C-Section Recovery Must-Haves

An African American mom gently cradles her newborn daughter in her arms. She is wrapped up and swaddled and is looking up at mom with a content expression. Mom tenderly gazing back at her.

C-Section Recovery Must-Haves

Every day, roughly 10,000 babies in the United States are born. About a third of those babies are born via Cesarean section. Most moms would agree that having a Cesarean birth is not their first choice, but for some moms having a C-section is necessary. When you are pregnant you do have the choice to try for a vaginal birth or plan for a C-section. Some women choose a C-section for personal preferences but many moms schedule a cesarean because of medical reasons. The medical reasons for needing a planned C-section are:

  • Abnormal positioning such as breech or transverse
  • Placenta previa
  • Repeat C-section
  • Birth defects
  • Health conditions of mom and baby
  • Carrying multiples
    • Twins can be born vaginally if Baby A (baby closest to cervix) is head down. But if Baby A is not head down, a C-section will need to be performed.

Many women have C-sections because of unplanned and emergent reasons, such as:

  • Prolonged labor
  • Failure to progress
  • Fetal distress
  • Placenta abruption
  • Cord prolapse
  • Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD)

Having a C-section is definitely not the “easy way out” because the recovery for many women is longer and more painful. At Baby Chick, we want all mothers to have the best birth and recovery experience possible so I am sharing my top C-section recovery must-haves that I recommend to all C-section mamas. I’ve consulted with hundreds of C-section moms in our Facebook Groups and they agree! For a smoother recovery, here’s what you should have ready for you at home.

C-Section Recovery Must-Haves

1. Abdominal Binder

A C-section is major abdominal surgery. It will feel necessary to have some sort of support and compression around your belly and incision site. Having an abdominal binder not only provides the support and stability women need, it also makes women feel more comfortable. The hospital will give you a belly binder that is absolutely wonderful! So many women rave about them and I highly recommend making sure that you take yours home. If you don’t get one from your hospital or get one that isn’t the right size or it doesn’t feel right, here are some other postpartum belly binders that I love and recommend. An abdominal binder is absolutely my #1 most important C-section recovery must-have!

Mama Strut Postpartum Support Brace

Bellefit Postpartum Corset

2. Pain Relief

Controlling your pain after surgery is crucial because it makes it easier for you to take care of yourself and your baby. If you didn’t have relief the pain you would experience would stop you from wanting to get up and walk as well as from taking deep breaths. Movement and deep breathing are essential during recovery since they help you avoid getting blood clots or chest infections like pneumonia. Take the medication that your doctor prescribes you on schedule to stay on top of your pain relief is important. Some doctors will prescribe you an opioid painkiller (like Norco) for the first week or two and then recommend taking an Ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) and/or acetaminophen (Tylenol). As always, consult with your doctor before taking any medication.

Advil tablets

3. Stool Softeners

Many physicians give their C-section patients a laxative for the first few days after surgery. This helps make that first poop less scary and more tolerable. Stool softeners also help prevent you from straining which could irritate your incision. And if you’ve been prescribed an opioid painkiller post-cesarean, it’s especially important to take a stool softener because opioid painkillers can cause constipation. Consult with your doctor before taking any stool softeners at home.

Colace stool softener

4. Postpartum Pads

Even though you did not give birth vaginally, you will still experience postpartum bleeding. This bleeding will first look like a heavy period that will gradually get lighter and darker in color over the next two weeks. If your bleeding becomes heavier or bright red again, use this as a guide that you are over exerting yourself. Give yourself rest so that you can heal. For postpartum bleeding, I recommend a large postpartum pad that is free of chemicals.

The Honey Pot Postpartum Pads

5. Disposable Underwear

Many women love the mesh underwear that the hospital provides you, which are great! Take as many of them as you can home. They are soft, stretchy and most importantly, the waistband lies well above your incision. This means no rubbing or irritation! Once the mesh undies have outlived their usefulness, switch to Depend Silhouettes. They too are comfortable, high-waisted and they have a pad inside (which mesh panties don’t include) so it’s like an all-in-one!

Depend Silhouettes

6. High-Waisted Underwear

Once you have ditched the mesh undies or your postpartum bleeding has stopped, get some cotton high-waisted underwear. Here are two brands that I love and highly recommend.

Kindred Bravely Postpartum Underwear

I’ve written even more about this awesome product here!

C-Panty c-section recovery panties

7. Skin Salve

To take care of your C-section incision you must keep it clean and dry and wear soft, loose clothing that will not rub against it. It can take several months for a C-section incision to heal, but at your postpartum visit with your doctor (around 6-8 weeks post-delivery) your doctor will check your incision to make sure that you are clear to resume normal activity. Everyone’s recovery time is different but it’s important to rest and take care of your postpartum body for a healthy recovery.

After a several months, you will notice that your incision will heal into a scar. Many women say that their scars are still tender to the touch for months after surgery and some say that it is still numb up to a year. All of this is normal, but if you feel any pain immediately consult with your doctor. If you’d like to help avoid having a noticeable scar, I recommend this balm or these scar sheets. These C-section recovery must-haves can help heal your scar and lessen its appearance.

ScarAway Silicone Scar Sheets for C-Sections

Earth mama skin & scar balm

8. Loose Fitting Clothing

If you’re planning on breastfeeding your baby, I highly recommend having several nursing nightgowns. Wearing a soft, loose nursing gown with a cotton bathrobe can be so much more comfortable than wearing pants that could rub too much on your scar. Even sweats or stretchy leggings can sometimes be uncomfortable on your abdomen and incision. A gown with a robe is always a great way to go when recovering at home with baby.

