Today, Cesarean scars are far smaller and heal faster than what our mothers may have experienced.
A typical Cesarean incision is approximately 4-6” long and is placed horizontally across the bikini line. Although, the resulting scar is usually very small and easily concealed, many women are concerned with how visible their Cesarean scar may be.
Two widely accepted ways of minimizing scarring is to add pressure and cover the incision.
Pressure at the incision site will help to mitigate inflammation. As with any surgery, you will experience inflammation following a Cesarean procedure. Inflammation is part of the body’s natural response to trauma but the accompanying swelling can stretch skin that is trying to heal, possibly resulting in a more prominent scar.
Applying pressure that is constant and consistent, as produced by a postpartum support garment, will hold inflammation to a minimum and keep skin from stretching during the healing process.
Covering the Cesarean incision is important because it will limit a woman’s ability to scratch the incision during the healing process. As the incision begins to heal, itching can be a big problem.
Scratching at or near the incision site can produce micro-tears in the incision that can lead to microscopic rising of scar tissue. Replicated over and over, this rising of the tissue can lead to a more visible scar.
A Cesarean body support garment that covers the abdominal area lessens a woman’s ability to scratch at the incision, thus reducing the chances of creating micro-tears.
To learn more about postpartum physiology and how proper support can help your body after baby, please read our educational paper, The Role of Support Garments for the Changing Physiology of the Pregnant and Postpartum Body.