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C-Section recovery not only includes taking care of the incision and supporting your abdominal muscles but getting good SLEEP is incredibly important for your postpartum recovery. So you may be wondering, how do you sleep after having a c-section?
After having a C-section it is best to sleep on your back or on your side. Both sleeping positions will relieve pressure off your incision and provide support to your abdominal muscles.
Postpartum recovery after a c-section can take anywhere from 6 weeks up to a few months. Your recovery time is dependent on how well you follow your doctor’s instructions and take care of yourself.
Below you will find more information on how to sleep, get out of bed and breastfeed after a C-section. I have also provided a complete list of general dos and don’ts to follow after your cesarean delivery.
How Do You Sleep After Having a C-Section?
After having a C-section you want to sleep in a position that alleviates pressure off your incision and provides support to your abdominal muscles. There are two positions you can sleep in after having a C-section:
On Your Back
Sleeping on your back takes the most pressure off your incision site. You will want to make sure you use the bridging method or log roll to get in and out of bed if you chose to sleep on your back. More on how to get out of bed in the next session (plus a video)!
Did you know obstructive sleep apnea is suuuper common after having a baby, but especially for moms who delivered via a cesarian section? You can add a pillow behind your neck/back so you are sleeping at an incline (around 45°). Sleeping at an incline will help keep your airway open while you sleep.
On Your Side
Another position you can sleep in after your C-section is on your side. Sleeping on your side makes it easier to get out of bed while still providing relief to your incision site. Sometimes it is most comfortable to position pillows along your back and stomach to provide extra support to your back and/or between your legs to support your hips.
Side sleeping is perfect for breastfeeding moms. You can have your partner hand you the baby for night feeds and you nurse in the side-lying position. This will allow you to easily move to get comfortable with your baby, but without having to get in and out of bed, pick up the baby, etc. etc.
How to Get Out Of Bed After a C-Section?
Anytime you have major abdominal surgery or back surgery it is SUPER important that you use specific methods to safely get in and out of bed. You want to protect your body and eliminate painful movement.
You can get out of bed using the bridging method or log roll method. Using one of these methods to get in and out of bed will help to avoid activating and straining your abdominal muscles, as well as protecting your incision from opening back up.
Let’s dive into these two methods a bit more…
The Log Roll Method
Your postpartum nurse will likely want to try and get you up and moving just a few hours post-op, rather you have a C-section or natural birth. The log roll method is the most commonly used method to get out of bed after abdominal surgery and is likely what he/she will teach you.
The Bridging Method
The bridging method is another safe way you can get in and out of bed. It is not as commonly taught in hospitals or used after surgery, but may work better for you than the log roll methos. I have provide a step-by-step guide to teach you how to use the bridging method below.
Start lying flat on your back with your hands at your side, then:
- Bend your knees.
- Press your feet into the bed.
- Lift your hips.
- While your hips are lifted rotate your hips, so one hip is directly above the other.
- Rest your bottom hip on the bed.
- Use your arms to push up into a seated position with your feet hanging off the bed.
I encourage you to try out both methods to get in and out of bed to see which one works best for you. Remember that it is normal to feel a bit lightheaded and dizzy when you have finished pushing yourself up. Take a few moments (even minutes) to feel right before you stand up and start walking.
Can I Breastfeed After a C-Section?
Here are a few tips that will help you navigate breastfeeding after a C-section:
- Make sure you chose a breastfeeding position that is comfortable and provides support to your stomach and incision – football or side-lying position.
- Safely co-sleep with your little one and have your partner help you with getting baby situated for feedings.
- Take pain medications your doctor prescribes to you for pain when needed – he/she should provide medications that are safe for you and baby while breastfeeding.
- Follow your postpartum C-section care instructions to promote healing and recovery.
If you find you are struggling with breastfeeding after having a C-section, then please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. You can always reach out to me privately with any questions or concerns.
Postpartum C-Section Dos and Don’ts
Let’s Wrap It Up
Hopefully, the information above leaves you better informed on how to take care of yourself after having a C-section. Self-care is extremely important in helping you heal and recover – that includes sleep!