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Mom with her newborn baby in hospital bed after a C-section

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Tips and tricks to sleep well after a Caesarean

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A caesarean is a commonly practiced delivery method performed by a licensed physician to safely deliver a baby, whether it be in an emergency situation or a scheduled C-section.

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), nearly one third (104,349) of all live births (362,700) for the 2017-2018 period were performed via caesarean.

Many expecting Canadian mothers often wonder, “how to sleep after a C-section?”.

Polysleep is here to help you with the best sleeping positions after a C-section.

The belly's mother with a scar from a caesarean section lying on the bed with her newborn baby

Importance of good sleep after a C-section

Caesarean delivery is a routine delivery method practiced daily worldwide. Although it is commonly practiced, this is still a major surgery requiring a physician to cut through approximately 5 layers to reach the uterus and safely deliver the baby.

Sleeping after a C-section is extremely important as you are healing from major surgery, however, you are still a new mother that must also care for a newborn baby at the same time.

Getting a good night of sleep while healing after a C-section makes you more alert and able to better care for not only your newborn baby but for yourself as well.

How sleep positions after a C-section have an impact on your sleep quality

Have you been scheduled for caesarean delivery? You are probably wondering how to sleep after a C-section. Sleeping positions after a C-section can severely affect your overall quality of sleep as the wrong position can cause an increase in pain to the incision site.

The right sleeping position helps to promote healthy breathing, offering less of a risk of developing sleep apnea after a C-section, an extremely serious medical condition in which breathing starts and stops periodically while sleeping.

Mother sleeping on her back with a sleeping mask covering her eyes

The best position to sleep after a C-section

The best way to sleep after a C-section differs from person to person as not everyone will find comfort in the same position. Expectant mothers often scour the internet searching, “can I sleep on my side after a C-section?” or “when can I sleep on my stomach after C-section?”. We have taken the guesswork out of it and provided the most recommended sleep positions.

Sleeping on your back is the most recommended sleep position in general as it promotes a healthy spinal alignment as you sleep.

However, back sleeping following a caesarean is highly recommended as it alleviates pressure on your abdomen and incision site. It is important to know that sleeping flat on your back can cause pain, making it difficult to get up out of bed without help.

Sleeping on your left side promotes blood flow and aids in proper digestion. Sleeping in this position also makes it easier to sleep comfortably as you can place a pillow beneath your stomach and hips for optimal support.

In addition, side sleeping makes it easier and less painful to get out of bed in the morning on your own as it requires less effort.

Sleeping with your entire upper body elevated makes breathing easier following a caesarean, making it easier to sleep at night. The Polysleep wedge pillow is an incline pillow designed to keep you elevated, supported, and comfortable all night. In addition to utilizing the Polysleep wedge pillow, many new mothers have reported finding comfort in sleeping upright in a recliner.

Polysleep tips for a good night’s sleep

Young mother lying on her back in bed in daylight

At Polysleep, we understand a caesarean can add to the anxiety a new mother feels in welcoming their baby, which is why we have compiled the following 5 tips of how to sleep after a C-section to make things a bit easier.

Many new mothers either do not take the prescribed pain medication or stop taking it too soon after surgery for many reasons, including the fear of not being able to care for their newborn.

It is important that you take the pain medication prescribed as it is written and not skip a dose because you think you can handle it as the pain is harder to control after a missed dosage.

During the first few days following a caesarean, it can be painful when you try to stand up on your own with little to no support.

Experts recommend placing a pillow over your incision to brace yourself and add support. Many women also like to use a belly binder as they heal after a C-section to reduce pain and discomfort.

A caesarean is a major surgery requiring a physician to cut through several layers of fat and tissue to expose the uterus and remove the baby successfully.

It is important to stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet as this will help you in the healing process as well as help you produce milk if you are breastfeeding your newborn baby.

The WHO recommends that breastfeeding mothers consume approximately 500 additional calories each day than they normally would.

Creating a safe sleeping environment is talked about following the delivery of a newborn. Yet, it's usually in regard to a safe sleeping space for the baby.

But, it's important that a new mother creates a safe sleep space for herself following a caesarean, including sleeping elevated to promote breathing and reduce pressure and pain felt throughout the night.

The Polysleep wedge pillow is designed to keep you in an elevated position throughout the night while also keeping you comfortable and well supported.

Many new mothers feel ashamed to ask for help because it makes them feel like they are failing as a mother. Yet, it's essential for new mothers to understand that it is okay to ask for help.

Whether you experienced a natural delivery or caesarean, your body and mind are recovering from an intense experience. On top of the stress your body has experienced, you now have the responsibility of caring for a baby while you are also trying to heal. Remember that it is okay to ask for help if you feel overwhelmed, exhausted, or simply just need a moment.

A C-section is a major surgery that takes its toll on a woman’s body, leaving them to deal with pain, stitches, and an overwhelming feeling of nerves about how they will care for a newborn while recovering.

Remember, although you now have the responsibility to care for another person, you still must take care of yourself first, including getting a good night’s rest to allow your body time to heal and your mind to reset.

At Polysleep, we want all new mothers to feel supported at night, which is why we designed the wedge pillow to create optimal elevation all night.


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