Having a helping hand during stressful times can be a source of comfort and much-needed guidance, and this is especially true when it comes to navigating your post-operative experience. Along with the medical professionals dedicated to your care, a family member or trusted friend is a valuable member of your care team after a natural breast reconstruction procedure like DIEP or GAP. This loved one cares deeply about you, and as your primary caregiver, they can assume various roles and offer support while you are in the hospital.  Recovery should remain your first priority in the hospital and at home, so this individual can participate in your experience directly by acting as a companion, advocate, and guide.   An important function of the caregiver is to support you personally after surgery. They’ll be there for you during this physically and emotionally taxing time, helping to take some of the burden off of you by communicating with and learning from your healthcare providers.   As a close family member or friend, your caregiver has insight into your medical information and history, making it easier for your healthcare practitioners to understand how best to take care of you. As a result, they can help improve visit communication and participate in decision-making because of their personal knowledge and interest in your wellbeing.   This supportive individual can also help you learn about your post-operative care and ask essential questions to understand what to expect in the days and weeks to come after surgery. It is crucial to follow the aftercare guidelines your healthcare providers give you in the hospital, so having an extra person listening during this process can assure that you receive all of the instruction you need to support healthy and positive results.   The medical professionals you work with after surgery provide a great deal of counseling about important post-operative responsibilities, including nutrition tips, medication instructions, and care directions for surgical wounds. It’s helpful for your caregiver to be there throughout your hospital stay and at discharge to help you record this information and learn how to properly take care of yourself at home.   While not all hospitals are allowing visitors at this time, East Cooper Medical Center permits one individual to stay with each patient in their facility to act as a caregiver.  They have put strict COVID-19 precautions in place to ensure that you and your visitor remain safe and healthy during your stay. East Cooper Medical Center understands the importance of having someone to provide personal support throughout your inpatient experience, so they are taking extensive measures to allow you to have this important member of your care team within their medical facility.   Your caregiver is there to tend to you and your needs, and with their help and the guidance provided by your healthcare providers, you can feel confident that you will be in good hands during your recovery. From one-on-one post-operative teaching to hands-on instruction about drain management and at-home wound care, East Cooper Medical Center will provide you with essential information and tips to guide your caregiver’s experience and assure that you have everything you need to successfully manage your care once you have been discharged after your breast reconstruction surgery.