Inside: What to expect with your c-section scar immediately after delivery and years later. Sponsored by Mederma®.
For many women, a cesarean birth is the first (and sometimes only) major surgery of their lives — so it’s scary! (At least it was for me!)
I didn’t plan for a c-section delivery, so I wasn’t quite prepared and I didn’t know what to expect. Obviously it was all completely worth it! However, I’m a little squeamish, so I was pretty nervous about being cut and caring for the incision. In fact, I wouldn’t even look at my c-section scar for almost a week afterwards!
That’s why I want to share with you my experience so you’ll have a better idea of what a c-section scar is like.
What to Expect with Your C-Section Scar
These are the five things I wish I’d known beforehand!
It’s not as big as you think
The average C-section requires only a 4-6 inch incision, usually made horizontally and low on the abdomen. (Amazing how doctors are able to get a baby through there!) The so-called “bikini cut” is used in up to 95% of all cesareans because it bleeds less, heals faster and is less noticeable than a vertical incision. (Source)
Your scar won’t rip open
Let me qualify this by saying: if you follow your doctor’s instructions, your scar won’t rip open.
This was my by far my biggest worry! However, our bodies are absolutely amazing in what they are capable of doing. I mean, we grew a human being inside us, so it makes sense that our body can heal a little scar!
The most important thing to do is allow yourself to heal. If your doctor says not to lift anything heavier than your baby for 2 weeks, LISTEN! Ask for help if you need it — this is a tough one for me, but I learned to graciously accept offers from family and friends. You deserve it mama!
Walking is the best medicine
When my nurse told me (actually, she ordered me) to get up and walk the day after surgery, I looked at her like she was a crazy person!
However, walking increases blood flow and promotes healing. So if your doctor or nurse instructs you to move around after surgery, grin and bear it. (The first walk totally did hurt for me, but I knew I wouldn’t get better just sitting in bed.)
Walking is the one exercise that is generally safe to do from the beginning, increasing your distance over the days and weeks after surgery.
Your scar will become almost invisible
Not overnight of course, but with time and proper care your scar will heal to the point you won’t even notice it. In fact, my c-section scar is so faint now that it’s practically invisible.
Though my incision healed well on its own, once I started using Mederma® Advanced Scar Gel I saw a dramatic improvement — to the point I had difficulty even finding my scar one day! I actually applied the gel on a patch of regular belly skin by mistake. I definitely had a good laugh at that!
It’s pretty clear why Mederma® is the number one doctor and pharmacist recommended scar product* — I wish I’d known about it sooner! But honestly, I don’t think it’s ever too late to give Mederma® a try. I started using it over two years after my surgery and still saw awesome results.
I tried Mederma® Advanced Scar Gel on my stretch marks too and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I compared the before/after photos. The “tiger stripes” I thought would never go away are half as dark as they used to be only a month ago!
*1Pharmacy Times and U.S. News & World Report, OTC Guide, July 2016.
Since you only need to apply Mederma® Advanced Scar Gel once a day, it’s easy to remember. I put it on my c-section scar immediately after my shower — it’s now a part of my daily routine.
It might feel weird for a while
Numbness, itching, tingling, or even light prickling pain is normal for the first few weeks after a cesarean delivery as your nerves regenerate. The healing process for nerves cut during surgery usually takes about 6-9 months. (Source)
I experienced all of the above at some point, and believe me, it felt weird! But like your c-section scar, these sensations will fade over time. Some moms tell me they still feel light numbness on occasion a year or more after birth; however, any sharp pains or persistent numbness at that point should probably be checked by your doctor.
Recovery is definitely a process, and I won’t kid you and say that a C-section is “easy.” However, two years later, I feel great and I have a beautiful daughter that brightens every single day. All that’s left to remind me of my cesarean delivery is a tiny scar…and even that is fading thanks to Mederma®!
Just a note: This post is based on my own personal experience; I’m not a medical professional and this is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your recovery process.
You might also like: 5 Things All C-Section Mamas Need to Hear
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