Childbirth, no doubt, puts your body over a trauma, resulting in exhaustion, which can only be remedied with great rest. If it is a c-section delivery, you need to have some extra rest to get healed and recovered from the surgery. So, having enough sleep after a cesarean section is very essential to stay healthy and to gain enough energy to meet all the demands of your newborn.
This post from MomandCare assists you understand the efficiency of sleep after cesarean delivery.
The Prominence Of Sleep After A C-Section
The right sleeping position will always keep you comfortable and lessens the stress or pressure at the place of surgery. It even helps you get out of the bed comfortably, with less discomfort, enhances better breathing and sound sleep. It lessens the stress on the abdominal muscles, and moreover, reduces the risk to the incision.
Why Will It Be Difficult To Sleep Well After A C-Section?
The increased level of hormones and abdominal size during pregnancy and postpartum period will affect the airways, thus, causing a condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). This may result in certain breathing difficulties and failing of the airways while sleeping. These problems, combined with the extreme pain of the cesarean, make it hard to sleep.
The Best Positions To Sleep In After A Cesarean Delivery
The given below are some of the possible ways that you can try sleeping in after a c-section delivery. Have a note that these might or might not work for you and it completely depends on the level of comfort and ease you develop with the position.
On your back:
In maximum number of cases, this is the most comfortable position in the initial days and weeks after the surgery. There will be no pressure on the incision when you sleep in this position. You can also place a pillow below your knees to get an extra comfort. The downsides might include difficulty in getting out of the bed or sitting up as it puts some strain on the incision place. Moreover, it is not suggested if you have any abnormal blood pressure.
On your side:
This position will be more comfortable right after delivery. There won’t be any pressure on the incision place, and it will be less painful while getting out of the bed. Good to sleep on the left side as it helps in optimal blood flow and enhances digestion. Moreover, you can use pillows to support your hips and abdomen. It is the best sleeping position to consider if you are suffering with any blood pressure related problems.
Elevating your upper body:
Support your upper body with a number of pillows so that the complete body is raised. It helps in better breathing and also eases out sleeping, particularly if you are experiencing OSA. If elevating your entire body is not possible, make use of pillows under your hips and in between your knees.
If you are not comfortable with all the above positions, you may try sleeping while sitting on a chair or couch with the support of pillows. This is the temporary sleeping position, but definitely makes your job much easier when breastfeeding or getting out from sleep. You can get good rest through recliners in the first two weeks of c-section.
Tips To Improve Your Sleep While Recovering From Cesarean
You need to have enough amount of sleep in order to recover quickly from the cesarean. Here is what all you need to do to have better sleep.
- Stick to the medication, which your doctor has prescribed to get a good sleep.
- Start your day with light exercises and movements that too with your doctor’s approval. Light stretching activities and short walks will tone your muscles; boosts blood circulation, speed up the healing process and lowers stress thus, promoting better sleep.
- Maintain a well-balanced diet as is helps you for quick healing. Intake of foods that is rich in vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids will decrease the inflammation and gives you quick recovery. It will, thus, help you get good sleep.
- Drink enough water and try to add fiber to your diet as it keeps constipation at bay. Ask your doctor to prescribe some stool softeners for smooth bowel movements as it improves your sleep.
- Not good to move out of the bed frequently in the first few weeks. Get assistance from your family to get your infant when needed for breastfeeding.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to get out of bed safely after a c-section?
Just try rolling onto one side once you want to get out of the bed as it needs a less effort. If you want to have support, ask your family member for assistance while you are getting out of the bed. Make use of your elbow to support and try to push yourself to a seated position with your legs dropping over the side of your bed. Place your feet on the ground first and rest for a while before standing.
2. Can we sleep on stomach after c-section?
No. You cannot sleep on your belly immediately after a cesarean as the surgical place will be tender, and any strain on it may worsens the pain. Your body will respond when the pain falls down, and then you can sleep on your stomach when you feel relaxed.
It might take you some time to find the perfect sleeping position after the c-section. So have some patience and try out the positions until you find the comfortable one. You feel discomfort until your pain lessens and after that you will come to know when your body is set to sleep in any position.
Disclaimer: These sleeping positions are only for informational purpose, and they do not intend to be alternatives for any medical advice.