Maternity Physio

abdominals

What happens during a C section?

What happens during a C section?

Q: What happens during a C section? (with a lot of help form the NHS website) A: You lie down on an operating table, which may be slightly tilted to begin with. You’ll be given the anaesthetic in the operating room. This will usually be a spinal or epidural anaesthetic which numbs the lower part of your body while you remain awake. This means you’ll be awake during the delivery and can see and hold your…

What should my C scar feel like?

What should my C scar feel like?

  Q: What should a scar feel like several weeks after a C section? A: “Its hard to know how a scar should feel after a C section, especially if you have never had surgery or an injury resulting in a scar before. Its hidden away under clothes and its easy to forget its there and its hard to compare your scar with other women who may have had a c section. I asked Cecile…

How to optimise healing after C section

Q: What can i do to my scar to allow it it to be optimum in the future? A: 1. Time. Allowing yourself adequate time to recover from a csection is a good idea. Remember it can take up to 12 weeks for healing to happen so before pushing things too soon. 2. Silicone strips. If your scar is raised, then trying a silicone strip (Available online) can help to flatten it out over time. 3.…

How to massage your C scar

How to massage your C scar

Q:How do i massage my scar at home? A: So, if you feel comfortable with the idea of massaging your scar. How and when should your start? I work alongside Cecile @Fix . have got Cecile is a soft tissue therapist @Fixlondon. Cecile has training and experience in scar massage/myofascial release and loves to help women post C section, o i have asked for her advice on this popular question! “The time frame is given…

C section and Sex

C section and Sex

Many women who come to see me in clinic will report that sex has been painful when they tried it again after having their c section (often when it had never been painful before being pregnant). So if this is you, rest assured it is a common one, but the good news is there are lots of things you can do to improve things. Why can sex be painful post C section? There is no…

C section and Sex

C section and Sex

Many women who come to see me in clinic will report that sex has been painful when they tried it again after having their c section (often when it had never been painful before being pregnant). So if this is you, rest assured it is a common one, but the good news is there are lots of things you can do to improve things.

Why can sex be painful post C section?

There is no one definitive answer but i have some theories if you would like to check them out?

Vaginal dryness– after having a baby and especially if breastfeeding, the body is lower in Oestrogen. One of the roles of oestrogen is to keep our vagina more robust and moist! So vaginal dryness and atrophy (slightly shrunken vaginal tissues) is common whilst postnatal/breastfeeding and therefore sex can be more uncomfortable and sensitive.  There are some really decent lubricants out there which can help with this alot. Links are below.

Protective guarding– Many women are concerned about their C scar and will adopt a protective “tensioning” of the abdominals and pelvic floor without realising. This tension/holding pattern will lead to a tightened, shorted pelvic floor. A pelvic floor that does`nt know how to relax anymore will make sex more uncomfortable, especially when trying to achieve penetration. So try massaging your tummy and your scar (see previous C section series post on this) as this can have a good knock-on effect for your pelvic floor to relax.

Breath holding- It also common to breath hold/breathe more shallowly after having a baby. The baby was high up under our diaphragm and our tummies were on a constant stretch, so sometimes we forget that we can re-claim that belly and breath deeply again. The diaphragm and the pelvic floor work together so if we don`t practice belly breathing now and again then our diaphragm is`nt going through its full range of movement and this can make the pelvic floor tight. So practice belly breathing – then try it during sex and see if it helps!

I think Postnatal Yoga is a great way to tick the breathing, stretching and pelvic floor relaxation boxes and this can usually be started between 6-12 weeks post c section.

Links to Lubes! 

https://www.stressnomore.co.uk/pjur-woman-bodyglide-lubricant-81223.html

This one is compatible with latex.

https://www.stressnomore.co.uk/olive-bee-intimate-cream-12317.html

This one is not compatible with latex, also great to use a a daily moisturiser

How to massage your C scar at home

How to massage your C scar at home

So, if you feel comfortable with the idea of massaging your scar. How and when should your start?

