The Best Positions To Sleep After A C-Section

The Best Positions To Sleep After A C-Section

If you’ve had a cesarean section, you may be struggling to sleep in your normal sleep position but what are the best positions for sleeping after your baby is born?

You may be wondering if it’s safe to sleep in certain positions or if there are ones that are more comfortable for you.

After having a C-Section, you might want to try sleeping on your side or stomach. Is this safe? What position should I choose?

A C-section is a surgical procedure where the baby is delivered through a cut in the mother’s abdomen. This surgery is performed to prevent complications during childbirth.

After a C-section, you may experience some discomfort, such as back pain, incisional pain, and swelling.

If you decide to sleep on your side or stomach, you may risk injuring your incisions. The safest way to go is to lie flat on your back.

Keep on reading to find out more about the best positions to sleep after a C-section. 

What Is A C Section?

If you have had a C-section, it was most likely because of an emergency situation. You were unable to deliver your baby naturally.

A C-section can be done for any number of reasons including:

  • Placenta previa (the placenta covers the cervix)
  • Placental abruption (abnormal separation of the placenta from the uterine wall)
  • Uterine rupture (rupture of the uterus)
  • Fetal distress (when the fetus has problems with breathing or heart rate)
  • Breech presentation (baby’s head is not facing down when labor begins)
  • Maternal medical conditions that require immediate delivery

You may also have been given anesthesia during the procedure.

Anesthesia is used to make sure you do not feel anything while the doctor makes the cut. It will help you relax so you don’t feel pain during the procedure.

Why Is A C Section Necessary?

C-sections are often required when there are complications during pregnancy. These include:

  • Preterm labor
  • Pregnancy with multiple births
  • Placenta accreta (placenta grows into the uterus)
  • Placenta previa
  • Placental abruptions
  • Uterine ruptures
  • Breech presentations
  • Fetal distress
  • Maternal medical condition requiring urgent delivery

It is important to remember that C-sections are only performed if absolutely necessary.

They are usually reserved for situations where there is a high chance of complications occurring during vaginal birth.

How Long Does Recovery Take After A C Section?

The Best Positions To Sleep After A C-Section

Recovery time depends on how much blood loss occurred during the operation. The amount of bleeding varies, depending on many factors including:

  • Your body mass index (BMI)
  • How quickly you get to the hospital
  • Whether you received blood transfusions
  • The size of your baby
  • Any other health issues you might have

Your recovery time will vary greatly based on these factors. Some women report feeling better within 24 hours, while others need several weeks before they feel completely recovered.

When Should I Expect To Feel Better?

Most people recover well within two days. However, it is normal to feel sore and tired for up to three weeks following a C-section.

Is It Safe To Sleep On My Side Or Stomach Post C Section?

Yes! Sleeping on your side or stomach is perfectly safe. In fact, it is recommended by your doctor to avoid sleeping on your back until you are fully healed.

However, if you choose to sleep on your side, you should keep your legs together. If you sleep on your stomach, you should keep your knees bent. This helps prevent injury to your incisions.

Why Is Sleep Difficult After A C Section? 

After having a C-section, your body needs extra rest in order to heal properly. This includes healing your incision sites as well as recovering from the effects of anesthesia.

Sleep difficulties are common after a C-section. Many women find it hard to fall asleep because their bodies are still recovering from surgery.

C-sections are painful, and some women can be in pain for months, making it difficult to sleep.

Others wake up frequently at night due to discomfort, but their pain may be temporary; it depends on the person. 

What Can I Do To Improve My Comfort Level?

Try relaxing techniques like meditation, yoga, or listening to music. You can also try taking over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen.

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away:

  • Pain around your incision site
  • Bleeding or discharge from your vagina
  • Feeling weak or dizzy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe headaches
  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Swelling in your hands or feet
  • Changes in bowel habits

Best Sleeping Positions To Sleep After C Section

Sleeping positions may be different from those used prior to childbirth. Here are some tips for finding comfortable sleeping positions after C-section:

  • Lie on your left side
  • Keep your legs together
  • Avoid lying flat on your back
  • Use pillows under your hips to support your lower abdomen
  • Place a pillow between your knees to help with leg cramps
  • Try using an ice pack to reduce swelling

The Best Sleeping Positions – A Rundown

A cesarean section is a surgical procedure that involves the birth of a baby through an incision in your abdomen, rather than through your vagina.

It’s usually performed after 39 weeks gestation (or when there are complications) and can be done for any number of reasons.

