Postnatal A-Z: M for Massaging your C-section scar
Today's letter in my Postnatal A-Z is M for Massaging your C-section scar.
I wanted to include this in here as it's come up a few times in my Buggyfit classes and many mums feel uncomfortable massaging their scar. Furthermore, up to 25% of births in the UK are now by C-section according to the NHS so it makes sense for mums to find out more about it.
Why should mums massage their scar? Our bodies are amazing at healing, however, in the process, the new collagen that is laid down can often be distributed quite unevenly. Some thicker, more fibrous scar tissue - so-called adhesions - can bind to other nearby tissues which results in that pulling sensation that many mums feel.
Some mums feel comfortable gently massaging the area surrounding their scar but they are surprised at how much firmer they can and should be once the scar has healed which is typically circa 6-8 weeks after birth. By spending a few minutes every day massaging the scar vigorously, any adhesions in the underlying tissues will break down and pain in the area should reduce. By folding and pulling the skin in different directions, the scar will stretch and move more like the skin around it.
There shouldn't be any bleeding or oozing while massaging it or afterwards and it should not be painful. Any redness should go away after a couple of hours. There are several excellent YouTube tutorials on this - just make sure that you pick a reputable source. If you would rather not massage the scar yourself, you can ask your local women's health physio to show you.
Although it's best to start massaging the scar (and surrounding area) early, it is never too late and can be beneficial several months and even years later.