Our little one has just turned one and it got me thinking about some of the blogs I’ve started this year and never finished. Anyway, here is one of them. How to help out when your partner has had a caesarean section, or c-section as I’m going to refer to it because I’m lazy.
I’m not going to go too much in to what a c-section is. The NHS website and the Tommy’s do a much better job of that than I ever could but basically, it’s when they need to cut through your partners abdomen to get the baby out. Some c-sections are planned, some are not but as you can imagine, it’s not a small surgery and it is definitely not comfortable afterwards.
Anyway, that’s enough about that. Here are a few ways you can help support your partner if she has a c-section:
Help her to get around
Your partner won’t be moving round much after a c-section and when she does, she’s going to need your help. This will start from pretty much minute. Getting in and out of bed, getting in and out the car, walking pretty much anywhere, getting in the shower, washing.
Help out with feeding
This is a big one too. Picking up the baby is a no-no, so consider yourself a human taxi from cot to boob. No matter how close that may be. When your baby is feeding make your partner comfortable. Breastfeeding is uncomfortable enough as it is for a lot of mams, doing that after having your abs cut apart isn’t going to make it any more fun. Cushions, taking the baby to burp, moving the baby around to get them into the right position. All stuff you can help to do. Bringing drinks and biscuits will always go down well too.
If you’re bottle feeding with formula or expressed, do the feeds. It’s not a chore, you can bond with your child.
More ‘bonding’ time for you and your baby. Seriously though, your partner does not need to be bending over a bed, kneeling on the floor or leaning over a changing table to sort out a dirty nappy.
Make sure she can get the rest she needs
Having a new baby is a busy time anyway. Family and friends will be wanting to visit, you’re adjusting to a new life and the general sense of panic to start with will mean getting rest will be difficult.
You can help by playing gatekeeper. Sometimes it’ll be planning in down time between visitors, sometimes it’ll be calling in the cavalry (yes, even the MiL) to help out when required or taking your little one (and any others you may) out of mam’s way so she can get the rest she needs.
Help manage pain relief
A heady mix of ibuprofen and paracetamol (or whatever else is prescribed, I’m not a doctor, please don’t take that as medical advice) is likely to be needed initially too. Consider yourself an honourary dispenser at the Kitchen Drawer Pharmacy. Keep them in stock and keep her on the right schedule.
Do stuff around the house
You might already do this stuff, you might not. But you’re going to need to keep on top of the housework. Cleaning, keeping the fridge full, washing, hoovering, prepping meals. Everything.
Finally, just be there.
Just being there can be a big support for your partner, emotionally as well as some of the physical things I mentioned earlier. I’m sure there are plenty of other things you can do too. If you’re ever in doubt, just ask her.