Supporting your partner after a Caesarian-section

If your partner had a caesarian section or C-section, recovery after the birth may take little longer. Here are some helpful tips to support your partner after a C-Section.

Offer lots of practical support

This is major abdominal surgery and your partner will need a lot of physical rest and as little as possible physical strain in the weeks following birth. You can help her by taking over household duties, bringing her the baby for feedings, encouraging her to walk and gently exercise, and enlisting help from family and friends. 

Reassure your partner

If you were not planning to have a c-section, this can leave some women feeling disappointed or a sense of failure at having not having given birth as she had hoped or planned. Your partner will need support and reassurance.

She really needs to know that no one could have done more, or been stronger or braver than her; that she didn’t give in to the pain too soon; that she tried everything she could have to jump-start a stalled labour; that another few hours of labour may not have done anyone any good; and that the decision made was the best one—both for the baby and for herself. 

Give her praise and comfort

Some of the things you tell her may seem obvious to you but it is very important that you are the person to say them. If you were there with her at the birth, you know better than anyone else exactly what she went through. Being comforted and praised by you will mean a lot more to her than hearing the same words from a well-meaning relative or a medical professional. 

Give your partner the opportunity to talk about her experiences and validate her feelings

Listening and encouraging her to talk can help your partner to mentally process what happened and create for herself a sensible story out of a scary and potentially traumatic event. Avoid ever saying things such as “You shouldn’t feel that way,” or “It didn’t happen like that.” Listening and acknowledging her feelings and perspective is important to allow her to feel heard and understood, and move forward with the next stage in her parenting journey.