We’re often asked how our practitioners can help support parents after they’ve experienced a cesarean birth. Here’s how some of our practitioners can help whether it’s 6 weeks after birth or further along in your postpartum period.
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy can help tremendously following a cesarean birth. Many c-section parents don’t realize that even though you had a c-section, your pelvic floor will still have been affected by the weight of your baby, fluid, placenta, etc. and can absolutely suffer from pregnancy-related pelvic pain later in life. Even if you don’t have any “pelvic” symptoms, it’s definitely worth coming in for a baseline assessment, plus for help with addressing scar and postoperative pain management.
Your physiotherapist will address your scar tissue, assess and treat the pelvic floor for possible tension or weakness, and assess the abdominal wall for disastasis and teach you appropriate exercise strategies to reach your goals. They will teach you how to do cesarean scar massage so that you can perform this daily at home for a few minutes to help with your scar function and recovery.
In addition, the coregeous ball is a fantastic tool, especially for individuals who are less comfortable with touching their scar, and the dolphin neurostim technology has shown excellent results. Connective tissue massage and cupping techniques done in the clinic will also help with releasing adhesions throughout the abdomen.
These strategies will help with reducing pain and pulling, restoring sensation, improving the mobility and thickness, and promoting blood flow to the scar.
Dolphin Neurostim Therapy
The Dolphin Neurostim is a treatment that can be performed by many of our practitioners, including our physiotherapists, massage therapists, chiropractors and our naturopaths.
The Dolphin Neurostim is a scar release treatment with clinically observed improvements in scar recovery following cesarean births. Our clients have reported less pain and itchiness, improved colouration, and less stiffness, thickness and irregularity in their scar tissue.
The mechanism of action of the Dolphin relates to changes in polarity. Prior to injury or a scar, skin is negatively polarized. Skin then becomes positively polarized during trauma and scar formation, which inhibits cell communication throughout the sympathetic nervous system, and stress system activation. The treatment goal of the Dolphin is to reverse scar tissue polarity. This allows cell communication, fascial release, deactivation of the stress system, improved circulation and lymphatic drainage
Dolphin treatment is comfortable, effective and non-invasive.
Registered Massage Therapy
When people think of c-section massage, most assume the work is relegated to the geographic location of the scar itself. They are often surprised at the far-reaching effects that the surgery has had on their body. All of our muscles and organs are encased in fascia, which is like an interconnected web that helps to keep everything in place – this fascia is the fabric of our being so to speak.
Imagine this: if you were to take a piece of fabric, make a cut down a part of it, and then sew up that gap, you would see small puckering lines that extend far beyond its edge. This is similar to what happens to our fascia. This can create a pulling sensation or restriction when doing certain movements and often is responsible for chronic, lower back pain.
Lengthening and ungluing the surrounding fascia, smoothing out any restrictions and creating a suppleness within the scar is one way massage can help someone who has had a Cesarean birth move and feel better in their body.
Some of our RMTs even use a scar serum which has been custom-made by one of our RMTs, during c-section massage treatments and is available for sale at Oona. It is meant to be used in conjunction to self-massage on the scar, to enhance the recovery process.
Naturopathic Medicine & Acupuncture
Naturopathic Doctors are uniquely equipped to help support you as you both prepare and recover from a c-section. Not only can they help prepare you for any adverse complications, they also give you a general timeline of healing, with the understanding that it can be different for everyone.
In the postpartum, NDs help ensure that your diet is conducive towards healing, and promoting regular smooth and hopefully painless bowel movements. They review your supplements to confirm that what you are taking is compatible with any medications, and safe for your baby (if you are nursing). Moreover, maternal mental health is critical, and NDs screen for postpartum mood disorders and refer to psychotherapists or your care provider if need be.
In addition, Naturopathic Doctors also utilize acupuncture and cupping to help mobilize the scar after healing. A common technique used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help treat cesarean scars is known as ‘surround the dragon’ which involves inserting tiny, painless acupuncture needles around the scar. This technique helps to improve circulation to the area, decrease pain, improve the tissue’s range of motion as well as decrease pain and discomfort.
Acupuncture treatments can begin once your scar is healed, and can be paired with the Dolphin neurostim machine.
Let our team at Oona help you with your postpartum c-section support
If you’ve experienced a cesarean birth and require support to reduce pain and pulling, mobilize the scar tissue, improve movement, and feel better all around, we encourage you to book an appointment with our team in Toronto and Newmarket.