How to Sleep After C-Section Delivery - Positions & Tips

How to Sleep After C-Section Delivery

Pregnancy and childbirth is a beautiful experience. Although it is beautiful, the mother’s body goes through a lot during the process, it is all worth it when you get to hold your little one in your arms. As medical sciences has evolved to make the delivery process less risky for the mother and baby, one evolutionary procedure was C-Section deliveries.

No mom can ever forget the sleepless days and nights that follow a C-Section delivery. While parenting is no doubt a wonderful experience, the initial few weeks after childbirth can be tough. The recovery period after a C-Section delivery will be painful and require the better part of your patience and courage. But remember, this is a temporary phase and you will sail through it eventually. In this article, we will discuss sleeping position after C-section. 

Video: How to Sleep After Cesarean Delivery (Best Sleeping Positions)

Why Good Sleep Is Important After C-Section?

A C-section is a very invasive procedure that a mother goes through. The body will take time to heal and the baby needs to be looked after as well. Getting adequate sleep is important so that you can take care of your newborn and yourself. It will help you be more alert and focus on the tasks at hand in a better way. Your body will utilise energy to heal your body while you sleep. It is thus very important to sleep after C-section.

How Much Sleep Do You Need After Your Cesarean Delivery?

You may have some doubts about how much sleep you should be getting. You can’t afford to sleep too much as your baby needs your time, and you surely can’t sleep too little as your body needs to heal. Here is some clarity on how much you need to sleep:

Hours Of Sleep

You should idly be getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night in an ideal situation. However, you have a newborn to take care of as well. However, you must ensure that you get no less than 6 hours of sleep each night. Being sleep deprived can cause other health issues, such as depression and poor cognitive function.


Being a new parent can be hard. If your baby keeps you up at night and you are unable to get 7-9 hours of sleep; you can take a few naps of 15-20 minutes each throughout the day. This will too help with the healing process and keep your mind fresh.

Why Is It Difficult to Sleep After a C-Section?

Sometimes, during pregnancy and after pregnancy, a woman’s airway is unable to function smoothly due to increased hormone levels and increased abdominal volume. This condition is known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and observed in a lot of women. Improper breathing and collapsing of the airway makes it difficult to stay asleep when you manage to find the time to. Another significant reason why moms suffer from insomnia, fatigue and depression after a C-Section delivery is the pain. But, with proper care and precautions, you’ll be able to recover faster.

Also Read: Bath After C- Section Delivery – Precautions and Benefits

How Does Sleeping Position Affect the Quality of Sleep after a Cesarean?

While pain medications almost always help you fall asleep, an appropriate sleeping position will ensure better breathing and a sound nap. Choosing the most comfortable sleeping position will reduce the strain on your abdominal muscles, in turn, reducing the pressure on your incision.

Also Read: Back Pain After C-Section – Causes and Remedies

What Are the Best Sleeping Positions to Adopt after a C-Section Delivery?

There is no single sleeping position that works for everybody. What works for one mom may not work for another. It’s a process of trial and error till you find a sleeping position that suits you best. You can choose from these best ways to sleep after a C-section delivery. We will also discuss the best position to sleep after a C-section, sleeping positions to avoid after C-section, and recovery sleeping positions after C-section.

1. On the Back

A lot of women vote sleeping on the back as the most comfortable position after a surgery. In this position, your incision won’t be under any pressure anymore. You can also put a pillow under your knees. The only downside is that you can strain your belly while sitting up or getting out of bed. After a few weeks, try rolling on to your side if it doesn’t hurt much. Women with high blood pressure may be advised against this.

2. To the Side

You might find it comfortable to sleep on your side soon after delivery. Sleeping to the left side aids optimum blood flow and digestion (which you very much need). You can use pillows to support your belly and hips. An advantage of sleeping to the side after a C-Section delivery is that you can prop yourself up on your elbow and push with your arms to sit up and get out of bed. Tip – breathe out while pushing yourself up.

Also Read: Massage After Caesarean Delivery – All You Need To Know

3. Elevated Upper Body

Friends who have had a cesarean delivery will tell you that pillows are your lifesavers. They’re indeed right. Prop yourself on a pile of cosy pillows so that your entire upper body is elevated, not just the head. This position facilitates better breathing and easy sleeping for many suffering from OSA.

4. In a Recliner

For many women, finding comfort in any position becomes really difficult. But many moms have claimed to have slept in a recliner or rocking chair. Of course, it doesn’t feel like sleeping on a bed, but it makes getting up easier. You can also breastfeed with ease.

Also Read: Hernia after C Section Delivery – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Tips to Improve Quality of Sleep While You Recover

For new moms, it is important to have sound sleep even if it is for a short duration of time. Since good quality sleep helps you recover faster, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Follow your doctor’s advice and don’t discontinue your medication to get better sleep.
  • Avoid exerting yourself, climbing stairs, or lifting weights heavier than your baby. You might run a risk of inviting complications and losing sleep. If you give your body time to heal, the pain will subside eventually and also help you sleep better.
  • That said, an optimum amount of movement and exercise can boost blood circulation and quicken the healing process. Once you feel better, you can start with short walks in and around your house. It will help you get better sleep at night.
  • Eating right is very important. Anti-inflammatory foods and foods that are high in Vitamin C like berries and broccoli should be included. You can also eat nuts and seeds.
  • Constipation is not uncommon for new moms. We advise you to drink lots of water and include fibre-rich foods to your diet. You can also ask your doctor about using a stool softener for better bowel movements. An irritable tummy can cause discomfort and make sleeping difficult.
  • Avoid getting up from bed too often during the first few weeks. You can request your husband and family to bring your baby to you when needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of questions on how to sleep after undergoing a C-section. Here we’ve answered a few of them.

1. Is It Okay If I Roll Onto My Belly While Sleeping?

Although rolling onto your belly is something you don’t have control over, deliberately sleeping on your stomach is advised against. That’s because the incision site will be sore and undergoing recovery. As the pain gradually subsides with time, you can sleep on your tummy if you find it comfortable.

Also Read: Exercises & Tips To Reduce Tummy Post Cesarean Delivery

2. Getting Out of Bed Is Very Difficult for Me Afte a C-section. Any tips?

While getting up from your sleeping position, turn to either side and prop yourself up with the help of your elbows. You can also ask a family member to assist you with this. First, assume a comfortable seated position and then let your legs dangle over the side of the bed. Put your feet on the floor and rest for a minute before you stand up. This method will make getting out of bed in the morning easier.

3. Can I Use a Pillow After C- Section?

Yes, you can use a pillow after a C-section as it can help support your body and ease the pain. You can elevate your head from your body for better air circulation. You can also use pillows to support your arms while breastfeeding. 

These are some of the most comfortable ways for good sleep after a C-section. Your emotional health is your first priority. A healthy and positive mind accelerates physical recovery. A happy you is what your baby needs right now.

Also Read:

Recovering After a C-section Delivery
Breastfeeding After Caesarean Section Delivery
Diet After C-section Delivery – Foods to Eat and Avoid

Previous article «
Next article »
Aarohi Achwal holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a master’s degree in English Literature. While working as an intern for an English daily, she realised that she likes writing above anything else. The idea of being heard without having to speak appeals to her. She likes to write research-based articles that are informative and relevant. She has written articles on pregnancy, parenting, and relationships. And she would like to continue creating content on health and lifestyle.