31 answers

What Is the Pain on Stomach After C-section?

I had a c-section on Feb 1st. Of course I know I will feel sore on the inside like i did 1 million sit ups but my stomach is so sore between my belly button and the incision-on the outside. So much so that I am even sensitive to my shirt rubbing against it. It feels like its chafing or something, but I don't understand what the pain is. Its almost worse than any inside pain i feel-help! Is it an intense bruise?

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I had it too, I think it is the nerve endings regaining their feeling. Sometimes there is numbness, pin prick sensations and just general sensitivity there. It took a few months to go away for me.

I had the same pain after my c-section. I was told it was from all the muscles being cut. I had an abdominal binder that I wore, and it made the pain less intense. Hope this helps.

S.

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I had a c-section in Oct. I wore grannie underwear and my maternity pants. My incision felt the same way, my doctor said it was healing...although they were not helpful in anyway for the recovery. I got a book that was great, The Essential C-section Guide, it was great, full of great info. A complete guide to getting back in shape and how to take care of your incision...all the things our doctors should be helping us with. Good luck,
A. Laufer,
Stay at home mom, three kids, 3 and a half year old, 2 year old and 4 month old, one c-section.

Hi C.. I've had two c-sections and have never experienced what you describe. I felt worse after the second one, but not like you describe. You should have had a follow-up by now. What did the doctor say? I'll tell you how my pain felt: 1st time. like I had no muscles in my stomach and when I tried to move it felt like my stomach was going to rip. The 2nd time, I more pain right at the incision, but I think that was b/c I had staples the second time and I could feel every staple. Both times I was good in a week. What kind of pain pills did they give you? I would really talk to doctor if I were you. Everyone heals differently but by 12 days out I didn't need pain meds anymore. Oh and except for when I had to clean the incision touching my stomach, even near the incision, didn't hurt. Good luck!

Hi C.,

My best advise to you is go back to your doctor, that is not normal for you to be feeling pain outside like that. Hopefully your skin is not infected. I had a c-section 13 years ago, and I never felt any kind of pain on the outside. It is best you go back to your OB-GYN soon and make sure your pain is nothing major.

I had a C-sec about 7 years ago. I don't remembe what you described. I remember pain, feeling like my guts will fall out if I stood too long (first week or so), and needing a pillow to press against my belly before a cough or sneeze. What you describe sounds more like over sensitivity maybe caused by the healing nerves. I would expect it to go away however nerves take a looong time to heal from trauma. I am not a doctor so please mention this to yours.

best of luck,
DB

Congratulations!! I have had 3 c-sections and had similar pain. I truly believe that it is your uterus still going back into place. Do you remember all of the pushing the nurses had to do in the hospital? That is some of the worst pain ever. And since you had twins there is probably a lot more stretching and going back into place that needs to be done. I am sure you are fine but you never want to take any chances. If you feel at all unsure call your doctor. It is hard to remember that you not only a mother. Don't forget to take care of yourself. We are all better moms when we are healthy and strong. Good luck and God bless.
Z.

Hi C.! Congratulations! I too had a c-section almost one year ago. My daughter will be turning 1 February 28. I know exactly what you are talking about with the pain. I'm not a doctor, but I can only tell you what has been told to me. With the c-section, they have to (sorry to be graphic) cut through a lot of nerves and the pain is your body trying to heal itself. It's also probably bruising from the tugging that was done. I think I was "out of commission," so to speak for about a good 2 full weeks. To help with that pain, I put a tension belt, almost like a giant ace bandage for my belly (the hospital gave it to me) to alleviate some of the pressure. I think Medela makes one...I can't think of the proper name. To date I still have a numb tingling feeling right below my belly button and this is almost a year later. I think the pain you are feeling is normal, but if you are really concerned I would give your doctor a call. It never hurts just to be sure.

Goodluck!

PS. Enjoy your boys, I still can't believe my little sweet pea will be one soon. It really goes so fast!

My sister-in-law said she had a tingling/burning/numb sensation where the scar was for almost a year afterwards. She said it was very annoying. I had a c-section and don't recall any problems...but I know my OB did give me a cream to rub on the scar for a long time afterward...maybe the cream somehow helped with my healing...it was supposed to help with scarring and now I have almost no incision mark, so it must have worked. I'd tell your OB because maybe it's just nerve endings or something but who knows, they might have a cream or something topical that could help. Also, I recall that regular bikini undies were very uncomfortable for quite some time, becuase the sacr area was sensitive so I had to invest in a few pairs of "granny panties," which, much as I hated them, didn't have a waistband to put pressure near the incision line. Thankfully, that problem didn't last too long; in the short term they felt much better to wear but didn't do much for my post-pregnant body confidence! (Nor did my husband teasing me about them.)