In some cases, it may be necessary because you have had multiple previous cesareans or if the baby lies in the wrong position for a natural birth.

The most common reason for performing a cesarean delivery is failure to progress during labor.

Sleeping On Your Back

Sleeping on your back while pregnant is still recommended, but this position is also recommended for people recovering from surgery.

This position puts the least amount of strain on your incision site. You can add a body pillow or a tightly rolled blanket or towel underneath your knees or arms.

With this position, you’ll want to be mindful of getting out of bed. Don’t sit up straight, but instead use the three-step “log roll” method as follows:

Step 1 – Roll onto the side.

Step 2 – Lift leg off the floor and slide down to next step.

Step 3 – Roll over onto the other side. Before you move your legs off of the bed, fully roll over onto your side with your knee bent.

Using your arms slowly push your body into an upright seated position — being sure to maintain your abdominal muscles relaxed as you move.

Then make sure you’re in a fully upright seated posture before you stand up.

Finally, you’ll also want to use the ‘log roll’ method in reverse to lie back down on the bed.

Incline On Your Back

This position is similar to sleeping on your back, except that you tilt your hips towards your belly button.

This helps keep pressure away from your incision site. If you feel like you need more support, you can place pillows under your knees and/or shoulders.


If you’ve already had a cesarean, then lying on your side will help prevent blood clots from forming at your incision site.

However, it’s important to avoid putting too much weight on your incision site by placing pillows between your legs. Also, you should try not to lean against anything.

Upright Sleeping Position

Sleeping upright is a great choice when you’re breastfeeding. You’ll be more comfortable and less likely to wake up your baby when you sleep this way.

Invest in some supportive pillows. Upright sleeping isn’t a long-term solution, but it does help women get some rest during pregnancy.

Most women can transition back to a regular sleep pattern within two weeks after giving birth.

Best Ways To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

The Best Positions To Sleep After A C-Section

Sleep deprivation can lead to all sorts of health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and even cancer.

So how do you get a good night’s sleep? Here are some tips that might work for you.

Avoid Caffeine

Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, which makes it harder to fall asleep. Coffee, tea, chocolate, soda, and energy drinks contain caffeine.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise increases endorphins, natural painkillers that make us sleepy. Try walking, swimming, dancing, biking, or jogging.

Eat Well

Eating healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and nuts, helps reduce stress and keeps our bodies functioning properly.

Do Relaxation Exercises

Meditation, yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, massage, and music therapy have been shown to improve the overall quality of life.

Take Time To Wind Down

Try reading, listening to music, taking a bath, writing in a journal, or watching relaxing television shows.

Go To Bed Early

Getting enough sleep means going to bed earlier than usual. It’s easier to fall asleep if we haven’t spent many hours awake.

Don’t Stay Up Late

It takes about eight hours of uninterrupted sleep for your brain to produce its highest level of alertness.

Use A Humidifier

Humidifiers add moisture to the air, helping relax us and making us drowsy.

Stay Warm

A cool room can cause us to sweat, which wakes us up. Put a fan or heater near your bed.

Keep The Lights Low

Bright light can stimulate the body into thinking it needs to function. Turn off the overhead lights before you go to bed.

Wear Earplugs

Wearing headphones while trying to sleep may actually block out sounds that would otherwise help us drift off. Instead, put on soft music or white noise.

Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol can affect our ability to fall asleep. If you drink alcohol with dinner, it can interfere with digestion and leave you feeling tired.

Avoid Naps

Taking a nap during the day can disrupt our circadian rhythm (our internal clock), which makes it harder to sleep later.

Practice Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on one thing at a time—like counting breaths or repeating a mantra like “I am calm.” This practice has been linked to better sleep.

Be Consistent

If you don’t follow these guidelines, they won’t necessarily work for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Sleep Should I Get After A C Section?

The Best Positions To Sleep After A C-Section

Newborn babies need lots of rest and attention, but so do parents. Your doctor may recommend bed rest for a few days after giving birth.

This helps both you and your baby get better faster. A c-section is considered major abdominal surgery and as such needs lots of rest. Avoid heavy lifting in the first week after a c-section. Rest and relax if possible.

Are there any products that can help with sleeping after a c-section?

There are some things that can help you feel more comfortable after a c-section. These include:

  • Warm compresses
  • Hot water bottles
  • Heat pads
  • Lotion
  • Soothing lotion
  • Pillows
  • Soft blankets
  • Cotton sheets
  • Comfortable pillows
  • Ear plugs

What If I Can’t Sleep With The Pain?

