Updated: Apr 28, 2021
This is the final week of C-Section Awareness Month and I have loved seeing women parade their scars. Some are sharing them with pride while others are painfully reminded that their birth story did not go as planned. Each scar tells a story of your past pregnancy or pregnancies, but they also give a little bit of insight into what your body might look like in the future. Here are 5 things you should know about C-Sections.
1. There are many reasons why a woman might have a c-section
One of the common reasons that a woman might have an emergency c-section is because of the baby’s response to labor such as fetal distress. Unfortunately, the unborn baby may have sudden or irregular changes to any of his or her vital organs or even complications with how the umbilical cord is positioned around them. Other times, the new mama is at risk for health complications based off of her past medical history or due to prolonged labor. In other scenarios, c-section births may be planned due to carrying multiple babies, a risk of infection transmission, or even having a history of past c-sections. There’s no one cause for having a c-section. After all, every woman and her baby/babies are different.
2. A c-section scar can affect the pelvic floor
A big misconception is that if a woman has had a c-section delivery, she is spared from pelvic floor dysfunction. That cannot be further from the truth! Actually, there are several women that push for some time before the decision to have a c-section is made. Of course, with pushing of any duration, the pelvic floor muscles are involved. Another reason for pelvic floor involvement may simply be because of fascial connections! Simply put, fascia is connective tissue that spans the body like a blanket. It allows for direct and indirect connections of organs, muscles, ligaments, and so many other structures in the body. The uterus is a hollow organ that houses the baby but at the bottom, it extends to the vaginal canal. So, because of the nature of the relationship between the uterus and vagina, a scar in the uterus can pull on some parts of the vagina which is comprised of pelvic floor muscles.
3. Not all scars look the same
Not all women have a perfectly tucked scar that is concealed under their bikini bottoms. Some women have been operated on in the same place more than once because they’ve had several child births. Others may have jagged or even vertical scars due to the nature of the events surrounding the surgery. Unfortunately, in emergent situations, future beauty and vanity is not a priority.
4. It’s not just a quick surgery
While it may seem like the surgery is just a simple incision, it is certainly more than skin deep. There are several layers of tissue that the doctor must cut through to get from the skin to the womb, making it a complex procedure. For that reason, healing isn’t as linear or straightforward as one might think. Aside from all the layers that have to heal, the incision rests in a vulnerable area of the body. Not only is it a place where your pants lie, but it also rests under the abdomen which is vulnerable to changes in pressure with coughing, bending, lifting, and other bodily movements. Those are just some of the reasons that the scar takes about two months to heal and sometimes more!
5. You still gave birth!
You gave birth! This, I feel, is one of the most important things to know about c-section deliveries! I hear so much shaming and negative talk about c-sections such as it being “the easy way out” or doing it the “lazy way.” That is not true at all! Nothing about carrying a child to term is easy or lazy. I urge you to reframe your thinking to say, “I carried a baby” instead. After all, that is the most important part. It’s not how you did it, it’s what you did!
So, yes, c-sections are certainly more than meets the eye. They give a bit of insight into your birthing story as well as how you may move and function in the future.
Have a c-section scar that you’re uncertain about? Schedule a consult with me!