How to tighten the stomach after cesarean section?

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 23.04.2024

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The abdomen after caesarean section can bother the woman for a long time - whether it be abdominal pain or aesthetic problems. But there are phenomena that are very typical for the condition of the abdominal muscles after cesarean section. It is important to know when it is worth contacting a doctor for help, and when you can individually adjust the appearance and tighten the abdominal muscles.

Features of violations after a cesarean section

Cesarean section is a surgical procedure that consists in surgical incision of the abdomen and uterus for the birth of a child. This procedure is usually not planned in advance, if there is no evidence, and doctors usually resort to it in case of emergency, when the birth of the fetus is impossible in the natural way. Doctors recommend caesarean section for several reasons, for example, your child is in the wrong position or the fetus is great for safe physiological delivery. Other possible reasons for using caesarean section are problems with the umbilical cord, placenta and cervix. In addition, if you or your child have certain health problems, then a cesarean section may be the best option.

During the caesarean section, two incisions are made - one external on the skin and abdominal muscles, and the other - on the uterus. After birth, both on the uterus, and on the stomach, sutures are applied. Internal stitches on the uterus will dissolve for several days. But in some women, healing on the uterus can take longer than healing external joints on the skin, so you need to be careful, as this can cause pain. Abdominal pain after caesarean section can develop for two main reasons: nerve pain and muscle pain. The abdominal muscles after caesarean section can be restored for a long time, since the muscle fibers can not be intertwined in the same way as before. This can cause discomfort and pain. Muscle pain is in fact the most common cause of chronic pain after cesarean delivery in general. Such pain can occur spontaneously, but it can also be caused by trauma (for example, during surgery or childbirth). It is worth remembering that the hormonal changes in pregnancy and childbirth, as well as the lack of sleep and the stress of caring for the newborn - this can all maintain a sense of chronic chronic pain. 

The pains in the lower abdomen after caesarean section arise when the muscles tense and contract too tightly, forming sites of local spasm. Spasms cause a decrease in blood flow in this area and compress nerves, which further increases pain.

After caesarean section, this kind of myofascial pain syndrome can affect the wall of the abdomen or can affect the muscles of the pelvic floor. And this can cause a stomach ache after cesarean section, even after a month, especially with physical activity.

The large abdomen after caesarean section is also a common problem, which is associated with a violation of the integrity and coordination of the movement of muscle fibers. This proves the need for using exercises to improve muscle tone and tone.

Spasms in the abdomen after caesarean section can also be caused by a violation of nerve conduction. When the pain continues for several months, the signal in the nervous system begins to change, and this can increase pain. When the stomach becomes numb after cesarean section, this is most often caused by conduction disorders along the nerve pathways. There may have been problems during epidural anesthesia, which can cause damage to nerve fibers with prolonged recovery.

In the process of skin regeneration there are several stages.

In the first week there are inflammatory changes. In this active phase, connective tissue cells and macrophages rush to the area of damage to begin tissue repair. This is the place where in the future you will feel a drawing pain or tingling.

During the first three months after the operation, the cells of connective tissue and epidermis are actively multiplying. At the same time, a new collagen and capillaries are formed. During this period, you can feel that recovery in the scar area causes skin tightness and itching.

Until the end of the first year there is a stage of skin remodeling and the formation of the final scar. Collagen is reformed and begins to ripen scar. General sensations at this time in the phase of skin restoration are itching or accidental soreness around the scar after active movements. This suggests that the scar is an unavoidable result of surgery and denser surrounding tissues can cause a buildup of fat cells around the scar, as the scar area itself is filled with collagen, and there are no places for fat cells. Since there are weight changes after pregnancy and loose skin, all these factors can influence the formation of a fold on the abdomen after cesarean section. This fold is formed precisely by the accumulation of fat cells, which are located in the region of malleable areas of the skin and subcutaneous tissue around the rumen. The abdomen above the suture after caesarean section can also increase if the weight of a woman after pregnancy does not go away quickly or if there are no specific actions that prevent such unpleasant consequences.

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What should I expect after cesarean delivery?

Swelling of the abdomen after caesarean section is a common disease. Most often, women have swelling around the face, abdomen and ankles, as well as on the limbs, including arms and legs. Such swelling more often persists for a week or two after delivery. Similarly, a section of the cut may also swell. All these tumors can cause tingling and pain, which can become a source of discomfort and discomfort.

Such swelling arises from the fact that during pregnancy increases the volume of circulating fluid by increasing the volume of blood by 50% to nourish and protect the baby. In addition, a low concentration of proteins and dilution of blood leads to a low concentration of hemoglobin and the accumulation of fluid. During labor, not all blood leaves the body. The most common cause of postpartum edema are hormones. During pregnancy, the body produces a large amount of progesterone. Excess progesterone causes retention of water and sodium in the body, leading to swelling after childbirth. When the uterus expands with the growing baby, it puts pressure on the veins of the lower limbs and thus restricts the flow of blood to the lower part of the body. Since throughout the pregnancy there is accumulation of fluid, it will take some time for the fluid to come out after pregnancy. The combination of these factors - additional blood volume, hormonal changes and fluid retention - will cause swelling of the abdomen and limbs after pregnancy.

