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.

By throwing everything in the closet or under the By throwing everything in the closet or under the bed does not mean "cleaned" your room. 🤦‍♀️⁠
📷: @playdatesoffridays
#stoprunning #sitdown #stopdoingthat #doyouneedtog #stoprunning #sitdown #stopdoingthat #doyouneedtogotothepotty #NO⁠
What are yours??
Remember what it was like when you were home with Remember what it was like when you were home with a newborn? Remember how you felt? Tired. Sore. Swollen. Engorged. So happy to finally meet your baby but also completely exhausted. You wished you had more help. You wished you could take a break. You wished you could only focus on staring at your baby and snuggling them and not have to worry about preparing food, chores, etc.⁠
Even though things may be more difficult now to offer help, still try to be the friend you wished you had when your babies were newborns to your friends and loved ones. ❤️ Things you can do:⁠
- Drop off a meal at their door⁠
- Drop off some of your favorite postpartum recovery items or breastfeeding products you loved⁠
- Go grocery shopping for them and leave it at the door⁠
- Send them a meal delivery service gift card⁠
- Bake her some lactation cookies (if she is breastfeeding)⁠
- Drop off any hand-me-downs from your kids⁠
- Pay a housekeeping service to come over and clean her house⁠
- Set up a meal train with her friends⁠
- Drop off diapers and wipes⁠
- Self-quarantine for 2 weeks and come over to help with the house and baby so she can take a nap or a shower⁠
- Pay for a few hours for a postpartum doula or a night nanny to help her out⁠
There is so much you can do! And every little bit helps. What else would you add to the list? 💕
Any mamas feel me? Pass the coffee. 😑☕☕☕⁠
📷: @momandburied
This is so accurate. And happens pretty much anywh This is so accurate. And happens pretty much anywhere we go if we leave the house. 🤦‍♀️😂⁠
📷: unknown
Keeping Track of Baby Milestones: 0-3 Months Old⁠ 👶⁠
Typically, the first three months of your child’s development will be marked by key developments including control and lifting of their head, a first smile and even a laugh, and making eye contact. 👀 It’s an exciting time when bonding is important and your baby is changing rapidly before your eyes. 😍 Pediatricians will go through developmental milestone checklists with patients, asking parents about their child’s sensory, communication, and movement changes, keeping an eye out for any red flags. 🚩 Generally, it’s not concerning if a baby isn’t hitting one or two milestones on time. Be sure to adjust for prematurity or stress factors. If your newborn is missing multiple abilities or you feel concerned, check in with your child’s pediatrician. 👩‍⚕️ Here are the different milestones to look out for each month from 0-3 months. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
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📷: @ana_styles
😑😒⁠ 📷: @parentnormal 😑😒⁠
📷: @parentnormal
Love you but you have worn me out and I'm done. Ea Love you but you have worn me out and I'm done. Early bedtime tonight. Night night. 👋😘😂⁠
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Top 10 Coolest Baby Girl Names 🎀⁠ .⁠ So you Top 10 Coolest Baby Girl Names 🎀⁠
So you’re about to have a baby girl and you’re looking for a cool name for her, right? You want a name that captures the essence of who she is and the girl and woman that you envision her becoming. A name that sets her apart and celebrates her unique gifts. A name you can imagine being written on her cubby at preschool, her college entrance essay, her first novel.⁠
You want your precious daughter to have a name that will convey all the qualities and values that you hope she will embody: you need a name fit for a queen, an astronaut, a good friend, a doctor, a professional athlete, a spiritual leader, a wonderful mother, a nurse, an activist, a scholar, a student, a leader, a follower, a good person—any of the things you imagine she can and will become in her lifetime.⁠
Finding a cool baby girl name may seem like a daunting task. There are so many options! Research shows that names for baby girls are currently trending towards representations of nature, gemstones, and food. Also growing in popularity for girls’ names are names that are not common girls names at all—such as names that have been traditionally used for boys, or last names. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
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📷: @mochi.sucre
Major reasons why you can never spoil a newborn. ❤️⁠
