April is C-Section Awareness Month (Facebook Cover)

C-Section Awareness Month

“I had one.  I gave up.  My body failed me.  It was a life saver.  It was the worst recovery ever.  All that, and only to end up on the surgical table surrounded by sterile faceless dictators that brought my baby into this world listening to the Beatles.”  I’ve said every single one of these things, probably within 24 hours of each other.  Cesareans are no joke.  Whether they are planned, a well thought out decision or an emergency call, having your body cut open, your baby forcibly removed from your womb and calling that “birth,” can be a bit traumatizing.  

This month we recognize C-Section mommas and do our best to bring awareness to those who have endured this often life changing event, those who will, and those who witness said events.  

The process of a C-section is a little more detailed and intricate than I ever thought.  My husband was able to witness the entire thing, later comparing it to hunting season when they would clean the deer…thanks honey.  I won’t bore you with all the steps but long story short, there are 7, SEVEN layers that are cut through to deliver a baby via cesarean.  Not to mention the intensive (but often very relieving) spinal block or epidural.  

Recovering from a Cesarean looks different for everyone but I’d like to share with you my personal tips and tricks should you ever find yourself in need lifting your new bundle of joy after having them cut out of you. 

1.  Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy:  As mentioned above, there are several layers of tissue a doctor has to cut through in order to deliver a baby this way, and because of that, I believe ALL women should see a pelvic floor PT for evaluation and care after enduring such a major surgery.  If you had a minor knee surgery you would be referred to Physical Therapy post operation, why on earth aren’t we recommending this for new moms?  We actually work with a pelvic floor PT who has space in our office so that it’s easier for moms to have access to this type of care. 

2.  Helichrysum and other Essential Oils:  If you’re going into the hospital knowing that C Section is a probability, or maybe it’s scheduled and you’re walking into the OR and helping yourself onto the surgical table (such a weird feeling) then bring some Helichrysum with you.  This amazing essential oil can be put onto the scar and has been known to facilitate faster healing.  I even have moms in my office swearing that Helichrysum saved them multiple visits to the ER for stiches.  I put this directly onto my incision and the nurse had a hard time getting the staples out of my skin a couple short days later. 

3. Move: If you work out, do it under the supervision of a personal trainer that specializes in the postpartum period.  If you go back too quickly or even wait a long time but start exercising incorrectly it could cause severe pelvic floor dysfunction which can lead to incontinence, prolapse, and pain.  Locally, we have a BIRTHFIT trainer that we refer to.  There’s several programs that trainers can take to help you so check their references and make sure they have a passion for serving new moms. 

4.  Get Adjusted:  Of course I’d have to sneak this one in there, but seriously get adjusted.  Postpartum chiropractic care is probably more important than prenatal chiropractic.  For no other reason than, we just tend to ignore our moms after they deliver.  It’s sad really.  Go through this major life event, take home this amazing new life form, and good luck momma!  See you in 6 weeks!  Sometimes we are the only ones checking on mom’s mental health, baby’s latch, mom’s bleeding pattern, baby’s reflexes, and both of their overall well being.  I cannot stress this enough.  Get adjusted. 

5.  Do the work: before you go into labor.  We have this awesome saying in our profession, “know what you need to know before you need to know it.”  It’s a great reminder to me to keep on working, keep on learning, keep on telling the world what we know so far.  The best way to recover from a C-Section is to do everything possible to avoid it before you’re in the delivery room.  Yes, chiropractic, Physical Therapy, massage, acupuncture, spinning babies and other exercises can help physically.  But are you ready for the physical pain?  Are you ready emotionally to be pushed to your absolute limit?  There’s no way to tell, but training a head of time is a great way to push yourself to that limit so that you’re ready to say ‘no’ to interventions when offered them in a hospital.  We took Hypnobirthing classes, and they were a lifesaver!  My husband was a little apprehensive at first but really grew to love the sessions and learned so much that he felt empowered to stand up for me should I feel the need to cave.  

In conclusion.  C-section is performed far too often in this country.  There are about to be memes all over social media this month saying, “one in three is too many.”  And they’re right.  Many women undergo this extensive surgery unaware of their options.  Some are just too fearful to go about birth without the use of drugs and surgery, others have been made to believe they “can’t,” do it, or “shouldn’t” put their body through such stressors.  Maybe this is true, but maybe just maybe it’s time to get a second opinion and consider another provider.  You don’t have to be a slave, a statistic or just another patient on their table.  Find people in your area that can help you, and have the birth you want.  

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