When your baby has been born by caesarean after a long failed VBAC attempt, your milk isn’t coming in fast enough, and you’re tired, what do you do? Wear your baby!
Babywearing post-caesarean doesn’t have to be a difficult thing. In fact, it can solve a lot of problems. All that close contact helps with bonding after a difficult birth, and can help get the hormones working for milk production. It’s also a good way to settle a baby when mum needs her sleep too. And when mum isn’t able to lift a pram out of the car boot for six weeks post-birth, a sling makes it easier to get out of the house. For me, the best thing about babywearing post-caesarean was that it was something I could do that was good for my baby. I can’t give birth the way I want to, and breastfeeding is much harder than I’d like it to be. But putting my baby in a sling and just getting on with life keeps her happy, and that makes me feel like the best mum in the world.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when babywearing post-caesarean. First, the stomach wound needs to be protected. I found that it helped to use a sling that didn’t cover my lower abdomen. Ring slings were ideal as I could keep baby’s weight above my belly button.
Second thing is to be aware of the side effects of pain medication. Drugs like morphine, endone, and paracetomol with codeine can make you drowsy. If you’re too drowsy to walk properly, go to bed and let someone else look after the baby til it’s time for the next feed. Pain medication can also mask your body telling you it’s time to back off on physical activity. All newborn babywearers need to start slowly and build up the period of time they carry their baby, but you should be extra cautious if you’re taking pain medication.
I began carrying Jools on day four after her caesarean birth. My milk came in on day 5. I had a 39 hour labour, ending with a ruptured uterus. There were two separate wound infections that took over 10 weeks to clear up, plus mastitis a couple of times in the first few months at home. But the babywearing was perfect – I could easily wear her for up to four hours at a time, and had to wake her up for feeds. With Billy, I started babywearing on day three post-caesarean – the first day that I could shuffle out of my room at the maternity ward. Once again, breastfeeding helped me to keep my baby happy while looking after my toddler and pre-schooler at home.
Have you worn a baby after a caesar? When did you start? What worked for you? What did you wish you had known beforehand? Leave a comment and let us know!