by: Heather Jeffcoat, DPT - Women's Health Physical Therapy, Los Angeles CA
A Cesarean Section or C-section is real surgery. Aside from the obvious birth of a baby, the cesarean section has all the other features of any invasive procedure, from the incision to the recovery time. The challenge is that new moms have a full agenda that includes feeding baby, changing diapers, and doing yet another load of laundry — leaving little time for the body to recover from surgery properly. So how can you help your body heal? Let’s start by learning more about what your needs will be in the days following the procedure.
What to Expect After a C-Section
Typically, the incision is made horizontally around the pubic hairline and is 4-6” in length. After the baby is born, the area around the site will feel sore or numb. It might also be slightly raised or puffy. The doctor will remove any staples or sutures after the third or fourth day. Protecting the wound will be a priority. For example, any strain on that area, from holding the baby to contracting during a sneeze, can damage the incision site. You may need to modify, for example, breastfeeding positions or use rolled-up towels to prop up the baby away from the scar during post-pregnancy healing. Research has also pointed to a slightly increased occurrence of urge urinary incontinence in women that have had a C-section than women that have had a vaginal delivery (who have a higher occurrence of stress urinary incontinence, especially in forceps or vacuum-assisted deliveries). Urge urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine accompanied by a strong urge to urinate. Women with urge incontinence can never seem to make it to the toilet in time. This is usually in the presence of certain behavioral cues such as putting your key in the door, hearing running water or with the increased sensation of fullness as you are making your way to the bathroom. Women that have had a cesarean delivery, but had contractions and attempted a vaginal delivery may also develop stress urinary incontinence or bladder prolapse due to the strain that is put on the pelvic floor muscles.
How to Help Your Body Heal from a C-section
Helping the body heal from this major surgery is just as important to your baby’s well-being as physically taking care of him or her. If you’re so focused on caring for your newborn and other children that you neglect yourself during post-pregnancy healing, it could trigger serious complications like an infection or poor wound healing, which could ultimately make taking care of your baby quite difficult. The resulting scar may become raised and painful, which may create hypersensitivity through the area making it difficult to wear underwear or other tight-fitting clothing. Sometimes, a light brush across a scar like this can create quite a bit of discomfort. One natural way to help the body heal is by wearing a properly designed C-section support recovery garment. A post-pregnancy healing device, like Body After Baby’s C-Section Recovery Garment, is designed by a team of medical professionals to facilitate recovery. It works by using compression and support panels to provide structure and support to the recuperating body. In addition, the C-section garment employs a side opening to keep seams and zippers away from the sensitive incision site. It also delivers gentle compression to reduce swelling (edema), aid wound healing, help retract skin, and increase circulation.
With a C-section recovery garment:
You’ll move better. The activities of daily living (ADLs) are tough when you’re dealing with a painful incision site. Unlike C-section panties or post-partum belly bands designed for vaginal deliveries, a good support garment will support all the major body parts impacted by pregnancy including the hips, and lower back, not just the C-section incision. And while it’s true that you won’t be running a marathon right away, a full-support recovery garment will help you move with more confidence and less pain.
You’ll feel stronger. Having a C-section can leave your insides feeling like they’ve been battered. Supporting the incision site as well as the surrounding muscles and tissues provide the structure that makes the abdomen feel stronger.
You’ll feel and look better. When you move with less pain, you’ll feel better more quickly—and that means you can care for your baby better. It also means you can get back to a normal life more quickly (well, a new normal, anyway!). Make C-section recovery faster and less painful by wearing a recovery support garment to help your post pregnancy body heal. An added bonus: a C-section recovery garment acts as light shapewear too, so you really do look slimmer with it on.
Specifically designed for use following a Cesarean Section delivery
A C-Section recovery garment such as the Sienna by Body After Baby, is for C-section moms that want to recover faster and more comfortably so they can regain the strength they need to actively focus on their new baby. C-Section recovery garments provide compressive support, stability and comfort during the healing period. A good garment will also feature a seamless lower-abdominal support panel that provides the correct support and compression to protect and stabilize the incision site and surrounding abdominal structures during the healing process. Additional support panels around the lower back provide core stability and increase comfort. Also look for a garment designed without direct seams over the C-section wound site, and one intended for immediate use after a C-Section delivery to help you recover in comfort, promote wound healing, and support your body during the daily activities of motherhood.