A C-section was probably not your friend or partner's preferred method for delivery. Now that mom's home, there is a long list of things she isn't allowed to do for many weeks. She's going to need some help, and thankfully for her there are lots of things you can do to help someone who had a C-section.
According to WebMD, it can take moms who've had C-sections four weeks or more to resume their normal activities. C-section scars are very tender, and during this time, they must be dependent on their friends, relatives, and partners to help out around the house and with tasks as seemingly simple as standing up from the couch.
Some moms feel as though they must be able to handle everything on their own. They may decline your offers to help out of pride. Many experienced moms will tell you that the biggest mistake they made when they first had children was not accepting help when it was offered.
If someone you know is recovering from a C-section, don't wait for her to ask you for help. Instead, consider one of the many things that you can do to lend her a hand throughout her recovery.
1. Offer To Clean For Her
It can take several weeks for a doctor to give a mom who's had a C-section the OK to do housework. Living with dirty floors, yucky toilets or shower floors can stress a new mom out, especially if she isn't allowed to tackle it herself. Offer to sweep, mop, wipe down counters, or even scrub down the bathroom for her. If cleaning isn't your thing, and you can afford it, offer to pay for a cleaning service to do the dirty work. One deep cleaning can last a few weeks until mama is able to resume her normal activity.
2. Bring Her A Meal
A mom recovering from a C-section will most definitely appreciate not having to prepare her own meals. Bring her some take-out on your lunch break, or drop off dinner complete with paper plates, napkins and utensils that can be tossed in the trash for easy clean up.
3. Make Her Some Healthy Snacks
Sarah Wagner, fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, of the Loyola University Health System, told The Bump that constipation is common after C-section because it takes a while for things to get back to normal when you enter the abdomen surgically. C-section moms are encouraged to eat fiber-rich foods to get things moving again. You can help by bringing her some tasty treats that are high in fiber. People are more likely to eat healthy foods if they are already prepared.
4. Pretend You Don't Hear Her Pass Gas
Air gets trapped in your abdomen after a C-section which can be painful and even cause some moms to uncontrollably pass gas. The good news is that these farts are typically not the stinky kind and the condition is usually temporary. Partners should be polite about this situation, especially if their significant other is private about her bodily functions. Holding back your farts can become painful and make nursing uncomfortable.
5. Drop Off Some Groceries
Even if you can't commit to making a meal, dropping off some grocery essentials like fruits, veggies, bread, juice, or even shampoo and bath soap can be a lifesaver for a new mom. This is especially true if she's home alone and still hasn't been given the OK to drive.
6. Help Her Pick Up The Baby
One of the biggest struggles new moms have after a C-section is bending over to pick up their baby. You can be a huge help by picking up the baby from the crib or bassinet so that mama doesn't have to strain herself.
7. Take Her Older Kids Out For The Day
Moms with older kids can definitely use a break to bond with her new baby. This is true no matter how your deliver your little one. Offer to take the older kids out for a few hours. Tucker them out with a trip to the park, feed them a healthy lunch or dinner, and offer to help bathe them and put them down for a nap or bed when they get home.
8. Be Her Temporary Chauffer
Moms should not drive for at least two weeks after having a C-section according to Medline Plus and definitely should not drive until they have weaned off their pain medication. Offer to drive her to any follow-up appointments, to run any errands, or just for a leisurely drive to get out of the house for a little while.
9. Tackle Her Laundry Pile
Laundry piles up quickly when you have a newborn baby. Moms who've just had a C-section aren't supposed to bend over to take laundry out of the dryer. Help her by tossing in a few loads, folding the clean laundry and offer to put it all away. When she sees drawers full of folded laundry and matching socks you will easily become her favorite person ever.
10. Offer To Keep An Eye On The Baby So She Can Shower/Nap/Poop
Only have a free hour? Offer to spend it hanging out with the baby so that she can take a long shower, a quick nap, or even sit on the toilet without interruption. If the baby is napping during your visit, you can use the time to wipe down her kitchen or empty the dishwasher for her.
11. Encourage Her To Walk A Little Each Day
According to WebMD, walking increases blood flow and helps prevent pneumonia, constipation, and blood clots. Once she's ready for a longer walk, offer to join her and baby in a little stroll to get her blood pumping and some much needed fresh air.