I feel as though God gave me the experience of both vaginal delivery and a C-section so that I could relate to women in both scenarios. The C-section was with my second child and I thought, at the time, my core would never be the same. In fact, as the doctor was getting ready to perform my emergency C-section because the little booger was breach, I was asking her what exactly she would do with the abdominal muscles. What are they doing in there?
First, they make a horizontal incision at bikini line (this may look different depending on your surgeon as well as situation). Next, the rectus sheath that blends your abdominal muscles is separated by viciously pulling it apart. An incision is then made in your peritoneum, the lining of your abdominal cavity. The last incision is made in your uterus to get that dear baby out. You are then sutured back up layer by layer. Side note: some doctors do not suture your abdominal muscles back together if they believe you may have more children.
I remember how brutally sore I was following my C-section. I texted a friend on my car ride home (after I struggled to pull myself into the car) to ensure that I would live through this. I couldn’t lie flat for a few weeks and heaven forbid sit straight up in bed. Don’t lift more than 10 pounds…are you kidding! I have a 2-year-old and was the idiot who decided to put the children’s bedrooms on the second floor so climbing stairs and carrying a two-year-old was in the cards some days. Believe it or not, I lived through it and I have the scar to show for it.
The lovely battle wound from carrying a child and having it excised from your body. While driving in the car one day, my then five-year-old asked me how babies get out of mom’s tummies. Luckily, my familiar scar was my scapegoat because the birds and the bee’s and vaginal delivery talk were not happening that day. Her response “I am NEVER having babies!” 🙂
Sometimes it may feel numb from superficial nerve damage that may or may not return.
Sometimes it can be hyper-sensitive. For example, I have had a few women feel like they are going to puke when anything touches their scar. Other women cannot stand having high-wasted pants or anything else resting on their scar. This can improve!
Sometimes it can be sore or painful more on one side versus the other. You may also notice that there may be more scar tissue on one side vs. the other. This may be due to the instrument used to stretch your skin to one side so they can get to the baby!
Sometimes genes can jump into the mix and play a role in how your connective tissue heals and responds.
Sometimes you can have bladder or GI issues due to the scar tissue.
When scars heal, collagen, a protein building block that makes up a lot of our tissues, is laid down in a very unorganized fashion. If you remember, several layers are stitched back together so although your scar may seem only surface level, you have many layers that heal by scaring below. This scaring may affect the areas around it including the bladder and GI system. Massage can be performed to the scar to help re-align the collagen tissue, create better mobility, as well as desensitize a hypersensitive scar.
If you are less than 6-weeks postpartum, you will need to wait until 6-8 weeks or until your scar has healed before you start massaging it.
It’s never too late to start mobilizing your scar!
Please reach out to me with questions!
Great info Taryn! I use these techniques with patients all the time, but you have laid out the info for clients in a great way.
Thanks Pam! It is very basic stuff but I see a lot of women who don’t quite know what to do for their scars especially if it is hypersensitive!
This brought tears to my eyes. I’m so proud of you and the passion you have found in your work. I’m going to share your blog with a fellow mama friend of mine. Great work on this blog and the video. I plan to take better care of my mama scar with the skills you have shared.
Thank you so much for your support and reading! I would love if you shared with your fellow momma friends! Thanks Amanda! 🙂
Hi lady!! Whitney here from PT school:) This article jumped out at me – I’ve also had both types of delivery (2 csections and 1 vaginal). I didn’t do the massaging my first csection but I’m def thinking I will for this one in a few weeks because I do have some weird nerve stuff going on and more sensitivity this go round (and I adore high-waisted jeans so that may be an issue)! So proud of you and your blog launch! Hope you are well!
Whitney! Thank you so much for commenting! Congrats on the third little babe…how exciting! I just picture you being the sweetest and greatest momma! Please keep me updated on your postpartum journey!
Just a quick q – would this be beneficial for someone who, say, has had 6 c-sections? Not sure if I’m way past help at this stage…