- Dr. Gayle Colthurst, PT
6 WAYS TO EASE TIGHTNESS AROUND YOUR C-SECTION SCAR
Updated: Jun 7, 2020
As I sat in the birthing classes I zoned out when she was talking about what to do when you have a c-section. Thinking “I got this” there is no way I would have a c-section, vaginal birth all the way. But it turns out my sons' head was too big and he did not want to come out. All I could think about the next morning when getting out of the hospital bed for the first time is I should have paid more attention in that birthing class.
1. STAND TALL & GET MOVING
Do NOT slouch when standing, you want to start activating your abdominal muscles as quickly as possible for support. Start moving, walking is a good foundational way to get your blood flowing. Start slow and increase your walking time and distance based on your previous functional level.
2. SCAR MASSAGE
Don't go full force until the scar is healed, that takes about 6 weeks. But you can start to GENTLY massage the abdominal soft tissue 3-6 inches around the scar to improve blood flow to the area for healing. You can use a vitamin E oil or coconut oil for some lubrication. It may feel funny or numb at first, the nerves that supply sensation to these areas have been cut during the procedure. When your scar is fully healed you can start massaging over it.
3. MYOFASCIAL OR VISCERAL (ORGAN) WORK
When you have a c-section they need to cut through layers of skin, fat, fascia, abdominal muscles, peritoneum, uterus, and the amniotic sac before getting to your baby. Then they have to suture each layer back together. So when you look at your scar of the surface you are just seeing one but there are more underneath that can cause adhesion's which can be a cause of pain and lack of GI function. I suggest working with a manual therapist who specializes in visceral manipulation. As a visceral manipulation practitioner I am able to assess the tissue and release any restrictions in the area and throughout the body that may be causing pain or dysfunction. This allows for an optimal healing environment and allows your body to begin the healing process for recovery.
4. DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING
Diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing helps to glide abdominal soft tissue and visceral (organ) mobility. It can also aid in relaxing the central nervous system for overall pain relief.
5. STAY HYDRATED
Drink plenty of caffeine free fluids especially when breastfeeding. Also, staying hydrated can help to detox some of the medications used during your procedure.
6. AVOID CONSTIPATION
Avoid constipation by eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and keep moving. Avoid bearing down during a bowel movements by using a “sqautty potty” or step where your knees are above you hips. This is the optimal position for voiding.
I hope you find these tips helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions I would be honored to support you on your healing journey.
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