Cesarean Scar: What You Should Keep In Mind During The Healing Process

A cesarean scar occurs when the baby is not born through the vagina as usual. About one third of babies in Germany are born by cesarean section. This procedure is not always planned because the mother wants it or because complications are foreseeable from the outset. This procedure is also performed when the mother is already in labor, the birth is not progressing, and there is an increased risk for mother and child. As a reminder, the cesarean scar remains, which will remind you of the birth of your baby for the rest of your life. It is a normal birth, with the only difference that your baby was born through the abdominal wall, not through the vagina. Everything you need to know about the healing process and care of cesarean scars, you can read in this article.

The Cesarean Scar As A Result Of A Major Surgery

The reasons for a cesarean section can be many and varied. The surgery is not always mandatory for medical reasons. Often it is also desired by the mother. For the doctors, it is a routine procedure, while the stress besides the cesarean scar for the mother should not be underestimated. If the intervention is medically necessary, everything has to happen very quickly to protect the life of mother and child. The operation is performed under anesthesia, for which various procedures are used. Often, the anesthesia is administered through the spinal cord, so that the mother is fully conscious, but does not see the procedure itself and does not feel any pain. The surgical area is disinfected and cleared of pubic hair. Now the doctor opens your baby’s belly, striving to place the cesarean scar in the bikini fold if possible. To do this, he must cut through layers of skin, fat and muscle. He then pushes the bladder aside to open the uterus and remove the baby. While the midwife cares for the baby and hands it over to the parents, the doctor removes the placenta and sutures the uterus. He then sutures the abdominal wall. The cesarean scar is not only visible on the outside. Because the different layers of the abdominal wall have to be sutured, internal scars are also left behind. This explains why your cesarean scar needs to heal, requires scar care, and may still hurt for the first few days or weeks.

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What Is A Gentle Cesarean Section?

This surgical technique does not create a different cesarean scar on the outside than the traditional technique. The only difference is the overall gentler operation. After the upper abdominal wall is opened with an incision, the lower layers of the abdominal wall are opened by tearing and stretching rather than by an incision.

This can have a positive effect on your cesarean scar and the healing process:

  • Less tissue damage
  • Less blood loss
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Faster healing

Again, good scar care after surgery is important.

How Does The Healing Of The Cesarean Scar Proceed?

Depending on the physical disposition and the expected size of the baby, the C-section scar is usually 10 to 14 centimeters long. The incision of the upper abdominal wall, which is later visible as a cesarean scar, is sutured in most cases. Now and then it is also stapled. The midwife will advise you on how to care for the scar after delivery. In the first few days after the procedure, your C-section scar will still be covered by a sterile dressing. After a few days, the bandage will be removed. Then the nurse will also remove the staples or stitches. Your C-section scar will still be red and swollen. Bruising may also occur around the scar. This is completely normal. The healing process is the same for most women:

First Five Days After Birth

The scar is red, swollen and may also hurt a little.

5 To 7 Days After Birth

The cesarean scar is closed by a crust, and stitches or staples can be removed.

2 To 3 Weeks After Birth

The cesarean scar is still red and bulging. Itching may also occur.

One Year After Birth

The wound should have faded. A feeling of numbness is still possible. In the first days or weeks after the C-section, it is completely natural that your C-section scar still hurts. This happens with movements, sneezing, coughing and laughing. The doctor can prescribe a well-tolerated painkiller that will not affect your breast milk if you are breastfeeding. How long it actually takes for the C-section scar to heal depends on several individual factors. The ability of the wound to heal, the course of the C-section, and also your behavior after the birth all play a role.

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What You Should Bear In Mind When Caring For Your Scar

To ensure that your C-section scar heals well and is hardly visible later, it is important to take care of the scar properly. If, after the dressing and stitches or staples have been removed, you notice leaking wound fluid or even pus, you must inform your midwife. The same applies if you notice pain or swelling. Good hygiene is important. The C-section scar and the surrounding skin are still sensitive in the first few weeks. You should not rub when washing or showering and only gently dab the scar dry with a towel. You should avoid heavy lifting and jerky movements after the procedure. However, the healing process can be promoted by light movements. You can use a scar cream or scar oil to treat your C-section scar and the surrounding skin in the first few weeks after the bandage is removed. You should massage the cream or oil into the skin. This will promote healing. The blood circulation is stimulated. The scar may still feel hard and rough in the first few weeks. This is due to the accumulation of tissue fluid. You can treat this problem well with massage.

