Abdominal pain 3 months after C-section

(46 Posts)
Cocodrillo Mon 11-May-09 21:18:49

I had a C-section 11 weeks ago. If anyone puts any pressure on my abdomen (eg one of kids) I still have real pain and tenderness there - has anyone else experienced this? It's also painful if I move quick enough to make everything jiggle about, eg run across a zebra crossing... I went to the GP nine weeks post-CS, she felt around and said it couldn't be infection or I'd feel ill, and it didn't feel like organ damage, and sent me off. I'm supposed to go back if it's no better in a couple of weeks, but it's not changed at all for the past month... I'm getting fed up!

Sorry to tell you this, but this is the worse bit - till about four months - your internal stitches have dissolved and your muscles are knitting together again. Coupled with the fact that you are a bit more floppy and less supported than pre-pregnancy, it's gonna hurt quite a lot till things get more stable.

I've had two caesarians, each had it's own share of side effects but yes three months afterwards is a big hump in terms of recovery.

You need to try and be conscious of supporting your abdomen when getting up and obviously avoiding children jumping on you! I know how hard that is. I found gentle exercise helped (okay let's be honest I did sit ups a lot to get my muscles back!) But it does pass by four months.

Having said I got a massive incisional hernia with the second one (not related to the sit ups btw!) and that presented with pain and swelling, but immediately afterwards. I assume your GP has checked for that? You don't have a lump which disappears when you lie down?

Cocodrillo Mon 11-May-09 21:38:43

When did you start doing sit-ups? I've done nothing yet, in terms of exercise.

After two "normal" deliveries, I'm shocked at the recovery period post-CS.

Doc didn't mention incisional hernia. Did you need further surgery to correct that?

I started doing exercise at nine weeks and sit ups at about the same time.

If you have an incisional hernia it will hurt a lot when you cough and when you cough a lump will appear then disappear. I looked about six months pregnant with mine but when I lay down the lump disappeared entirely. I had to have surgery to install a mesh to hold my innards in (a hernia is a bit of internal organs bulging out of the muscle layers through a weakness). Yuck! Well you did ask!

Oh and yes, caesarian recovery is bloody awful, everyone assumes it's actually not bad but if you have a child already, ye gods it's tough. I thought it was tough with my first but when you have an active little bruiser jumping on you and making demands all day PLUS a newborn gah - it's not surprising you take longer to recover!

EachPeachPearMum Mon 11-May-09 21:55:07

Sorry to demur, wmmc... as I normally am in awe of your knowledge in all matters... but I had a cs 13 weeks ago... it was my 2nd, and I have had no pain or twinges since week 5... I would be going back to the doctors tbh cocodrillo.

I did feel as though I'd been hit by a train for the first week mind you.

EachPeachPearMum envy. I believe some lucky cows other people have no pain after week 6 but it is major abdominal surgery and pain for longer shouldn't be such a surprise when you acknowledge how invasive the surgery is in terms of cutting through central muscles which are used for the majority of movements!

EachPeachPearMum Mon 11-May-09 23:15:44

Well, your experience is slightly out of the norm... well- it was a f'ing travesty really... but thats a whole different thread.
I guess I'm just lucky- first time I had no pain after 5 weeks either.

But pmsl @ the though of doing exercise... no idea when that will start again.

Cocodrillo Tue 12-May-09 09:23:03

No pain when I cough, thank goodness. You poor thing, WMMC.

I will go back to docs in a couple of weeks, but am beginning to wonder if I overdid it a bit in the early days - I have a 4 yo and a 2 yo, as well as the new baby.

Doc did say to go swimming! Er ... How? When?

EachPeachPearMum Tue 12-May-09 11:19:52

Hah! hmm At our pool you're only allowed 2 children per adult... so that's probably completely out for you!

You have an extra child to be jumping on you than wmmc and I... yes I can imagine recovery would be much longer and more difficult. Hat off to you- I have no idea how you manage a baby plus 2 little ones! smile

endless Tue 12-May-09 11:22:15

me too, my abdomen hurt for about 12 months after c section.
If i walked too far or too quickly, if i stood up too quickly.
was a bit disabling have to say

Funnily enough I met up with my surgeon today for something else and he said that women with good muscle tone find it harder recovering because they are used to having a good supporting muscle network which works like a girdle to support the upper body which is very badly damaged by a caesarian and can take months and months to recover fully.

Which made me feel slightly better about it. Except then he went on to remind me that if I gain ten pounds or get pregnant again I'm in deep doo-doo because my mesh (which corrects the hernia) will probably break and I'll have to have major abdominal surgery to correct it! hmm So I guess my exercise is self-preservation!!!

