Here are some things that have helped me when having our children visit their new baby brother or sister after I've had a c-section:
*Let the person taking care of your other children know that you will be playing it by ear on what time you will be up for the children visiting. It's hard to know ahead of time how your recovery will be going, and whether you will be up for company.
*Prepare your children ahead of time on what to expect- let them know that Mommy will be hooked up to some medicine and will be a little sore in the tummy for a while. Let them know that you can still hold and hug them, but that they will need to be gentle.
*Bring a DVD along for the kids to watch in case they get bored and start playing with the birthing lights while the family member that brought them is still visiting. Trust me when I say that it's stressfull having 2 children running around the room making the lights above your legs go off and on while you're still trying to adjust to the anesthesia wearing off.
*Make the visit short and sweet
*Have a little goodie bag waiting for the kids when they get to the hospital. It could have snacks, little toys, (such as a matchbox car or little book). If the kids get bored but you're not ready for them to leave, they can sit down with you or Dad and enjoy their bag of goodies.
*Allow your older children to hold (with your help) their new sibling, and take pictures! It's fun to look back and see the expressions on our children's faces when they held their new siblings for the first time!
*End the visit while you're still feeling okay. It doesn't take long for a recovering c-section mom to wear out.
*Consider waiting until the day after the new baby's birth. I've never waited more than a few hours to have our other children come to the hospital to visit, but I might consider it for next time. I always felt SO much better the day after the surgery- I was more up for company and longer visits. The day of the baby's birth is just overwhelming. Trying to get breastfeeding going that first day can make visits stressfull too, so maybe I'll wait until the day after birth next time. Then again, maybe I won't- it's always so exciting to have the kids visit their new sibling, plus I always end up missing them quite a bit.
Here is a picture from a day or two after my 4th. baby was born. As you can see, the kids were not the calmest company to have after surgery, but it sure was nice to have them visit again. If you asked our 2 oldest children what they remember most about their sisters' births, they will tell you about how they had fruit snacks at the hospital. So there you go- have something yummy for the kids when they come to visit!