Sensitive Skin After C-Section: What to Do When It Hurts to Touch Your Belly

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about sensitive skin after a c-section. When your c-section scar is tender to touch, you may wonder if this is just something happening to you or if it happens to every mama with a c-section.

The fact is a stomach that is tender to touch after a c-section is a regular occurrence. You may notice your stomach skin is sensitive to touch after your c-section. In fact, it might be hard to ignore.

While some women experience burning in the stomach after a c-section, others may feel a shocking sensation or a general bit of pain that they can’t describe. If your clothes touch your belly and you wince, or you take a shower, and even that gentle water bothers you, it will be like this for a little while.

So, you’re likely wondering WHY this is happening to you. You just brought a human into the world. Your body looks like a funhouse mirror image. You just want to feel like yourself again. I totally understand because that was me too.

I clearly remember laying in the hospital bed after having my eldest and thinking, “I’m NEVER doing this again. NEVER!” I was in so much pain. Then they gave me more meds, and I felt loads better.

Over the next few days, I’d have to suffer through walking around the hospital at a geriatric shuffle. I’d be watched to make sure I farted so I could be given real food.

But we forget these things in time, for our babies are the ultimate gift worth suffering for.

sudden belly pain

My pain didn’t end when I left the hospital. I couldn’t bend over, and I moved like a snail. Most older buildings do not have elevators in China, so I had to make my way up many flights of stairs just to get home.

Getting up from bed hurt, of course, but I remember feeling sensitive to the touch on my belly. Fortunately, before I’d gone home, my doctor had stopped in my hospital room to say goodbye. Her English was quite good, so I asked her about the pain, and she reassured me it was all very normal.

Why is my stomach sensitive to touch after the c-section?

Well, a c-section is major abdominal surgery. Lots of stuff is running through your body in the area they need to cut open. And part of that stuff is nerves. Your doctor will be as careful as possible not to hit any main nerves, but you will still feel weird here.

And if you feel weirdness in the form of burning, stinging, or otherwise, you can relax because your nerves are simply in the process of healing. It’s going to take them some time to feel normal again.

If you feel numbness, though, that could indicate nerve damage. Numbness in other areas shouldn’t be ignored, though, and should immediately be brought up to your doctor.

Superficial pain around the incision site is such a common thing. Lightly touching it can even hurt, so I understand why it seems scary. It IS going to get better, though.

Most likely, your nerves have been slightly bruised or injured. In some rare cases, you may feel numbness and pain; a condition called anesthesia dolorosa.

I’d just like to remind you again that it is incredibly rare for this to occur. Plus, I’m sure you’ve done your due diligence to find a doctor to perform your c-section that has been doing these surgeries for years. If you’re about to have a c-section in the coming months, I encourage you to ask your doctor questions about how many c-sections they perform each year, how many years they’ve been doing it, and make sure you review their credentials. It will put your mind at ease.

Why does my skin hurt after C-section?

So back to the hurt. Why is your skin hurting? Well, that’s where the small nerves are. These are not those big primary nerves I was just talking about.

severe stomach pain felt after cesarean

Your body is a network of systems with the nervous system running all through it. Closer to the surface, there are smaller nerves that naturally get severed in the process of surgery.

These will regenerate and feel better, but it will take a few months at least. Persistent numbness months and months after your surgery (like after 6 months) should certainly be reviewed with your doctor.

How long does sensitivity last after C-section?

By the time I had my postpartum checkup, my pain was mostly gone for both kids. I remember with my youngest, I started to worry that it wouldn’t go away. It seemed much longer for the healing.

But one day, I was doing something with the kids and realized my belly wasn’t sensitive anymore.

All told, it really varies. You may feel tender and uncomfortable in your abdominal area for anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks. Again, normal! But if you have concerns, always ask your doctor. By the 8th week, you’ll most likely notice an improvement and breathe a sigh of relief.

Don’t worry if you don’t, though. Your doctor can help with that, so make that call!

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