📷: @renee.barendregt & @gentleparenting_memes
When Do You Start Showing in Pregnancy? 🤰⁠
Every woman is different when she begins showing in pregnancy. I remember clearly the day I finally saw my beloved baby bump. It was a Monday and I was at work. I saw myself in the bathroom mirror and smiled broadly at my suddenly noticeable bump. Glowing, I rubbed my little tummy as I checked out my new, different-looking profile in the mirror. My office friends had noticed that morning as well and had complimented me and my little bump. Naturally, I took a selfie. I was so excited to see that I was finally showing. I couldn’t stop smiling all day! 😊 {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
⁠📷: @matfelipe
"It doesn't matter if you have a newborn, a toddle "It doesn't matter if you have a newborn, a toddler, or a teenager. These are the things our children need to feel from those around them. The same things that you and I even as adults want to feel from those around us. We want to feel seen. We want to be soothed when we are hurt. We want to feel safe when we are with people. We want to feel secure in our relationships with others. We don't outgrow the need to feel those things. In a crazy world, let your children feel those things. Let them know 'Hey, I see you. I see you're sad or mad. I am here with a hug when you're ready and if you need it. You are safe to feel how you feel and be who you are. You don't have to worry about my love for you. Be secure in that. Bad times or good times, I am here for you and I love you.' Because how good does it feel when we feel that way from those around us?"⁠
Words & 📷: @thebuonamama
We learn as we go. It's okay to make mistakes. Ack We learn as we go. It's okay to make mistakes. Acknowledge them, and once you know better, do better. ❤️⁠
(quote via Karen Kleiman from "This Isn't What I Expected")
What Color Eyes Will Your Baby Have? 👁️⁠
Expecting parents often wonder what their baby will look like once he's born. 🤔 Will she have light or dark hair? Will she inherit your freckles? What color eyes will your baby have? When I was pregnant with my son, my husband and I had fun wondering these same things. Would he have a round face? Would he have my nose? My husband’s cheeks? The only thing we knew for sure was that he would have deep brown eyes and dark brown hair, just like his mom and dad. Or so we thought.⁠ 😮 {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: Jennifer Hill Robenault⁠
⁠📷: @amymelissaphoto
My Favorite Cloth Diapering Systems 👶⁠ .⁠ T My Favorite Cloth Diapering Systems 👶⁠
Think diaper changing is straight forward and simple? Not so fast for the cloth diapering mamas. While cloth diapers generally save us quite a bit of cash after that initial investment 💰, it does require a bit of a process, and a good cloth diapering system, to make it less time-consuming. The good news? Once you have it down and have the right tools on hand, it doesn’t have to be all that difficult at all. 🙌 Here are some favorite cloth diapering systems (and tips) that make diaper changes (and cleaning) way more manageable.⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: Rebecca Jacobs⁠
📷: @thetuckertribe5⁠
Yes, Yes, YES!!! ❤️ Yes, Yes, YES!!! ❤️
Sometimes a good soak in the tub with some bath sa Sometimes a good soak in the tub with some bath salts, a face scrub, and some cucumber slices can make your day. 😍⁠
📷: @jhonnycurran
First of all, we think all moms are incredible. 💕 Today’s shoutout goes to the career moms. We know the struggles because we are you. May this weekend bring you all rest, peace, and joy. 🥰 Sending out all of the love and respect! 🙇‍♀️
(quote via @beyonce)
You Can't Spoil a Baby, Here's Why 👶💕⁠
The battle of opinions regarding whether or not you can spoil a baby has been raging for decades, especially among grandparents and those born during the time of little affection. Our children's great-grandparents were most likely raised with the idea that love and affection and responding to a baby's cries will spoil them and make them even fussier. While that idea might seem ludicrous to us, there's a reason such an approach was widely believed. Here's what parenting has looked like over the decades and how present-day science says you cannot spoil a baby. ❤️ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: Rachel MacPherson⁠
📷: @trinitysierra
They repeat what we do. Show them love. Love for o They repeat what we do. Show them love. Love for others and for yourself. ❤️⁠
📷: @fleurdelisspeaks⁠
Her stuff is great. Check out her page!
