5 Things to Consider Post Caesarean

Header image for Cesarian Section showing dictionary definition
Your baby is here but for some it’s not all sunshine and snuggles. For those who were not expecting a c-section – it’s a lot to swallow that your birth didn’t go as planned. On top of that, a caesarean scar can be hard to recover from both physically and mentally, while simultaneously acting as a permanent reminder of your belly birth. Whether you had a planned caesarean that you were able to mentally prepare for in advance, or if your birth plan went out the window in an emergency, let’s talk about recovery and how you can start to love your body, your scar, and your stretch marks.

In Episode 3 of our podcast 40 Weeks to Forever, we chatted with Aliya Dhalla, a Pelvic Floor Therapist from BoxWellness Co., where she enlightened us with 5 practical ways to love the skin you're in and that post c-section scar.

Take Care Of Yourself

RECOVERY 101:

Once baby is here, it is easy to make them your only priority. Don’t let the one who delivered that baby go on the back burner – they need care too! A c-section may be common practice now but please don’t forget that you JUST HAD MAJOR SURGERY [you champion warrior!].

We all know to expect a 6-week follow up appointment with your doctor, but what about before or after those 6 weeks are up? A lot of us don’t even know when to seek help – so let's start there. If you are experiencing any of these signs seek help from a health care provider immediately:

  • An oozing scar
  • A scar that is an odd colour like yellow or green
  • A scar that is not healing together
  • A scar that is inflamed and you’re spiking a fever
Keep that wound clean and dry for it to heal the best you can – and don’t forget to brace yourself with a pillow if you need to cough or sneeze!

Unpack Your Feelings

Seeing your scar and caring for it in the early days can sometimes result in a flood of emotions. Plus, right after surgery, you might need help getting dressed, picking things up off the floor, or carrying a carseat. Not being able to do these seemingly simple things can amplify those feelings.

A lot of women disassociate themselves from their scar. Often, those who had an unplanned c-section really don’t want anything to do with it. Studies have shown that women who had unplanned c-sections are more prone to experience post postpartum depression and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Once you understand what feelings you have, then the real healing can begin! Aliya suggests you need to unpack any emotions that you may feel during this time:
Unpack whatever emotions you feel that are associated with your birth experience and your scar. That’s an important part of the healing process that I think a lot of us might just not realize quite how impactful that is.”
- Aliya Dhalla, Pelvic Floor Therapist, BoxWellness Co.
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Touch Your Scar

As soon as your scar has come together and there are no more open spots, you can begin touching it [gently] with clean hands. Look at it in a mirror! Softly touch your scar when you’re in the shower and begin to familiarize yourself with it. As Aliya shared, there are many layers of tissue to go through to get that beautiful baby into the world. There’s the muscles, fascia, connective tissue and of course the skin. You need all of those layers to heal in a smooth organized fashion.

In the beginning of the healing process, try to introduce your scar to textures from your home like a washcloth, or a clean makeup brush or toothbrush to help educate the nerves with normal sensations again. Once it’s really started to heal and you’re feeling good, you can start to massage the tissue in and around your scar. Give it some love, increase the blood flow, and allow the scar to move so there’s no sticky spots. Those sticky spots could lead to problems and pain later on in life.
I do recommend as soon as the scar is healed, look at it. Touch it. Love it. That’s the way that you brought your baby into the world.”
- Aliya Dhalla, Pelvic Floor Therapist, BoxWellness Co.

Find a Mantra

It’s going to take some time to unpack the emotions or trauma that you might be feeling but, for now, try to appreciate what your body just did. You just brought a beautiful baby into this world! Find a mantra that works for you. Repeating empowering messages helps ward off negative feelings, and helps you unload that baggage you may be feeling.

Every scar tells a story, especially this one. You are amazing – your body created this perfect tiny life!

Seek Help

You are not alone – have patience and grace with yourself.

^^ Go read that again.

Your world and your whole identity has just changed. You now have a tiny human to care for, but remember that your mental and physical health are important too. There are communities you can join, or professionals whose job it is to help you rediscover yourself and love you for who YOU are.

“It takes a village to raise a child” – not only for the child’s sake, but also for you to recover and become whole again. Find someone who can help you through recovery. Consider finding a therapist, or even pelvic floor specialist, who can help you re-gain your quality of life post-delivery. You have to do the work to unpack that emotional baggage you are reminded of every time you catch a glimpse of that scar.

Lead with Love

Remember, scars fade – it takes time but they will.

To help aid and soothe, we love this Scar Balm by Earth Mama Organics, and its ability to help make the emotional battle a little easier. Use it to help heal by massaging it in once it has come together. For more information about postpartum recovery and parenting in general, listen to our podcast 40 Weeks to Forever, and check out our Related Content below!

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