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Had a C Section - what's happened to my body?

By Angela Jameson on 7 September 2020

After my C section, I lost all strength in my body and I found it particularly difficult to get up from lying down and had to perform the 'log roll' technique to get up out of bed for quite a few months. This makes it particularly challenging when baby wakes crying and you need to feed, it just adds to your body aches and pains.

One of my main aims is to empower women to know more about their post natal recovering bodies so that you know how to heal from the inside out. The scar may look fine on the outside but there are many layers they have had to cut through to get the baby out. So, why not know what its all about and you might find it helps you understand how and why you need to heal properly before starting to run again or doing whatever other form of exercise you love.

So..How do Scars Form?

When we have a wound that needs to heal, our body does something amazing … it lays down new protein fibres to knit the wound together. This protein is called collagen. While these new fibers are regenerating, the uneven distribution of collagen cells is often chaotic and forms itself in a messy fashion. If left untreated, a thicker, more dense and fibrous tissue can form a scar tissue or so called adhesions. Unfortunately these can sometimes bind to nearby tissues and it can result in a pulling sensation or sometimes even a ‘trapped', restrictive feeling. Adhesions can also be a source of digestive / bowel problems, incontinence, lower back pain and sometimes even infertility. It is estimated that 93% of people develop adhesions in response to the trauma of abdominal surgery.

Once we are ‘healed’ there is a visual reminder in the form of a scar. There are four stages of wound healing: hemostasis, inflammation, proliferation and maturation. In brief:

  • Hemostatis phase
    This is when the wound begins to close by clotting (think scab forming).
  • Inflammatory phase
    This is when the blood vessels leak something called transudate which is made of water, salt and protein) and causes localised swelling, which both controls bleeding and prevents further infection. I’m pretty sure this is what we refer to as the wound ‘weeping’ or pus.
  • Proliferative phase
    This is when the wound is rebuilt with new tissue made up of collagen and extracellular matrix, it’s also when things start to feel a bit tight and pucker up a little because the wound contracts as the new tissues are built and pulls things together. Perhaps the most important aspect of this phase is the laying down of new blood vessels so that the new tissue can be healthy and receive the oxygen and nutrients required.
  • Maturation phase (aka remodeling stage)
    This is when the wound fully closes, and the ‘repair’ cells are no longer needed.

The primary aim of scar massage is to promote the alignment of collagen fibres (‘break’ the adhesions and help them to form in a ‘less messy’ way) which are laid down as part of the healing process and also the development of more supple scar tissue which will allow for movement. This benefit will not be as visibly obvious as the texture and the appearance of the actual scar, but will certainly be a ‘felt’ benefit as these adhesions are ‘tidied up’.

"I started physically-fit for mothers who want to prepare and recover quickly from childbirth. We offer group and one to one fitness sessions and our membership club allows you to follow our premium videos at a time and place right for you."
Angela
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