“Wow, my C-section was super low key,” said no one ever.
That’s because even though a C-section is a common surgery that has saved the lives of countless mums and babies (cue confetti-drenched victory parade), it’s still surgery. And that means it’s not as simple as opening and closing the zipper on your makeup bag.
(Yeah, okay, we’re sorry about that visual.)
But think about it: the surgeon has to cut through layers of skin, peritoneum, complex abdominal muscles, and your uterus to get your sweet babe out via the front door. And it’s not like all of that can be sewn back up with one thread. Each layer needs its own stitches and forms its own scar tissue.
The human body is amazing, right?
But amazing as it is, this complexity does mean that you’ve got to mother your scar through an intricate healing journey – think of it like your other child … except it lets you sleep and doesn’t throw up on you.
Sound scary? Fear not! We’ve got two essential tips to help you give your scar some healing vibes just six weeks postpartum.
Tip one: Get it movin’!
True story: one of our clients, Claire, felt her scar tissue pulling and burning in cobra pose four years postpartum. FOUR. YEARS. Her kiddo was ready for football cleats, but her scar was stuck in the past.
Girlfriend was moving her body, but her body wasn’t moving with her. We don’t usually think about it, but all our organs move and glide as we move our bodies, and neglected scar tissue can jam that movement up. It’s like the difference between a silk dress that slips over your skin and a belt that keeps pinching in all the wrong places.
So, how can you make your scar tissue more silky?
After six to eight weeks, it’s time to gently get back into postpartum exercises, as well as incorporating trunk stretching.
First, try some leg slides: Lay on your back on a smooth floor (not carpet) with your knees bent, wearing socks or with a small towel under your feet. Alternating legs, gently slide one foot away from your bum until your leg is straight, then bring it back in. Remember to keep your core on!
Keep your body moving, and your scar tissue will get the hint. You get to tell it how to form – sort of like a gardener staking a plant – so make sure it knows to stay flexible by moving it regularly!
Tip two: mini-massage
Once your incision is no longer red or inflamed (that’ll take about six weeks), it’s time to check on things.
Put your thinking cap on while you gently probe the length of your scar. What does it feel like? Is it stretchy? Lumpy? Soft? Are any parts more or less firm?
If your scar has lumpy or firm places, they’re crying out for some TLC. Enter stage right: the mini-massage.
Using two fingers, and without lotion or oil, gently press into the scar tissue and massage one place for 30-60 seconds. Don’t move your fingers across your skin – your focus is on the deeper layers. Imagine you’re trying to melt a plate of jelly without breaking or squishing it. Just apply patient pressure. Voila! You should feel that sucker start to melt away with just one treatment.
Repeat this daily for two weeks and you’ll be so proud of your supple, beautiful scar, you’ll have to resist the urge to compare scar tissue with all the other mums at the beach.
On second thought – don’t resist. You gorgeous babes have earned the bragging rights.
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