Supporting Mothers After a Cesarean Birth

Parents Home from Hospital With Newborn Baby In Nursery

Becoming a mother, especially for the first time, means an incredible roller coaster no matter how the baby arrives. Adding recovery from major abdominal surgery into the mix means special support may be needed for the mom who just gave birth by cesarean. Even if the mother has already had previous children, when you add major surgery, you've got a mom who really needs help. Here are some ways to show your care and concern for a new mom recovering from her cesarean.


Regardless of the means of birth, blood loss normally means a more difficult recovery with less energy and slower healing. A cesarean is major abdominal surgery and typically results in more blood loss than a vaginal birth. A unique gift idea for a recovering mama is a bottle of a product like Floradix which is high in bioavailable iron. Cooking up a high protein meal in an iron skillet is an easy way to increase the iron content of the food, and every new mom is grateful to have a nice home-cooked meal.

For a mom who's had a cesarean section, getting iron stores back up can require more than just continuing to take prenatal vitamins.


As a preventative measure, antibiotics are given by IV during a cesarean surgery. Most mothers aren't even aware that they are being given antibiotics as their focus is on the arrival of their baby. Reminding a mom that she needs to replenish her "good bacteria" after a dose of antibiotics can help her avoid what is a common complication after a cesarean: thrush. Thrush (yeast) can make her breastfeeding experience more painful and difficult. Taking a probiotic supplement can help the body's ecology get back to normal faster, and help the new mom avoid the extra frustration of dealing with thrush.

Scar Support

For the first few days, many mothers find that it is difficult to move around freely and they may find themselves doing the "cesarean hunch" with their back and shoulders. Wearing a binder or stomach/back support of some kind can be very helpful in alleviating some of that discomfort. Sticking a menstrual pad horizontally to the front of your underwear can provide some padding and relief against the scar as you move around or hold your baby.

A Listening Ear

Not all women have negative emotions surrounding their cesareans. But for those who do, they might find it hard to express them freely as there is great pressure to just "be happy you have a healthy baby." Mothers who have had a cesarean do feel happy they have a healthy baby, but they can also feel sad about the way their baby arrived. Giving her a new mother's journal or following up with short phone calls a couple of times a week is a thoughtful way to keep checking in and making sure she is recovering well.

There are many ways to show support and care in the early postpartum days. The events of birth and becoming a new mother can be as different as the women who experience them. If you listen first to what the mother herself is expressing, you won't go wrong in responding to those needs. Call or email prior to visiting to ensure that you are meeting her needs.

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