27.8% of recorded UK births* in 2016-17 were via Caesarean Section and I’d love to know what percentage of those 174,720 women were advised or shown how to massage their scars and/or told why this is beneficial. Frustratingly it’s likely to be a very small number.
When your body is healing, it produces internal scar tissue which can sometimes bind to nearby organs and tissues that should move freely, resulting in a pulling or trapped sensation. These adhesions can also be a source of digestive/bowel problems, incontinence, lower back pain and sometimes even infertility. And if your scar got infected you might find that you have even more scar tissue to contend with, which can feel quite lumpy to touch.
Once your scar is healed on a superficial level, massage can be hugely beneficial in minimising the impact of these adhesions. Massage also has many other healing benefits in terms of encouraging blood flow and sensation to the area and in assisting the body’s natural drainage. It can also help with the aesthetics of your stomach.
Whilst it’s never too late to make improvements to scar tissue, more recent scar tissue is much easier to get “sliding and gliding” again than older scar tissue, so get massaging as early as you can. And stick with it. There are 4 stages of wound healing and this process takes at least 1 year to be complete and in some cases up to 2 years so it’s something that you should keep up.
Scar massage is absolutely something that you can do yourself at home. However, if you’d prefer to have someone show you so you can do it with more skill and confidence, or if you simply don’t want to touch your scar, feel free to make an appointment with me.
And in terms of product to use, Neal’s Yard’s rosehip oil is amazing for c-section massage. It’s super nourishing, improves skin texture and tone, lasts for ages (even when used daily) and it’s also great for stretch marks.
Finally, don’t overlook the important part that nutrition plays in healing. My top tips for post natal nutrition are:
• Eat enough! Healing requires energy
• Eat good quality protein as it’s the body’s building blocks for repair
• Eat lots of fruit and veggies for vitamins & minerals to support healing processes
• Eat essential fats (e.g. avocado, coconut oil, etc.) for energy & repair
• Look after your gut health & bowel movements as they impact on absorption of nutrients, bloating & pelvic health
• Keep hydrated, particularly if you’re breast feeding. Much of the tissue that’s trying to heal needs water
• Try to reduce your intake of processed foods, sugar, alcohol, caffeine & your stress levels as all of these are inflammatory & slow healing
ULTIMATELY, JUST EAT REAL FOOD!