Whenever anyone talks about a c-section, many concerns come to an expectant mom’s mind. Among many other things, every pregnant woman worries about the incision on the abdomen that comes with a c-section. They are scared of the infection and many other risks associated with it. Because of the misinformation about c-sections, many assume that they get an enormous scar from the incision. Well, that is not true. A c-section scar is nothing to be worried about if you take proper care about it. Here is everything you need to know about a c-section scar.
Types Of Incision
In a cesarean, your doctor makes two incisions. The first incision on your lower abdomen, above your pubic hairline. The second one is in the uterus. It is through this cut on the uterus, the doctor reaches your baby. The incision on the abdomen is what seen on your tummy later. And it can be either vertical or horizontal.
Horizontal: The low transverse incision across your abdomen is the most common incision used in c-sections. Sometimes called ‘the bikini cut’, it is made 1-2 inches above the pubic hairline. This is usually done across the lowest part of the uterus. Being thin compared to other areas makes it a suitable area for incision. Bleeding will also be less.
Vertical: A vertical cut made in the middle of the abdomen is also known as a classical C-section. It stretches from the navel to the pubic hairline. Compared to horizontal incisions, vertical incisions take a longer time to heal.
The stables from your incision will be removed before you leave the hospital. If you had any suture, it will dissolve on its own. In most cases, Steri-Strips, a paper tape-like product, will be used to cover the wound. They will fall off within a week.
How Big Is A C-Section Scar?
Thinking of a big scar to take your little one out? Not at all. Your scar will be remarkably small. A 4-6 inch incision is enough to get your baby out safely.
Taking Care Of A C-Section Scar
It is important to take care of your incision after a c-section. Otherwise, it may cause infection, the last thing you want while you recover from delivery.
- Keep it dry and clean: Make sure that you clean your wound every day. Wash the area with a mild soap. There is no harm in getting the incision wet. Do not scrub it vigorously. Once done with cleaning, pat the area dry with a clean towel. However, using a bathtub immediately after a c-section may not be a good idea.
- Let air in: It is always better to leave the wound open for fast healing. Refrain from wearing tight clothes. Wear a loose gown at night.
- Hold off any physical activity: Take some time for your wounds to heal. Do not strain your scar. Do not lift heavy objects. Stay away from any activity that could disturb the healing process.
- Use ointment only if your doctor prescribes: If your doctor has suggested any ointment or petroleum jelly to apply on the wound, use that. It is best to avoid any ointment or over-the-counter medications if you don’t have your doctor’s prescription.
What Does It Look Like After Healing?
It may take 6 weeks to 2 months for the scar to heal completely, depending on your body. Initially, it may look red or pink. However, within a few months, it will fade to a pale, faint line. You will be left with nothing more than a thin line above the pubic hairline. Even in a bikini, no one will be able to see your incision scar.
When To Call Your Doctor
Even though not common, a risk of infection exists after a c-section. If you notice redness or swelling on the skin surrounding it, you need to talk to your doctor. Any discharge or a foul smell from the incision site is again a concern. Fever high than 100.4 f in the first few weeks after a c-section may indicate an infection. Even pain around the scar is a sign of infection.
However, itching is common in the incision area. If it makes you uncomfortable, place an ice pack wrapped in a towel over the incision site for some time. A few women may even experience numbness or a tingling sensation in the area. Do not panic, it will go away in a few weeks time.