Podcast Episode #105

Caesarean recovery with a toddler

10 Tips for recovering from a c-section whilst taking care of your toddler 

Recovery from a caesarean without a toddler is hard. You’ve had major surgery. Throw in some exhaustion. Perhaps you’re in pain.

Then, throw in caring for a toddler to the mix, and it can make things more challenge.

Recovery after a caesarean is super important.  And, with a little bit of preparation whilst still pregnant, can really really help with recovery with a toddler.  

These tips below are helpful post c-section, but also these tips are actually useful for ALL pregnant women. We don’t know how birth is going to eventuate. But, whether or not you have a vaginal or a caesarean birth, I trust you will find these recommendations for recovery helpful.

CAESAREAN RECOVERY TIPS WITH A TODDLER #1

Preparation for life with a toddler + newborn whilst still pregnant

Getting used to new habits and routines whilst still pregnant, can go a long way here, to help with your caesarean recovery.

  1. Invest in some light-weight steps to move around the house. These will be helpful to reduce how much you’re having to lift your toddler.  Getting your toddler used to these steps while you’re still pregnant may help with transition to life with a newborn.
  2. Choose a Cuddle Couch.  Whilst you will be avoiding lifting your toddler in those first 6 weeks post birth, you can still have lots of cuddles.  Even whilst pregnant, getting your toddler used to cuddles on the cuddle couch (without lifting them) can work wonders.
  3. Who will be dropping your toddler at childcare / kinder etc when the baby arrives? It might be helpful to get your toddler used to your partner/ grand parent / caregiver doing these drop offs before the new bubs arrives on the scene.
  4. Keep your toddler busy in those first 6 weeks.  What can you do whilst still pregnant to prepare?  What new activities / toys / crafts would your toddler like? Visiting the local toy library, op shop, $2 shop / borrowing from friends etc….  stocking up on some items, and then hiding them until needed can be really helpful here.  Pulling out one new activity every day or so might be enough to keep your toddler busy for a few hours during the day.

CAESAREAN RECOVERY TIPS WITH A TODDLER #2

Find opportunities to lie down. Even 5 minutes rest here and there can make a big difference to how you’re feeling.  Reading your toddler books whilst lying down, or lying on the couch whilst watching your toddler play or whilst you’re on the phone are some options for introducing bursts of horizontal rest into your day.

CAESAREAN RECOVERY TIP #3

Breastfeeding:

Bringing bubs to you whilst breastfeeding, instead of hunching down to bubs.  Using pillows, a supportive chair thats comfy, feet on ground, elbows supported. 

Another game changer is being prepared.  Having items you or your toddler may need close by before you start a feed.  Water / snacks / games for toddler / books.  Board books were a total game changer for me with my toddler while feeding, as they are so much easier to hold one-handed and read to your toddler.

CAESAREAN RECOVERY TIP #4

Supportive abdominal supports.

Check out my podcast episode on pros and cons of different abdominal supports for pregnancy and  postpartum.

CAESAREAN RECOVERY TIP #5

Log roll to get out of bed.  First roll onto your side, then push up with your hands into sitting (rather than doing a sit up from lying).  Will help reduce pain and take the stress/strain off your abdominal area.

CAESAREAN RECOVERY TIP #6

Meal planning. Check out this podcast episode with postpartum doula Naomi for more information.

CAESAREAN RECOVERY TIP #7

Treat your pain. Touch base with your medical team and healthcare provider for your pain management plan.

CAESAREAN RECOVERY TIP #8

Involve your toddler.  Your toddler might like to help with tasks involved with the baby (for example fetching a nappy for the baby).  My toddler also used to love their toy baby at this stage. Every time I changed the baby’s nappy, my toddler would change their toy baby’s nappy.

Involving your toddler with appropriate baby games, teaching them how to sing to your bubs, play peek aboo / make funny faces to your baby etc.

CAESAREAN RECOVERY TIP #9

Walking – regular walking is important, but so is not overdoing it. 

My golden rule postpartum includes starting with short walks (eg 5 minutes around the house), and building up slowly, 5 minutes extra every week.

When you do set out for a walk, have a back up plan for your toddler.  Do you need someone to come with you to help with your toddler for those first few weeks? Do you have a scooter board on the back of your pram in case your toddler refuses to get into the pram seat? What will you do if your toddler has a tantrum and how will you get them home safely?  Thinking about your game plan, whatever it is,, before you set out for your walk can help big time here.

CAESAREAN RECOVERY TIP #10

Re-invest back into your body. Find yourself a postnatal rehab plan.  Regaining your strength with a toddler + newborn will be even more important for you. 

This is where FitNest can help you with quality, convenient short workouts you can do from the comfort of your home, whilst your bubba sleeps, and your toddler is running around.  Check out the free trial at www.fitnestmama.com.

Episode Links

Free Pregnancy Workshop

FitNest Mama Website

FitNest Mama Instagram: @fitnestmama

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