By Dr. Brooke Meinema, DPT, FAFS The pelvic floor consists of a group of muscles…
By Dr. Brooke Meinema, DPT, FAFS
Whether it was a planned C-section or emergency after a difficult labor, it is still major abdominal surgery and requires time and patience for healing. As of 2019, 31.7% of all deliveries were via cesarean section.
A few misconceptions about C-sections:
- It is the “easy way out”.
- Let me start by saying this on behalf of all C-section moms (myself included): WHAT?! Since when is having your abdomen cut open considered easy?! Now that I got that out of the way, understand that having a C-section is in no way an easier option or any indication of you or your body’s ability to provide for yourself and your child. It can be absolutely necessary in certain instances for the safety of the mother and the baby, so undergoing this procedure is just as rewarding as delivering a child vaginally. In the end, your body has still done what was needed: it delivered a baby just via a different means.
- Your abdominal muscles will get cut.
- Most cesarean sections do not need to have the abdominal muscles cut. Yes, the uterus is a muscle that will get cut into, but the actual abdominal muscles that people tend to think about are simply pulled and stretched out of the way. Other tissues are getting cut in the process (fat, fascia, etc.), but your abdominal muscles should be left uncut.
- Having a C-section will protect me from having a prolapse or incontinence.
- Unfortunately, there is still a risk for having pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence regardless of the delivery method. If you are thinking of opting for a C-section in hopes it will protect your pelvic floor, please discuss this with your provider as this is still major surgery and comes with its own risks.
- Once I’ve had one C-section, I can never have a vaginal delivery (VBAC).
- While there are risks associated with VBACs, it is not always an impossibility to have a vaginal birth after a cesarean. Understanding the pros and cons of this as well as discussing the option with your medical provider is extremely important if you are considering this as a delivery option. Certain providers will not perform a VBAC, so finding the right provider for your goals is a must.
At the end of the day, the method by which you deliver your baby is not the most important factor: your safety and the safety of your baby come first. Never let anyone or anything make you feel any less spectacular for what you’ve accomplished!
If you feel you need more help in addressing your specific needs, don’t hesitate to reach out! Our women’s health physical therapists are always happy to talk through your specific needs and set you on the right path. For a free 10-minute consultation, visit us at https://imovedaily.com/womens-health/ and fill out the form to contact a Women’s Health Physical Therapist and schedule your consultation.