With a healing wound and a newborn baby to look after, it’s very important for mums to know how to best look after themselves and recover after giving birth via c section, and that can start with making sure your sleep comfortably after a c-section, which may take a little more effort than just finding the right pillow.
The best thing you can do to aid your recovery is to get plenty of sleep - which we know can be a tricky task as a new mum.
Whether it’s those first few days when you’re in hospital or you’ve just got home and you’re trying to get comfy, there are a number of things you can do to help yourself get in a comfortable position to sleep and rest. When you get in the right position and sleep comfortably after a c-section, it can make the world of difference.
We spoke to pregnancy and postnatal expert and Lansinoh brand ambassador, Becca Maberly of “A Mother Place” who has shared her expert advice on the best sleep positions and advice post c-section, giving you great ways to sleep comfortably after a c-section.
How much rest should you aim to get after a c-section?
As much as you can! As with any birth, rest is key, but this is often easier said than done when you have a new baby to look after.
People often tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps, but if your baby is not a good sleeper then this advice often falls flat.
If you have a partner, family member or friend who can take the baby and let you have a nap during the day then this can be so helpful for your recovery. It’s important to remember that a c-section is considered major abdominal surgery and as with other surgeries rest is crucial to recovery.
Avoiding heavy lifting is crucial in the first few weeks after your c-section as you need to avoid putting strain on your stitches. If your baby does sleep, prioritise having time to yourself and rest. You'll also want to wait until having sex after your c-section to further aid recovery.
What are some of the safest positions to sleep in after a c-section?
There is no one single sleeping position that will suit all women who have had a caesarean section, but there are a few that may be recommended to help you sleep comfortably after a c-section.
The recommendation is to choose a position that is the most comfortable for you and to be careful when you go to sit up as you do not want to put any strain on your stitches. If you are sleeping on your back you will probably want to roll on to your side and use your arms to help yourself up.
Some safe sleeping positions include:
Sleeping on your back at an incline
Sleeping in an upright position - especially good in those first few days
Sleeping on your side - ideally on your left to give you optimal blood flow
Some women really appreciate having an elevated upper body in those first few days or weeks. Surround yourself with lots of pillows to make yourself as comfortable as possible.
Are there any products you recommend that can help you get comfy?
There are all kinds of special pillows that help you get comfy by supporting your back and easing pressure between your knees too, but you don’t actually need a special one - regular pillows work just as well!
Additional products that can give comfort during your recovery and help you to sleep comfortably after a c-section areLansinoh’s Cold and Warm Relief pads. Designed for their birth preparation and recovery line they can provide an added level of comfort whilst recovering from your surgery.
How should you get in and out of bed safely?
Roll onto your side
Use your elbow and arms to push yourself up out of bed so you do not put any pressure or strain on your stitches.
Take it slowly and carefully and breathe out as you push up.
You might need some help with this the first few days, so don't be embarrassed to ask for help!
What should you do if the pain is keeping you awake?
If your midwife or doctor has prescribed you pain relief then it is a good idea to keep taking this regularly for the first days or even weeks after having a c-section depending on your pain levels.
If taken as prescribed, this should keep the pain at a manageable level which will aid in recovery. If the pain is keeping you awake at night, reach out to your midwife or doctor ASAP so they can rule out infection or anything else that could be causing consistent pain.