labor nurse has been reborn and shares her experiences as a new nurse-midwife, woman, and blogger

Monday, January 19, 2009

How To Get Out Of Bed Post Cesarean

A comment from the previous post:
Now you have my curiosity piqued, since I have two clients who may have Cesareans in the near future.
So, what ARE your tricks for the first time getting out of bed?
Thanks! Sarah

So here are my tips for getting out of bed for the first time after a Cesarean birth- this can be applied to anyone with abdominal surgery- that hopefully will make it much easier!

  • No matter what- GO SLOW! Make each movement deliberate and slow and in steps.
  • First, get yourself over as far to the side of the bed as possible. This can be done while laying flat or with the head of the hospital bed elevated.
  • When moving in bed (as in above movement) place your feet flat on the bed, knees flexed, and lift your hips/midsection with the strength of your legs. Use the arm rails to help move your upper body.
  • Once over at the side of the bed get into a sitting position, as high as you are comfortable.
  • Next, start to turn your entire body as a whole to face the direction you are headed. Use the arm rail as support.
  • Swing your legs down towards the floor while using the arm rail to lift your upper body straight up.
  • Now, get yourself in a proper sitting position, feet flat on the floor. Keep your head up. Now just sit there. Get your bearings.
  • Once you feel stable, its time to stand! You may want to scoot yourself further to the edge of the bed to get a better footing.
  • To stand, pretend you are doing a reverse squat- in other words- use your legs! Stand up straight using your legs, trying not to bend at the waist.
  • Do not hunch once you are standing. Stand tall!
  • Just stand for several minutes, again, getting your bearings.
  • When walking, keep your head forward, not focused on the floor- this can be dizzying.
  • When sitting, do another squat- use your legs!
  • Some like an abdominal binder or support pillow to hug across the belly.

I hope this helps!


::Beth:: said...

I wish I'd had this a year ago when I had an emergency C-Section! This advice could have helped me a lot!!!! You always give excellent advice when it comes to this area.

I love your blog =].

Stassja said...

This is what I figured out after my appendectomy, after a painful once or twice the old fashioned way! So glad I learned it on a smaller incision, I already knew what to do when I ended up with a c-section!

Never thought to share the love, thanks for this. :)

Anonymous said...

After having 2 c-sections, I would add -- just get out of bed! Don't think about it -- just get up! Maybe I had a high tolerance for pain (or lots of drugs in my system) but it really wasn't that big of a deal.

Labor Nurse said...

anonymous- I agree with your advice too! Sometime just getting up will be what some people need. Just the act of moving is what they need.

christine chapel said...

just a note - DO NOT get up the first time without help

I know everyone knows this, I just didn't see it in the very good step by step guide


Lauren said...

I had a great nurse who told me those same things. I used the pillow trick and it really helped. I take pain really well and even grocery shopped on the way home from the hospital 56 hours after my c-section.

Alicia said...

I think the most important part was the STAND TALL, DO NOT HUNCH. With my first c-section I hunch and no one told me not to and my recovery was horrible. With my second the nurse made me stand tall, like you said, and WOW!!! what a difference in recovery time. Now I tell everyone that is pregnant and even has a slight chance of a c-section to make sure they stand tall the first time they stand up.

AtYourCervix said...

My first time getting up out of bed after my gastric bypass was a big old failure. I was on a morphine PCA, and had just gotten some dilaudid as well, for severe pain. I got extremely nauseous when the nurses tried to sit me up, and I ended up back in bed. I didn't try again until the next day. BUT - once I was up and moving, I made sure I got my butt up and walking in the halls at least 4 times a day!

Anonymous said...

I use exactly this method for our bariatric surgery patients.

Iditos tho- I swear.. I will stand there explaining it to them, coaching, cheering.. and they WILL throw their legs off the bed before sitting up!

I try not to be a bitch about it, so I don't say 'I told you so' but I do say, 'Next time how about we try it my way?'

Labor Nurse said...

Christine- THANK YOU for pointing out that any surgical patient should NEVER get out of bed for the first time without a nurse there.

Student Nurse Midwife said...

I help moms get up all the time post-C/S. My piece of advice: don't wear your cute all-white slippers or socks. Put on the ugly skid-proof hospital socks because you're bound to get blood on them and we can just thrown them away!

Also, if you have a history of easily-fainting, that might be a piece of information to share prior to getting up and passing out in the bathroom.

little d, S.N. said...

I would also add, as a student nurse, that if you HAVE a student nurse, make sure they're comfortable with helping someone out of bed, and have done it before. This may sound silly, but trust me. Some of my classmates are SCARY.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips! My client appreciated them. :)