Just like pregnancy, giving birth is accompanied by many unknown fears for first-time moms. You are unaware of the delivery process, its intricacies, and other postpartum issues. In cases when there are health concerns, you are overweight, or the baby is in an unusual position, a C-section is recommended.
While a C-section is often a safe and necessary procedure, going through it is still challenging. One challenge moms face after a cesarean is keeping their C-section incision dry when overweight.
To know how to keep C-section incision dry when overweight, you should ask your healthcare provider about the best strategies to keep the C-section dry. Other than that, many home remedies can also be employed to promote healing.
If you have been through a C-section and need practical tips and expert advice on how to keep C-section incision dry when overweight, promote recovery, and much more, read the below article.
What Is a C-section Incision?
A cesarean incision, commonly known as C-Section, is the cut made in the abdomen and uterus of the mother at the time of cesarean delivery.
A cesarean incision happens when a vaginal birth is risky for the mother or the baby or due to other pregnancy-related complications. A C-section can be recommended at the last moment in case of a complication or can be planned during the pregnancy.
Some pregnancy-related complications which necessitate a C-section are the following:
Overweight mother: The chances of a C-section delivery increase if you are overweight.
Prolonged labor stages: The mother can be recommended a C-section delivery if the labor is not progressing. Issues with labor progression include prolonged first or second stage.
Baby is in distress: A cesarean section is considered the safest option if the baby is in distress; for instance, there are abnormal changes in the baby’s heartbeat.
Unusual position of the Baby or babies: A C-section is necessary in case of a breech position when the baby’s feet or buttock comes out before the head. Or if the baby is in a transverse position where their sides or shoulders enter the birth canal first.
Mother has a health concern: A mother can be recommended a cesarean delivery if she faces a health concern, for instance, a heart issue. Such issues exacerbate during labor of normal vaginal delivery.
How to Keep Your C-section Incision Dry When Overweight?
Wound complications are more severe when you are overweight. It is because incision in overweight women is deeper. Also, a podgy mother’s belly overhangs the wounds. Therefore the cut needs greater attention and proper cleaning.
An overweight woman must know how to keep C-section incision dry when overweight. Understanding these aspects helps you actively work toward reducing discomfort in the postoperative period and promote plus size c section recovery.
If you have been through a C-section recently, some ways to keep the wound dry are:
- You can keep the affected skin dry by keeping a pad on the wound under the abdomen. It can adsorb the moisture and keep the site dry. Put the soft side of the pad on the wound, while the adhesive side should be pressed against the post c section underwear you are wearing.
- If you have a thick fold of skin on the wound or you sweat a lot, use a dry towel to cover the wound. It will soak all the sweat before it makes a pool. Also, avoid intense activity after a C-section delivery to prevent excessive sweating. Sweat can make your C-section incision itchy and cause scarring.
- Air dry the wound by exposing it to circulating air. But it can be quite challenging to expose your wound to open air for longer, especially if you are plus-size. If air drying is impossible, use a blow dryer to keep the area dry. Keep the settings on cold to give some comfort to your aching skin.
- While cleaning or drying the C-section site, don’t use any cloth or dressing which sheds lint or fiber. They can cling to the wound and make your c section incision itchy.
- Don’t soak yourself in bathtubs and pools, and avoid long and frequent showers until your doctor allows. After taking a shower, dry yourself completely with a soft dry towel. This will prevent the affected area from getting infection.
How to Clean Your Incision?
You must be more careful during the first few weeks—one to two— after a C-section. Since the incision site is closed with sutures or staples, it is very sensitive. Proper care and cleaning are indispensable for fast recovery.
Here is how you can keep your incision clean after a C-section:
- Before touching the wound site, wash your hands with soap and water.
- Don’t touch the surgical site with wet hands.
- Expose the area before cleaning it. You can tape the belly up to see the wound area clearly.
