If you are reading this you may have had an emergency or scheduled C-section or simply doing some research to prepare yourself for birth outcomes.
You may be wondering if you can carry your baby in a baby carrier after having a cesarean section.
For most mothers that answer is yes! Absolutely!
It may take a little longer to feel comfortable and certain variations may need to be made, but assuming there are no medical complications, having a C-section does not mean you cannot use a baby carrier.
As a three times emergency cesarean mother I have outlined 5 factors to consider if you plan to use a baby carrier after a C-section. I personally was not comfortable using a carrier until approximately 2 weeks postnatal. My preferred carrier was a ring sling as they are soft, quick and easy to use and provide a high carry well away from the incision site.
1. Seek Medical Advice
Seek advice from your trusted medical care provider before using a baby carrier. After all, you just underwent major abdominal surgery! Whether it be an Obstetrician, Midwife or Women’s Physio it is important to determine that there were no complications of the surgery that could be exasperated by carrying your baby in a baby carrier
2. Take your time
Give your body time to heal. In the early days after giving birth some women (myself included) struggled to stand upright for days after the surgery and walking was more of a slow shuffle. Monitor your pain levels and wait until you are able to stand up-right holding bub in arms comfortably with minimal-no pain before even attempting to use your carrier. The more strain you put on your body immediately after birth, the longer it will take for you to heal.
3. Listen to your body
If you feel uncomfortable or feel increased pain while using a baby carrier you should discontinue use until your pain subsides. If pain persists seek medical advice. Start small with short durations and build up over time. It takes time to build up your muscles to carry your baby, even longer while recovering from surgery. Recovering from a cesarean is a marathon, not a sprint.
4. Avoid Heavy Lifting
For the first 6-8 weeks while recovering from surgery you should avoid heavy lifting. Avoid carrying anything heavier than your baby. Despite being “hands-free” while carrying your baby in a carrier you should avoid carrying anything else, for example, a nappy bag.
5. Avoid carriers that put pressure on your scar
Carriers with structured waistbands are likely to put pressure on your scar and feel uncomfortable. Carriers with very soft waistbands or no waistband are best.
Do not compare yourself to someone else. Everybody is different. Every BIRTH is different. Be kind to yourself, listen to your body, take it easy (easier said than done I know!) and do not try to do too much too quickly.
*Disclaimer* this is a personal opinion blog and should not be taken as medical advice. Please speak to your health care provider for personalized advice.
Feature Photo courtesy of @AlyceColemanDoula