For those women who have a C-section, many will find that the area around the scar is numb or has no feeling. This is very normal and common. This is caused by the after effects of the spinal/epidural, as well as the nerve damage that occurred when the belly is cut.
How Long Will the Numbness After C-Section Last?
There are some women who will regain feeling in the scar by about 4-8 weeks after birth. There are also quite a few women who will never completely regain feeling in that area. Over the months following the birth, some feelings will return but often the scar will remain numb. If you have questions about numbness after your C-section, you should talk to your doctor.
Can This Numbness Be Healed?
Everyone has a different body and heals differently. The amount of feeling that comes back is based on muscle and skin type as well as age. The following ways can help you combat the numbness.
- Have core and abdominal strength training once your doctor says it is safe.
- Drink fluids and stay hydration.
- Acetyl-L-carnitine, turmeric, St. John’s wort, lavender and evening primrose oil can help with nerve regeneration as well as the nerve pain. It is important you speak with your doctor about dosage and other supplements.
Other Common Problems About the Cesarean Scar
Besides numbness after C-section, other problems in the cesarean scar may occur.
Pain in the Scar
If you have swelling, redness or pain that gets worse, you need to contact your doctor. If you have anything oozing from the scar, you need to call the doctor immediately. This can be a sign of infection. Some pain is normal for two weeks or longer but you should feel improvement every day. Your doctor will give you an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or a narcotic.
Itchiness in the Scar
During the healing process, it can be normal to feel some itching. Be careful to not scratch so you can avoid an infection. Having a scar that is numb but itchy can set you up for an injury so you will need to be careful. Some mothers have found that holding something over the scar tightly can help.
There can be irritation in your cesarean scar. You should skip outfits that press on your scar. This may mean different panties and pants. Do this for a few months until the tissue heals. Keep the area dry and clean.
More Recovery Tips After C-Section
Good recovery after the surgery can help eliminate numbness after C-section and other conditions earlier. Here are some helpful tips for you.
1. Start Walking
Start walking as soon as your doctor says it’s OK. Take short walks that build up to 30 minutes once you’ve been home for several days. Walking reduces risk of blood clots, increases circulation and helps your bowels' function. Walking improves everything.
2. Eat Right
Enjoy foods that have natural anti-inflammatory properties such as kale, berries and broccoli. Vitamin C is important, as is omega-3 fatty acids that are found in seeds and nuts. Try to remember red meat is inflammatory, so stick to salmon and chicken. Drink plenty of water and eat fiber-rich foods to prevent constipation.
3. Avoid Heavy Lifting
For the first few weeks afterbirth, you should avoid lifting anything over twenty pounds. After some time without pain, you can slowly increase your activity. In the beginning, you should have your baby brought to you for feedings.
4. Take Sex Slowly
Those who have given birth through a cesarean will be two times as likely to have painful intercourse as far as 18 months after giving birth, compared to those who do so vaginally. This is because of changes that happen during pregnancy and also the scar tissue from the surgery. Make sure to go slow, use lubricant and communicate. If pain persists, speak to your doctor.
5. Get Support
You may need to care for an infant, but you have just been through a lot and need to heal. It is not unusual to feel let down by a cesarean birth. In fact, there are some studies that show postpartum depression is common besides numbness after C-section. Make sure to speak with someone or join a support group to help cope with these feelings.