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cesarean overhang and numbness

(46 Posts)
margobambino Fri 28-Mar-08 02:42:48

Anybody knows any woman who has been able to get rid of her cesarean overhang or who didn't have an overhang (or pouch) at all? And I would like to ask same question re the numbness after c-section.
If you have any "yes" to either questions, can you tell me how could the manage that?
Please help, this is very important for me.

potxola Fri 28-Mar-08 08:52:33

hi ,
I had a C-section 4 years ago. The numbness took about 3 months to go. The overhang, stays for a bit longer, specially if you always have had weight on your tummy and do not lose a lot weight. Breast feeding helps a lot.
If you are normaly thin, let's say under size 14 it would go away with time, you will see.

beansprout Fri 28-Mar-08 13:29:15

How long ago was your section M?

margobambino Fri 28-Mar-08 14:19:09

Hi Potxola and beansprout,
9 months... And I am currently overweight. I had a very good pregnancy. Didn't gain much weight and did exercise. But afterwards I put on weight because of the breastfeeding problems, depression etc. I will try to lose weight but gonna be difficult as I had PCOD. So depressing!

suwoo Fri 28-Mar-08 14:29:29

I have the odd spot of numbess and having a strangely tender day today around the scar-but the internal tissues, not the skin IYKWIM. My DS is 15 months. Not every woman has an overhang, I am lucky enough not too and it is completely flat, I am a size 10. My friend who was below her pre pregnancy weight at 7 stone, 3 weeks post c section envy is a size 6 and does have an overhang, IMO it is just the luck of the draw.

margobambino Fri 28-Mar-08 15:20:42

Hi suwoo, yes i understand the feeling re numbness. This is what I feel as well. Not the skin but the underlying tissues.
It is good to know that some women don't have that overhang. So at least I will see what happens after loosing weight. Some people keep saying that every c-section woman has overhang and it won't go.

margobambino Fri 28-Mar-08 15:34:30

Suwoo, have you heard or read about the reason? I mean why some women have it and some don't?

QueenBhannae Fri 28-Mar-08 17:07:14

Hiya MArgo,

I have had two em sections, the second of which was a difficult one for the surgeon and has resulted in my scar being near the full width of my stomach. He had to keep making it bigger and bigger due to size of baby(12lbs 2oz) and transverse lie) and the midwife had her mouth open watching whilst four people held my stomach in place for him to cut lol.
It also curves upwards into a smile and because of the overhang makes my stomach look as if it is in three parts at the bottom if that makes sense?
I have the numbness as does my mother and she still has it 11years after her last c-s.
I am five stone lighter than my pre pregnancy weight and my stomach still looks horrendous and my belly button has a skin hood fgs.
That said I developed my overhang after the first baby which was a normal birth and I was very slim and think it is just the luck of the draw.
After the doom and gloom of my tale, I will say that my close friend has no overhang, just a sprinkling of wrinkly skin and is not very slim at all.

I am hoping that if I shift a few stone more it will at least look better when I am clothed.

margobambino Fri 28-Mar-08 21:00:16

Hi Queenbhannae,
I didn't know that you can get an overhang after a normal birth. The problem is people who had normal births, I believe, are hiding their problems. This is one of the issues they are hiding. Another one for example, most of them have a scar in their perineum but they don't mention about it. When you ask them they usually say it is disturbing and/or affecting their sexual life but they are not usually as open as women had c-section. I am wondering why .
Overhang aafter normal birth shold be quite common because in some countries women wear specific very tight girdles after birth to try to prevent.
When you search on the internet nobody mentions about that. Himmm, interesting really.

time4tea Fri 28-Mar-08 21:53:49

I'm interested in this as 12 months on after CS i still have quite a pronounced pot-belly and look fairly pregnant (although at least now my norks stick out further than my belly)

is this what you are meaning by over-hang? I'm doing some pilates and am still 3 stone over weight - margobambino for me too it was breastfeeding, and I have been depressed too in the past. take it easy about the weight and be good to yourself. I found accepting that I am going to be a bit bigger for a while - hey! because I had a magnificent pair of babies! - is just what it cost me and a price worth paying. the weight will come off - just take care of yourself and don't let it get you down smile