Angel Maternity 3-in-1 Birth Kit

9. Nursing Pillow

Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, having a nursing pillow of some kind is helpful for all parents. Having a soft pillow designed to fit around your body is a nice barrier between your incision and the weight of your baby. It also helps bring baby closer to you so that you don’t have to bend or lean over which can irritate your incision.

Boppy Nursing Pillow

10. Co-Sleeper

Your baby is going to want to eat (what feels like) constantly throughout the night. It’s difficult to get in and out of bed after a C-section so having a co-sleeper is a major postpartum recovery must-have. Getting up every two to three hours at night would be awful for you and your recovery so having your baby close by is important. This makes breastfeeding or bottle-feeding so much better since baby is close.

babybay Bedside Sleeper

HALO Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Bassinet

11. Diaper Caddy

As I just mentioned, moving around a lot is hard early on in your recovery. And if you have multiple levels in your home, it’s recommended that you only take the stairs once a day or none at all the first two weeks, if possible. To make things easier on yourself have a diaper caddy filled with everything you need for baby–diapers, wipes, diaper cream, thermometer, nail clippers and nail file, etc. This way you can bring along the items that you need for baby wherever you go.

Ubbi Diaper Caddy

12. Comfy Seating

Many women have difficulty getting in and out of bed after a C-section and getting comfortable. This is why so many women recommend having a comfortable recliner or seating area that you can sit in to nurse or bottle feed baby for the next few weeks while you recover. Think in advance where you might want to sleep and where you will spend your day that will be easier and gentler on your abdomen.

Babyletto Kiwi Electronic Power Recliner and Swivel Glider

13. Nursing/Feeding Station

Once you have figured out a good recliner or glider to rest in, make it your nursing/feeding station. Get a cart and stock it with everything that you need close at hand: burp cloths, extra baby clothes, nipple cream, nursing pads, your medications, water bottles, remote control, phone charger, one-handed snacks, and anything else that you’ll need every time you feed your baby.

three-tier rolling cart

14. Resources

If you know that you will have to have a C-section for your delivery, reading up on what to expect before, during and after is a wonderful gift and will make you feel much more prepared.

The Essential C-Section Guide

I hope my list of C-section recovery must-haves helps you have a better transition from pregnancy to motherhood.

This article contains affiliate links. These opinions are our own, however, if you buy something we may earn a small commission, which helps us keep our content free to our readers. To see more of our recommended products check out our Chick Picks Shop here. It’s our carefully curated shop of products we love and recommend! ❤️

About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

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I've been asked so many questions by men about fatherhood. So I figured I'd drop some knowledge on my fellow Dads and soon-to-be-Dads. Here's what it looks like for the first few weeks or months after your child is born. Yup. If mom breastfeeds they pretty much are tucked like this and at times you'll wonder "what is there for me to do?" Here are my top 5 tips for any Dad after your child is born.⁠
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1️⃣ For night feedings. When mom wakes up in the middle of the night, you get up and ask if she needs any help or water. The truth is most of the time she will say no but just the fact that you offered will go far.⁠
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2️⃣ Ask mom if she can pump and then pick 1 feeding that you will always do. Mom will take on almost everything and will burn herself out if you let her. At times you may have to force her to rest without worrying about the baby. This is an easy way to do that without a fight.⁠
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3️⃣ Don't put a time limit on how long mom breastfeeds the baby. It's not just about feeding your child it's about them bonding as well. I know everyone has a different length of time they will breastfeed and as a Dad, it's hard to fully understand. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try and rush this process. It's not our place and it's not safe. You will open yourself up to a fight you can't win.⁠
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4️⃣ Be patient. I know as a Dad the first few weeks we are equally excited and yet not as important. Your time will come faster than you know. Babies grow fast and the stronger and bigger they get the more Daddy Time will be coming your way.⁠
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5️⃣ Paternity leave! If you have it TAKE IT. The early stages of a child's life are not just for moms to enjoy. I know as men making the money especially after having a baby it's hard, but trust me. You can always make money but there are no instant replays in life. It doesn't make you more of a man to not take the leave. It's equally as important that you as a Dad get to be a part of the early development of your child. ⁠
If someone needs this info tag them ❤️⁠
...⁠
Absolutely love these tips from @chroniclesofdaddy. 🙌
7 Postpartum Yoga Poses That Strengthen Your Body 7 Postpartum Yoga Poses That Strengthen Your Body After Baby 🧘‍♀️⁠
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The postpartum period, or period of recovery that takes place after a mother gives birth, is an important time for mothers to take care of themselves. 🥰 Typically, if you’re less than 6 weeks postpartum you don’t want to put any pressure on your core muscles. Also, your body’s levels of relaxin, the hormone that loosens joints to prepare for childbirth, is elevated for 3-6 months after childbirth, and longer if you are breastfeeding. All this means is: take these postpartum yoga poses slowly and stretch yourself gently. No gymnastics here or pushing beyond what is comfortable.⁠
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Remember, every mama’s body is different, so listen to how you feel and seek advice from a medical professional if you have questions about how and when to begin your personal exercise plan. Note: Try to do the following yoga poses in the order they are listed. {Click 🔗 in bio to see the 7 yoga poses to strengthen your body after baby!⁠}⁠
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It's been one of those days. 😑⁠ 📷: @kristy It's been one of those days. 😑⁠
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🙋‍♀️😂😂😂⁠ 🚜 What are some st 🙋‍♀️😂😂😂⁠ 🚜
What are some strange things you do as a #boymom or #girlmom?
It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's mag It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's magic.⁠ ✨🤩
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