I just attended the Cesarean Scar Care Webinar with Isa Herrera via the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN). What a terrific benefit for subscribers (it was free), a great introduction to ICAN for folks who aren’t subs, and a great cost ($15) for non subscribers.
Herrera is the author of Ending Female Pain and performs physical therapy in New York City. I was excited to attend this webinar because 5 months post cesarean, I still have a LOT of pain and tenderness, especially on the left side. I imagine this has a lot to do with E’s position in utero. Herrera said that an uncomfortable lie can cause more adhesions, so obviously I have a lot of work to do to break up those adhesions and get to healing!
“Women coming to me are often not getting the tools and advice they need . . .” to recover from cesareans.
Sad but not surprising.
Something I previously misunderstood: according to Herrera the abdominal muscles (the recti) are not cut during surgery. Instead, they are pushed to the side.
Something else I didn’t know: during a cesarean 8 layers of fascia and connective tissue are cut. From what I previously learned, it’s the damage to the fascia and connective tissues that compromise the uterus the most.
Something of which I am skeptical: Herrera hypothesizes that regularizing and rehabilitating the scar tissue and adhesions may reduce the risk of uterine rupture in future pregnancies and labors. The reason that I am skeptical is that from what I know about scar formation and healing, scar tissue NEVER approximates undamaged tissue. Scar tissue organizes differently from undamaged tissue. On the other hand, it is possible that with Body Talk or acupuncture or other healing modalities that damaged tissue can be restored. And it’s not like my arm splits open every time I use it, and I have a large gnarly scar on it!
Herrera talked us through a number of exercises and stretches that should help break up adhesions and encourage healing. The ones that I plan to start using immediately are “long strokes,” “longitudinal stretches,” and kegels while drawing in my abs. I’ve also started using my Wii Fit and have found that the exercises there have woken up my core a bit. I am also massaging lavender oil, purchased from Young Living because of the medicinal-grade quality, into the “damaged” areas.
For more information on cesarean scar care, purchase Herrera’s book. Also, check out the websites http://www.apta.org and http://www.pelvicrehab.com.