Healing Scars, Adhesions And Discomfort After C-Section

by Barbara Loomis

What are Scars and Adhesions

Scars are the result of damaged tissue that has healed from a wound. Abdominal adhesions are a type of scar tissue that forms between tissues and organs, often as a result of abdominal infection, trauma, inflammatory conditions and surgeries. Adhesions may vary from thin strands or wide webs to dense fibers.

Internal organs have slippery surfaces called serous membranes which secrete serosal fluid that enable organs to slide and glide with other organs and tissues. Organs need this movement to function properly. When adhesions are present, the sliding surfaces now stick to each other. Pain may result and larger movements of the body may be restricted.

Scar tissue can form for up to two years after a surgery or trauma, so symptoms may not show up right away. Sometimes symptoms show up several years later. And by then, people may not even realize that their symptoms are related to their scar.

Adhesion symptoms from cesarian births

The uterus and bladder sit next to each other in the pelvis. During pregnancy, the uterus grows high in the belly. A c-section incision is made low in the uterus. The surgeon also pulls the bladder down to protect it during surgery. As the c-section scar starts to heal and the uterus shrinks back down, adhesions form.

  • Painful Intercourse: The uterus may adhere to the bladder or abdominal wall. This can cause painful intercourse. If the uterus is cemented in place by adhesions the woman may feel pain with penetration and thrusting due to the pulling and micro tearing of the tissues.
  • Frequent Urination: Those adhesions may also pull on the bladder and mess with the signaling to the brain, telling the brain that the bladder is full before it actually is, leading to frequent urination.
  • Bloating and Constipation: In the case of bloating and constipation, adhesions around the loops of the small intestines due to inflammation, infection, or surgery can slow the motility of the gut leading to bloating and slow transit time.
  • Low Back Ache: In the case of low back ache, the c-sections adhesions may pull the uterus forward creating tension in the uterosacral ligaments (the ligaments that attach the uterus to the sacrum) causing pain in the low back sacral area.
  • Fertility Challenges: In the case of fertility challenges, adhesions in or around the fallopian tubes can make it difficult for the fertilized egg to make it to the uterus.

Should I tear apart my abdominal adhesions?

Here’s the thing, if you think you feel an adhesion, it’s going to be tempting to want to break it up, but do NOT yank on it, or try to break it up. This will only cause wounding and more adhesions to form. There are ways to work with adhesions by mobilizing the tissues in a gentle non-violent way. I’ve developed an online course to teach you how to do just that.

What you can do now

You have a natural internal release mechanism called the breath. We breathe around 30,000 times a day, so that’s 30,000 little massages for your internal organs! Often times we avoid breathing into areas of pain or trauma leading to shallow breathing. It’s our way of “not going there,” but that area needs our gentle presence. Gentle full breaths naturally allow the tissues to move, slide and glide, even as far down as the pelvis! Adhesions are more likely to form on stagnant areas so this slide and glide helps prevent adhesions from forming.

Life requires movement, internally on the cellular level, intrinsic visceral movement as well as whole body movement in relationship to your environment. Varied full body movement is another way to decrease restrictions or inhibit them from forming. Of course, listen to your physicians guidelines on moving if you’re incision is still healing.

When to receive treatment from a professional

Once the incision heals, typically 6-8 weeks, but that timeframe may be longer for some people, so check with your doctor to make sure it’s fine to receive abdominal therapy.

Loving on your scar

One last thing about scars, I know many women aren’t comfortable touching or even looking their scars. It reminds them that things didn’t go as planned or they just don’t like the appearance of their scars. Trust me, I’ve massaged well over 7,000 bellies and they are all beautiful and have a story to tell. But I understand scars are often linked to traumatic events and it can be difficult to be reminded of that. Scars can also be a reminder of how absolutely amazing your body is, your body knitted itself back together. Thank goodness it did!

Your body is always working hard for you every second of the day, we often forget that. So, take the time at the end of the day to smile down gratitude to your belly. Place your warm hands on your abdomen and smile down, just as you would smile to a good friend. This may take some time, be patient. Just the act of having true feelings of compassion and gratitude create a cascade of immune boosting, feel good chemical reactions. Moving forward in the healing process involves acceptance of where you are at in the present.

To learn more about Barbara Loomis’ Free The Belly E-Course click the image below. By using this link you will be helping to support Cycledork as well!

Barbara Loomis specializes in several forms of abdominal therapies with over 20 years of experience in the healing arts field. She is a practitioner of Visceral Manipulation™ as well as a practitioner and educator of the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® and Chi Nei Tsang (Chinese abdominal therapy). To learn more about her online Free The Belly abdominal adhesions self-care course visit Free The Belly Online Course.

C-section tattoo art by @dorothytattoo

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