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Caring For Your Cesarean Scar Postpartum






There are many reasons for a cesarean delivery, whether it be scheduled or an emergency. A cesarean is a major abdominal surgery performed under regional anesthesia where the doctor will carefully cut through a variety of abdominal layers (skin, fat, fascia, abdominal muscle, peritoneum, uterus, amniotic sac). These layers are then sutured back together, however scarring varies widely in the layers sutured or not sutured. Following any abdominal surgery your anterior abdominal wall is no longer the way it was before and you will likely develop scar tissue, adhesions, possibly numbness and some possible functional limitations. Manual therapy performed by a trained healthcare provider and specific at home exercises and mobilizations can be helpful to limit the amount of dysfunction in the area.


These tissues will then begin to heal over the next 6 to 12 weeks. During this time women can begin to touch their incision site, as long as it is closed and healing well. You can discuss this with your postpartum healthcare provider if you are not sure when to begin. Below you will find some steps to follow while treating your cesarean scar at home. 


1. Touch Your Scar: Divide your scar into quarters.

Assess the qualities in each quarter by using two fingers. Push and pull your fingers in different directions allowing your body to get used to the sensation.

2. Move Your Scar: Use two fingers to move your scar.

Slowly push and pull your fingers in different directions, paying attention to how thick your scar is and how tense the tissue is. Move your fingers up/down and right/left noticing if the tissue moves better in certain directions. Do this in each quarter.

3. Treat Your Scar: Direct, indirect and active techniques.

Direct Techniques: using two fingers deliver gentle pressure by pushing or pulling the tissue into the path of most resistance. Hold for 7-10 seconds and move to another area. 

Indirect Techniques: using two fingers deliver gentle pressure by pushing or pulling the tissue into the path of least resistance. Hold for 7-10 seconds and move to another area. 

Active Techniques: using two fingers apply gentle pressure into the path of most resistance while taking deep belly breaths. Repeat this 5 times and move on to another area. This can also be done while incorporating a variety of stretches. 

4. Frequency: Daily while in the shower.

Doing this daily will help improve mobility and potentially decrease any numbness as well. If your scar is sensitive to touch, gently massaging it with a washcloth or a luffa in circular motions will also be beneficial. 

These steps will be beneficial to reduce adhesions, pain, numbness and sensitivity to the area. Other manual care therapies, in addition to specific rehabilitation exercises, can be beneficial as well. If you have recently had a cesarean birth and are looking for more information or resources, please give our office a call.


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