Problems with the stomach and intestines after caesarean section are very frequent causes of complications and unpleasant sensations. Most of the anesthetics significantly slows down the work of the mother's gastrointestinal system. They lead to a decrease in the tone of the muscles of the intestine and the stagnation of food. And since anesthetics will take some time to go away, Mom may have to suffer from gas accumulation in the intestines and, thus, bloating after the procedure. Bloating after caesarean section can be caused by the accumulation of gases. This is a very unpleasant sensation, as it can cause pain and a feeling of tension in the abdomen.

Caesarean section is considered relatively safe, but this method of delivery creates a higher risk of certain complications than with physiological births. After cesarean section, the most common complications for the mother are: infectious diseases, severe blood loss, nausea, vomiting and severe headache after childbirth (associated with anesthesia and abdominal procedure). A hard abdomen after cesarean section is one of the most dangerous complications, as it speaks of the development of serious infectious processes. If microorganisms have entered the area of the post-operative suture, they can quickly spread through the abdominal cavity. Also, bacteria can enter the internal path through the cut uterus. Over time, the active multiplication of microorganisms causes an inflammatory reaction involving the peritoneum, which is a sign of the development of peritonitis. This is a serious condition that requires action. When peritonitis, the abdomen is so hard that it resembles a board and can not be touched. If the stomach is just solid without any other symptoms, then it can develop with postoperative constipation. 

Long-term risks of caesarean section can develop in a few weeks. Such complications include skin inflammation in the seam area. Redness on the abdomen after caesarean section in the field of surgery can develop due to local inflammation of the skin. This also applies to dangerous conditions, in which you immediately need to see a doctor.

How to recover after caesarean section?

Recovery after caesarean section usually takes several weeks. The uterus heals in about six to eight weeks. Complete recovery after surgery can be from three to seven weeks. Women who have a cesarean section without complications spend about 3 days in the hospital.

Can I lie and sleep on my stomach after cesarean section? Every time you want to lie down or turn over from the back to your stomach, you first need to lie on your side, lie down a little to balance the pressure in the abdominal cavity. Only after this, you can already lie on your stomach for a few minutes. Immediately after the operation, you can lie on your stomach for several minutes to avoid the appearance of hernias. A month after cesarean section on the abdomen, you can already sleep.

Many young women, especially if they became moms for the first time, are interested in the question of how to remove and tighten the stomach after a cesarean section and when will the stomach go after a cesarean section? All this depends on the genetic characteristics of the skin and subcutaneous tissue, as well as on the woman herself and her desire to recover as soon as possible.

The most effective methods in eliminating all the consequences of caesarean section are gymnastics and massage.

After your body completely recovers from the operation, you can seriously engage in fitness. Remember that it is more important for you to remain healthy than to lose weight to the detriment of health. Your body needs enough rest after surgery to recover and give you the opportunity to take care of yourself and the baby. Relax for the first few months and enjoy the bliss of motherhood. You can start the exercise in 4-6 weeks, if there were no complications and the doctor allows.

There are several tips that help to restore the body after pregnancy and not gain weight.

  1. Increase water consumption. Water is the elixir for your body. It not only moisturizes the skin, but also makes it more elastic. This helps burn calories more efficiently and is a great way to keep your skin healthy and dense.
  2. Breastfeeding is important. In addition to being the source of nutrition for your child, breastfeeding is also very important to you. When the baby eats breast milk, it takes energy not only from him, but also from his mother, to synthesize new milk. Thus, much energy is spent in the mother, which speeds up its metabolism and prevents the laying of excess weight.
  3. Consume protein: protein is good for muscle growth. It also contains an important nutrient called collagen, which helps in strengthening your skin. Your protein intake affects your weight and the extent of your physical activity. On average, you should consume 50 g of protein.
  4. Another good way to tighten your skin is to use exfoliating scrub on your stomach when you take a shower. This helps in improving blood circulation by increasing the flow of blood in this area. It also creates a new, healthy and more supple skin.
  5. The use of creams and lotions that contain collagen, as well as vitamins E, C, A and K, improves skin condition and reduces the appearance of the scar. Apply such lotions to loose skin, as this will help with tightening the skin after pregnancy.

Usually it takes at least six weeks to recover enough from the main operation to start playing sports. A quick walk, perhaps with a child in a stroller, as well as swimming or cycling, are examples of gentle, low-profile forms of physical activity. You can start with this, in order to adapt to the stresses and that your physical activity is not too harsh, as this can lead to loss of milk. Running can also be an option for physical activity after walking.

Raising your child is sometimes a training in itself, but it is not enough to smooth your tummy. Do only 30 minutes, a couple of times a week, to train all the basic muscles, increase your metabolism and stimulate fat burning.

Start with one set of 8-12 repetitions of movements, such as squats and fallouts. You can do simple sit-ups, although they work on your upper, not the lower abdominal muscles. Too many sit-ups can also put pressure on the uterus and internal organs. You should not do more than 10 squats at a time, and do not do more than three sets of 10 squats per day. Always breathe during exercise and simultaneously tighten the pelvic muscles and lower abdominal muscles.

