According to the CDC, approximately 600,000 C-sections are performed annually in the US. Wow. That’s a lot!
As a c-section mama myself, I know first hand what it’s like to have and recover from one! I also have treated numerous patients who have given birth via c-section and most are given little to no guidance on recovery from their OBGYN or Midwife.
While there is no “easy” way to give birth, there are definitely a few things specific to C-section recovery that are super important and usually providers aren’t telling you these things.
So, here are three things your provider won’t tell you after a C-section.
#1 You must work on the scar - initially we want to massage the skin AROUND the C-section, but once the scar is healed (around 6-8 weeks) you can start working on the incision and tissue underneath it more aggressively.
This is important because with any type of scar incision, our body lays down new tissue (usually called scar tissue), BUT if this tissue isn’t stimulated (with massage, movement ,ect), it can get really tight and “stuck”. This means there can be scar tissue in the uterus, on the abdominals and just below the skin. If this scar tissue gets built up and stuck it can cause pain, difficulty with future conception, weakness in abdominals, compensation patterns or digestive issues.
If you are creeped out by massaging your scar yourself a great alternative is using cupping on it. You can buy THESE inexpensive silicone cups and use a little bit of lotion and just glide the cups over and around the scar (no that’s not an affiliate link but it should due to how much I recommend them =) )
#2 You need to start rehab prior to 6 weeks. Yep that’s right. No matter how you gave birth you really should start prior to 6 weeks. It’s way too early to resume normal activity but also late to start rehab. There are so many things you can and should work on prior to 6 weeks including:
Reconnecting with your abdominals and pelvic floor muscles
#3 You can still have pelvic floor issues after a C-section. Now, I’m not saying you’re definitely going to have issues, just that it’s still possible. Remember how you still carried a baby for 9 months? That’s a lot of body changes and pressure on your pelvic floor. This is why rehab after a C-section is just as important as after a vaginal birth (if not maybe more because remember, you had major abdominal surgery too).
I was told ZERO of these things after my C-section and frankly was frustrated no one was telling me these things. All I was told was “don’t lift anything but the baby for 4 weeks, walk 10 minutes a day and no stairs”.
This is one reason why I love working with C-section mamas! If you’re a C-section mama and actually WERE told some of these things I’d love to know!
P.S. Contact Us today if you have any injuries or issues that are keeping you from doing the things you love!