The rate of C-sections is increasing globally. Likewise, the percentage of the C-section is radically increasing among plus-size women as well. The risks and challenges of recovery from caesarean birth increase with the increasing severity of obesity. The first hurdle is how to keep C-section incision dry when overweight.
This article discusses not only the ways to keep the C-section incision dry to reduce the chances of infection but also some answers to common doubts of obese mothers.
Why Overweight Woman Face Challenges In Healing C-section Wound?
Wound complications are one of the most important complications of caesarean section in obese women. According to a research, about 10% of overweight women who have a C-section, contract wound complications like separation of the wound and infection.
Because the abdomen is fatter, the incision in overweight women will be deeper, which will cause more blood vessels to rupture, however, this has nothing to do with the increased risk of SSI (Surgery Site Infection) of an overweight mother.
On the other hand, it is the impact of obesity on the immune system and skin barrier that makes overweight women more susceptible to infection. The odds of infection in caesarean section incisions and the high risk of rupture of the wound are high among overweight mothers, especially if they bear extra weight in the midsection.
The increased risk of C-section infection in obese women is usually due to excessive fluid leakage from the fatty tissue in and around the area of the incision. The colorless, odorless fluid that oozes from the fatty tissues is generally harmless. However, when the liquid accumulates, it creates a moist environment which is perfect for the infection-causing microbes to thrive
So, you need to be very careful to keep the C-section wound as dry as possible. After bathing, special attention should be paid to make sure the C-section wound is dry and there are no signs of C-section infections.
How To Keep C-section Incision Dry When Overweight?
An obese mother’s belly will overhang the surgical site after delivery. This is one of the main issues that prevent the wound from drying completely. This site must be kept dry. The following are the best methods for keeping it dry:
- Put a sanitary napkin on the wound under the abdomen. Put the soft side down, and stick the adhesive side to the inner side of the panties. You can even use clean, sterile cloth diapers. Change the pad often, before it gets soaked
- If the wound is covered with a fold of skin and the mother sweats a lot, then always keep a towel over the cut. This should be changed frequently as well. Keeping a towel in the skin fold will help to stop the sweat from pooling. However, it is imperative to take plenty of rest and avoid any kind of heavy-duty work after a C-section. This helps to prevent excessive sweating
- Another tip is to hold or tape the belly up and ask the partner or caregiver to air-dry the area with a hairdryer in the cold setting. It works perfectly. Taping up the belly away from the incision is not necessary because it could cause painful skin damage. The proper way is to hold
- Allow the C-section incision to air out. Air promotes healing in skin injuries, so expose the C-section wound to air whenever possible. Wearing a loose gown at night helps to improve air circulation
- For the first few weeks, wear high-waist underwear and loose-fitting clothing. This will stop the cloth from brushing up against the wound
The C-section wound should look and feel much better after two weeks. However, it can take anywhere from six weeks to three months to fully recover provided that the new mothers are strictly following the certain do’s and don’ts after a C-section delivery.
C-Section Scar Itching – Is This Normal?
As your incision heals, you may experience itchiness. This is very normal and very common. In fact, itching of the wound is a part of the healing process. This will disappear as soon as the wound is fully healed. But never scratch the wound so that you don’t get an infection.
To bring down the itching, holding a pillow tightly over the incision for a few minutes may help. Placing an ice pack or towel-wrapped ice on the spot for about five to ten minutes will also help reduce the itchiness.
Just like itching, it is quite normal to experience numbness or a tingling sensation in the incision area. This also usually goes away with time. However, mention it to your doctor if you are feeling excessive itching in the incision area. The doctor will prescribe some topical medicine that helps to subside the itching.
Why Do My C-Section Scar Smell?
The stench emanating from the incision area of the C-section is a clear sign of infection. As long as it is kept clean and dry, it should not smell. Therefore, please consult the doctor if there is a foul odor in the wound as infection necessitates immediate medical attention.
It is important to thoroughly clean the wound thoroughly before taking any drying steps. The wound must be clean and dry to avoid infection.
Related Reading: 11 Foods To Avoid After Caesarean Delivery – Know Them Here
How To Clean C-section Incision?
While your scar is fresh—usually for the first two weeks—you’ll be instructed not to lift anything heavier than your baby so as not to disturb the healing process and to avoid any tailbone pain after C-section delivery.
Still, during this time, you can take a shower. Always use mild or medicated soap to wash the C-section incision. Never scrub the area. Following are a few steps that will help you to clean the C-section incision and keep the infections at bay.
- Remove your wound dressing and take showers if your skin was closed with stitches, staples, or glue. During the first few days, instead of using soap, simply running water over the wound will clean it
- Eventually, you can wash your incision with warm, soapy water on a daily basis (usually when you shower)
- Pat the affected area dry thoroughly after washing
- A bathtub or a hot tub bath or go swimming is a big NO until your doctor gives a green signal. In most cases, these activities are not allowed until 3 weeks after the operation
- Never try to forcefully remove anything in the incision area, let it fall off on its own or if you feel so, you can seek the help of the doctor
- Do not use any kind of creams or cleansers in the incision area because it can slow wound healing or may increase the chance of an infection
Related Reading: 40 Days After Delivery – 8 Precautions And 6 Ways To Spend Them
Can A C-section Scar Reopen After Years?
As with any surgical procedure, external caesarean sections can be closed in many ways, including sutures, absorbable stitches, staples, absorbable staples, skin glue (glue), etc. At the same time, the intrauterine incision is closed with absorbable sutures, which will dissolve once the area has healed.
When asked whether or not the scar after caesarean section will reopen many years later, the short answer is yes. Although unlikely, the scar from a caesarean section can reopen several years after the operation. Dehiscence is the medical term for a rupture or splitting open of a surgical wound.
Although very rare, a Caesarean section wound can be stratified after a few years for various reasons, such as
- Need for another abdominal operation
- Vaginal delivery after a caesarean section
- Excessive pressure on your stomach (as in accidents) may cause stitches to loosen or tear
- Lifting a heavy object that puts more pressure on the area
According to some studies, dehiscence can occur in people who are vitamin C deficient since the rate of collagen breakdown is higher in old skin than in normal skin. Besides, vitamin C deficiency slows the rate of collagen synthesis. More researchers, however, are required to validate this theory.
Is Internal Pain After C-section Normal?
Internal pain after C-section is quite normal. After all, a C-section is a major abdominal operation, from which your body will require time to recover. abdominal pain in normal course vanishes as the scars get properly healed.
In rare cases, this kind of abdominal pain may be a sign of incisional endometriosis, endometriosis caused by caesarean section scars.
Endometrial tissue will accumulate along the scar, causing painful adhesions, leading to internal pain after caesarean section. Many researchers suggest that the incidence of caesarean section-related endometriosis increases with the number of caesarean sections.
If tissue outside the wall of the uterus grows in the abdominal wall due to a C-section, this is called endometriosis. On the other hand, if it grows in the wall of the uterus at the scar of the caesarean section, it is called adenomyosis. In both cases, severe abdominal pain will occur.
Every woman is unique. Their body’s reaction to a C-section wound differs. You can do everything correctly and still have complications. Keep an eye on your C-section incision site and notify your doctor immediately if you notice or feel any signs of infection or other C-section complications.