Pain medications can be helpful for people who experience severe backaches or other types of pain.

Ask your doctor what type of medication might make sense for you. You may also try ice packs, heat packs, or heating pads. 

Can I Take Painkillers When I’m Breastfeeding?

Yes! Painkillers can be taken safely by breastfeeding mothers. Talk to your doctor about the best way to manage your pain.

Can I Take Anything Else Besides My Prescribed Medication?

You can take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or aspirin. Talk to your doctor before using them, though. They could interact badly with certain prescription drugs.

Can I Exercise When I’m Recovering From A C Section?

Exercise is an important part of staying healthy. But ask your doctor if you’re able to safely exercise after a c-section. Exercising too soon after surgery can increase your risk of infection.

Is Sleep Important For Recovery After C Section?

Sleep is very important for healing after a c-section. It’s normal to have trouble falling asleep after surgery. Try these tips to help you get a good night’s sleep:

  • Go to bed early. Have a relaxing bath or shower before going to bed.
  • Turn off electronics 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Use relaxation techniques like deep breathing or guided imagery.
  • Create a soothing environment. Dim lights, soft music, and a cool room all help create a peaceful atmosphere.
  • Get plenty of restful sleep. Aim for eight hours each night.
  • Make sure you eat well. Eating small meals throughout the day will keep you feeling fuller and longer.
  • Drink enough fluids. Water is essential to keeping your body hydrated.
  • Don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol can affect how quickly you heal.

What Sleeping Positions Should I Avoid After A C Section?

This is pretty obvious, but you should avoid sleeping on your stomach straight after having a c-section.

The reason for this is that the scar tissue will be more prominent, and it can cause pain or discomfort when you sleep on your stomach.

You may also find it difficult to get comfortable on your back because of the stitches in your tummy area. 

Sleeping on your side is fine though as long as you are not putting any weight on your belly.

If you have had an episiotomy then you shouldn’t worry about sleeping on your front as there will be no damage done to your perineum.

Can You Choose To Have A C Section?

Some women opt for a C-section for non-medical reasons, including wanting to avoid pain during labor.

If you ask your doctor or midwife for a c-section because there are medical reasons, they’ll tell you the pros and cons of a c-section compared with vaginal birth, including the overall benefits and risks.

When it comes to choosing whether to have a c-section or vaginal birth, each woman has her own preferences and concerns.

It’s important to weigh all of your options carefully before making a decision.

You might want to consider having a C-section if:

  • You’ve had previous problems with vaginal births.
  • You’ve experienced complications with previous pregnancies.
  • You’re worried about the risk of infection.
  • You’re experiencing severe contractions.
  • You’re experiencing fetal distress.

What Are The Risks Of A C Section?

There are many risks associated with a c-section. However, most of them are rare. Here are some of the main risks:

  1. Infection
  2. Bleeding
  3. Damage To Organs
  4. Scarring
  5. Problems With Wound Healing
  6. Uterine Rupture
  7. Excessive Blood Loss
  8. Complications During Labor
  9. Premature Delivery
  10. Postpartum Depression

C-section Recovery Tips – What To Do When You Are Not Recovering Well

It’s not uncommon to feel exhausted after giving birth. But don’t worry — this is just part of the process.

Here are some things you can do when you aren’t feeling 100 percent:

Take Care Of Yourself

Eat healthy meals and drink plenty of water. Make sure that you get enough rest so that you can take care of your new baby.

Get More Exercise

Exercise helps boost energy levels and improves overall health. Find activities that you enjoy doing, whether it’s walking, swimming, biking, dancing, or playing sports.

Make sure you are recovered enough to do longer forms of exercise. 

Talk to Your Doctor About Medications

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have been prescribed any medications, vitamins, or supplements. Your doctor will want to make sure that they are safe for breastfeeding mothers.

Stay Connected

Connect with other moms who have had a C-section through online forums or local support groups. They can offer advice and encouragement.

Don’t Forget To Relax

It may seem impossible to relax during pregnancy, but once you have given birth, you’ll discover how much easier it is to unwind.

Final Thoughts 

If you decide to have a c-section, you should know that it’s not always necessary to have one. If you have a c-section, you should also know that it might be quite difficult to sleep at first. 

If you decide to go ahead with a c-section, make sure you discuss your plans with your healthcare provider. They’ll explain what to expect throughout your recovery period.

Thank you for reading!