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C-Section: How to deal with my scar

I feel my scar is tight or painful when I touch it. What can I do?

  • If you have had a C-section, it is important to massage the scar. Over time, when they are not worked on, scars can become hard, stiff and painful.
  • They can cause back, hip, leg or abdominal pain.
  • They can also lead to pain during sexual intercourse.  

Massaging your scar

You can start approximately 3 weeks after giving birth or when the scar is well healed and there are no more stitches.


Step 1 - Touch your scar 

Just start touching and stroking your scar gently. This can be uncomfortable. It is normal. If you persevere, it will get better over a few days. 


STEP 2 - Move the scar  

Do circular or right/left and up/down movements on the scar to soften the tissues. Make sure you are moving the skin with your fingers. You are not stroking the skin anymore, you are moving it. 


STEP 3 - Pinch your scar 

Pinch your scar with one finger above and one under. Lift the skin along the scar to loosen the adhesion. Pull the skin in all four directions. 


These types of massages can be uncomfortable. However, it should not give you increased pain afterwards. If this happens, go more gently next time. 

When should I speak to the healthcare team?

If you start noticing redness on or around your scar, oozing or bleeding, significant increase in pain or fever, consult with your nurse or physician. 

Other tips


1. Deep breathing 


  1. Breath in and imagine bringing all the air way down to your scar. Your belly should rise.
  2. As you breath out, purse you lips as if you were to blow the air through a straw and pull your belly button in and upward.
  3. Repeat 10 times slowly 


2. Stretching the abdomen 

Only start this exercise six weeks after you’ve given birth.

  1. Lay on your stomach, put your foreams on the floor and lift your shoulders until you feel a MILD stretch in the abdomen.
  2. Hold it 5 sec, go back down, repeat 5X. Over time, you will be able to go higher up. 



If you have any questions or need some advice, ask your doctor or nurse to be seen by a physiotherapist who has advanced training in pelvic health problems. 

There might be one in your community.

Or you can contact the pelvic health team directly.

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