Although a C-section may be more strictly controlled than a vaginal birth you can still have some control over your experience.
Talk to your consultant about your scar appearance.
A conversation with your consultant or midwife can make a huge difference with your recovery. One thing you can talk about is the scar and closure. You can let them know that you would like the scar to look as flat as possible which will create less scar tissue.
Undermining is a technique that can be used to close the incision which can create less scar tissue giving it a better appearance. You can let them know that you don’t mind being on the table a little longer so that they can take their time closing the would if this is something you are OK with. It might be a really uncomfortable conversation to have but if this is something that you feel is important to you then it is worth mentioning it.
Another conversation you can have is about getting baby to you as soon as possible for some skin to skin time. Sometimes they will have to do some tests and checks right away but you can let them know that you would like baby to be placed on you directly after.
You can also talk about things like delayed cord clamping, or breastfeeding on the table if you are comfortable doing so. Sometimes because of the medication they give you, baby can be a bit sluggish so the quicker you get baby onto the breast the easier that transition can go.
C-sections are a major abdominal surgery so it can create a lot of inflammation. Controlling that inflammation is good because it helps with the healing process. One thing we can control during a planned c-section is what goes into our body before and after.
Hospital food is usually high inflammatory foods with lots of sugar and carbs. You can meal prep some breakfast options as well as some meals to take to the hospital with you. Hydration is also key before, during, and after your c-section to help decrease the amount of inflammation.
Prepare a Desensitization Kit
You can sometimes experience sensitive skin in the surgical area. This is because they cut through your tissue and your cutaneous nerves. Cutaneous nerves are peripheral nerves that give your skin sensation. There are ways to help them become less sensitive as they regrow.
Prior to your c-section, you can create a nerve desensitization kit. This is basically a kit with materials with different textures. At first, you can use soft materials like a fuzzy cotton ball or a piece of silk. Later, you can use rougher textures such as towels, paper towels, felt, soft velcro, corduroy, and sandpaper. Rub the C-section incision area with the material for 5-10 minutes at a time. At first, it will feel a bit weird because you are actually slightly irritating the nerve to encourage it to heal faster. YOu can start desensitizing on a daily basis starting a week after your C-section.
Make your essentials as easy to reach as possible
It’s hard to move after a c-section so you want to have everything accessible and high. That way you don’t have to bend over and reach for everything you need. You will want to set up your home before your c-section. Set up a station where you can feed your baby(bottle-feeding or breastfeeding). You want to keep things like you feeding supplies, feeding pillow, water, snacks, remotes etc.
Since you will need to take it slow for the first few weeks after your c-section, you will want to plan ahead. If you are the cook in your house, make sure you make some freezer meals or planning what you are going to eat beforehand. These can be things that you don’t have to make.
Best of luck! Hope this helps in your recovery and healing!