What Happens to a Woman's Brain When She Becomes a What Happens to a Woman's Brain When She Becomes a Mother? 🧠❤️⁠
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📷: @emfillerup
You may think that you are helping them by doing e You may think that you are helping them by doing everything for them. But there comes a time when they need to learn how to do things for themselves. ⁠
"Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." The same rule applies.⁠
We want our kids to be strong, independent, self-reliant, and successful. They learn quickly what they can get away with. Teaching them kindness and a good work ethic from the beginning goes a long way. ❤️⁠ Put the hard work in now and watch them bloom into a strong and independent adult later. 💪
(Quote via @relaxingmommy)
However you choose to feed your baby, your baby an However you choose to feed your baby, your baby and your opinion are all that matter. If you choose and are able to breastfeed, feed your baby anywhere and everywhere HOWEVER you want to . . . with or without a cover. You have rights, mama. No need to explain or cover yourself for anybody if you don't want to. 💕⁠
📷: @phoenixandtheocean
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Let’s talk about potty training! It’s one of those monumental milestones we mamas walk through with our toddlers that make them suddenly seem like they went from babies to tiny little humans overnight. And, while it can be an exciting time (and a time to save some serious cash by ditching diapers), it can also come with lots of stress. 🙃 From cleaning up potty accidents for what may seem like days (or even weeks) to wondering if you’ll ever be able to drive further than down the block without having to stop for a potty break 🤦‍♀️, potty training can be daunting.⁠
But, what many moms agree on is that once it’s done, you kinda forget about all the stress that came along with it. Kinda like pregnancy and giving birth —you just sort of forget about it all until you do it all over again.⁠ 🤪⁠
Here are five things I wish I had known about potty training before I jumped into it with my then two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Because, if I had known these things, I think I would have been a bit more laid back about the whole thing! {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
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📷: @reesetriplets
How Much Does IVF Cost?⁠ 💉⁠ .⁠ In the Uni How Much Does IVF Cost?⁠ 💉⁠
In the United States, 16.2% of married women aged 15-49 struggle with infertility. It is no surprise, then, that fertility treatments are becoming more of a necessity for couples who are faced with infertility and wish to have children. While there are many types of fertility treatments, IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is one of the most commonly known options. However, the high cost of IVF is often cited as the primary obstacle to undergoing treatment. 💸 Let's take a look at what IVF entails, and how much IVF costs. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
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📷: @lizbrownfitness
She isn't as cheerful as usual? She is being a bit She isn't as cheerful as usual? She is being a bit short with her replies back? Don't be hard on her. It more than likely has nothing to do with you. You never how many times her kids got her up last night. 😴 #bekindalways
🖌: @growupbrite
You're the reason that I breathe but also the reas You're the reason that I breathe but also the reason that I am out of breath. 😉🤪😂 #momlife
You're My Baby Forever, But My Newborn for Now⁠ You're My Baby Forever, But My Newborn for Now⁠ 💕⁠
When I had my first baby, everyone told me to enjoy the newborn stage because it goes fast, and I would miss it. But I was so exhausted and overwhelmed I didn’t believe them. 😴 While I was living through it, it felt like it took forever!⁠
If you are there now or about to enter this stage, it’s a yummy, delicious, snuggly stage. But for me, it has always been one of the harder ones, every time I go through it. So I see and feel you, mama! It’s physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting. Hold tight, though, because it doesn’t last forever.⁠
So, while you are struggling to keep your eyes open, and your mental state together, here are a few things to try to savor while your baby is still a newborn. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠
Article by: Rebecca Guez⁠
📷: unknown
Daddy Chronicles: Breastfeeding 💙⁠ by @chroni Daddy Chronicles: Breastfeeding 💙⁠
by @chroniclesofdaddy⁠
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.⁠
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.⁠
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.⁠
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.⁠
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.⁠
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 🧘‍♀️⁠
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.⁠
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!⁠}⁠
Article by: @kristen_vhmiddleton⁠
📷 taken by: @allisonermon_photography
It's been one of those days. 😑⁠ 📷: @kristy It's been one of those days. 😑⁠
📷: @kristyndingman
🙋‍♀️😂😂😂⁠ 🚜 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.⁠ ✨🤩
📷: @realtoughdad