C-section – What Are The Consequences On The Body?

 In Women's Health

Pregnancy can be a positive experience for women, and we all know that having good expectations and a birth plan can make labour and delivery much more predictable and pleasant experience. If there are no complications expected during labour, a vaginal birth is usually safer and more natural than a Caesarean-section (C-section) birth.

C-section Means Surgery

There are instances when during labour, a natural vaginal delivery may not be an option.  A C-section involves major surgery of the abdominal area and pelvic floor which comes with risks and complications.  As with any surgery, there is injury to the skin, connective tissue, muscles and nerves.  On the other hand, a vaginal birth has its own risks of tearing the tissues around the vaginal opening and other surrounding tissue.

Risks With a C-section

As with any surgery, there are risks that come with having a C-section.  Some of the risks of the surgery can involve pain, bleeding, and infection.  The most common after a C-section are adhesions from the incision.  Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that can make the organs in your tummy area stick to each other and to the skin.  Adhesions can be painful, because they limit the movement of your internal organs.  Also, there will be pain after the surgery and it can linger for a few weeks compared to a vaginal birth.

C-section scar

What to Expect Post C-section

After having a C-section delivery, there comes a longer recovery time compared to a vaginal delivery.  Your doctor or midwife will educate you on getting lots of rest post-surgery, discuss proper ways to care for your scar and protect the muscles in the tummy when taking care of your baby.  There are specific restrictions after the surgery, such as no lifting or carrying any heavy weight for a minimum of six weeks.  A full recovery from a C-section with minimal complications is expected between four to six weeks.

Assessment by a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist

It is recommended to have a pelvic health physiotherapist perform a full external and internal vaginal assessment at six weeks after giving birth to provide a treatment plan for a successful recovery of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. We can provide you with education and specific exercises and soft tissue techniques to improve healing of the scar as well as improving the effectiveness and strength of the diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles.

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