To say that I’m not thrilled about having to have a c-section is a bit of an understatement. While everyone has told me that planned c-sections aren’t terrible, I’m still a little traumatized from my first birth. With Everett, I went into labor, was crowning, was rushed into an emergency c-section, put under anesthesia, quickly cut into to discover a large fibroid, got a myomectomy (fibroid removal), my uterus was cut vertically (which is much more difficult to recover from) and after all that – he came out vaginally anyway. This is why I’m doing everything I can to make this birth go as swimmingly as possible so I thought I’d share how I’m preparing for my natural c-section.

A natural c-section might sound a bit backward – how could it be natural? It’s not really, but I’m making it as natural as possible.

I talked to my OB about a gentle c-section.

A gentle c-section includes immediate skin to skin contact (as long as baby is fine), delayed cord clamping (as long as possible), a clear drape to see baby being born and a few other amenities like music playing. I have a very clinical OB, she’s great at her job and performed my first c-section. She’s not exactly naturally minded but does perform gentle c-sections. Talk to your OB about a gentle c-section, it’s a practice that’s becoming much more common.

I’m saving my placenta. 

Before you jump out of your computer chair and think I’m disgusting, hear me out. This is actually a fairly common practice across the world. While there’s not much clinical evidence as to the benefit (hello! who is going to fund this study??) there is a massive amount of anecdotal evidence from mothers touting the benefits.

Many moms have credited their placenta with warding off postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety and boosting their mood and energy levels. Typically, the placenta is cleaned, dried, pulverized into powder and then put into pills.

I’m making a playlist. 

One of the favorite things I have in common with my husband is our love of music. He finds the best artists and we have such similar taste in music, from hardcore to hardcore rap (of which we listen to a lot). I’m going to have him make a playlist because he’s so damn good at it. I’m going to have him start with songs to pump me up for the beginning of the surgery because that will give me strength and a much needed mood boost and then get into some personal songs we’ve loved throughout our relationship.

I think having our son born to songs we love and that hold a lot of meaning to us will be so magical. I’ll also forever remember whatever song it is that was playing when our baby boy was born.

I’m making essential oil blends to diffuse. 

Essential oils are incredibly relaxing, mostly because they have the ability to impact the limbic system (our emotional warehouse). I plan to diffuse lavender and chamomile to relax me.

I invested in a belly band for recovery. 

(hopefully my boobs look this good)

I didn’t have a belly band the first time around but my OB suggested I wear tight yoga pants. I thought this was counterintuitive – wouldn’t I want loose fitting clothing? The answer was a definitely NO. Loose fitting clothing moved around and irritated my incision. Yoga pants helped me feel more physically stable as well.

This time around, I’m comin’ prepared. Belly bands help with posture, they keep the incision protected, they help shrink the uterus and purely for vanity reasons, they help shrink the stomach back to its original size.

My core felt so weak and beaten down last time, I’m really looking forward to having the extra support.

I bought arnica tablets.

Arnica has been used for centuries as a natural pain reliever. Arnica reduces pain, swelling, stiffness and bruising. After my first c-section, I didn’t take anything other than Tylenol and Motrin. I refused all narcotics. I plan to do the same this time around, but this time I’ll have arnica!

Arnica is incredibly safe, natural and effective.

I bought arnica gel.

With my last c-section I was sore all over, particularly my back. My back was killing me, it hurt to breathe. It didn’t help that they had intubated me, which added to the pain.

This time around I’ll be using arnica gel, which has a cooling effect and also reduces pain, swelling, stiffness and bruising.

I bought c-scar cream. 

Last time around, I made my own c-section salve which worked well. This time around, I have a toddler and felt like it would just be easier to buy a c-section scar cream. I love Earth Mama Angel Baby and use many of their products on myself and my son.

Majority are organic and they’re truly all natural and non-toxic. So many women have said this c-scar cream is amazing and I plan to use it daily once my OB gives me the go ahead to apply anything to my incision. It will help with pain, scarring, itching and general healing.

I’m making a ton of food.

When I had my last baby very unexpectedly, we had nothing prepared. One of the biggest issues was food. I could barely move and my dear husband, bless his heart, just can’t cook. I will devote a separate post to this, but I’m making tons of freezer meals including grain-free lasagna, smoothie packs, chicken and veggies, chili, etc.

What about you? What did you use to heal from your birth? Share with all of us in the comments!

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