sleeping to prevent accidents.
Elevated Upper Body
Women who sleep with their upper body elevated after childbirth can significantly reduce the risks of postpartum airway obstruction. You can use a wedge pillow or two to three pillows to help you out.
What to avoid
Some of the things you must avoid immediately after a c-section are;
- Make sure you don’t conduct any strenuous activities. Don’t lift anything heavy or do any housework.
- Consume plenty of fluids and avoid dehydration. It will prevent any constipation and restore your energy.
- Don’t indulge in sexual intercourse unless you get the go-ahead from your doctor.
- Avoid tampons and douching and also baths until the incision is healed.
- Don’t repeatedly use stairs or opt for heavy exercises.
When to See A Doctor?
Some of the reasons why you need to see a doctor right away are;
- If you are experiencing high or continuous fever, it can be a sign of infection.
- While some drainage in the wound area is expected, if the wound appears tender, red, swollen or abnormal, it can be a sign of infection.
- Slight pain can be expected. However, if you are experiencing severe pain, you must visit your doctor and refrain from taking pills without asking your doctor.
- If you have breathing difficulties
- If you notice excessive vaginal bleeding
- If you notice blood in the urine or there is a burning sensation
- If you notice rashes or hives
- If your breasts are sore or red
After a c-section, you must ensure that you take complete care of yourself. Try to follow the above tips to experience total comfort. And if you have any queries, don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor.
Do you sleep a lot after C-section?
You may sleep a lot as you are tired. You need four to six weeks to feel like your old self again.
How many days of bed rest are required after C-section?
Your doctor may recommend four to eight weeks of bed rest after a c-section.
What should I avoid after a C-section?
Some of the things you must avoid after a c-section are;
- Lifting anything heavy
- Doing housework
- Intense exercises
- Sexual intercourse
For more details, take a look at the blog above.
When can I bend after a C-section?
You must not bend, stretch or strain yourself for at least four to six weeks. However, speak with your doctor for more details.
When is C-section fully healed?
It usually takes about six weeks to completely recover from a c-section. However, for some, it may take a few weeks more.
How long will C-section pain last?
It can last for a week or two. But if the pain is too severe, consult your doctor immediately.
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