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To ask about your Cesarean scar(s) and stomach?

(44 Posts)
Spice17 Sun 09-Dec-12 21:14:19

Had an EMCS 8 weeks ago and am not happy with the state of my scar/stomach

Have an unsightly overhang that covers the scar it meaning it gets hot, sore and itchy and I constantly feel it's infected - or will become infected. It still looks very red and raised in places.

Can anyone tell me from personal experience when it will get better? I bathe it twice a day with salt water but I feel that if I didn't it would be infected in a day.

Also, will the overhang go down? It makes my stomach look awful - like one of those pouches above my fanjo blush and no amount of breathing in would make it look any better.

In the grand scheme of things it's not the end of the world and I have a beautiful daughter who is the love of my life but I don't want to have this forever.

Feel like I can never go swimming again as the 'pouch' is very visable. At least when it was just fat I could try to lose it! smile

Ilovemytwins Sun 09-Dec-12 21:22:41

Congratulations on ur new baby! I had a cs in February with my twins, and yes the overhang will go down! My scar was sore for ages after, and red/ itchy. Washing everyday is the right way to go, but I also found talcum powder worked brill at keeping it dry which helped it heal!
It does get better, hope this helps.

Beamur Sun 09-Dec-12 21:27:39

8 weeks is still very early. Give yourself a bit more time to heal.
In the event that a couple of months down the line it is still a problem, go back to your GP. Mine is fine, but a friend of mine had more of an overhang and was offered surgery to reduce it. She decided against it, but since has lost a lot of weight and the overhang reduced too.
It probably won't notice in a swimming costume - plus if you go to a session likely to be used by Mums and babies, you won't be alone and no-one will judge you on it either.

Spice17 Sun 09-Dec-12 21:30:00

Ah thanks, hadn't thought about talc, will see if I have any probably from my Nan at Christmas at some point

The itching is driving me mad, desperate to have a good scratch but would bloody hurt and probaby get infected. It's quite numb above the scar too and that's just weird! Also, there was one point where my dissolvable stitches were hanging out of the scar, thankfully they fell out eventually - twas lovely!

Congratulations to you too, DH is a twin, so there was a chance I could have had them, you must REALLY have your hands full smile

abigboydidit Sun 09-Dec-12 21:30:20

I became pregnant again just before DS turned 1 but have to confess that despite getting back to a size 8 & having a flattish tummy, I never lost the pouch overhang which I hated. Looked like I was wearing a pair of knickers which were several sizes too small if I wore a fitted dress blush

unclehairysgirlfriend Sun 09-Dec-12 21:30:25

I've had 2 cs and the wound took ages to heal. Had a lot of weeping and pus both times and found daily baths with tea tree oil in helped loads. Just try and keep it as dry as you can. Can't help on the overhang I'm afraid - I had one before (fatty!)blush and still have one now! Also still have a lot of numbess around the scar and DD is almost 2.
Congrats on your DD btw.

Beamur Sun 09-Dec-12 21:31:44

My MW was quite keen on using lavender oil on the scar too - apparently that's quite a good antiseptic.

Spice17 Sun 09-Dec-12 21:32:10

Thanks Beamur - I can imagine why your friend didn't go with surgery. I always thought I'd want a tummy tuck but after this - never!

FutureNannyOgg Sun 09-Dec-12 21:34:02

Give it time. You'll lose a bit more baby weight, the skin will firm up a bit, your abs will tone up, it will get better, 8 weeks is nothing.
You can help it along when you are ready to exercise by doing pilates for lower abs. Once you are cleared by the Dr for exercise a good gentle yoga exercise is to lie on your back, knees bent, feet hip width apart by your buttocks. Inhale and tilt your pelvis, pulling your navel to the floor, exhale and release. Do it and few times and couple of times a day. Deep breathing into your low belly is a milder introduction if you are still sore.
I can't promise you will get your pre baby belly back, but you will see an improvement.

