Bringing a new life into the world is a miraculous experience, but it often comes with its own set of challenges. For women who undergo a C-section, the recovery process can be particularly demanding and some of these are also unplanned, leaving women unprepared for the physical impact, and fumbling their way through the recovery process.
It’s crazy that some women are sent home with only paracetamol or given post-op solutions designed for other surgeries (like hernia belts) and once home, they’re left scouring message boards to hack their way through pain relief (like holding throw pillows against their incisions when coughing or sneezing). The fact that doctors have been performing C-sections for centuries, yet there’s been no innovation of products to support these women through such a major physical transformation into motherhood is astonishing,
And culturally, we’ve done these women a disservice by painting a picture of C-Section moms as 'lucky' to have skipped a vaginal delivery, often labeling it 'the easy way out'. Anyone who’s had a C-Section would agree there is no easy exit. Every woman deserves to have an arsenal of effective, high quality, accessible solutions to navigate the postpartum recovery experience - regardless of how she got the baby out.
My family and medical team’s original plan was for me to give birth vaginally. The idea of even preparing for a C-Section scared me because I didn't want to jinx myself! The thought of surgery just petrified me. After 12 hours of labor and only dilated 4 cm, my doctor recommended a C-Section because my pelvis was too narrow and he didn’t think I would dilate any more. I was exhausted after a really long night, so we called it and decided to go for the cesarean.
My C-section went as smoothly as possible. I was pleased that my surgery and recovery were nothing like what I had read online and seen on social media. My first time getting up on my feet after the C-Section was probably the scariest part of my entire recovery. I felt like my organs were going to come out through my stitches (sorry for the graphic description). I struggled to walk over to my baby's crib and even lift her up to breastfeed.
After we made the C -Section decision, I texted one of my coworkers to ship a Frida Mom C-Section Recovery Kit + C-Section Recovery Band to my home and can’t help but think our products had everything to do with my positive recovery.
All five products were great, but the true heroes in my recovery were the underwear, the band, and the binder. Once I started wearing the Abdominal Binder I felt an immense amount of relief and mental peace. I felt put together and secured which made an essential thing like walking so much easier. The ‘hair-net’ like underwear from the hospital made me feel exposed and unprotected. Our C-Section Underwearwas gentle in all my sensitive areas and most importantly SO COMFORTABLE!
The C-Section Recovery Bandfor me was more like a safety blanket than anything else. The first two weeks I don’t think I took it off because I was scared of anything coming near my incision. My kitchen counter happens to conveniently align with where my incision was, so wearing the band was my savior so I wouldn't run into the counter while warming up breast milk.
It became more apparent after I had experienced a non-vaginal birth, that C-Section mums have previously been an afterthought when it comes to preparation, information and support. While other brands may view these small percentage of mothers as too small a consumer segment to invest in, Chelsea, Frida’s founder was disenchanted by the lack of progress in postpartum recovery solutions following her second pregnancy.
We already had the resources and knew how to overhaul not only the products available to women, but to revolutionize the preparation experience by creating an entirely new category of consumer products dedicated to making a first-time mum feel as informed and confident as a third (or even fourth!)-time mum. Demystifying the raw realities of the fourth trimester has now become the team's obsession, and we’ve had a lot of success along the way.
We consulted several healthcare professionals - OB-GYN's and Labor & Delivery Nurses - throughout the product development process, from inception through testing and design, to create a recovery care line supported by the relevant professional community. The C-Section Recovery line is the first of its kind designed to address the ubiquitous physical pain that each woman recovering from a C-Section experiences - from crippling abdominal recovery to healthy scar formation. Beyond creating products to help women navigate the physical transformation into motherhood, we have worked diligently to shift cultural narratives and open conversations around the taboo topics of motherhood, including all the graphic details.
I am currently 33 weeks pregnant and will be having my second C-Section in six short weeks, and the only thing I'm changing this time around is that I will be bringing the C-Section Recovery Kit with me to the hospital!