Friday, July 31, 2009

Using a Baby Sling after a C-Section

If you had a c-section to have your baby, then you know that recovery can be painful, and longer than that for a vaginal delivery. That being said, here are some tips from someone who has a variety of childbirth experiences (1 hospital vaginal birth, with all the trappings; 1 homebirth waterbirth; and 1 c-section).
First off, know your history and your family history when it comes to sensitivity to antibiotics. They will give you at least 1 bag in your IV after a c-section, so you need to know if you or anyone in your immediate family has had a reaction to a certain medicine. I say this only because the ones they gave me made me sick, and thus dehydrated, which led to a decreased production of breast milk and my little losing a lot of weight in his first few days.
Now, as far as baby slings go, I am all for them. I used one for a little while with my second, but I was not really comfortable with it. It was a ring style sling, and just a little too complicated for me to figure out. It did its job, but it made me nervous. I am not bashing ring style slings, you may find that those are the ones you prefer, but they did not work for me. This time I am trying a pouch style sling (made by Little Rubi, bought on EBay). It is all one piece of fabric that is sewn in a circle, and folded in half onto itself to form the pouch for baby; then you just put one arm through and rest the top part of the sling on one shoulder. I like this style a lot better, it feels more secure to me. As with all slings, do not use them during potentially dangerous activities (like jogging, running, cooking, etc).
We spent almost 3 hours at the WIC office the other day, and being that I knew it would probably take that long, I decided it was the perfect time to try out my new baby sling. So I tried it, and it was great. My little man slept the whole time, and was right up next to my body, so if had wanted to eat, it would have been very easy (and discreet) for me to feed him. As it was, he slept the whole time we were there, so I did'nt have to feed him, but feeding with a sling is great for times when you don't want your boob hanging out for everyone to see.
BUT, my little man is just now 3 weeks old, so that puts me 3 weeks out from major abdominal surgery. I did not think anything about this at the time, and wasn't having any pain, so I just went on with it. The next day, however, I was rethinking the whole sling idea. My abs were almost as sore as the day after we came home from the hospital. It never occured to me that when you use the sling, you aren't using your arms to support baby's weight, you are using your back and your abs, your core muscles. The same muscles they have to cut through to get baby out.
So the moral of this story is, slings are great; but if you have had a c-section you may want to wait 4-6 weeks before using the sling for an extended period of time, or you will definitely feel it the next day.
Another alternative (after waiting 3-4 weeks) would be to use the sling for little bits at a time. Maybe 1/2 hour the first day or two, then move up to an hour, and continue moving up SLOWLY until you are comfortable and don't have pain the next day.
Talk to your doctor or midwife if you have more questions.
I have provided a link below to Little Rubi's Ebay site. The slings are cute, with great fabrics,good prices, and pocket for your stuff, a loop for baby's toy, and a matching carrying case.
Enjoy your little ones!

Little Rubi Baby Carriers