Packing For A Planned Cesarean Delivery

When we had our first child back in 2014, I was not prepared for my delivery. I’m not sure I was prepared to have him in the hospital at all. There was some serious denial going on as I knew he would be over 10lbs and the chances of having a hospital vs home birth were very high.

I feel the need to be more prepared this time around, as I am giving birth via planned cesarean in only nine weeks! I know some people have said, “Nicole, you have lots of time before the baby arrives, and nine weeks is a long time away.”  Is it, though?

The thought of going into labour and having our baby before the scheduled c-section is not something I like to think about but a very real situation that can happen to anyone. I would be more stressed out not having my bags packed and ready to go if I was heading into another emergency c-section.

I can imagine my husband scrambling around trying to gather things on my list for him to bring and my not so lovely (somewhat bitchy) attitude when he can’t find everything I needed for our hospital stay.

So for both of our peace of mind, I have already started to wash baby items (blankets, covers, clothes, sterilized bottles and breast pump, etc.).

Our baby bag is ready to go, and only a few more items to add to our hospital bag. If I do go into an emergency c-section (knock on wood), all I will have to do is tell him the location of the bags.

I created a hospital bag checklist as soon as I knew I was pregnant in this pregnancy, and I want to share it with you. I think it covers the basics of what you will need to stay comfortably in the hospital after you recover from birth.

Check it out here: The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist

Your C-Section Scar and How To Heal It

Let’s be honest here, there is little to no guidance on how a woman can help her body heal after giving birth from her primary care medical team. There is even less guidance given to someone who had a cesarean delivery (major abdominal surgery).

Like many of you, I found myself in postpartum after having an unexpected cesarean delivery, not taking care of myself because well… I needed to care for my new baby. I was the last person I thought I needed to care for.

It wasn’t until I was at a professional conference that I met a company that had a product using microcurrent point stimulation for Scar Release Therapy called The Dolphin Neurostim. They offered to test their microcurrent tool on my cesarean scar and I accepted. I was amazed at the improved movement of my abdominal tissue when I stood up and couldn’t help but feel a flow of energy to my scar that had felt like a dead zone for so long!

Adhesions

While a lot of people like to talk about and focus on the look of their scar, we really need to focus on the functionality of the scar and how the tissue around that scar is doing. Adhesions are formed under the scar creating scar tissue. While they’re naturally occurring, they can have adverse effects on our bodies by connecting tissue that shouldn’t be connected, like organs – in fact, women who’ve had a C-section sometimes develop Small Bowel Obstruction, a condition where the intestinal tract is kinked and twisted by adhesions. Adhesions also connect to our fascia, the web-like structure that connects all organs and tissues in our bodies. When they connect to our fascia, they can distort it, pulling muscles and pinching nerves. This limits our ability to move freely and heightens the sensitivity of the autonomic nervous system, which controls our pain.

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How Does The MPS Tool Work?

It’s simple! The Dolphin Neurostim™ is applied to each side of visible scars, transferring gentle, DC microcurrent deep into the tissue of the skin. When the microcurrent enters our body, it helps electrically “repolarize,” or release, the thickened scar tissue, as well as release fascia and muscles impinged by the scarring. Circulation is also increased, which, in turn, helps the lymphatic system remove dead cells from the body and encourages blood flow and healing to the area. All of this helps return mobility, improve appearance, and decrease pain both at the site of the scar and anywhere else in the body that scar may be affecting. In many cases, relief can be felt with one application!

Combined with manual therapy techniques, I use the MPS tool to help women regain mobility, function and overall wellness of their body after having a cesarean by performing scar release therapy.

How Many Treatments Do I Need Before I Can Feel Results?

Because we all heal differently, everyone has a different experience. Some patients feel results after one treatment and others after five. Our treatment goals are important too! Some want to see a visual difference on the scar, others want to feel less pain or discomfort after doing physical activity like long walks or workouts from the scar. Every treatment you come in for we talk about what you felt on day one and we see if there are any changes to compare to.

How Long Are The Sessions?

I always ask patients to book at least an hour for our first visit so I can do a proper assessment and health intake, if we are only focusing our treatments on SRT, then we can book 30 minutes follow up appointments after that.

Feel free to email me any questions you have about how SRT can help you after your cesarean delivery or book online now!

5 Things You Need To Know About Healing From A Cesarean Birth

Cesarean birth, surgical birth, belly birth and c-section are all ways to describe childbirth via surgery.

After I went through my cesarean birth experience, I realized how little to no information is given to new mothers about healing from birth surgery. I remember being told-“keep moving and walking to prevent blood clots” and “do not lift anything heavier than your baby” (mine was 10.9 lbs-did that rule apply to me?).

Overwhelmed is an understatement, you are not only healing from surgery you also have a new baby/babies to take home, get to know, take care of and breastfeed/feed.

Whether you are planning a cesarean or you are recovering from an emergency cesarean, we all have our own unique experiences and expectations with birth so always choose the best option that works for you and your family.

Here are five things that will help you heal from your cesarean birth:

1. Eat Good Food. Proper nutrition during your initial healing stage is essential for helping your body heal, recover and restore. My rule is that any visitor who wants to see you and baby must bring a meal. As a convenience, you can set up a food delivery service to make sure you eat (you do forget when taking care of babies),. Or before the surgery, you can cook and freeze a bunch of meals that you can use once you get home to recover.

2. Don’t try to do it all. Becoming a new parent comes with a lot of judgement, pressure and expectations. Babies do not come with an instruction manual and a lot of parenting is trial and error. Have a relative or friend stay with you the first two weeks to lend a hand or another option is to hire a postpartum doula to help you take care of the baby and take the stress of off you and your partner/spouse.

3. Rest is the best medicine. Sleep is hard to come by when you are feeding around the clock with a newborn, but you can still rest. If you are tired of being in your bed, set up a comfortable, quiet area in your home to rest. The most important rooms for you are the kitchen and bathroom-so stay close to those.

4. Do one thing a day for yourself. Taking a shower or stepping outside to get some fresh air are some easy-to-do options.

5. Healing your body physically. I recommend that you use three different textures to massage above and below your scar within the first 8 weeks postpartum. You can use a dry brush, terrycloth, and a sponge. This will help the nerve regrowth and decrease that numbness that is common in the lower abdomen after a cesarean. Also, please book in to see a pelvic physiotherapist and get your pelvic floor checked out. Massage Therapy can start as soon as you are able to get up and move around, although the focus of treatment wouldn’t be on the scar release therapy until at least 12 weeks postpartum.

6 Your birth story matters. Healing from a cesarean takes time, so be patient and remember that birth can be hard mentally and emotionally. Some will experience trauma while some others will feel at ease having a surgical birth. Your birth is unique to you. It is important to check in with yourself or a professional to clear your mind and feel at ease about your experience. Trauma is very real and can happen at any moment during the birthing/pregnancy process, there is no shame in finding a local perinatal social worker or psychotherapists to talk to about how you are feeling.

#birthisbirth