Updated: Apr 22
C-sections are major surgery, and put moms at higher risk for Diastasis Recti. Tension along the c-section scar area can create abdominal wall dysfunction and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.
Healing from a c-section requires a lot of scar tissue work and abdominal rehabilitation.
In addition, c-section scars create scar tissue around the organs in the body, which can result in bladder and bowel irritation, and there are some emerging schools of thought around the effects of abdominal scar tissue and fertility.
Immediate c-section recovery includes managing constipation, pelvic floor muscle tension, and avoiding sitting up/reclining motions.
This means you will want to practice rolling over in bed to get in and out.
Gently abdominal massage can be employed to help mobilize the organ so long as it avoid touching the scar.
After scar tissue healing has occurred, gently scar tissue mobilization can begin. This will require daily mobilization for 3-6 months after your surgery, and will likely extend into a life-long practice. Ideally, scar tissue should be as mobile and pliable as the skin around it.
This is rarely the case with many c-sections, which can become ropy and tight. This is problematic because a tight scar can disrupt muscle function.
Your pelvic floor physical therapist can help mobilize your scar and teach you how to perform this at home.
Early Core Strengthening
After scar healing has occurred, it's safe to begin gentle core strengthening. I see many clients with pain around their scar from improper loading of the abdominal wall. We can help to decrease this by working on breathing into our upper abdominal region.
Many clients grip from their upper abs, which over recruits rectus abdominis, creates downward pressure in the pelvic floor and pulls on the pubic bone just below the scar.
Learning to relax the upper abdominal region through breathing is critical in developing healthy core strength.
After this is mastered we can also begin gently activating our lower abdominal wall. This means flattening out our belly just underneath the scar on the exhale.
Don't continue if there is any pain or discomfort with the exercises. C-section healing is not something we want to be pushing our bodies though.
If you find you are struggling with healing your abdominal wall or csection scar, make sure you book your session today!