Beamur Sun 09-Dec-12 21:34:09

She's a very practical woman and decided with 2 young kids on her hands she didn't need the hassle of the recovery time or the risks associated with surgery, plus she is not remotely vain and decided it wasn't that big a deal! grin

3b1g Sun 09-Dec-12 21:34:22

I was told by my midwife to try to let the area 'air' sometimes, e.g. by lying on your back. I also had areas of numbness and pieces of stitch that worked their way to the surface weeks later. The scar seemed unsightly to me and I am still a little self-conscious about it, but have learned to live with it.

3b1g Sun 09-Dec-12 21:36:08

Also Aloe Vera gel helped cool the scar area down.

CabbageLeaves Sun 09-Dec-12 21:36:15

I had the overhang but have a flat tum and scar is now invisible. 8 was is early days

Ilovemytwins Sun 09-Dec-12 21:36:18

Ha ha! Yes I have my hands full!!! Talc is brill it really stopped itching etc. just sprinkle on and leave it don't rub it in! smile

My belly is still numb now, and still slightly sore so I am thinking it just stays like that.


CabbageLeaves Sun 09-Dec-12 21:36:24


Pourquoimoi Sun 09-Dec-12 21:37:21

I'd agree with talc being useful, in fact you should look out for daktarin talc which you'll have to ask a pharmacist for but can be used to prevent fungal infection which is easy to get when you have the overhang.

Good luck.

scarletforyaOfficialXmasGRINCH Sun 09-Dec-12 21:40:16

Congratulations and don't panic

I had a cs 5 months ago and the overhang is almost gone thankfully, abdomen is almost flat again. (weightwatchers)

I found the best thing for the scar tea tree oil, neat. Slap it on.

My hv recommended using a hairdryer to dry it with after showers/bathing it to make sure it's completely dry before being covered - I found it really helped. Also I used baby wipes to clean it with a few times a day when I could, seemed to help.

ZhenThereWereTwo Sun 09-Dec-12 21:48:25

Hi, 8 weeks is early days you have had major abdominal surgery and your body is still healing itself. Remember it is not just the scar outside but all the tissues and muscles inside that must knit back together.

With both my EMCS's it has taken at least 3 months for the swelling and numbness to go. Also your muscles in your abdomen spread apart to accommodate your growing baby when pregnant and can take longer to come back together after a C section.

Pilates type exercise can be good for strengthening those core muscles, but try not to do to much too soon and stop if you feel pain. I found salt in my bath plus tea tree and lavender oil helped with the healing of the external scar.

lovelyredwine Sun 09-Dec-12 21:48:26

I'd forgotten about the itching and numbness. My dd is nearly 2 and the numbness as basically gone now- I don't notice it anymore (hence why I had forgotten about it!). It gets better as every month passes.

Give it some 'air time' when you can, and pat dry with cotton pants. Talc is great and canesten cream if it gets red and pongy!

Classy me!

AlexReidsLonelyThisChristmas Sun 09-Dec-12 21:48:48

After a bath or shower I used to dry mine using the cool setting on my hair dryer, it got it properly dry without me having to rub at it with a towel.
My aunt prepared a mix of lavender and tea tree for me to apply to the area which I do believe helped.

Mine was numb for ages and unfortunately I still have a small patch or numbness nearly 18 months later.

I think you're very newly post natal and most people still have a bit of an overhang regardless of delivery method at this point. The exercises mentioned above will help.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Sun 09-Dec-12 21:49:44

mine as itchy and tender. The string that should have disintegrated didn't. String had to be pulled out and then scar disinfected which helped masses. It was itchy for a year or two though annoyingly.