Hi. Congratulations on the birth of your twins! I hope they are healthy. My daughter was born at 33 weeks so I know how worrisome having preemies can be. As for the pain you feel, I think it is normal. I had trouble walking for 6 weeks after my C-section. Every time I went off percoset, the pain was almost unbearable. Like you, I also felt outside pain. I am not sure what it was caused by. Have a blessed day and let me know if your twins need prayer at this time. I would be happy to keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. C.

I had the same pain- it's the inside healing. Pretty normal stuff. I still have a poking pressure pain like a small fork pricking me when my girls jump on my tummy or otherwise have pressure on my tummy. I've heard you can still have some pain in that region for up to 1.5 yrs afterwards (although gets less and less painful/ uncomfortable overtime). Good luck with those sweet twins!

First off, Congrats! That is so exciting!

Second, I've had three babies (first a c-section, then a VBAC and then a c-section) My oldest is now 10 and my youngest is 3 and I still have discomfort in my incision area. My doctor said that it takes years to be completely symptom free and maybe you never will be. That's the sad truth. But it is your first and you will get much better over time. I am sensitive to my panties rubbing in that area and don't like being touched in that area as well. My second incision is not perfectly lined up with where the first one was and is more sensitive on the side that is not overlapping. I agree with the other moms who said that VBACS are way easier to recover from, I unfortunatly had my internal scar rupture while I was pushing with my second child. So that is why my third was c-section and if I have any more I will have to have a section as well. But you are still very early in the recovery process, give yourself time and enjoy your new sons! I know you probably need to be doing things around the house but take advantage of not being supposed to move around too much and just lay with and enjoy those babies!!
Please keep us posted and Good Luck!

I had a similar pain after the birth of my son. It did go away, however it took a while. It was so weird that it was a bit scary. My doctor said it was the inner incision healing and that would take much longer than the outer incision. I would put a little light pressure on the spot and it would subside. (kinda like self accupunture!) Of course you can go to your doctor or call just to be sure. Hope this helps,
Denise

C.,
I had a C-section in May and didn't really feel "normal" until the end of July. Is it a burning sensation that you're feeling? If so, I had the same kind of pain and it was miserable. My ob told me it was normal. The reason I had pain for a while was because I developed a VERY large cyst on my ovary due the the drastic change in hormones. That was actually more painful then my surgery recovery. It doesn't sound like that's the problem with you, but it is a possibility. Have you gone back to the doctor yet for an incision check? I'd ask the doctor but I can tell you from recent experience that the pain is probably nothing to worry about. Your insides are returning to their pre-pregnancy state, so you will be feeling pains due to that. You should also have been given a number to call when you were discharged from the hospital. You may want to try talking to one of nurses at the hospital. It's only been a few weeks, so hang in there. I completely sympathize with you but I assure you that soon you won't even remember the pain you went through. I don't!!! Take care and let me know if you have any questions.

Hi C....It's been many, many moons ago when I had my babies...my oldest turns 30 this year. LOL! I experienced C-sections with both of my daughters...the first one an emergency c-section after almost 38 hours of labor. Its different with everyone...I had complications after my first c-section with infection, etc., for me it was almost 6 months before I truly felt comfortable again. I use to walk around with a small pillow (my comfort blankie, so to speak). In my mind, I felt like the bottom of my abdomen was going to fall out every time I coughed, etc. I did experience abdominal pain and twinges...if you've never seen a medical show on tv where they perform C-sections...wow! no wonder we hurt so much. I had a hard time watching it and I went throught it. LOL! Our bodies go through a tremendous ordeal in giveing birth via C-section. Some of the discomfort is normal, yes, but, if you're concerned, don't think twice about contacting your physician. That's what they're there for! Let me know how you're doing! ~ Simply D.

I have had three c-sections, the most recent was 10 months ago. I don't know that I have experienced the exact pain you are describing, but it sounds similar to what I had with my first c-section, 6 years ago. Mine was an allergic reaction to the medical tape that I had on there in the hospital (not the steri-strips, but the plastic type medical tape holding on my gauze in the hospital). It took nearly a month to stop burning and for my skin to not feel so "raw." Likely it is normal, but have your doctor check it out anyway. Just like in pregnancy, everyone's body's react differently, so the only thing the doctor can do is look for infection and if there isn't any, you shouldn't worry about it. Try some neosporin (triple antibiotic ointment). This will help to heal your skin and the consistency will help protect it from getting irritated by your clothes.
I hope that is helpful and good luck!

