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I've been pregnant twice and delivered both children via scheduled c-section. From conversations that I've had with some of my mom friends, the only thing I really missed was a lot of pain. That's not to say that I was able to forego all physical suffering. Remember, a c-section is major surgery.
Besides the soreness that came with having my abdomen cut open and stitched back up, I had a few other challenges. The most immediate issue was the gas. That gas wasn't the kind you get after you eat beans or Brussels sprouts. The gas I had after both of my c-sections felt like I'd never be able to breathe or walk again. It started from my belly and filled up my entire torso up to my shoulders like a balloon filled with lead. It was the worst feeling ever.
Other than nursing my children, the only goal I had was to pop those bubbles. I was able to find relief much faster the second time around with my son. After a week, most of the gas went away, thanks to the following exercises.
I was 12 hours postpartum when I got on my hands and knees in my hospital bed and arched my back like a cat. The cat post lifted my stomach up in a way that didn't irritate my new wound and helped stretch the gas bubble out.
Once I got home, I started lifting my knees to my chest as close as it would go. It was still hard for me to lie on my back and bring my legs up, so standing was the next best option. Both standing up and the action of lifting my knee up were helpful in breaking up the gas.
Before I left the hospital, one of the nurses showed me how to give myself a stomach massage to relieve some of the gas. The key was pushing down as I rubbed and going clockwise. I found a lot of relief with frequent stomach rubs.
No, really -- I felt gas all the way up in my shoulders. I would roll them backwards and forwards, as well as lift them up and drop them down to move the gas out and down.
The most effective way that I found to relieve the gas I had after my c-section was doing squats. I wasn't able to get down that low after I had my baby. Even going down a little bit helped, though. TMI ALERT: I felt a little toot come out every time I placed my foot down.
Postpartum gas is obnoxious and annoying, but it's not abnormal. You have no reason to be ashamed to talk about it. Make sure to let your doctor and nurses know about it when they ask you how they're doing so they can help monitor it.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.