Catrin Sun 09-Dec-12 21:51:35

Had a cs 7 (sob!) years ago... my overhang lasted for ages, mostly because I made no effort to lose the weight. Once I did, it got a lot better, though still vaguely pouchy. Still numb from my belly button down. Neither thing bothers me - slight pouch was well worth the outcome.

christmaspudisnogood Sun 09-Dec-12 21:54:31

Congratulations on your new arrival smile

maybe this might help....i tore up strips of muslin cloths and dipped them in a tea tree oil/water solution, wrung them out thoroughly then wore them rolled up over my scar when i knew i would be too busy to lie down/let it air properly...
also meant i was able to see if there was any pus/blood and could try to treat accordingly.. (mind you this was after my 3rd section!)
My stomach is still numb 1 1/2 years later but think that arose from 1st section 9 years ago (they made a bit of a mess sad
try and look after yourself and get some vitamins/water into you as well.

Lovecat Sun 09-Dec-12 21:58:12

I found that the saline spray you get for contact lenses was brilliant at helping the scar to heal and a very effective way of applying it. My scar is fairly neat but I do have an overhang even after nearly 8 years and losing all the baby weight - as another poster said, it looks like I'm wearing too small/tight pants beneath my clothes. Hate it sad Tried abdominal exercises but either can't have done them right or not for long enough as it made no appreciable difference.

FestiveDigestive Sun 09-Dec-12 21:58:20

When you are ready to exercise again, a Pilates class should really help. I lost all the weight after my first section but after almost 2 years my stomach was still round and sticking out over the scar. I'd been doing sit ups & crunches and later I found out that had made it worse rather than better.

I had some sessions with a personal trainer who knew a lot about post natal exercise & she made me do the most slow Pilates exercises for at least 6 weeks before I was allowed to do anything more. I didn't believe that this would help at first - but it really did & I ended up with a flat stomach again. I'd have got it a lot sooner if I'd done Pilates earlier on though.

jendot Sun 09-Dec-12 22:18:06

Sorry... I still have the overhang 8 yes post c section! It's not the end of the world.... Never going to be able to wear a bikini or a tight dress.... But got 2 gorgeous children.
I used to use a hair dryer to dry the scar in the early days. Even now it is a bit prone to little pockets of infection along the scar line especially in the summer.
Congrats on your newbie... It will heal much more than it has done now.

catwomanlikesmeatballs Sun 09-Dec-12 22:45:46

Mine was numb, itchy and red for a couple of months, now it's invisible except for a tiny silver line if you know where to look and have good eyesight. No overhang, don't know what would help for that. Suppose the outcome depends on the surgeons skill.

ceeveebee Sun 09-Dec-12 23:13:27

Sorry - I still have an overhang, and my scar is wonky (thanks surgeon!) and still red and a bit itchy now and then - twins are now 13 months old. Have been doing abs work since 12 weeks post-birth with personal trainer, Pilates classes, DVDs etc but its still there.
I used to have a flat stomach and nice abs. Ah well, I have my babies instead!

HardHittingLeafletCampaign Sun 09-Dec-12 23:28:14

I can't really add much to the above from a medical perspective, agree its early days and although the numbness might remain, the itchiness and scarring will improve somewhat.

But, on the appearance thing - be kind to yourself, you've just had a baby, in a potentially traumatic way. It takes time to recover but the signs that remain aren't ugly, they're beautiful in a different way. I know it sounds cheesy, but it's true.

Icelollycraving Mon 10-Dec-12 00:03:18

Can't advise on when the overhang will go,mine was there before cs! I did have an infection & was in hospital for a week a week after having ds. Washing with nothing fragranced,salt in bath & using hair dryer helped once my dressings were off. This was a few months & I had to have district nurse out to dress it daily (at first,this reduced over the weeks).
I still occasionally get some real itchiness,ds is 17 months.

5 years on and the overhang goes. Mine is slightly there but I'm only after having another baby 2 months ago so it's just that. It will be numb in areas for a good while. Had also faded to silver but being pregnant has made the scar more visible again.