Try to start with two workouts a week lasting 15 minutes, and if you want, gradually increase them. Increase the duration of the workout by five minutes every two weeks. Stop the exercise immediately if you feel pain or become tired.

Exercises for the abdomen after caesarean section can begin after a light workout. There are different types of exercises and here are some of them:

  1. Lie down on the back of a soft mat, legs apart, and your knees are bent at an angle of 45 degrees.

Squeeze the lower thigh muscles when you lift the hips off the floor.

Raise your hips to such an extent that they are on par with the upper body. Hold this position for a few seconds.

Slowly lower your hips back to the floor.

  1. Stand on the floor and put your feet on the width of your shoulders, put your hands on your hips.

Raise your hands above your head. Begin slowly to bend forward, not bending in the back.

Continue to bend forward until the upper body becomes parallel with the floor, keep your back flat.

Slowly return to the standing position.

Repeat three sets of four to eight repetitions (or as many as you like).

  1. Stand in the push-up position (knees and palms on the ground).

Go down on your elbows and simultaneously raise your knees from the ground.

Straighten your body. Your legs, hips and shoulders should make a straight line.

Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, keeping the muscles tight.

  1. Stand on the floor and put your feet on the width of your shoulders, with your hands fully extended at the sides.

Make the smallest circles with your hands in the air, while your hand is torn off from your hips.

Increase the width of the circle slowly for five minutes. Use your leg muscles to stabilize yourself when larger circles begin to affect your balance.

When you reach the fullest circle, start to reduce the size of the circle and rotate in the opposite direction.

  1. Lie on the floor, on your back and stretch your arms and legs along the trunk.

Raise your legs and head a few inches from the floor, when the body lies on the floor, like the movements of a pendulum.

Repeat the exercise several times.

Strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor helps to maintain the health of your lower back and strengthens deep abdominal muscles. Some women also notice that the skin around and below the scar is denser than the skin above it. Slowly losing weight and practicing the work of the muscles of the pelvic floor and lower muscle exercises, you can reduce this phenomenon.

  • First, lie on your back and bend your knees.
  • Squeeze the muscles of the pelvic floor on exhalation.
  • At the same time, pull and pull the navel.
  • Try to hold the squeeze for 10 seconds without holding your breath.

Is it possible to draw in the stomach after caesarean section? It is unequivocal that vacuum exercises for the abdomen after cesarean section also help improve the tone of the internal abdominal muscles and improve the condition of the uterus. But such exercises can be started one month after the operation in order to avoid divergence of the sutures and the formation of hernias. For this, lying on the floor, you just need to draw in and inflate your stomach, while breathing evenly.

Compression, cicatricial massage and silicone therapy are three natural, non-surgical ways of minimizing the external non-scic type of scar. Silicone therapy also helps reduce itching, burning and redness. For this purpose, you can use a special cream, only if there is no allergy. Postoperative compression should be maximally localized in the region of the incision and around it. For this purpose, you can use special compression underwear.  

Massage of the abdomen after cesarean section, like all massages, has many advantages. It calms the pain, relaxes the tense muscles and rejuvenates both physically and emotionally. But it is important to choose a masseur who has experience in massage after pregnancy.

Approximately in 5-6 weeks in the field of an operational cut the scar tissue is formed. By this time you will feel comfortable again in this area, there will be no burning or tingling. At this stage it will be safe to conduct a special massage of scar tissue. This requires careful massage in the area of the skin around your scar. Such a massage can help reduce the scar and heal deeper layers of the wound. This can also help prevent the formation of adhesions on the organs. Massage after caesarean section is very important for the prevention of complications. In some cases, you may experience back pain and even pelvic pain if you have not received a proper postpartum massage. You may encounter problems with urination.

Although postpartum massage is helpful, you should avoid this if you have a rash, eczema or other skin infection. Massaging the infected area will only worsen the situation. Also avoid massage if you are experiencing complications during childbirth, and if you have a hernia or high blood pressure.

You can also try to massage your abdominal muscles yourself. To do this, use the pads of your fingers. When self-massage, do not use oil or lotion, since you should not glide over the skin, you must fasten the skin and gently move it. Move the skin with your fingers, and when it stops moving and you feel an attraction or a slight burning sensation, then keep this stretching for 30-90 seconds. You can also fasten one side of the cut with the fingers of one hand and pull it in the opposite direction with the other hand. Make small circles and strokes up / down (grabbing about 1 cm of skin) along the incision, and then repeat for 2-3 minutes, 2-3 times a day.

It also helps a lot in restoring the entire body after cesarean section - it's good nutrition and emotional state.

The abdomen after cesarean section can bring a lot of inconvenience to a woman, but all problems can be solved very effectively. It is very important that there are no complications after the operation, then it is already possible to deal not only with the child, but also with the restoration of one's body. Very important for obtaining a good result is an integrated approach using not only medications, but also physical exercises, proper nutrition, regular walks and rest.

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