How to recover from having a c-section: Things to consider

Have you had a c-section recently?

Are you interested in learning how to return to  functional movement in your body?

Having a c-section is a major abdominal surgery.  It has a lot of effects on the woman’s body, some of which can be very long standing, especially if not managed appropriately at the start.  The surgery involves moving the bladder down to allow space for the cutting of the uterus.  There is a lot of fascia and skin nerves that are cut through during this surgery.  The technique is getting better and better al the time, in regards to re-stitching the body back up.  There are however some things that are affected , once all stitched back up.  One of them is a piece of tissue called the peritoneum. This tissue is like a seran wrap that encases most of the organs and provides support to the abdominal wall.  There are now some surgeons that are sewing this tissue back together during surgery, and there are some that do not.  There is also a lot of skin nerves that are trying to re-connect across the scar after being cut through.  If the c-section scar is not taken care of properly, there can be a lot of thickening and binding down of scar tissue, which can cause mobility issues, as well as pain (including painful intercourse), and can sometimes lead to incontinence.

To address both of these things, it is very important to mobilize the scar.  There are specific techniques that can be used on the scar, that involve circular motions, as well as horizontal and vertical stretching motions across the scar with the pad of the fingers of thumb.  Once the scar has reached about 6 weeks post-partum, these techniques need to be started.  The only reason would be if there was a complication with the scar, meaning an infection, or problem healing, that you would hold off a bit longer.  The scar tissue mobilizations should be done every day, twice a day for the first year post-partum.  The reason a c-section can often lead to incontinence , is that if the scar tissue does not get mobilized properly or within the proper timelines, the scar can thicken and bind down onto surrounding organs and tissues.  The bladder shares a lining with the uterus, so it is often one of the first areas to form adhesions in ( think bands of scar tissue that spread to surrounding areas).  The scar tissue can sometimes also bind on to the colon, and cause issues with bowel emptying, including constipation.  It is useful to have a pelvic health Physiotherapist teach you how to mobilize the scar tissue, as they will teach you the different angles to mobilize the scar on, as well as the depth to do this at.  It you have any questions, please contact Angela Simpson Physiotherapy.

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