- Use water and soap to clean the incision area gently. Avoid harsh chemicals or scrubbing with alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or soaps. This can cause itching and irritation and prolong the healing.
- After cleaning, pat dry the affected area.
- Don’t use creams or lotions to soften the incision area. It can delay healing and sometimes increase the probability of infections.
- If you see any redness or discharge, immediately contact your healthcare provider. Pus and discharge are often early signs of infection.
- Never try to remove any peels from the affected area; let them fall off on their own. If you experience c section incision bleeding, contact your doctor.
Apart from following the above-mentioned ways of cleaning the incision site, you should not miss your postpartum appointments during the postoperative recovery period. This is a great way to show the healing of your wound.
What Are the Tips for C-section Recovery?
Recovering from a C-section incision demands patience, proper care, and attention, as it is a time-taking process. It is much more intricate for an overweight first time mom who isn’t aware of the complications. There are some lifestyle changes and wellness methods which can help you recover. Below are some tips you can follow for a speedy and smooth C-section recovery.
1. Don’t Be Overwhelmed
No doubt seeing a big cut on your belly is extremely overwhelming. But you must keep calm and allow yourself some time to process the changes in your body. Also, don’t hesitate to seek emotional and physical support from your friends, family, or partner.
2. Get Enough Rest
Your body needs rest to heal. But ironically, for most mothers, taking rest after delivering a baby is near to impossible. Nevertheless, ample rest, sleep, and listening to your body’s signals are essential for recovery.
The best strategy for moms is to sleep when their baby sleeps; even if the sleep pattern is irregular, they will still get enough rest to support their recovery.
Avoid strenuous activities that put unnecessary pressure on the wound, especially during the early weeks of a cesarean. Try to avoid visitors when it is time to sleep. Sacrificing sleep to meet guests or do house chores will damage your health and impede recovery.
3. Manage Pain
It is common to feel pain in the incision areas; after all, your body experienced a major surgery involving a big and deep cut. To manage pain, follow your healthcare provider’s advice and take the prescribed medicines timely. If the medications fail to relieve pain, talk to your healthcare provider.
4. Support the Wounded Area
When coughing, laughing, or breastfeeding your child, support the incision area with a hand or a pillow. When required, you can apply gentle pressure to relieve pain or discomfort.
5. Get Help for Breastfeeding
New moms can experience breastfeeding complications after a C-section. Talking to a lactation specialist can help you overcome breastfeeding troubles, such as pain in the incision area.
A lactation consultation can analyze your difficulties and recommend solutions. Depending on the problem, they can recommend sitting on a comfortable chair, using breastfeeding cushions, or nursing in a laid-back position to make the process easier.
6. Use a Post C Section Underwear
There are underwear designed to be worn after a C-section. They sit around your incision site comfortably and offer support and compression.
C-section underwear often includes silicone which prevents scarring by itching. Their nonbinding fluted waist design prevents discomforts associated with elastic waistbands. They also have adaptable support that you can adjust as you progress in your recovery.
7. Increase Your Activity Gradually
Start with light walking to promote blood circulation, which helps with C-section recovery. You can gradually increase the intensity of the physical activity, such as the length and speed of the walks.
You can also engage in gentle belly exercises to support and strengthen your core muscle after your healthcare provider allows it.
8. Know the Best Sleeping Position after C Section
Taking steps to promote your C-section recovery is not limited to daytime only; you must be careful during the night too. Know the best sleeping position after c section and buy a pregnancy pillow, one of the essential c section recovery must haves to promote comfortable and pain-free sleep at night.
It is recommended to sleep on your side or back to avoid putting too much pressure on the C-section site. Try to elevate your head when sleeping on your back. At the same time, using pillows keeps your spine aligned and relieves strain on your joints.
Is Internal Pain after C-section Normal?
C-sections have the reputation of being a painless process, which is totally untrue. It is quite normal to feel pain in the C-section area; after all, your body has undergone surgery involving a long gash in the abdomen. So, when the effect of medicine fades off, expect some pain, the intensity of which can vary. You can also experience cramps and sore breasts.
