How does a c-section affect postpartum recovery?

Mamas recovering from a c-section should give themselves grace, rest and appropriate expectations as their abdomen heals.

Dr. Jessica Babich
Dr. Jessica Babich
Jessica is a physical therapist in New York City specializing in pelvic floor dysfunction and the founder of Chelsea Method.
Last updated
January 26, 2023

A Cesarean-section is major abdominal surgery and it is important for any new mamas recovering from a c-section to give themselves lots of grace, rest and appropriate expectations as their abdomen heals. The uterus itself is cut and stitched up during a c-section, so as the uterus starts to contract to shrink back down to its original size, the new mama may experience higher levels of pain. Once the scar is closed, it’s important to work on the scar tissue in order to maintain optimal tissue mobility of the abdominal wall, abdominal muscles and pelvic organs. 

When thinking about the impact of rigid scars, we can use the illustration of a shirt. Grab the lower edge of your shirt and tuck in down tight into your pants. Now go ahead and raise your arm overhead - do you notice any restriction in the mobility of your arm? Do you see the lines of tension that develop in your shirt as you lift your arm? Now loosen your shirt again and notice the increase in mobility of your arm. This is what happens in the body when a rigid scar is present - at the skin layer, muscular layer and between the organs. 

Chelsea Method is aware of the unique differences in the recovery journey of moms who have had c-sections. The method guides them through self scar assessment and mobilization as well as gives grace to every mama to move at the most appropriate pace for them.

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