Top 5 Baby Gear to Get After Cesarean According to an Occupational Therapist

After cesarean deliveries, in addition to the recovery period from labor, mom’s have other restrictions that limit their physical ability. In general, Mom’s often experience pain, fatigue, vaginal discharge, mood changes, swelling, and soreness. Poor sleep is also a factor due to the newborns short sleep cycles and the need for them to nurse every few hours.

After cesarean deliveries, mom’s should avoid lifting weights more than their newborn, driving, and heavy exertion. Mom’s often get relief from wearing a belly brace (often provided by the hospital) when they walk, move around, sneeze, cough, or laugh.

These are the top 5 baby gear that moms and parents will benefit most from after cesarean delivery. Some of these items are more expensive than typical items in their class, however, they are a great investment – especially if both parents have a physical limitation or disability. In general, parents should avoid further injury and preserve their backs due to the repetitive motions and strain on their body with lifting their newborn and growing child.

The way I see it, paying a premium for some of these items is much cheaper than costs for medical care – doctors visits, chiropractors, physical therapy (I have to pay $20 co-pay per visit), alternative medicine, or surgery down the line.

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#5 Reacher Grabber

The cheapest item on this list, a reacher grabber is a must-have. This has helped my wife and I countless times when we either dropped items or cannot reach for items (especially from the ground) while holding a baby.

#4 Rocking Chair

Any rocking chair will do. If you are torn between types of swings, bouncers, or a more sophisticated product like the Mamaroo, I would consider getting a rocking chair first. Rocking chairs will allow you to continue to hold and soothe your newborn (which other devices cannot do). Between commercial products and parents holding the newborn, the newborn would much prefer being held by parents.

A rocking chair will allow parents to provide vestibular input to help soothe the newborn to sleep. If you have the option, get a rocking chair that can recline so that you can take naps in them as a bonus – but be sure to put the little one to sleep in a bassinet. We like La-Z-Boy as it had a built-in motor that can recline and return to a rocking position.

#3 Lightweight Stroller

Getting a lightweight stroller for your newborn will save your back in the long run and make life easier after cesarean delivery. Think about how many times you’ll be loading/unloading the stroller into the trunk, lifting it over obstacles, up stairs, etc. – on top of carrying a newborn and all the extra supplies that are required. Every pound of weight adds up and less is better.

Lightweight strollers come at a compromise of less smooth ride due to smaller wheels and lighter frame construction, but they are just as sturdy. My newborn has had no issues falling asleep in our lightweight stroller on walks around the neighborhood, even over dirt and semi-off road.

Uppababy is a popular brand. They make a lightweight stroller called the Minu. We have it and love its premium feel in a lightweight package. A popular competitor, especially if you are traveling and want a stroller you know will fit in any overhead airline compartment is the Babyzen Yoyo1 or Yoyo2.

#2 Ergonomic Bassinet

Hands down, especially after a cesarean, parents should get a bassinet that is ergonomic. We like the Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper as it does two important things:

  1. Allows the baby to sleep next to parents in bed.
  2. Can swivel out of the way when parents need to get out of bed (and mom’s after cesarean often have a difficult time with bed mobility).
  3. Side can lower to allow parents to soothe the baby or pick them up easier.

Before getting this product, we had non-swivels and this made getting out of bed much more difficult as we had to move the blankets out of the way, scoot ourselves towards the foot of bed (very difficult to do for Mom), get out, and walk back up towards the head of the bed. Getting back into bed is the same struggle. Parents may want to pick up their newborn while in bed. Having a side that does not lower makes the body mechanics very difficult and straining on your body. The Bassinest’s ability to lower the side makes a world of a difference.

#1 Swiveling Car Seat

This product blew our mind when we watched reviews online. It is jam-packed with features. First of all, it is very safe. It comes with a load leg (which is very popular in Europe, I don’t know why Americans don’t look for this feature more), side-impact protection, industry-standard mounting options with either seat belt or side latches, and grows with your child by accommodating newborn up to 65 pounds. It even comes with a sensor that you can hook up to your phone to warn you if you forget your baby (we haven’t even used this feature yet).

The number one reason to get this car seat? It swivels!

It can swivel in either direction and make loading/unloading your newborn much easier in the very tiny space of your backseat doorframe. My wife who sits in the backseat with baby, enjoys being able to swivel our newborn towards her to nurse and do diaper changes without having to awkward reach around to get them. The magnetic sides come in handy by allowing the straps to stay there and not get in the way when loading/unloading. The only downside I have found is that it is kind of heavy to install in the first place, so Mom’s will need some help. After its installed, you are good to go. *You should note that this car seat is not removable (like handheld). So when you get discharged from the hospital after delivery, you will have to carry the baby to the car.

Hope this list helps parents with newborns out there!