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Make your own hysterectomy recovery cushion

A cushion is one of the best things anyone recovering from abdominal surgery, such as a hysterectomy, can have. It prevents chaffing when you pop it between you and the seat belt in the car. And when you need to sneeze, cough or laugh it’s great for providing just a bit of extra support. Imagine how much better it would combined with a hot or cold pack you can slot in to provide comforting warmth or soothing cold.

Here at the Hysterectomy Association we’ve come up with our own take on the humble cushion and now sell hand-made super-duper hysterectomy recovery cushions through our shop. But, if you’re handy with a sewing machine then there’s no reason why you can’t make your own. Follow our step by step instructions below and you’ll have your own glorious cushion in no time.

Recovery cushion materials

  • 1 cushion inner
  • 3 squares of fabric cut to fit the inner – allowing 1/2 inch seam allowance all round
  • 1 piece of thin wadding cut to half the size of one fabric square
  • Matching thread
  • Reusable hot and cold pack

Recovery cushion instructions

recovery cushion 11. Cut three pieces of material to the right size for your cushion inner, allowing a 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around.

We’ve used two contrasting fabrics, a heavy cotton with heart shape for the front and the pocket and a plain cream cotton for the back.

recovery cushion 22. One piece of your fabric will be used to create a pocket that is stitched to the back of the cushion; this will hold the hot and cold pad when you use it.

Take the fabric for your pocket and fold it in half so that you stitch on the back of the fabric. Stitch along the long edge. Iron out the seam and turn it through so that the front of the fabric is now visible.

Insert the wadding into the pocket and set to one side.

recovery cushion 33. Place the right sides of the remaining fabric pieces together with the pocket as the filling in the sandwich.

If you are using different fabrics, make sure the pocket seam is sitting against the right side of the back of the cushion.

recovery cushion 44. Pin and tack along three sides of the inside out cushion leaving one end open so you can turn it right side out. When you are happy that the three pieces of fabric are lined correctly, use a sewing machine or hand running stitch to sew the three sides together evenly. You may find that you need to adjust the width of the stitch when you come to where the pocket sits, to take account of the extra fabric and wadding.

recovery cushion 55. Cut the corners of the cushion so that they will sit neatly when it’s turned right side out.

Then put your hand in to the furthest corner and pull through until the cushion cover is now showing the right side.

recovery cushion 6Make sure the pocket is sitting at the back of the cushion rather than the front and use a blind slip stitch to secure one side of the pocket to the back fabric so that when the hot and cold pack is added it doesn’t fall through.

If you prefer, you can add your pocket to the back fabric between stages 2 and 3, especially if you are using a sewing machine.

Finally, iron the cushion cover carefully. Fold over the raw, open edges by 1/2 inch and iron flat. Insert the cushion inner. Pin the open ends together and use a blind slip stitch to secure the edge.

If you’d rather not go to the trouble of making your own hysterectomy recovery cushion you can always pick one up from the Hysterectomy Association shop and they come with a free hot and cold heat pack and free delivery.

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Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Transformational coach and founder of the Hysterectomy Association. Professionally I'm an information scientist who specialises in the adoption and engagement of digital technologies. I am a writer and author of nine books to date, and I've edited a further seven; phew what a lot for a Thursday afternoon :-)

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