MEM - prepare and recover from c-section

How to Prepare & Recover from C-section

Did you know 1 in 4 babies in the UK are delivered via Caesarean section (c-section)?  Some women will be offered an elective c-section from 39 weeks of pregnancy for medical reasons, whilst for some women, an emergency c-section may be the optimal choice of birthing their baby, given their individual needs and circumstances.

Our midwives have information, and top tips and advice on all aspects of c-sections, whether it is an emergency c-section, or planned, and how best to plan for your recovery 

Our midwife written blogs cover in detail what will happen on the day of your c-section, and how to plan and prepare yourself

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Top Tips


Preparing for your planned, or elective, c-section is just as important as preparing for your labour and vaginal birth.

Understanding why an emergency c-section may be offered to you and what happens during one will help you feel informed, prepared and more at ease, were you to need one.

Skin to skin contact with your newborn – this can still be an option after most c-sections. In some cases, it may not happen immediately, or it may happen initially between your baby and your partner. Just remember that all skin-to-skin contact is beneficial.

Plan for your recovery with your partner and support network ahead of time, if possible. You will have had major abdominal surgery and your recovery will be slow - you will need all the help you can get.

Side effects of a c-section that you may not expect include trapped wind (giving you shoulder pain!), difficulty and pain when coughing, laughing or getting off the sofa, and numbness around your scar

Selfcare after a c-section is essential. From looking after your wound, to getting plenty of rest and eating nourishing foods - make sure to prioritise your wellbeing

If you’ve had an emergency c-section, you may be feeling like your birth was very much removed from what you had planned or envisioned. You may feel like you have emerged as a complete birth warrior, or you may feel like you have missed out on an experience that felt really important to you. Our blog explores in more detail how you can process your feelings after birthing via c-section.

Top 5 tips for recovery from c-section

  1. Take it easy, your body needs time to mend, avoid lifting heavy objects – your abdominal muscles have been significantly weakened and lifting anything too heavy may cause you future back and abdominal muscle problems.
  2. Your body needs fresh, nutrient rich food to recover and plenty of soluble fibre (fruits, vegetables and wholegrains) to help with bowel movements.
  3. Access help wherever possible with day-to-day chores and jobs, by asking your partner, family, older children, friends for assistance or if possible, hire some help.
  4. A curved nursing cushion can provide you with support and help prevent soreness when you are resting, holding or feeding your baby.
  5. Take regular pain relief prescribed or recommended by your doctor or midwife to keep on top of your discomfort.

Download our 30+ page recovery e-book to find out more

Caesarean Section Webinar

For more detail from one of our in-house midwives you can join one of our c-section webinars for just £5 

This webinar has been developed by our expert midwives to give you a greater understanding of what happens before, during and after a planned c-section, so you know what to expect and how you can personalise your birth experience and plan for your recovery. 

Our webinar will last between 40-60 minutes and is run live by our expert inhouse midwives, although they are not interactive webinars you will get the opportunity to send in questions throughout and we aim to answer all questions at the end of webinar.

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