Wheresmypopcorn Mon 10-Dec-12 03:11:44

The numbness also freaked me out, but feeling did return.

IceNoSlice Mon 10-Dec-12 04:24:18

Hi, I am 17 weeks post EMCS and had the same issues. For the scar, careful washing, pat dry and hair dryer. If the scar is where your pants elastic sits, get new pants (bigger cotton granny pants are best). If the scar is infected (nine was at the ends) then your GP might prescribe a short blast of antibiotics to clear (fine with BF). My GP also have me some sterile dressing pads which did work.

Re the overhang. Mine is loads better but not 100% gone - it is no longer hanging, more bulging a bit. Losing all the baby weight helped loads (did this through healthy eating and taking lots if walks with the pushchair). I'm planning to try plates soon. Numbness is perfectly normal. HTH.

Good luck OP!

IceNoSlice Mon 10-Dec-12 04:25:17

Plates = Pilates, oops

DolomitesDonkey Mon 10-Dec-12 05:17:06

Talc isn't great as it can go slimy - instead you might try and get hold of some starch-based "dusting powder" - probably not the glittery smelly stuff you find in Lush - but that's the consistency you're after anyway.

A few drops of tea tree oil in the bath will help prevent infection whilst it's still all healing.

HollyBerryBush Mon 10-Dec-12 05:34:06

I've had 3 CS. Your stomach muscles are damaged in the process, it takes time for those to heal and get back the tone, thats why you have a little bit of a flabby tum. It'll go with gentle exercise once you get back to normal.

Itchywoolyjumper Mon 10-Dec-12 08:42:11

I had an EMCS, the cut went from about 5 cm from one hip to almost right up to the other hip and I had an overhang of about 1-2cm over all of that, except for the few cm near my hip. 2 years later its all vanished pretty much completely. 8 weeks is really early, I still had bruising and scabs at 8 weeks but it will gradually get better. Someone's said it earlier on, Pilates is amazing at dealing with the overhang. I also used BioOil on the scar once it had healed and now I've only got thin silvery line to show for my adventures.

saccrofolium Mon 10-Dec-12 09:01:30

PLEASE DON'T USE A HAIRDRYER on your scar - you're blowing all the dust and crap that builds up in your hairdryer into a wound and will massively increase the chances of it getting infected. It douses my head in when healthcare professionals recommend this. If in doubt, repeat to a wound care nurse and watch her go grey and then red in the face. grin
Step away from the hairdryers...

bluewonderful Mon 10-Dec-12 09:04:55

Keeping the scar dry will help stop the itch and any infection. Agree re drying with a hair dryer but use a really cool setting! Sounds wierd but I put a panty liner against it to stop the overhanging skin rubbing against itself and that really helps to keep it dry too. Try to resist the urge to poke and prod (although if you were a scab picker like me as a child may be difficult).

Numbness is because of cutting through nerves and I was told not all will reattach no matter how well you heal. I still have a patch of numbness from my first CS 5 years ago but rarely notice it. Second CS was 8 weeks ago and waiting to see whether it changes.

valiumredhead Mon 10-Dec-12 10:01:10

I wouldn't use talc. If it is hot and itchy you might need to use Canesten cream as it could be thrush which is really common just under 'aprons.' I would have a chat with a nurse at your clinic just to double check. Tea tree is a good idea.

HaudYerWheeshtFannyBaws Mon 10-Dec-12 12:48:02

I had a CS nearly 5 years ago and you can hardly see it now. Since losing weight, the overhang has gone as well.

JenaiMathis Mon 10-Dec-12 13:28:17

I'm not sure how sensible it is to put any kind of powder on a still-healing scar so please check with your HV or GP first, but Lush do a tea tree powder here.

As others have mentioned a CS is actually quite a big deal so it's not surprising it takes a while to heal; 8 weeks really isn't a long time. BUT I still think you need to talk to a professional as you're clearly concerned. They won't mind you asking at all.

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