Many women experience discomfort in their c-section scar, even when the scar is healed and looks normal. Sometimes the scar can be very sensitive and feel uncomfortable if anything touches it. It can also feel like you are unable to use your tummy muscles. Restricted mobility of the scar, called adhesions, can cause these symptoms.
What is normal for your c-section scar?
It is normal for your scar to appear red/pink and raised for the first few weeks, however the scar will heal over a period of up to 2 years and should result, if cared for properly, in a thin smooth white line. Itching can often occur while it heals and areas of numbness are also normal. Adhesions and restrictions are more likely to occur if a scar becomes infected.
After the first few weeks your scar should not cause excessive discomfort or activity restrictions, if you experience either of these things please speak to your midwife or GP.
Abdominal adhesions can also limit mobility of the pelvic organs, thus potentially causing pain with deeper vaginal penetration and thrusting, the deeper ‘massage’ techniques in the video can help to restore this mobility.
How can you help to look after your c-section scar?
Within the NHS it is not common for c-section scar massage to be taught but I always encourage it. I find it is extremely helpful and gives a much better outcome both aesthetically and physically for my clients. The increased movement improves the muscles function and reduces pain, therefore making it a lot easier to exercise.
C-section scar desensitisation.
Depending on how sensitive your scar is you may find you want to do some scar desensitisation first.
If you scar is hypersensitive and you find it difficult to tolerate touch or pressure make sure you follow these steps first. You can start this from 6 weeks after your surgery.
- Always make sure your hands are clean before you start.
- Use a clean wet flannel.
- Gently smooth the flannel over your lower abdomen and scar, up and down, side to side or in circles for 1-3 minutes. (Do not rub harshly or for too long, as it may cause aggravation)
- Do this daily until the sensitivity has improved.
- Once you are happy with the flannel you could try different textures e.g. a sponge or loofa, a child’s soft hair brush or some cotton wool. You can try anything around the house, as long as it isn’t sharp or painful.
C-section scar massage.
Everyone heals at slightly different rates and it will also depend on how your surgery went (I find that planned c-sections usually experience less pain than emergency), but you can start the second stage of massage (shown in the video) from 8-12 weeks, providing that your scar is FULLY healed with no open areas or scabs and that you have overcome any sensitivity. If you are concerned please check with a health professional before you start.
Click here to WATCH THE VIDEO!
If you have any problems, concerns or would like to be shown the massage techniques in person, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Fit Bumps and Mums for an appointment. If you are not in Cornwall I would recommend you see your local Women’s Health Physiotherapist, or discuss with your GP or midwife.