One of the most common concerns for new moms after a c section is how they will care for themselves (and the baby) once they are home. Once the help is gone and you’re on your own you might start wondering how the heck you’re going to get around the house – especially how you’re going to use the stairs after a c section.
After surgery doctors will want you up walking within one to two days, this will happen while you are still in the hospital. And to be honest with you, the sooner you can get up and walking the better. And the more you walk the better. (you can read more about the importance of walking after your c section here).
This is very important for your health because it helps prevent blood clots. And believe it or not: walking actually helps you recover! It might be a little scary – and yes, it’s probably going to hurt – but the nurses will help you every step of the way! Literally.
Plus when you do start walking you get to push your baby around the halls of the hospital with you, it’s like a super slow parade where you get to show off your new bundle of joy!
Once you get home it will be even more important to get up and keep moving in order to keep the blood flowing and your muscles from getting too stiff and sore. Blood clots can be a serious complication from surgery so it’s important to keep moving as much as your incision allows.
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When Can I Go Up & Down stairs After A C Section?
In the past, c section moms were told to avoid stairs for weeks after their surgery. Today, many doctors tell patients they can safely use stairs after a c section, as long as they don’t use the stairs too much.
Other doctors recommend not using the stairs at all for one to three weeks. Using the stairs can cause pressure on your abdominal muscles and you don’t want that incision opening up. You also risk falling especially if you are still on pain medication.
Plus, it could be a struggle to lift your legs that much with tender abdominals.
If your only bathroom is upstairs then consider staying upstairs as much as you can for the first few weeks of recovery. You can’t be going up and down the steps every time you need to go to the bathroom. You can enjoy some time in bed while letting your body recover.
If you have bedrooms on the second floor and the main living on the first you can do one of two things.
- Consider moving you and your baby to the first floor for a few weeks.
- Only use the stairs in the morning to come down and in the evening to go to bed. This means you need to move anything required during the day downstairs so you have access to it without using the stairs.
I’ve linked below a few items that will make it easier for you to keep baby on the first floor with you: (you can use the baby monitor as a one-way walkie talkie so you can communicate with your spouse)
Tips for Using the Stairs After a C Section
remember, I am not a medical professional. I am sharing anecdotal advice based off of my personal experience and the research I have performed. This content should not be taken as medical advice; if you have medical questions please seek the advice of a medical professional.
When you do need to use the stairs there are a few things you should consider doing to make sure you are as safe as possible.
Once you start feeling better you might be tempted to take the stairs like you did pre-pregnancy. Do not do this! It takes a great deal of time to recover from abdominal surgery.
Take the stairs slowly at first. Allow someone to help you until you feel comfortable doing it on your own. If you feel dizzy at all then stop and sit down. Do not use the stairs until you can do so without that dizzy feeling.
Do Not Carry Anything Heavy up and down the stairs
Now is not the time to start carrying your baby up and down the stairs. Let someone else do so until you can safely navigate the stairs easily without feeling weak or dizzy.
You shouldn’t carry anything else heavy either. A diaper, a baby bottle, things like that are fine but anything big – like a laundry basket – should be carried by someone else until you have had time to properly heal.
Work with your spouse and visitors to help you carry things up and down the stairs. After my second c section, my husband would carry the laundry basket downstairs in the morning, I would wash, dry, and fold the laundry, and then he would carry the basket back upstairs when he got home.
It was a great little system that kept me safe and our house functioning!
Get Some Help for navigating stairs after a c section
The first few times you navigate the stairs you should have someone beside you to help just in case you need it.
You should also make use of the handrail. If you don’t have a handrail then you should consider installing one before the baby is born for your safety – and eventually for the safety of your future toddler!
As women, we have a tendency to want to do everything ourselves but this is not the time. This is the time when you should be asking for help and letting people do things for you as much as possible. Enjoy it, before long you will be back to running the world!
Use the stairs As Little As Possible
Once your doctor clears you to use the stairs it’s still a good idea to use them as little as possible. Going up and down the stairs puts stress on your abdominal muscles and your incision.
Consider bringing as much stuff that you will need during the day downstairs. This includes diaper changing materials, feeding necessities, and anything that you will need in your recovery – .like extra maxi pads and nipple cream.
Going up and down the stairs might seem like such a normal thing that you don’t even think about not being able to do it. During this recovery time, it’s important to take really good care of yourself so you can take care of your new baby.
That’s why it’s so important to know when you can go use the stairs after a c section.