QueenBhannae Fri 28-Mar-08 22:18:12

In my opinion an overhang is deflated skin/fat that cannot be sucked in.
I also have a friend who has kindly showed me her overhang and she has had two normal births (7lb-ers) and has always hovered around 10stone and still does. Her last child was born 6 years ago.
I think that women do keep quiet about it in the same way they all claim that breastfeeding does nothing to your norks.
I had an episiotomy with my first birth but I have never given that a second thought tbh.
I got my poor dh to take pics of my stomach and its bad but not as bad as in my mind when I look in the mirror. Maybe that might help you?
Primark do some knickers that are a band of thick elasticated stuff with normal knickers attached which are good as you can position the band where you need it iykwim? Plus you dont lose all circulation to your legs like with those heavy duty granny ones lol.

suwoo Fri 28-Mar-08 22:36:05

Hi Margo, I don't think its anything to do with the surgeons technique or the size of your baby, I think its simply down to genetics, like cellulite or stretch marks for example. I am lucky enough to have no stretch marks either, but I have other issues with my body that I am unhappy with so didn't want to sound like I was boasting.

I've just found this gorgeous picturewhilst looking for overhang images. This woman has one....

Maggieb52 Fri 28-Mar-08 22:59:40

I have one too. Wish it was as cute as that picture...but sadly it is a bit more paunchy and has a smile!! I hate hate hate it. I need to lose about a stone but wonder if the fat skin will turn all wrinkly??

margobambino Sat 29-Mar-08 02:00:55

Hi time4tea, yes I mention about the same thing. I am not 100% sure whether it is overhang or not. And not 100% sure whether it will go after losing weight either. I started doing core exercises but not very regular unfortunately.
Maggieb52, I totally understand your worries but don't worry i don't think 1 stone weight loss would cause saggy skin or something. I have almost 4 stones to lose. I may worry
Suwoo, the picture you sent is really cute. Are you sure that is overhang? Mine does not like this. My all tummy is big and scar is a bit low than tummy but tummy doesn't cover the scar. It is like you put on lots of weight, the only difference is the scar area little bit lower than it normally be.

zazen Sat 29-Mar-08 02:42:23

Hi all,
I had an emergency cesarean section birth 3 and a half years ago and I still have a bit of an overhang. I had a 12 inch incision and have a huge scar. I also have scarring inside and a lot of pulling and tugging when I stretch.

I had a diastasis (abdominal muscle separation) for two years post op and only in the last year have I been able to do any pilates, as I have closed the gap in my mucles doing 'mummy tummy' exercises by Julie Tupler of

My overhang is reducing as i regain control over the muscles in my lower abdomen. the nerves are growing back and I massage the area daily, and roll and pull my scar with my fingers. I also did a lot of acupuncture to 'heat' the area as it was deathly cold and numb.
I found amazing and personal help from Julie Tupler - she emailed me with personal answers when I had questions for her. she's an author and mother and sepcialises in recovery and birth. for a course of specialised pilates and maternal fitness classes near you, details of her books and DVDs.

The book "lose your mummy tummy" was a god send for me as i still had abdominal muscle separation 2 years post birth, and this special exercises helped me close the gap in my ab muscles, before I could get on with my pilates programe.

I'm happy to say that with acupuncture and pilates my tummy is 'lifting' up and no longer looks like an overhang. I'm actually able to feel the pulling in and up of the muscles now. And the pain from the scars inside are not so bad now - i just have to be careful of the internal scars tearing if I sneeze suddenly (so I quickly hold my tummy when sneezing).

It does take time to lost the weight, so don't give yourself grief about it - weight loss is linked to sufficient rest, as well as exercise and watching what you eat etc, so if you're not getting enough rest, you won't be able to lose weight until you do. Not easy to do i know - I'm still a stone and a half over my pre preg weight - but I only get 6 hours sleep these nights, and I used to get 8, so I'm not too pushed to beat myself up about 'finishing' my DDs easter eggs!

I just think of myself as a work in progress, and have patience with myself and my amazing body! I still can't believe I grew a baby grin so I feel that I'm still in a process of change because of that.

suwoo Sat 29-Mar-08 08:43:01

That picture I posted was cute and very empowering I'm sure for the mother in question. That is how I percieve an overhang to be, albeit smaller than some. It is (in my head anyway)they way the stomach pouches over the scar not just a 'normal' fat tummy smile.
Zazen, you have really put
some effort into your recovery haven't you, good for you, I am in awe of your efforts and I hope it all pays off for you.

zazen Mon 31-Mar-08 00:51:01

Thanks for your words of encouragement Suwoo!

I'm trying to incorporate a more healthy lifestyle into my day - it is amazing how many other things demand my time, but little by little I'm positive I'll get there. I'm going to take things day by day, and choice by choice.