The pain is more intense in the early days and weeks when the cut is still fresh. It fades as the wound heels, and you might be completely healed in about six weeks.
With that said, it is important to differentiate between normal bodily discomfort and pain, which is a sign of complication.
Normal pain includes incision pain experienced in the incision area and uterine contractions due to the uterus shrinking back to its normal position. These pains are normal and part of the postpartum process.
Pain can be due to infection or other complications too. Symptoms of pain induced by a complication are redness around the affected area, foul-smelling discharge, warmth, and fever. When this happens, promptly seek your doctor’s advice, as your situation requires medical attention.
When feeling pain, keeping the wounded area dry and clean helps, especially when you are overweight, and the incision site is covered by c section shelf.
You can ask your healthcare provider, “How to keep C-section incision dry when overweight,” to keep the wounded area free from infections, itching, and scarring.
When it comes to experiencing pain after a C-section, always talk to your healthcare provider. They can help analyze if the pain is due to normal post-pregnancy discomforts or an underlying complication.
What to Avoid after C-section?
The days after a C-section are quite challenging for every mother, including those who are overweight. Apart from knowing how to keep C-section incision dry when overweight, taking ample rest, and maintaining good posture and activity, they must know about things to avoid in the postpartum period.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, maternity mortality is highest postpartum. Therefore, pay special care to the mother’s health.
Here are some things you must avoid after the C-section.
- Avoid keeping the wound moist. It promotes the growth of bacterial infection.
- It is advised to avoid lifting heavy objects such as the baby’s car seat or stroller for many weeks after undergoing a C-section. Lifting heavy objects is detrimental to post-op recovery as it strains your abdominal muscles and incision area.
- Light walking, such as going to the washroom on your own, is allowed. However, you cannot engage in intense exercises such as cardio or heavy weightlifting.
- Also, avoid driving for at least a few weeks after the C-section or until you are confident about driving and no longer under the effect of medicines. Driving after a C-section is not only discomforting but also quite risky, as you cannot react quickly in an emergency.
- Don’t wear tight or restrictive clothing and waistbands after a caesarian delivery. Such clothing rubs against the wound or puts pressure on it. On the other hand, wearing loose and comfortable clothing allows airflow and prevents irritation and itching.
Can I Put Anything on My C-section Incision?
According to some doctors, t is okay to apply a topical antibiotic or petroleum jelly on the wound and cover it with a band. While others say, it is better to leave the wound open and uncovered without applying anything. Therefore, you must talk to your doctor before putting anything.
How to Keep a C-section Incision Dry from Sweat?
You can keep your C-section incision dry from sweat by keeping a soft dry towel on the wound. You can also expose the incision area to circulating air. Lie on your back, remove any barrier, and let fresh air dry out the wound.
Why Does a C-section Scar Smell?
A C-section car doesn’t necessarily emanate a foul smell, but if a stench comes from a C-section area, it is a sign of an underlying issue such as an infection. Therefore, you should consult your doctor to get your wound evaluated and treated.
How Do You Get Rid of Fat Hanging over a C-section Scar?
You can get rid of fat hanging over the C-section scar by undertaking activities such as getting a postnatal massage, as it helps break up belly fat. Breastfeeding also helps with shedding weight after having a baby. Binding your tummy is another way to remove a hanging belly after a cesarean section.
Is It Normal for a C-section Incision to Be Moist?
It is not normal for a C-section incision to always be moist. Moisture around the C-section area promotes bacterial growth, which leads to complications. In case of persistent moisture or discharge from the cesarean section site, consult your doctor.
Keeping your wound dry after a C-section is extremely important, especially for overweight moms, as hanging belly fat can cause moisture and promote bacterial infection. Keep an eye on the affected area and consult your healthcare provider if the site stays consistently moist or oozes discharge.