Benefits Of Massage for a C-Section Scar
By Lubna Sheikh on 20th October 2020
Having any type of postpartum massages, such as a post-C-section massage, is beneficial to your body.
Many health benefits are associated with it, including hormone regulation and the reduction of swelling.
There are many different ways to massage a C-section scar, and by doing so you are being proactive towards issues that can arise later down the road.
In this guide, you will find the answers to the most common questions regarding a C-section massage.
This includes the definition of a c-section massage, the benefits, and techniques used to do a c-section massage.
What Is A C-section Massage?
A c-section birth is where an incision is made either vertically or horizontally in the abdomen and uterus to deliver a baby.
As the incision heals scar tissue is formed on the surface of the skin and underneath the skin.
A c-section massage is a massage technique for these areas where scar tissue has formed. It involves different methods performed either directly on the scar itself, or the areas surrounding the scar.
Benefits Of Massaging C-section Scar
Scar tissue is formed in an irregular pattern. This creates several problems because you can have bands of scar-like tissue in areas such as the colon, ovary, or between the bladder and uterus.
An adhesion in these areas can cause issues that can be prevented and improved through the massaging of a c-section scar.
Here are the benefits of having a c-section massage:
- Regulates the frequency of urination: Some women experience issues with their bladder after 10-15 years of a c-section. The scar can block the bladder from expanding creating the urge to urinate more frequently
- Increases mobility and elasticity: Whenever you have bands of scar tissue on the organs in your pelvis or any other area of your body, it can restrict movement. This causes pain when having intercourse, twisting, bending, or doing any other activities. C-section scar massage will reduce the adhesions and increase mobility which will reduce the pain
- Reduces pain and sensitivity around the scar area
- Limits the growth of the scar in surrounding organs and other unwanted areas: By teaching and training the scar where and how to lie through massage, you can prevent the scar from spreading like wildfire
- Prevents the size of the scar from increasing: This is done by massaging thick scars which will smooth out over time. This is important in the early phases of the healing process
- Increases blood flow: When mobility is restricted by your scar, your blood flow decreases. This can slow the healing process of your scar. By performing daily massages, you will increase the blood flow and speed up the healing process
- Helps to prevent infections
What You Should Know About A C-section Scar
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to a scar from a c-section.
Here are things you should know:
- There are 4 phases of the healing process, which can take up to two years to complete.
- In the first few weeks, your scar will appear pink or red and slightly raised
- As your scar heals and moves through each phase of the healing process it will take on a different form and may change in colour. The final phase results in a smooth white line
- When massaging your c-section scar, avoid using lotion. This makes it difficult to move the scar while massaging it
- While you are doing your scar massage, the amount of discomfort should be minimal. Anything more than minor tenderness or burning, should not occur. If you do experience this, you need to contact your healthcare provider
- It is normal for you to experience itchiness and numbness as your scar heals
How Soon After Delivery Can You Start Massaging C-section Scar?
It is advised to wait at least 6 weeks before attempting to massage the scar tissue.
In some cases you may need to wait 8 weeks, depending on how long it takes for your incision to heal.
If you are unsure about this, speak with your OB-GYN or primary care physician before you begin massaging your c-section scar.
Is It Ever Too Late To Massage A C-section Scar?
In the past, women weren’t told about massaging their c-section scars.
So even if it has been years or months since you had a c-section, you can still benefit from massaging the scar tissue.
Aside from that, it can take up to 2 years for the scar to fully heal and reach the maturation process.
What Should I Expect During And After A C-section Massage?
In the beginning, you may experience slight tenderness, however, the pain should never be excruciating.
You may also feel some pulling or slight burning in some areas, spending a little more time stretching in these areas should help.
As you continue with your daily self-massages, the amount of pain or tenderness should decrease over time.
If you find that you are not seeing any improvements with your pain, or if the pain increases, you should consult with your physician or a pelvic physical therapist.
What Methods Are Used To Massage C-section Scar?
Some different methods or techniques can be performed when massaging your c-section scar.
These techniques only take a few minutes daily and results can be seen within a couple of weeks.
The techniques that are used include:
- Skin stretching
- Direct scar massage
- Scar lift and roll
The steps that you use in each technique are discussed later in this guide.
You want to start with a daily return and as you see improvements move to weekly, every other week, and monthly.
For the first couple of years, you should at least perform one of these techniques monthly, since tissue can form up to 2 years from the time of the c-section delivery.
Can I Massage A C-section Scar Myself?
It is encouraged that you perform a self-massage of a c-section scar so that you can become familiar with your body and your body’s response to the massage.
This will help you determine the areas that you should focus on. This is also recommended before you make an appointment to have a professional perform the massage for you.
This creates awareness of the scar area so that you can work with the professional by giving proper feedback.
How Do I Massage My C-section Scar?
As you have already learned there are several different techniques that you can use to massage your c-section scar.
The method that you choose depends on what you want to achieve and what is most comfortable for you.
Here are more details about the different massage techniques that you can use:
1. Skin stretching
- The first thing you want to do is position your fingers 2-3 inches from the scar
- Next, you will stretch the skin by moving your fingers in an up and down motion around the scar
- Perform the same movement in a side to side motion and clockwise/counterclockwise motion
- Each movement should be repeated 5-10 times. You want to make sure to tackle all areas around the scar
2. Direct scar massage
Before you can begin direct scar massage, 12 weeks should have passed since delivery.
You need to make sure that the incision is both closed and well healed for this massage technique:
- Hold pads of 2-3 fingers together, slightly arched
- Next, you will place the pads of your fingers directly on one end of the scar
- Stretch the skin by pushing fingers half an inch in one direction(side to side, up and down, or diagonal). Hold the stretched skin for 5 to 15 seconds. Change directions and hold for 5-15 seconds
- Now move to the next half an inch area of the scar and repeat the steps until you have done this along the entire scar
- Repeat the process 5-10 times along the full length of the scar
3. Scar lift and roll
This is another technique that you need to wait at least 12 weeks before you attempt it:
- Using your index finger and thumb, you need to pick up the scar
- Roll scar between your fingers for 5 to 15 seconds
- Continue this process until you have covered the full length of the scar. Repeat 5-10 times
What Options Do I Have If I Do Not Like Touching My Scar?
For some women, touching the c-section scar can trigger a traumatic experience preventing them from being able to massage the scar. If you are one of these women, you are not alone, and it is understandable.
There are many types of trained professionals that can help you work through your fear, guide you through massaging the area or include the massage as part of services performed by a massage therapist.
The key takeaways after reading this guide, include:
- Understanding the importance of a c-section massage
- The benefits you gain from massaging a c-section scar
- The ways that you can self-massage your c-section scar
- The amount of time you have to wait to perform a self-massage of your c-section scar
- When you should contact your physician
Remember, even if years have passed since your c-section delivery, you can still see improvements through daily self-massage of your c-section scar.
About the author of this article
My name is Lubna and I am a Holistic Food Coach, Natural Chef, Massage Specialist & Yoga teacher. I am passionate about your health and well-being. Now, health and well-being is my life! I practice yoga every morning. I attend and support my community fitness centre and I have recently learned how to swim.