I'm 40 this year and I hope that I'll be able to stop the rot smile and get to where I'm happiest.

zazen Mon 31-Mar-08 00:59:29

Try massage margobambino, it re-connects you with your body. The numbness does eventually go away - I also tried moxabustion - acupuncture with burning herbs on the top of the needles - to get some warmth back inside my abdomen.

It sounds dreadful shock but it really worked, and in among the numb area in my abdomen, it found, joined up and re-energised both sides of my scar. I also bawled crying in the therapists room, so I feel there was a lot of emotional numbness and grief to release about the birth as well.

Moxabustion was a real turning point for me, and I hope you (and anyone who is lurking here with the same condition wink) can get the chance to have it.

margobambino Mon 31-Mar-08 04:55:33

Thank you very much for your kind advices. Jut want to ask a couple of questions:
Is there a specific way of massaging or just an ordinary massage?
I heard that acupuncture is good for scars from an osteopath as well. I don't know how to find an acupuncturist who can do moxibustion. How did you find yours?

beansprout Mon 31-Mar-08 08:42:04

A lot of acupuncturists do, just ask when you phone. If they don't, ask if they know someone who does. A lot of complementary therapists are quite happy to refer you to colleagues. smile

zazen Mon 31-Mar-08 21:10:59

Margobabbino, I massage the scar area with a flat hand up and down across the scar and from around the back and across the scar: so north-south and east-west. Then I pull up the scar away from my body and try and roll it in my fingers (quite painful) but it breaks the adhesions between muscle and skin under the scar.

I also did a bit of mayan massage which is an amazing south American (Mayan) technique with reported benefits.

and for the directions for self care

This really is a very powerful technique and well worth contacting a practitioner as well as doing the self care massage.

Beansprout's advice is good! All complementary therapists will re-direct you if they can't meet your requirements. if they don't they aren't interested in your healing, just themselves and their practice.

For finding a acupuncture therapist I rang the major school of acupuncture and asked their advice on who to go to. I found the school with google.
I chose my therapist for a few reasons
1. she is a member of an accrediting board.
2. she also does herbal remedies.
3. she also does 'cupping' and moxabustion. and
4 most importantly for me her clinic is within walking distance for me.

let me know how you are getting on - sometimes we expect ourselves to spring back into action way before it's realistic, and especially if we are 'good at things' usually.
But surgery takes time to get over, and it's can be very difficult to be patient with yourself, and praise yourself for the distance you've come. Good luck - keep us posted grin

franke Mon 31-Mar-08 21:33:15

Just want to add my voice in support of acupuncture for the scar area. I had a very lumpy, uneven scar that was also very numb in places - I think I had been sewn up quite clumsily. 2 years after my cs I had a vbac and post-natally my lovely midwife did a few sessions of localised acupuncture around the scar. By the last session the whole area was transformed in terms of being able to feel again. After a bit more time, the lumpiness and uneveness really reduced - I was really amazed as I had been quite conscious of and upset by its appearance.

I'm interested to read that acupuncture can also have an effect on overhang zazen - will look into that after my next birth in 6 weeks smile

zazen Wed 02-Apr-08 22:32:03

Well franke, what I found is, that increased sensation in the lower abdominal area I was more able to engage the muscles during a pilates class, and the overhang has been pulled in and flattened by the exercise. My abdominal muscles have joined up in the middle now and there are only a few weird (numbish) feeling patches on the outer edges of the scar.

The moxabustion was great to bring heat and sensation into the area, the Tupler technique closed the diastisis (the gaping of the muscles) and the pilates enabled my muscles to tone up.

Good luck with the birth - are you going for a VBAC, or a ceserean birth? Good luck with whatever you (and your baby) decides.

fishie Wed 02-Apr-08 22:40:32

i have never worked out how to identify gap in stomach muscles if one is a little fat. i think i did have one and it has gone away again with healing and exercise (ds is nearly 3).

to go back to op, the overhang is something that was sadly present before i got pg and so it is worse now even though i am thinner. the numbness went gradually over a year or so.

franke Thu 03-Apr-08 13:48:28

Zazen, in case you come back to this, was the Tupler technique quite straightforward to get to grips with or was it quite involved? I read one of your links and I couldn't really get to grips with what she was trying to say, but then I am a bit of a nappy brain at the mo, 34 weeks pg and all grin

Deffo going for another vbac btw - no good reason not to. Thanks for the good wishes smile

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