What is Normal for a C-Section Incision?

Lately, I’ve been getting tons of questions about c-section incisions. It’s all too easy for new mamas to get anxious and worried over every little thing. That’s because your hormones are still going bananas and will be for a little while.

Not to worry, though, for that’s why I’m here, to answer all your c-section questions.

Someone asked me what is normal for a c-section incision. And then that was followed with all kinds of “is it normal for…” and “what about if…” types of things. So, I decided to make a big FAQ about what is normal for your c-section.

Is it normal for C-section incision to bleed?

NO.

And very likely, they will be checking you for this before releasing you from the hospital. It may drain after a few days, but you will be in the hospital with medical personnel checking in on it. They’ll likely show you how to keep it clean and healthy to prepare you for when you go home.

But if you go home from the hospital and you notice any bleeding or oozing, call your doctor right away.

Is it normal for C-section incision to burn?

YES.

You’ll have some unusual sensations around your incision site after the c-section. One of the feelings you may experience is one of burning. But this is nothing to worry about. As it heals, this will subside.

Is it normal for C-section incision to leak?

NOT REALLY.

While some leaking may occur while you’re still in the hospital after your c-section, it’s something they’ll keep an eye on. Clear fluid may be of no concern, but if blood or pus starts coming out, that’s a sign of possible infection.

If you notice more than a slight leak once you get home, call your doctor and have it checked out.

Is it normal for C-section incision to itch?

YES.

Itching is perhaps one of the most common things for anyone with a c-section incision. This is because your surgery has temporarily disrupted the nerves in this area.

c-section wound

You must do your best to resist scratching when you feel itchy. Your doctor can recommend an OTC cream that you can use though my favorite trick is a little ice pack applied to the area for about 5 or 10 minutes.

Is it normal for C-section incision to feel hard?

YES.

If you’re feeling your incision and it has sutures or staples, you may feel like it is hard to touch. But if those have been removed, the skin may feel slightly hard on top of that incision. This may be the case for a few weeks or so.

It’s totally fine unless it starts seeping blood or pus. Or if it swells, feels warm to the touch, or looks irritated. The hardness may come from scar tissue or the healing of the incision itself. If anything concerns you, just contact your doctor to ensure you have that peace of mind.

Is it normal for C-section incision to sting?

YES.

Again, this is all due to the nerves affected by the c-section surgery. These pains will eventually improve and then go away entirely within several months.

Is it normal for C-section incision to smell?

NO.

If there is any kind of odor at the site of your c-section incision, call your doctor. That may indicate the area is infected. Your c-section incision should never smell!

Is it normal for C-section incision to feel numb?

YES.

Again with those nerves getting on your nerves. It’s totally normal to have numbness or loss of feeling on and around your c-section incision. All those little nerves get cut during the surgery. They will regrow over the next few months.

applying cream on incision

You should notice it seems to improve every month until finally, it feels normal again. It’s definitely a strange feeling, but there is nothing to worry about. If it’s been over 6 months and that area still feels as numb as it did right after surgery, you should speak to your doctor.

Is it normal for C-section incision to open a little?

NO.

While it does take time for your c-section incision to heal, you do not want it opening, not even a little bit. But please try not to worry about this since it’s quite rare to occur.

C-section dehiscence is the medical term but if your incision opens up, even a little bit, get medical attention immediately. You will likely notice other things are wrong if this rare occurrence happens to you. For one, it will probably be bleeding as it is opening, and you’ll have a fever. And for another, the pain will be hard to ignore.

It will probably have a foul odor and leak pus if it’s also infected. Again, please don’t freak out, as surgeons do an excellent job closing you up these days. You’ll also be in the hospital for a few days with that c-section, and if it makes you feel better, you can ask them to recheck it before you go home to ease your mind.

Is it normal for C-section incision to drain?

YES…BUT…

While in the hospital, your c-section incision may drain slightly. But it shouldn’t bleed. The hospital team will monitor things and care for your incision.

When they’re ready to release you, they should go over how to care for your incision properly. They may recommend a particular soap or dressing to cover it with. Whatever the case, follow this medical advice to prevent infections.

Some doctors, as was in my case, urged me not to wet the area for a few days. I had to wear special waterproof bandages. Then again, I gave birth in China, so maybe it had to do with water quality.

In any event, if anything concerns you about your c-section incision, speak up. Talk to your doctor and make sure 1) it looks like it’s supposed to when you leave the hospital and 2) you know exactly how to care for your c-section incision.

Then take a whopping dose of patience because it will be a long road to recovery. But you’ve got this, mama, so hang in there!

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