Hi there,
I've never had a section, but am an RN and have worked both L&D and surgery...Those nerve endings in your belly are trying to heal, first from the stretching from the pregnancy and then from the surgical incision, which is multiple layers deep. The muscles in your belly have been stretched and also pushed to either side of your uterus while the babies grow, and that hurts as they try to come back together, but then to add onto that sensation the muscles and fascia have been cut through and are trying to heal at the same time. The area between the belly button and the pubic bone is the most sensitive and the last to heal, sorry to tell you that. It really has only been two weeks though, and it will take much longer before it starts feeling better. Sometimes it is even more sensitive to light touch (shirt on belly) than it is to firm touch like pressing with you hand...just those pesky nerves trying to interpret all the trauma they've been through in the last 32 weeks! Even after a vaginal delivery (I'm 8 wks PP) that area is really sensitive still and I'm just now starting to do some very light abdominal exercises. Sorry I don't have better news, but hopefully you'll feel better soon! It's terrible to be so immobilized during the healing process when you have beautiful babies to take care of! Good luck, hope this helps. S. Y.

You know, I've had 2 c-sections and now that I'm reading your request I remember not wanting anything to touch my skin in the area of tenderness. Unfortunately, it can take a while for that sensation to subside. If you're breastfeeding, ask your doctor what pain meds you can take. Otherwise, try your favorite pain reliever -- if not strong enough talk w/your dr. Hope this goes away quickly for you!
Best of luck.

Congratulations on your boys!

I had my second c-section this past September (DD just turned 5 months last week), and I didn't have the kind of pain you are mentioning with either one. I would definitely call your doctor and/or a nurse at the hospital where you delivered to get opinions (medical) of whether this is common/natural, or an indicator of something else.

For me, the actual incision was the only place really painful, and that was only for a couple of weeks, after that, it was just a matter of waiting for the muscles inside to heal up (hurt to laugh/sneeze/cough, etc). I healed up much faster from my first than my second - I realized that it was because I was doing too much with my second (not so much the first DD, as it was taking care of all the company that came to visit the second time, LOL!)

So, I'm sure it is difficult with the twins, but take it as easy on yourself as you can to speed up your healing. It will be worth it in the long run!

Good luck!

Congrats on your twins! I had a similar pain after my first c-section. When I asked my doctor about it at my 6-wk check up I found out that on the outside I could only see the incision below my stomach but on the inside, they had also cut up from the other incision, almost to my belly button (making like a "T"). Your doctor may have done the same thing. It may be some bruising as well, after all they had to tug two boys out of your tummy. Good news . . . the pain will subside although you'll never fully regain feeling around your incision (Those nerves cells don't regenerate). Good luck!

Hi C.!

First off congratulations on your babies!!!

I've had three c-sections - all within 4 years of eachother and the last one resulting in twins so we have lots in common! All my c-sections were a little different as far as what I experienced afterwards. I can tell you that it is very early yet in your recovery. You are not even into a month postpartum so give that time! Your belly, incision line, belly button, and even the lower parts may never quite feel the same again. I know mine is still slightly numb by my incision and doctors tell me it probably always will be. The pain you are feeling is probably completely normal. It probably is your incision healing. I remember freaking out the first time about my incision because I didn't understand it had to heal from the inside out and those tiny tears/gaps would heal up! Check with your doctor just incase but I am sure it is just part of your healing process. Like I said you are so early in the healing phase. You probably feel great but your poor insides have a little ways to go yet! DOn't over do it!

This last c-section (the twins are 7 months now) took the longest for me to heal. Probably because I have a 4 yo and 2 yo to chase after as well. I took a good three months before the pain was truly gone. My muscles were extremely sore and everything hurt from the inside out!

Again, congrats! Check with your doctor to put your mind at ease and if you have any twin questions feel free to email me! I know I was looking for all the help I could get back then too! (Still am! :)

A.

Call your doctor. Especially if you have a fever or any redness in the area. Since you had twins, the incision on your uterus is probably from you belly button to your pubic. It could just be sore from the contractions of your uterus going back to it's regular size or it could be an infection. Best to have you doctor decide.

I had two single birth c-sections and they were very painful. I think it was at least a month before I felt like I could move around with out any pain.

