A cesarean birth can be a wonderful way to bring your baby into the world, but the recovery is a little different than that of a vaginal birth. You may wonder if babywearing is safe or comfortable while recovering from a c-section.
The short answer is:
Yes! Babywearing can be a safe and comfortable way to carry your baby after a c-section delivery.
While recovering from childbirth, it is always prudent to avoid lifting anything heavy. After a cesarean birth in particular, most OBs will recommend that you avoid lifting anything heavier than your baby for the first six weeks post-birth.
Wearing your baby in a carrier is no heavier than carrying your baby in-arms, so it is completely safe for your recovering body. In fact, using a carrier can be more comfortable than carrying your baby in-arms, as it distributes baby's weight more evenly. It's also easier to maintain proper posture while babywearing, which always leads to less pain, while carrying your baby and after.
Babywearing is also particularly helpful after a c-section because it helps you avoid lifting your heavy stroller or infant car seat in and out of the car.
When you have your baby in his infant car seat, this can add up to twice his weight, making it too heavy heavy to lift in the first 6 weeks postpartum. Most strollers are also quite heavy. By transferring baby from the car into a carrier, you avoid needing to lift anything heavy while you recover.
How Soon Can I Start Babywearing After My C-Section?
You can start wearing your baby in bed as soon as you'd like, to help facilitate skin-to-skin contact and bonding. A Kangaroo Care Garment, like the SleepBelt or a Ring Sling Baby Carrier are both good options for this.
Using the SleepBelt Kangaroo Care Garment while I rest on the couch with my little ones.
You can walk around with baby in a carrier as soon as you feel steady enough on your feet to carry baby in-arms.
How soon you begin to babywear is mostly up to you. You may feel up to it within a day or two post-birth or you may feel more comfortable waiting a bit longer. Always listen to your body and consult with your care provider if you're unsure.
What's the Best Baby Carrier to Use After a C-Section?
If you have a low transverse incision, which is the kind most commonly used, any baby carrier that positions your baby properly on your chest will be nowhere near your incision site. This means it will be safe and comfortable to use any carrier you have.
In the early postpartum period, some women find soft, Stretchy Wraps to be most comfortable. Others prefer having nothing tight around their waist as their uterus shrinks back down, so they may find a Ring Sling or a Woven Wrap tied in a Front Wrap Cross Carry Tied at Shoulder (FWCC TAS) to be most comfortable.
How soon you choose to begin babywearing post-cesarean and what carrier you use will depend most on your own comfort and preferences.