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C-Section - What changes to expect to my body afterwards !

(24 Posts)
welshlinz Mon 21-Jul-08 20:55:58

Hi, had vag birth with 1st and currently ttc baby 2. If I am lucky enough to catch, for medical reasons I must have a c-section this time round. Have heard so many horror stories of women with bad scarring and overhang after having it done ( my mum included ) I am just wondering what to expect my body to look like afterwards !! Any comments appreciated x

IAteRosemaryConleyForBreakfast Mon 21-Jul-08 20:59:33

I had a section 12 months ago and my scar's tiny and thin and pale and hardly visible. Not visible mainly because of the belly which hangs over it (sorry!) but if you can find it it's not very prominent grin

I think it would be much less of a problem to someone without my, ahem, extra padding. wink

I couldn't honestly give a shit anyway, I have a fabulous baby who makes me not care about any of it. But then I am about the least vain person you've ever met (translation: complete slatter).

fourlittlefeet Mon 21-Jul-08 21:00:43

Take it very easy in the first 6 weeks as you can get lochia coming back if you do things like long car journeys and get jiggled around.

Expect to do little exercise for the first 6 months (so breastfeed to get rid of the fat instead)

Overhand looks yucky, but can go as your tummy recedes (mine did).

Use scar cream like bio oil - a year on mine is now much paler.

Enjoy your un-ripped ladybits grin.

so... not all bad then. good luck

MrsSprat Mon 21-Jul-08 21:04:22

I am told that electives are better than emergencies.

I had one 7 months ago (emergency) and am pretty happy generally - neat scar above bikini line which is just a red line now. Stomach muscles need a bit more work, unlikely I'll have a six-pack, but then have never wanted one. I'm 1 stone above pre-pg weight and haven't done anything too radical or strenuous yet.

I guess keeping fit before you get pg will help and gentle exercise during pg if it's safe. But I wouldn't stress out too much tbh

welshlinz Mon 21-Jul-08 21:07:19

thanks for that. I wasn't at all bothered about having a c-section at first but after telling a few people about it they all had ther own bunch of horror stories to throw at me about how horrendous it is etc...

lol fourlittlefeet, with DD was ripped from front to back so I will enjoy the unripped ladybits this time round grin

welshlinz Mon 21-Jul-08 21:10:33

mrsSprat, 1 stone above pre-pg weight 7 months ago is fantastic !! Well done.

I feel like I sound incredibly vain asking this question but I honestly am not. Just curious to find out if there are people out there who went back to pre pregnancy shape and size etc..

MarkStretch Mon 21-Jul-08 21:11:52

I had an emergency one 6 yrs ago and recently had a Dr peering closely at my scar as it has faded so much he was trying to work out what it was.

Can hardly tell it's there now.

Although I still had numb bits along my scar line for about 3 yrs, but all feeling has returned now.

IAteRosemaryConleyForBreakfast Mon 21-Jul-08 21:14:06

Horror stories - everyone loves to tell one but really, it's nothing to worry about. I was shitting myself (possibly literally, but thankfully due to an excellent spinal I was totally unaware of it if I was), but it was fine, and over remarkably quickly. Recovery was no big shakes - I was up and walking and pushing a pram without any trouble within a week or two. Bending and lifting hurt at the time though, and getting out of bed was a ballache. Managed to breastfeed no probs as well, don't think a section should pose major problems with this if you are prepared and make your intentions clear to MW on the day. Best advice I can give is do yourself a birth plan of sorts and make sure it's in the front of your notes and tell anyone who will listen exactly what you want.

beansprout Mon 21-Jul-08 21:14:24

I overdid it in the first few weeks and the blood flow kept increasing (although this is probably true however you give birth?)

There will an overhang but it will go down. The scar is below the hair line so once your pubes have recovered (the top half get shaved off), it won't be visible.

Keep taking the painkillers for the first 7-10 days. There are no medals so just keep popping them!! Good diet will help counteract the effects of the opiates.

Good luck!! smile

MmeBovary Mon 21-Jul-08 21:14:36

I still have numb bits after 4.5 years but scar is minimal. Do have a bit of overhang, but I do little exercise and drink too much wine so most likely the main cause....

beansprout Mon 21-Jul-08 21:15:14

Oh and b/feeding is completely fine. Milk comes in 2/3 days after the birth and off you go!!

harpomarx Mon 21-Jul-08 21:15:31

scar barely visible. tummy could do with tightening but I'm too lazy - don't think I can really blame c-section. No overhang to speak of <<looks down to check>>.

ladybits unripped!

harpomarx Mon 21-Jul-08 21:16:38

ps my mum has horrendous scarring too, but that was in the days they did vertical incision as matter of course.

