A few months ago I shared some tips about how to mentally prepare for a scheduled c-section. Before I posted it, my train of thought went something like:
What should I write about next? Oh yeah, my feelings of triumph after this whole c-section ordeal. That sounds good. My readers all have babies and people with babies like talking about birth. Of course, my readers are interested in cloth diapers which means they probably are all about *natural* birth and might not be interested in reading about a c-section. Worse yet, they’ll brand me a traitor to the crunchy side. They are going to leave boos and hisses in the comments and tell me I should have tried harder to avoid needing a c-section. Oh, crap. What am I doing? They’re all going to hate it.
Sometimes I over-think things.
Thankfully, I was wrong and the post was well-received. I feel wonderful knowing my ideas have helped other moms get some of their fears out of the way before welcoming their babies into the world via c-section.
Gift Ideas for a C-Section Mom
Today’s post is for those of you who may not have ever had a c-section but are looking for ways to support and encourage someone else who’s about to have one.
- An assortment of delicious, healthy snacks. Hospital meals are unlikely to wow her, and hunger will probably strike in the middle of the night when the baby wants to nurse.
- Lactation cookies. With ingredients like oats and brewer’s yeast, “lactation cookies” can help boost milk supply. As if any woman needs an extra incentive for eating cookies after giving birth.
- No-skid socks. Hospital floors are slick, and the first few times she walks after the c-section may be a bit scary. These cute no-skid socks will keep her feet warm and prevent her from slipping. (Bonus: they can also be worn for pilates or yoga!)
- A nursing nightgown. Hospital gowns are just so “blah”, and they’re not very modest. They require taking your arms out of them to breastfeed, which can be awkward if you have visitors and don’t want to feel naked in front of them – not to mention that oh-so-breezy feeling you get from behind. A soft, stretchy, and pretty nursing nightgown like this will make her feel less like a hospital patient and more like the beautiful mother she is!
- The “My Brest Friend” pillow. In spite of its eyeroll-inducing name, this pillow is actually fabulous. The adjustable waist buckle allows a snug fit that’s great both for nursing a newborn and for protecting the tender incision area.
- Water bottle with insulating sleeve. I have two of these Camelbak bottles; one to keep on each side of me so that I can gulp water while nursing no matter which side baby is on. They don’t have to sit upright on a table and the insulating sleeve keeps condensation off the bed, sofa, or whatever surface you set it on.
- Portable speakers. A c-section mama will likely be in the hospital for about three days after baby’s birth, so the ability to listen to her own music is a nice way to relax and feel at home.
Other Ways to Help a C-Section Mom
Of course, if you don’t have the money for a gift or if you’re just more of the “acts of service” love-language type (one of my favorite books), there are many additional ways to show your support for someone recovering from a c-section.
- Vacuuming. Did you know that you’re not supposed to operate a vacuum for at least six weeks after a c-section? While that might sound like a welcome excuse to avoid housework, the dirty floors in my house drove me crazy. I felt strange about coming right out and asking people to vacuum for me, even if they had asked what they could do to help. “Yes, minion. Vacuum my floors. Then wash my feet with your tears and give me a pedicure.” If you’re visiting a friend who’s recovering from a c-section, my suggestion is to ask her where to vacuum is and get to work without waiting for her to ask!
- Babysitting older kids. Another thing a c-section mom shouldn’t be doing in the first six weeks is lifting anything over about 20 pounds. I felt sad and a bit guilty that I wasn’t able to give my toddler piggy-back rides or horse around with him while I was recovering. I always felt grateful when friends and family would entertain him like that for me!
- Bringing meals. The gift of food is always appreciated after a baby is born. Consider bringing things that are different than the typical dinner meals - breakfast items like homemade granola, fresh yogurt, and fruit; kid-friendly snacks if there are older children in the family; or wait until about two months after the baby is born when no one else is bringing meals anymore but mom and dad are still sleep-deprived.
What other ideas would you add for someone looking for ways to show support and encouragement to a mom after her c-section?