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Caesarean vs vaginal post natal body confidence

(10 Posts)
Caspiana Sat 11-Aug-18 22:51:36

I was reading on another thread recently about caesarean recoveries vs vaginal recoveries but this tended to be in terms of physical pain etc. A number of my friends who have given both vaginally say they haven’t felt the same since and it has affected their self esteem, one even said she felt like “damaged goods”. Is this common? It’s how I feel but I’m only 11 weeks post partum so I’m hoping it will change though I don’t know.

And do people with caesareans tend to feel this way about any changes to their body given the different area affected by the birth?

I suppose I’m just wondering whether there is a less negative long term impact on a woman’s perception of her body with a caeasarean given the nether regions remain intact or whether it’s similar.

ilovetomatoes Sat 11-Aug-18 23:09:50

After my second c section, i now have the dreaded tummy overhang because of the way the surgeon cut me. My first c section was lower but for some reason the second has made my tummy droop over. Most of the time I’m ok with it but some days when I’m feeling a bit low I hate it.

ChanklyBore Sat 11-Aug-18 23:12:55

Everyone’s experience will be different.

I’m marked permanently by pregnancy, not mode of birth. I was scarred by stretch marks but gained no scars or injuries during the birth process.

What can I do about the fact my stomach is covered in scars? Not a lot. Did I know that could happen? No.

sozzled Sat 11-Aug-18 23:18:52

I gave birth (vaginally) in December, 3rd degree tear. I had a LOT of stitches and did feel a bit like 'damaged goods' in the initial weeks of recovery.

Now I feel like I'm the same as pre-birth tbh. Couldn't pin point when I felt back to normal but for a good few months now. I did recover very well/quickly and had no ongoing issues, which I'm sure had an impact.

BuntyII Sat 11-Aug-18 23:19:05

I had a section and I'm really thankful that I got through pregnancy with no damage to pelvic floor or piles etc. I have had abdominal surgery previously so had a bit of overhang anyway and actually I quite like my scar, I'm proud of it and it reminds me of the best day of my life.

Hamiltoes Sat 11-Aug-18 23:19:21

I think it's probably comparing apples with pears. I had a V birth and was cut from my hole to my inner leg so have that nasty scar as well as the deflated balloon effect on my tummy 4 years on, and the huge silver stripes on my thighs, hips, back etc from stretch marks. I'm a size 8, i have no more body fat to lose so I feel this is as good as it's ever going to get. I wouldn't say i'm in any way not confident about my body though. With a section I suppose you don't have your down there ruined as such, but you have everything else as well as the big scar. After facial surgery (I have a big scar running down the side of my face) I actually read something that many people find scars sexy 😂 Which may or may not be true, but I do think if my DP had a big scar across his torso I'd think he was just as sexy, if not more so for the imperfections.

I don't think there is much difference in my downstairs now, but I did a shit load of floor excercises before and after, and still do them to this day as well as working out my core. Mind you it doesn't look very pretty but I suppose not many do...

nervousseacreature Sat 11-Aug-18 23:22:45

Had 2 c/s (one emergency and one planned) within a year of each other. Honestly I’m glad I avoided any birth trauma nether regions-wise.

After the first c/s I was pregnant so quickly that I never really had time to think about it. Now I’m 4 months post c/s i am definitely aware of how my body has changed.

I luckily don’t have a huge overhang and avoided stretch marks in first pregnancy. In second pregnancy I developed big stretch marks along my scar. I’m cocoa buttering them daily and they are fading but I think they’re unsightly still....

Boobs are flatter and not as much ‘stuffing’ as pre pregnancy, plus the skin on my scar is very sensitive still and I hate other people touching it. I’ve never felt great about my body though am trying to lose my baby weight which does help me feel a bit better.

I try to remember that my body has grown 2 amazing babies....but do feel embarrassed/ashamed that I had the ‘easy’ route of section and didn’t give birth ‘properly’.

ChanklyBore Sat 11-Aug-18 23:29:06

My stretch marks are now 12 years old and I don’t think any amount of cocoa butter is going to help them. They aren’t silvery streaks, some are well over 1cm wide, great big tears in the skin they are.

I managed birth without a stitch though, so not damage to anywhere else, I’m guessing I’m stretchy in some areas and not others.

AhAgain Sun 12-Aug-18 00:03:39

I can only talk for myself: everyone is different.

I have only had one baby (although not through choice - secondary infertility). DS was born caesarean. I had a really really good surgeon (one of the best obstetric surgeons in the country) and an ELCS (DS was breech and so planned).

Caesarean review took time - I would say about 12 months to feel fully myself again (although gently back in the gym and pool from 7 weeks post partum). My tummy was “puffy”/swollen around the scar for probably 12 months, but not for along time now (DS 8). Scar good. No overhang or tummy (I am 9st, 5ft 4). Started having sex about 6 weeks postpartum and no issues and I would (bizarrely) day sex has improved since DS both.

No really body issues, but I do accept that things aren’t quite prepregnancy. I was almost 36 when DS born. Although I was slim and fit and only put on a couple of stone during pregnancy, my tummy not quite the same. Ok when standing, but folds when sitting (not as elastic any more). Also I “bloat” an awful lot easier!

Caspiana Sun 12-Aug-18 10:02:30

Thanks everyone, interesting mix. I suppose I was coming at it from the point of view of bodily function but looks like I probably hadn’t really considered all the different ways pregnancy and birth can affect how we feel about our bodies.

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