bearmama Mon 21-Jul-08 21:17:12

I had EMCS four months and now back to pre-pg weight. A weird saggy little belly but I didnt exactly have a washboard stomach before (and I'm told its quite normal!) Scar is still quite red and sensitive and the area above it is still a bit tender.
All in all considering it was an emergency CS I feel ok.
BTW the painkillers I got in hospital were fantastic. Didnt realise how good till I missed a dose (ouch)

spicemonster Mon 21-Jul-08 21:18:09

I'm nearly a stone lighter than I was pre-pregnancy but I don't think the cs had much to do with it! My scar is tiny - it looks as though it's not complete even - like a dotted line. I agree that elective is probably much better in terms of scarring. I do have a bit of an overhang and I think you probably need to work at that more but my sister has a washboard tummy and she had an emergency so you don't have to have a muffin top if you really don't want one

fourlittlefeet Mon 21-Jul-08 21:19:31

yes, yes, yes to painkillers. get a fat pack of co-codamol to take home with you.

MarkStretch Mon 21-Jul-08 21:21:39


I forgot to do that and it's horrible trying to wear little knickers stuffed with massive sanitary towels when the knickers rest right on your scar area.

daisydora Mon 21-Jul-08 21:22:27

I have a muffin top - but thats cos I eat too many muffins grin

My scar is 2 yr old and has virtually faded apart from about a 1 inch area, still alittle numd in a couple of places. It was an emergency c-section btw.

My friend is thinner now than before her section, v flat stomach, generally fab figure. OMG think I now dislike my own friend grin

IAteRosemaryConleyForBreakfast Mon 21-Jul-08 21:26:03

Oh yes, big knickers. Am now remembering all the tips, like putting a sanitary towel over the scar so your knickers don't rub it, and instead of getting disposable knickers, get huge armpit-length ones from Matalan which are probably cheaper anyway. I'm ashamed to say mine were so comfy I kept them blush

And take Arnica, before and after op.

Your tummy will be fine, you won't have time to worry about it anyway grin

Dottoressa Mon 21-Jul-08 21:28:26

I second the massive knickers!!

Other than that, I had no problems with scarring or overhang from my elective section (like you, I had a vaginal birth with DS, and had the subsequent section on medical advice). I was pretty skinny pre-section, and am pretty much the same now - four years on, the scar is a faint line, and the operation caused no overhang (and no, I have not got rid of possible overhang by doing anything so mad as stomach exercises!!). What's more, they had to increase the size of the incision to extract a v big baby...

For a while afterwards (months, rather than weeks), the whole area was completely numb, which was weird...

tiredandgrumpy Mon 21-Jul-08 21:34:10

I went back to normal after cs (rather pleased to have a flattish stomach), but didn't appreciate what it had done to my core muscles. it's only now, 4 years on, that I'm doing Pilates and realise that I'm rebuilding them - would strongly recommend for when you're allowed to exercise again. Am so not an exercise junkie, but am becoming a Pilates nut!

kitstwins Mon 21-Jul-08 21:38:04

Very small scar thanks to skilled surgeon and I had an emergency section under GA with complications afterwards (a haematoma behind the scar, which caused it to open and leak blood for a month afterwards). So in that sense a complete nightmare and it was certainly painful - I was NOT one of the people up and about and whizzing about afterwards.

However, no overhang and my muscles have all come back. My skin is a bit softer but I had twins so I think this is more to do with how fast my skin stretched than anything else. I used bio oil religiously on my belly when I was pregant and have continued to oil my scar and belly for the 2 years afterwards (apart from the six weeks after the section when I had the healing issues) and I think this has helped - the scar is very thin and pale and although I had lots of scar tissue underneath from the haematoma this has softened.

If you are having an elective, they are much kinder on the tummy so recovery tends to be quicker and less painful (relatively speaking). Plus, you can get yourself prepared. I'd do the following:-

* Buy disposable paper knickers for the first couple of days (chuck them away when you change your pad) and then 'upgrade' to giant M&S granny knickers that sit on your belly button. You won't want anything near your scar as the whole area is very tender post-op.

* Take arnica before and after your c-section as this can help with healing.

* Take some of those Andrex moist loo roll wipes to hospital with you are they are a GODSEND for post-caesarean loo trips.

* Have a mega bikini wax a few days before your section. It saves being shaved and the nasty regrowth.

Good luck. A c section doesn't mean the end of your tummy. To the untrained eye mine looks pretty good (muscle lines, etc.) and I had a pretty brutal one with complications to boot, so it doesn't spell certain doom.

Hope this helps.

olyoly Mon 21-Jul-08 22:29:25

I have a bit of scar tissue build-up under my scar. It is nothing that the general public will notice, but I am very aware of it when wearing a bikini. It looks like a little pooch low on my tummy. A small price to pay, really.

welshlinz Tue 22-Jul-08 11:01:18

thanks for all your advice girls. Feel much more settled now at the thought of having a c-section. Will remember your tips, especially regarding the granny knickers grin

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