I have got Cecile for her help on this one. Cecile is a remedial massage therapist @Fixlondon. Cecile has training and experience in scar massage/myofascial release and loves to help women post C section.

Q.How do i massage my scar at home?

A. Here are a few suggestions on what you can do to help your scar to heal.

The time frame is given as an indication- don`t rush into anything you are not comfortable with. Listen to your body and what feels okay.

 

In the first 6 weeks-

Lying on your back with your knees bent or resting on some pillows, gently place a hand on your lower belly, above the scar. Allow yourself to soften and tune into your breathing. There is nothing to do but relax and allow your your hand to sink in to the superficial layers of skin . You can place your other hand at the top of your thigh or anywhere below the scar that feels comfortable and practical.

After a couple of minutes, you may feel the tissues wanting to move, (it is likely to be very subtle)- you might notice your hand getting deeper or moving in a direction or another. Just follow the tissues, do not resist or force anything.

It might be that you don`t feel anything for a while and that is absolutely okay. Keep at it. It might take a few days for you to develop a sense of connection. When it comes to scar release, less is more- relax, soften, trust. Even just letting your hand sink in will have an effect on the fascial network.

I would recommend doing this daily (once or more, depending on how uncomfortable the scar feels) for 5 minutes minimum as myofascial release takes time. These solidified restrictions need time before they can “melt” back to a more fluid state (see below for more details).

From 6 weeks onwards

Start with the exercise detailed above. When you feel you have established a good connection with yourself and your tissues you can place your fingers just above and below the scar and sink in for a couple of minutes. You can progressively add in a little bit of gentle movements whether is is tiny circles or tiny side-way strokes. Another good approach for this is to cross your fingers over your scar – you can use your index fingers only if it feels easier.

When you feel ready to work on the scar itself, and only when you feel ready- you can gently place the fingertips from both hands all along the scar and again sink in gently for a couple of minutes. You might notice, as already mentioned, the tissue subtly wanting to move one way or another or more deeply, just follow them where they want to go.

It is possible to apply gentle strokes along the scar – you can hold the skin on the lower side of it with your index fingertip and use the other index fingertip to gently brush over the scar towards your belly button in tiny j shaped strokes. Repeat and work along the whole length of the scar going across it.

Another stroke you can use is torquing- gather the tissues all around the scar in a little “sausage” over the scar and move each side of it in opposite directions to move the scar tissues. If your scar “escapes” you, don`t give up on it, play around and find ways to engage it gently or go back to some of the more basic techniques described above.

You can find Cecile at Fix London (London Fields, Hackney). just book online via www.fixlondon.co.uk or call to speak to one of our lovely reception team to book on  020 8986 5551

 

How to optimise healing after C section

How to optimise healing after C section

As part of the C section series, i asked Cecile (a remedial massage therapist @Fixlondon) some questions. Cecile has training and experience in scar massage/myofascial release and loves to help women post C section.

I asked Cecile this question:

Q:What can i do to my scar to allow it it to be optimum in the future? 

A: I highly recommend practising self-massage.

Some scar tissue can be treated as early as 2 hours after the event, some require a couple of years before they can be released, but all scars can be worked on at some point, even at much later stages life. The sooner you start, the better. In the case of a C scar, the NHS guideline is 6 weeks to 3 months.

However, we can start releasing AROUND the scar sooner than that to make room for healing. Before doing any work directly to the scar itself, check in with yourself- are you comfortable placing your hand on the scar? Do you feel ready for this type of work? If not, no worries, wait until you do.

The expression Listening Touch (familiar to all body workers) applies particularly well to the sensitive and delicate nature of scar tissue release- the skin is the interface between our physical self and our environment but it is also an interface between our emotional self and our surroundings. Different C section scars will come with different stories and each mother will have their own unique relationship with the scar. Myofascial Release (MFR) is the best approach to adopt for scars and you can practice it`s basic principles yourself.

