Does your stomach look bruised after the c-section? While it’s not something I’ve experienced, I’m here to tell you that abdominal bruising after a c-section is a regular occurrence.
Bruising above the c-section incision could indicate more severe problems. Still, if it is absent of other symptoms, c-section bruising and swelling in the first few days after giving birth are nothing to worry about.
Especially when you’re still in the hospital, you can always let the doctor and nurses know, but chances are, they’re already on it.
Let’s talk about that purple bruising after a c-section, what it means, and what to do!
Is it normal to have bruising after a c-section?
In short, it’s normal to have bruising around the c-section incision and the wound itself. This is especially true in the first few days after the surgery. You may not see or notice purple, black, and blue coloring.
Almost surely, if you don’t see a bruise, you will likely feel like you have one. Numbness is also common, as I’ve discussed in other posts before, regarding your nerves that the surgery has impacted. Those will take longer to heal, but you’ll realize the area is no longer numb one day.
Vaginal bruising with a c-section isn’t quite common unless you’ve tried to deliver vaginally, and it didn’t work out (like me). For many women, the area known as the perineum, which is the part between your vagina and anus, can become very uncomfortable and sore after giving birth.
Those that deliver vaginally can be epically painful from bruising as it gets stretched from the baby’s head.
There is one exception, though, if you have internal bleeding. Obviously, you can’t see if you’re bleeding inside of yourself. However, there are telltale signs that this is happening. And please don’t panic, as this is not a terribly common thing…most bruising after a c-section is benign and a normal part of the process.
So, how do you know if you’re bleeding internally?
Your heart rate will go more than 100 beats per minute, and you’ll be short of breath. Also, your abdomen will be bruised in other places besides the incision site and bloated. You’ll also find it too painful to touch, even lightly.
If you have those symptoms and feel faint, have clammy hands or feet, and your vaginal bleeding becomes so heavy or full of clots it’s crazy, it’s time to seek immediate medical treatment.
Now, Mama, please don’t panic. In most cases, the bruising after a c-section is nothing to be alarmed about. But if something concerns you about how you feel, call your doctor.
How long does bruising from a c-section last?
It will take a few weeks, at least, for that sore, bruised spot to go away. In a few days, it should start feeling a bit better with the bruising, but the incision will still be tender.
The idea is that this will improve with each passing day. If you notice more pain, swelling, or other troubling symptoms, you shouldn’t ignore them.
How can I reduce bruising after a c-section?
Bruises are uncomfortable anywhere, but especially in your c-section area. They’re also painful and annoying in the area down there.
If you have bruising after your c-section, you can apply ice and a little pressure to reduce the bruising and swelling. This helps restrict the blood vessels and calms the area down.
For your wound, you’ll want to follow the cleaning guidelines the hospital gave you before you check out. And you will also want to wear comfortable and loose clothing. This will minimize the pressure on the bruised area and the incision site.
Some ibuprofen can help you deal with the pain as well.
Oh, and if you’ve bruising in the vaginal area, try to take the pressure off that area by lying down rather than sitting. The ice packs will work there too.
Above all, whether you’re bruised or not after a c-section, you must get the rest you need. Your body can’t recover properly if you’re overdoing things. It’s already exhausting looking after a newborn, I know. But aim to rest and recover now, for you’ll need to be at full strength to keep up with that sweet baby.
Ask for help from loved ones, and ignore your chores. Taking it extra easy in the first week or two after the c-section will ensure you get on the right road to recovery.
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.