About two to three weeks after the birth, you can start caring for the scar more intensively. You can massage your C-section scar and the surrounding skin with scar cream or St. John’s wort oil two to three times a day. The scar cream has a wound-healing, anti-inflammatory and scar-regulating effect. In addition, you can treat the scar area with a soft baby brush to promote blood circulation and skin regeneration. You can make circular movements with the baby brush.

Scar Care By Massaging With The Hand

You can use your hand or fingers to perform scar care when the cesarean scar has healed well. Massage the area around the scar from both sides. To do this, start at one end of the scar. Place your fingers two centimeters above and two centimeters below the scar. Move the skin with your fingers in the direction of the scar until they meet in the middle. Now lift your fingers and work your way to the other end of the scar using this massage technique.

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The Right Clothing After The Cesarean Section

In order for your cesarean scar to heal well, it is important to wear the right clothes. You should wear loose clothing for the first few weeks after the procedure. You should avoid tight pants and shirts. Recently, emperor panties have been offered for women who have had a cesarean section. These Kaiserschlüpfer are intended to promote the healing of the cesarean scar and have a pocket for a cooling pad. The abdomen is supported with flexible material.

Why Does The Cesarean Scar Itch?

The cesarean scar may itch repeatedly during the first few weeks, but also later. This is completely natural, as it is scar tissue. If you are sensitive to the weather, the scar may itch when the weather changes. The itching is mostly due to nerve fibers in the skin. During a C-section, nerves must be cut. Mild pain is also possible. The nerve fibers are affected by the regrowing connective tissue. You can relieve the itching by cooling your scar or applying a scar cream.

This Is Why Numbness Around The C-Section Scar Occurs

Numbness around the C-section scar is completely normal. It can still occur even after the pain has long subsided. The numbness is also due to the fact that nerves are cut during a C-section. How long the numbness lasts varies from person to person. In most cases, it disappears after a year. Over time, the nerves grow together, at least partially, so that the numbness gradually disappears. You can stimulate the healing process with daily massages using a scar cream and a soft baby brush. The numbness can then disappear more quickly. In some cases, the feeling around the cesarean scar is never the same again, even if the numbness goes away with time.

What Complications Can Occur With A Cesarean Scar?

Your cesarean scar may become infected and may hurt in the first days and weeks after delivery. In any case, you should consult your midwife or doctor. This is especially important if wound secretions or pus come out of the scar or if the inflammation is accompanied by fever. The doctor will then take the appropriate treatment, which includes the wound care of your scar. During the healing process, adhesions may occur, which can cause pain. The physiotherapist can help to loosen these adhesions with various exercises.

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Can The Cesarean Scar Rupture?

Only in rare cases can the cesarean scar burst open. Such a scar rupture can occur with great physical exertion, such as heavy lifting or carrying, shortly after the cesarean section. A scar hernia can also occur during a new pregnancy after a cesarean section. However, this is very rare, as the cesarean section is performed as gently as possible overall. If a scar hernia occurs, it is usually closed minimally invasively.

Is It Possible To Correct A Cesarean Scar?

If a cesarean scar does not heal as desired because it is bulging or shifting, this represents a major psychological burden for many women. It is not only a cosmetic problem, but the cesarean scar can also cause pain. Depending on how the cesarean scar has healed, there are several options for correction through plastic surgery. The doctor will advise you about the options. The scar will never completely disappear with correction. The costs may be covered by health insurance if the scar correction is medically necessary.

Cesarean Section Scar And Other Births

A cesarean scar is not an obstacle to further births. The gynecologist will advise you if you are pregnant again after a cesarean section. The next child does not necessarily have to be born again by cesarean section. However, the probability that your next child will be born by cesarean section again is slightly higher than without such an intervention before. If there is a risk that the uterus or the abdominal wall will tear during labor, this intervention is necessary. However, such a risk is rare.

Cesarean Section Scar: Conclusion

A cesarean scar is the result when your baby is not born naturally. Since it is a surgical procedure, the scar must heal. This takes a few weeks. After one year, the cesarean scar has healed well. You can boost healing with scar cream and the right scar care. Itching and pain of the C-section scar are completely normal. However, you should consult a doctor if the scar is oozing secretions or pus and if inflammation of the scar is accompanied by fever. If you allow yourself the necessary rest after the cesarean section, the scar can heal well. If you are not satisfied with the result, a scar correction is also possible.



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