When releasing scar tissues- as with all type of body work- it is essential to work with kindness, gentleness and patience. Your body has been though a trauma and the experience will have left traces whether you are conscious of it it or not. We don`t want to take your body through any of it again so it is essential for you to be listening with your fingers and your hands, working gently, and discovering as you go, how to best bring release and relief. You can even start over clothes if you prefer. Good myofascial work is less about the technique, more about the ability for you to tune into your own body and listen with your hands.

In the acute phase of the scarring process (when the scar is still inflamed, red and not healed/sealed), broad and gentle techniques can be used around the site to reduce oedema. Past this acute stage fascial techniques can progressively be introduced across the scar itself to great results.

Thank you Cecile !

BTW, you may have heard of silicone strips, they can help to flatten raised scars and you can start to use them as soon as the scar has healed over.. They are available on amazon. Just search for silicone strips and you will find lots.

You can find Cecile at Fix London (London Fields, Hackney). just book online via www.fixlondon.co.uk or call to speak to one of our lovely reception team to book on  020 8986 5551

 

What should my C scar feel like?

What should my C scar feel like?

As part of the C section series, i asked Cecile (a remedial massage therapist @Fixlondon) some questions. Cecile has training and experience in scar massage/myofascial release and loves to help women post C section.

Q: What should a scar feel like several weeks after a C section?

A:The time it takes for a C section scar to heal varies from woman to woman.

The healing process can last anything between 6 weeks and 3 months and in this time you`re likely to experience all kinds of sensations. Sore and bruisey for a few days and weeks, it might also come with itchiness, numbness, tingliness, a sensation of restriction or pull.

It is not unusual for the numbness to last a few months depending on the type of c section technique the surgeon used. Some scars are quite flat, some are a little raised. It might feel lumpy, hard or solid. Each will be different. Most C section scars eventually heal into a faint line just above the pubic hair line.

Please note that in the first few weeks you should contact your midwife or GP straightaway if you develop a high temperature, if your wound becomes red swollen, painful or has a discharge, or if you feel generally unwell (presenting with an upset stomach for example).

You can find me working alongside Niamh @Fix near London Fields in East London. You can book yourself in online www.fixlondon.co.uk or call 020 8986 5551

What happens during a C section?

What happens during a C section?

Whether it was planned or not, i know lots of women are interested in how they can recover optimally from C section.

SO welcome to the C section series- a collection of articles just about Cesarean.

Q: What happens during a C section? (with a lot of help form the NHS website)

A:

  • You lie down on an operating table, which may be slightly tilted to begin with. You’ll be given the anaesthetic in the operating room. This will usually be a spinal or epidural anaesthetic which numbs the lower part of your body while you remain awake. This means you’ll be awake during the delivery and can see and hold your baby straight away. You will have a thin flexible tube called a catheter inserted into your urethra to help you to pee.
  • a screen is placed across your tummy so you cannot see the operation being done
  • a 10 to 20cm cut is made in your tummy and womb – this will usually be a horizontal cut just below your bikini line.
  • The incision is made into the skin, connective tissue, the abdominal cavity/peritoneum and the uterus. The abdominal muscles are moved back.
  • your baby is delivered through the opening – this usually takes 5 to 10 minutes and you may feel some tugging at this point
  • your baby will be lifted up for you to see as soon as they have been delivered, and they’ll be brought over to you
  • you’re given an injection of the hormone oxytocin once your baby is born to encourage your womb to contract and reduce blood loss
  • your womb is closed with dissolvable stitches, and the cut in your tummy is closed either with dissolvable stitches, or stitches or staples that need to be removed after a few days

The whole procedure usually takes around 40 to 50 minutes.

Once you have started to recover from the anaesthetic, the medical staff will make sure you’re well and continue to observe you every few hours.

You’ll be offered:

  • painkillers to relieve any discomfort
  • treatment to reduce the risk of blood clots – this may include compression stockings or injections of blood-thinning medicine, or both
  • food and water as soon as you as you feel hungry or thirsty
  • help with breastfeeding your baby if you want it.