There are two ways your baby will make their way into this world. Vaginal delivery is the natural way to have a baby and a cesarean section, which is a surgical procedure. It’s also known as a C-section. There are a number of reasons why a C-section is needed. The baby might not be in a good birthing position, labor may not be progressing as it should, the mother has already had a C-section with a previous pregnancy, and many others. While C-sections are very common, it’s still surgery. The healing and aftercare are more extensive than a natural birth would be. Thankfully, the aftercare is pretty simple and can help minimize the scarring. Note: This is only a general care guide. Please consult with and follow your doctor’s orders for how your C-section incision should be looked after.
Keep It Clean – No doubt, you’re going to be tired from not only having the surgery but taking care of your brand new baby. It’s very important to look after yourself throughout the healing process. As you’re showering, allow the soap and water to run down the wound. You can also gently wash the incision but do not scrub at the area. After the shower, pat down the area with a clean towel.
Wear Loose Clothing – Tight clothing can get hooked or tugged on the incision. Stick to comfy, loose-fitting clothes such as jogging pants, baggy shirts, pajamas, etc. to prevent tugging, but let the incision air out.
Apply Heat – To help ease the pain, apply a heating pad to your abdomen in 15-minute intervals as needed. If you’re experiencing a great deal of pain that seems out of the ordinary, give your doctor a call.
Hold Off Exercising – Don’t worry about getting the baby weight off right away. You need to let your abdomen heal. If you start exercising too soon, you might end up reopening the incision, which will only delay the healing process and possibly worsen the scar. If it’s heavier than your baby, don’t lift it. Wait until your doctor gives you the green light.
Keep Your Appointments – The doctor will need to have follow-up appointments to see how well you’re progressing. Don’t skip these appointments, even if you’re feeling great. There can still be complications that can be detected early on and solved quickly.
Minimizing the C-Section Scar
- Limit sun exposure – Sunlight can cause your scar to darken. Try to keep your scar out of direct sunlight
- Silicone Gel Sheeting – Silicone gel sheets provide a moisturized environment for the scarred area. This will keep the area soft and will prevent your scar from hardening and raising up. Oleeva® is a brand of silicone gel sheets that has precut sheets specifically for C-Sections. Oleeva® also offers different size sheets and other shapes to accommodate for any scar.