There is no ‘easy’ way to give birth. Whether you go naturally or c-section, there are pros and cons and a number of risks involved. My first c-section was a was a breeze, my second, not so much. I won’t get into the details, but there were a few things I was extremely happy I had at home to help with my recovery.
Here are my suggested must-have items if you’re having a c-section:
After a c-section, your doctor will tell you can’t lift over 10lbs, which basically means you can only carry your baby, and that’s about it. For my second baby, I found the DockATot to be a lifesaver for multiple reasons:
1 – It’s really light, so I could carry it from room to room on my own.
2 – My son loved it. Xavier would relax and play in it for an hour (with the toy bar).
3 – The cover is washable – this is key for those newborn blowouts!
I could carry the DockATot into different rooms and use it as a place where I could lay my son down to rest/play and free up my hands. We’ll also be taking this on vacation with us for Xavier to play and sleep in. Xavier is so cozy in it!
Boppy Nursing Pillow
I’ve yet to see a baby registry without a Boppy pillow on it. There’s a good reason for this – they provide amazing comfort for nursing and/or holding babies. Even though babies are so small, they can get heavy in your arms after awhile. They provide the necessary back support for nursing or cradling babies, and fit snug around your waist, while keeping pressure off of your incision. And if you have an older child at home, they make for great ‘baby holding assistants.’
I also HIGHLY recommend bringing this to the hospital with you. Boppy pillows come in an awesome plastic carrying case that makes them easy to transport and most have washable covers. I used mine around the clock in the hospital for both my first and second son.
Meal Delivery Service
Do yourself a favor and sign up for a meal delivery service before you give birth, and have meals ready to go for when you get home. I’m not talking about Blue Apron where you still have to prepare the meals. I’m referring to meals that can be delivered, already cooked, to your door.
I’ve been using Small Potatoes Catering and it’s been a LIFE SAVER. Small Potatoes is a local (Milford, MI) in-home catering company. Each week they come out with a new menu you can select meals from, and they are delivered to your door. There is NO prep involved. The meals are fully cooked and all you have to do is put them in the oven or microwave. If you live in the metro Ann Arbor area, and want to place an order (or have questions), email them here. If you don’t live near here, search Google for a meal delivery service near you. This also makes a great gift for new moms!
Need milk? Have a nighttime craving? Company coming over to visit the baby and you want to have snacks available? Use a grocery delivery service like Instacart or Shipt to do the shopping for you. My experience with Instacart has been amazing, and usually I can get a 2 hour turnaround time for my groceries to be delivered.
As your personal shopper is shopping, he or she can contact you through the app or text message to ask questions about substitutions or specific items you have on your list. Groceries are delivered directly to your door. Sign up using this link and get $10 off your first order.
After a c-section, you may be a little sore around your incision area, and pants/shorts may irritate you. I would recommend packing a nursing nightgown for the hospital (and to wear at home), so you don’t have anything tight around your lower abdomen.
Main floor changing station or diaper caddy
If you have two floors and your baby’s room is upstairs, you will not want to go upstairs (nor should you) for every diaper change. For newborns, it seems like they need a diaper change every hour! One thing that was recommended to me by my good friend (thanks Erin!) is to have a diaper caddy filled with diapers, wipes, water bottle for mom, snacks, etc., that you can take from room to room. I kept a diaper changing mat (like this one) in my living room for quick and easy diaper changes.
We are big into strolling. We walk uptown every weekend in the Spring, Summer and Fall, and always have our stroller with us. When I first found out I was pregnant I wanted the ‘best’ stroller and bought the BOB. It’s a beautiful stroller, easy to push, roomy for kids, but it’s extremely heavy. I couldn’t lift it in and out of my trunk while I was recovering. I recommend buying a light weight stroller to start, that is compatible with your car seat.
I received a belly binder from the hospital, but you can also buy them online. I started wearing this immediately in the hospital after my surgery, and they even gave me a second one to take home. AT first it may feel weird, or be a bother to take on and off, but you’ll get use to wearing it. My wound would hurt when I laughed or coughed, but if my binder was on, it made a little more comfortable when I had to use my abs.
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