No doubt pregnancy changes you both physically and emotionally. If you are you are one of the roughly 1.29 million moms that will be recovering from a C-section, minimizing the scar left behind from your bundle of joy is likely a top concern.
Most scars are about 4 to 6 inches long. Initially, the incision site will be about 1/8” wide, but it will shrink somewhat after healing. During post pregnancy recovery, it is critical to keep the wound clean and dry. You’ll also need to monitor it for redness or swelling, which could indicate an infection.
Many women use a silicone gel or sheeting type to promote healing and reduce the intensity of their scars. In addition, it is very important to choose your clothing wisely, making sure there is plenty of circulation and comfort so healing is not compromised.
A more recent addition used to aid in scar reduction is the use of a post C-section belly band such as Body After Baby’s Sienna. But keep in mind that not all C-section support garments and belly bands are created equal. You will want to look for a product made especially for C-section moms. There are plenty of generic support products that claim to work for both vaginal and C-section delivery recovery, but according to Dr. Kim Goodwin, OB/GYN, West Coast OB/GYN in San Diego, CA, “recovering from a C-section requires a totally different approach than a vaginal delivery.” Dr. Goodwin adds “postpartum support garments designed exclusively for C-section moms have provided great relief and support for our patients and can also aid in scar reduction.”
Belly bands designed specifically for C-section recovery use a seamless support panel over the incision and breathable material to decrease the incidence of fluid collections and to minimize swelling that can cause tension across the incision – both of which have a negative impact on healing. Most moms also experience decreased post-operative pain while wearing compressive garments. Lastly, these garments can also be used to hold silicone sheeting in place, which has clearly been shown to diminish the occurrence of hypertrophic or keloid scarring.