Getting a good night’s sleep after having a baby is the ultimate challenge!
Waking up every two hours to take care of a tiny baby is the most common cause of sleep deprivation, but recovery after childbirth can cause its own set of challenges for sleep!
If you are like me and had a C-section, you may have questions about sleep positions.
I love to sleep on my stomach and was anxious to have my favorite sleeping position back, but it took some time for me to feel comfortable on my stomach again.
When can you lay on your stomach after c-section? You can lie on your stomach after your C-section is completely healed and you feel comfortable doing so. C-section scarring is typically healed after 6 weeks, and until then, try sleeping on your back, side, or in an upright position. Consult your OBGYN if you have questions regarding your healing.
Many people assume that having a C-section is an easy recovery and no big deal, but that is far from the truth.
Cesareans are major surgery, and pain and discomfort cause a myriad of challenges, especially when it comes to sleep.
After my C-Section, I needed options to get the best sleep in between each newborn wake up! Below, you will find some options for safe sleep positions post surgery.
Sleeping Positions After C-Section
When looking to get your best sleep after surgery, the following options can help you safely get the rest you need while waiting for your scar to heal.
1. Flat on Back
This classic position will put the least amount of pressure around your incision as you heal. Sleeping on your back allows your abdomen to spread, relieving tension on your abdomen and uterus.
You may be excited to sleep on your back again after your pregnancy! However, sleeping on your back may make it difficult to get in and out of bed. The log roll method can help make it easier to maneuver.
2. Semi-Upright on Back
I spent the most amount of time sitting and sleeping in this semi-upright position as I healed. By placing supportive pillows behind your back, you can align your body at a 45-degree angle with your legs extended.
Sleeping semi-upright can also help with nighttime feedings, and it can be easier to get in and out of bed.
3. On Your Side
Sleeping on your side also relieves pressure from your incision. Once I felt comfortable sleeping on my back, I quickly moved to sleeping on my side because it was the best option for me.
It can make getting out of bed easier and less painful as those muscles are learning how to work again. Sleeping on your left side can help with blood flow, digestion, and acid reflux.
4. Sitting Upright
Sitting upright is another way to sleep that takes pressure off of your wound. If your pain is keeping you awake, sleeping upright can be a great way to keep the pain at bay.
Sleeping in a recliner or on supportive pillows in an upright position may prove to be difficult for many people, but it can keep your pain at a minimum as it keeps your incision in a comfortable position.
Avoid Sleeping on Stomach for 6 Weeks
It typically takes about 6 weeks for your scar to heal completely. The recommendation from most doctors is to wait at least 6 weeks to sleep on your stomach.
For some people, the healing process can take longer.
If you are concerned about your healing process and still uncomfortable after 6 weeks, this is not uncommon, but it is best to speak with your OBGYN to rule out any complications.
Your doctor will know your unique situation and how to help you best.
A new tiny human instantly adds love and joy to your life, but it also adds stress and unknowns.
When you add healing from major surgery to the mix, anxiety can surface and reach new heights.
Deep-breathing exercises and grounding can help you sleep and aid your recovery. Meditation might be your cup of tea, or you might find progressive muscle relaxation more helpful.
These are all great techniques for calming your nervous system, but it’s important to try different relaxation techniques to find what works best for you.
As you progress through your recovery and motherhood, do not hesitate to seek professional help when you need it.
How Long Does C-Section Incision Take To Heal?
It typically takes 6 weeks to completely heal from your surgery. However, this can vary from person to person. For some people, it can take up to a year before they feel completely back to normal.
It is important to remember that you just had major surgery and to be patient with yourself and your healing. Reach out to your doctor with any concerns or if you are still in pain after 6 weeks.
What To Avoid After C-Section
After your surgery, avoid strenuous exercise until your doctor gives you the okay. Do not lift anything heavier than your baby, and drink plenty of fluids to avoid constipation.
You should not enter hot tubs or public pools. Stairs should be limited. Do not have sex or use tampons until your OBGYN has given you the green light. This is typically around 6 weeks.
Sitting Positions After C-Section
When sitting in a chair after your surgery, push your back all the way toward the back of the chair.
Your feet should be touching the floor to support your abdomen and posture and ease the pressure on your incision. It can be helpful to use pillows to support your back.
How Do I Know My C-Section Incision Is Healing?
When healing properly, your scar will start to turn pink instead of red, and the tenderness should reduce around the scar. Numbness is normal and can last for weeks or for years.
If your incision is leaking, it could mean you are not healing correctly. Let your doctor know if you have concerns.
Can You Take Melatonin When Breastfeeding?
There is not enough evidence to know for sure how melatonin affects your milk, your supply, or your baby, so it’s best to refrain from taking it until you’ve spoken with your doctor.
If you are anxious to sleep on your stomach again, you will most likely need to wait about 6 weeks!
In the meantime, the sleeping positions mentioned above should help you get the best and most comfortable sleep!
Mom of three (including identical twin boys), wife, and owner of Parents Wonder. This is my place to share my journey as a mother and the helpful insights I learn along the way.