Castiel Tue 12-May-09 19:56:46

I think the recovery period varies from woman to woman. Some have pain months later, others have no pain from early on. I was very lucky that it didn't hurt at all after a couple of days but I put this down to luck and nothing else. A friend still has pain when she pulls up or moves suddenly and she's 18 months post cs.

Cocodrillo Tue 12-May-09 21:23:34

endless are you fine now?

Thanks eachpeachpearmum. I don't particularly manage! But the kids are fed and dressed (so far), so am muddling through.

sad WMMC. It's crap what women have to put up with to have children.

Weirdly I had no pain at all straight after the op, it's now that I'm suffering most. I was very pro-CS a couple of days in. But then I got a massive haematoma, an infection in my wound and now this ongoing pain.

Has your friend asked the doc about her pain and whether she can expect to recover fully Castiel?

Ah don't feel sorry for me Cocodrillo, thanks to the hernia I have lost quite a bit of weight and shop in the children's depts, so I don't pay VAT on my jeans! grin

Interesting you had an infection though - are you sure that was all healed okay - did you have a clear set of swabs to show no more infection or did you just get pills thrown at you and were told to come back? If it's the latter might be worth getting a fresh swab (ha, you'll be lucky, they have all been used up testing for swine flu but you could try), to check whether the infection is still there. You can get pockets of infection which fester for months if you don't kill the bugs entirely.

If it is an infection, at this point, you will be having some hard core antibiotics (cefalexin etc) which will make you feel very shitty for a week or two but which do work.

However, some people do get adhesions very easily and have pain years after ops. My mum has some abdo adhesions she received after surgery forty years ago and they still hurt! But it's less likely with modern surgical methods because they take more care knitting you back together (hopefully).

anjlix Wed 13-May-09 12:45:08

Cocodrillo I had c-section 5 months ago and my stomach is still tender when pressed. If I walk too much I start getting various pains in tha region. I saw an Osteopath and he basically said that my core muscles got really weakened during my twin pregnancy and c-section. I am on a rehab program to improve under his guidance. Week 1 is over I can feel the difference. All I did was some specific crunches twice a day, 4-5 assisted (bydh) stretches and climbing stairs very slowly with abdomen sucked in. Does not take more than 30mins.

You don't sound too bad when I compare you to me, may be you just need some guided training for your weak spots. I had a slow recovery and could not even walk a mile outside until 12 weeks.

Cocodrillo Sat 16-May-09 20:10:33

interesting post anjlix. My abs were bad even before this CS, so I suppose they are now shot to pieces...

WMMC don't at all like the idea of pockets of infection festering away, but will bear in mind, as they didn't ever check that infection had cleared - just assumed all ok as wound had healed up.

jellybeans Wed 20-May-09 14:49:25

Hi I have had 3 sections. Every time have felt pain for up to a year. They diagnosed IBS as there was nothing obvious! But I think it's just healing/scar tissue. It's been 6 months since my 3rd c/s and my scar still hurts and tummy area. MUCH harder than normal birth!!! (I have had 2 of them with severe tears...still better than c/s)

Cocodrillo Wed 20-May-09 20:46:56

Thanks jellybeans. I think people are led to believe that a CS is far less traumatic to the body than it actually is. Or can be, at any rate.

MamaG Wed 20-May-09 20:51:44

coco i had a cs 6 months ago, having previously had 2 vag births

What a complete shock it was, the recovery and everything

I really struggld, I don't mind admitting it. I get the odd twinge now and again, sort of an ache but i'm 99% now

but hahahahahahaha at doing sit ups 9 weeks post cs! WMMC you are bonkers grin

Cocodrillo Wed 20-May-09 20:59:07

I'm quite traumatized by mine. It was an elective (though I still think with good reason), so I have the whole 'what if' thing.

My vaginal births were in the distant past by
this stage, I'd forgotten them 3 months down the line.

Am also distraught about the horrible pouch that now sits over my CS wound. I feel very self-conscious about it, and it's caused me to turn quite Victorian with DH.

MamaG Wed 20-May-09 21:03:33

you're not alone coco!

I still feel upset about mine. Silly as BabyG wouldn't be here safely if I hadn't had him by CS, but it is ok to mourn the birth you didn't have

Cocodrillo Sat 23-May-09 19:21:00

thanks for the link, MamaG.
I have very mixed feelings about my CS, but I know rationally that my lovely DS was totally worth it.

FabulousBakerGirl Sat 23-May-09 19:22:17

I am getting pain from inside with my scar, feels like pulling. I had my baby in 2001.

anjlix Mon 25-May-09 12:54:04

Cocodrillo try to invest some time on your recovery if you can. Osteopath is totally working for me. In one month I can feel the difference. I wont say I am 100% but I am getting better by leaps every week.

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