7 things I would tell a woman about what to expect during and after a C-section
The itty, bitsy bikini scar you see is just the tip of the iceberg.
Much so like an iceberg, scar tissue can proliferate and extend much deeper than what you see on the surface. C-section scars go through nine layers of abdominal tissue often times impacting the suspensory ligaments of the bladder (urachus) which is found on the inside of the abdominal wall, core muscle strength and proprioception, pelvic floor muscle function and digestion. That being said, I want readers to know that scar tissue is a natural and normal process. It’s necessary for healing and there are some women who have no issues after c-section while others do. It’s all relative and based on the individual, situation, and circumstances. No one should be afraid of scars. Just educate and learn how to optimize your body’s recovery and function.
Research has shown that having a c-section increases the risk of diabetes mellitus, asthma, and celiac’s disease for the child.
During pregnancy the diversity of your gut microbiota increases and after delivery this diminishes. It’s still unknown why or how this happens.
Abdominal scars can impact gut motility most commonly a decrease in transit.
(it’s like putting a piece of duct tape around a balloon) the restriction from the scar adhesion can impact the mobility and motility of the small intestine, colon, bladder, uterus, and rectum. Anything that compresses or restricts the intestines or any organ for that matter will impede it’s circulation and function.
Abdominal scars can disrupt small intestine health and vascularity which can impact gut microbiota balance.
This can lead to dysbiosis, IBS, bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, etc.
Sometimes there can be a lack of sensation and extensibility around the scar.
Because there are 9 layers of tissue there are also accompanying nerves and vascular tissue that supply these areas. It’s not uncommon to feel numbness or a change in sensation after a c-section. Sometimes I’ve had patients with neuropathic pain (abdominal pain post c-section) come see me due to the nerves being involved. But I’ve also had those with c-section scars without any symtpoms at all. It’s all based on the individual. We’re not all created equal so to say.
A woman should expect to lay off of heavy lifting, bending, intense exercises at least for 6 weeks or until the scar heals.
Again every body is different.
It’s not standard practice for obgyn’s, NPs, RN’s, to teach a woman how to massage her c-section scar.
So it’s no wonder why most women are unaware of the impacts that c-secton scars have on the rest of their body and what to do about it