Congratulations on your twins! I had a c-section 2 years ago, and it took me 2 weeks to walk wihtout pain, but I don't remember the outside pain like this.
I would recommend calling your doctor just to be on the safe side and rule out any infection of anything else. Hope you feel better soon!

I just read some of the responses and it's not clear whether the ladies are referring to a localized pain, which could certainly be indication of infection, or a general pain on the skin, not associated with a point of pain. If it's the latter, it is very common, but largely unexplained.

I also had this pain. I asked my midwife and my OB and neither could explain it. Does it feel like your skin is burning, like a super bad sunburn? That's what mine felt like. I tried to keep the area moisturized and adjusted my clothing choices so my clothes didn't rub the skin. It didn't go away for months.

I am now nearly 15 months post-partum and I can't remember the last time I felt the burning - though it was a constant pain for at least the first 4 months after my son was born. Sometimes I would put a cold, wet cloth on my skin and that was really soothing. I also used aloe and that helped, though only temporarily. After it went away, my scar itched and continues to itch. I hope yours doesn't last as long as mine did!

My guess is it's pain from sensory nerves that were affected during the surgery and will be in the process of regenerating in the coming weeks/months. I had similar pain after my c-section and then numbness in that same area for almost a year but it's completely normal now. If you are worried something is wrong, call your doctor but I'm betting it's just another side effect of the section. :-)
- J.

I had the same pain after my c-section. I was told it was from all the muscles being cut. I had an abdominal binder that I wore, and it made the pain less intense. Hope this helps.

S.

I have had two C-sections... one 3 1/2 years ago and one last year. Last year I also had endometritits. It's an infection of the lining of the uterus, I think. That hurt really bad, but was clearly on the inside. I think I'd ask my doctor. You haven't been back for your 6 week appointment, I guess, but I think I'd call if it's that bad.

Congratulations on the twins! That's wonderful. Everyone thought I was having twins or even triplets... but I just had one healthy 11 lb. boy! He turns one on Saturday.

I had it too, I think it is the nerve endings regaining their feeling. Sometimes there is numbness, pin prick sensations and just general sensitivity there. It took a few months to go away for me.

Congradulations!! C-sections are no fun!! I have had 2 of them. The pains are most likely the healing going on, on the inside. My doctor said I would most likely feel little pains here and there for a year after the c-section. I had pain with mine for a good 8 weeks. Nothing that Motrin couldn't help. If it's really painful I would call the Doc. But, realize, it's only been 12 days since the birth of your babies, so give it some time. It's a long recovery.:)

I don't know what that pain is called but I do know how it feels. Eventually it will go away. I had to wear my waistband below my belly button and couldn't even wear dresses because it bugged me. I felt it with both of my c-sections.
by the way if you ever do this again, try a VBAC. I have done it twice after my C-sections and it is considerably easier.

Congratulations!! I gave birth to twin girls at 37 weeks by c-section two years ago. You should probably give your doc a call and describe what you are feeling. It doesn't sound like something normal. Good luck.

HI C.!

You have my sympathy! I've had 2 c-sections, the most recent one in August 2007. It is most likely just your body healing, just take it easy, because you're still within that very early healing stage and want to be sure you don't do a whole lot of bending, lifting, etc. I still feel sensations from my belly button to the incision and around the incision. So, really, i think it is your nerves in that area healing themselves. HOWEVER, if you are really concerned be sure to bug your doctor. That's why they get paid the big bucks.

Good luck sweetie and take it easy. Get as much rest as you can, eat well and drink lots of water. And most importantly, ASK for HELP!! ;-)

D.

I had two c-sections. It took six months before the "pain" was not noticeable. Last July, I had an emergency hysterectomy. I still have pain. Everyone heals at a different rate. Just remember, you have just delivered TWO human beings. There was probably quite a lot of stretching to accomodate them. I'd bring it up with your OB/GYN to make sure there's nothing going on like an infection. But, just be patient. Everyone heals at different rates. You're also probably doing A LOT taking care of your twins, which can slow the healing process. I wore dresses, very loose caftans. I also wore a pregnancy belt, which kept material from rubbing against my skin. As the recovery progressed, I went to a girdle, which helped keep my gut from moving and further aggravating my incision. A painkiller from time to time also didn't hurt, unless you're nursing. Again, talk with the OB/GYN and see if he/she has any concerns. The first c-section I had, the pain was because of an infection within the first two weeks. Whenever you are post-op, do not be afraid to call your dr. with any symptoms, no matter if it seems routine. There's always a chance for a side-effect or infection, and most moms try to ignore these things and not be a whining baby about it, but do not self diagnose.

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