Updated: Aug 17
Yup. It’s true. Your c-section scar could be the reason why your digestive health issues are persisting.
Are you experiencing bloating, irregular bowel movements, food intolerances, acid reflux or other gut problems with uncertainty as to why they are happening? Maybe the more valuable question that we’ll dive into together: How do you resolve these digestive issues for good?
Let’s begin in the same place that all my clients start off in. With a simple question…
Have you considered that your c-section scar and your digestive health issues are linked?
This is a rarely discussed topic. In fact, I don’t know anyone else who is talking about it or linking these two things together like I am. This is the accumulation of nearly a decade of clinical expertise working with scars and women. I am super stoked to share with you!
So, the first few things you may be thinking (& I hear these a lot!):
“...but my scar isn’t new, it’s been there awhile”
“I don’t notice my scar causing me any discomfort”
“My doctor did a great job stitching me up!”
All valid and often very true! In actuality, none of those factors matter when it comes to your digestive health and your c-section scar and this is the exciting part. Why is this exciting? I’m going to walk us through why scars matter and then the basics about how to begin effectively working with the scar to resolve your digestive challenges. It’s been my experience that any woman on planet earth with a c-section scar can heal their digestive health. It doesn’t matter how old the scar is, if it was sewn up by a stitching ninja or if you pay any attention to your c-section scar or not.
Ready? Let’s dive in!
To kickoff, I want to share a simple thought process that I instill in my clients:
Once you know the answer to WHY something is happening then the process of HOW to resolve it becomes exponentially more clear.
Building Your Inner Intelligence
This methodology isn’t necessarily trendy or the “cool thing to do”. It won’t make me a bestselling author or insta-famous. Why? It requires grit. It also requires a healthy dose of digging deep and a personalized approach. It requires us to do three things; lean into our life story & experiences (1) and use that to make sense of our pain & symptoms (2) so that we can authentically explore our needs & desires (3). This process builds inner intelligence, which helps you to communicate with and be at ease in your body. In this modern world, we typically skip over one of these three foundational pillars and lose the depth of healing that is necessary for each woman's true transformation. In my years of working with women, this process is profoundly healing and I think it’s the best way to get results that ultimately lead to a happier and healthier life.
Common Symptoms & Why
To bring it home, let’s briefly highlight some of the ways a cesarean scar can create some of the symptoms you feel in your body right now. Remember, each woman has the potential to completely heal these with the right approach.
Three Ways Your C-Section Scar Negatively Impacts Your Digestive Health:
Healthy Abdominal Pressure Is Off
During the c-section procedure the abdominal cavity is opened and there will be adhesions that form post-procedure that will alter the natural levels of pressure that are required in the abdominal cavity.
When the pressure is off in the abdomen it can create a whole host of symptoms, most commonly: bloating, wind, pelvic floor dysfunction, back pain and irregular bowel movements.
Scar Tissue Disturbing Nearby Organs
The healing of the c-section will create scar tissue and if that scar tissue is next to or on top of any organ it will stick itself onto the organ and create a push-pull force. This puts the organ(s) into restrictive shapes, reduces peristalsis (natural contractions of the intestines to move food down the canal) and any other natural functioning like secreting enzymes, absorbing water, etc.
You can have any sort of digestive symptoms because of this including: poor nutrient absorption, food intolerances, inflammation and the bladder can also be affected because of its proximity.
Breathing Is Shallow & Short
A common pattern I have seen clinically is that wherever the scar, you will not be breathing there. It’s quite rare for a woman to be breathing down into her lower abdomen where the cesarean is located. Which means she is not getting full, smooth, diaphragmatic breathing. Proper breathing is vital for healthy massaging of the abdominal organs and regulates our nervous system (among other things!).
It’s very common to have acid reflux, anxiety, pelvic floor dysfunction, low back pain and irregular bowel movements.
Two Reasons Why Scars Matter
So, how does the c-section scar actually create these problems? As the incision heals it will create a scar. That scar tissue will embed deep into the body beyond the visual scar that you see on your skin. This step is a necessary one! It's natural and required for the full healing of the area. This is important when thinking about the scars' impact… and the good news is that when the scar is worked appropriately this is significantly reduced!
Spider-man’s Web In A Place Where It Wasn’t Before
Imagine the finished product having a similar consistency of a thick spiderman’s web or a bunch of dense chewing gum. This is now in a significant place in the body where it wasn’t before.
Location & Size Matters. The Scar Is:
Taking up a good amount of real-estate on your abdomen (compare it to a laparoscopy or puncture scar), meaning a larger amount of scar tissue.
At a significant location where there are a lot of essential organs and vital digestive processes happening every second of every day.
An incision through all the layers of your abdominal muscles which act as stabilizers for your spine, aid in functional breathing and also assist in a healthy digestive process.
Healthy Guts = Happy Life
For a moment let’s imagine the digestive system in a simplistic way. Visualize it as a system of tubing stuck together, almost like a series of waterslide sections connected together but much more flexible. Visualize the scar adhesions (spider-man’s web) changing the shape and connection points of the tubing (aka organs). It would be harder to have smooth passage of anything entering or exiting the area, right? The body has to work harder to do what it needs to do.
When anything needs to work harder than necessary it gets depleted, drained and bogged down. When this is happening in our digestive system we can feel the effects in so many ways like poor sleep, emotional reactivity, exhaustion, low libido, lack of motivation - so much! Our digestive health is vital to the total health of our body and mind. We intuitively know this too. If you’ve been struggling with your digestive health, you know how much it can affect your whole life.
What are some positive ways you can start working with your scar right now?
3 Truths For Beginning To Work With Your Scar
You can get started on working with your scar today! Every woman is capable of building her inner intelligence so that she can communicate with her body and feel the freedom that comes from knowing what her body needs. Let’s start that process now:
TRUTH #1 - You Are Not A Project To Be Completed
For all you eager overachieving moms - this one is important! Every scar has a story which means we want to respectfully engage in a healing process with our body.
This is not a process of stronger-harder-faster = better. Absolutely not. Ultimately, this is about building a relationship with your body and re-claiming that ease that comes from knowing your needs and desires.
TRUTH #2 - Any Woman Can Transform Her C-Section Scar
I’ve worked with women in their 90s who benefitted from this process. It doesn’t matter how old your scar is, how confused you are about your digestive health or any of these other factors. What matters is the process.
With guidance you can learn how to connect with your body and learn techniques to move the scar manually with your hands, through physical body movements, by using your breath and much more!
TRUTH #3 - An Integrated Approach Gives Rise To Deep Change
Using the scar to access deeper levels of healing is a unique approach - to say the least! It gives you access to stuck emotional energy, better movement in your body and yes, resolution of your digestive health issues. This is the benefit that comes from taking a wide angled view on health and healing that is truly transformative.
Common Areas That Have Positive Change When Going Through The Process
Physical Movements Including Any Pain or Body Aches
Brain Fog, Lethargy &/or Lack of Motivation
How To Begin
If you’re still reading this, congratulations! Your attention span is greater than millions of other people. Seriously though, that is worth noting! It’s also very likely that you’re resonating with what I am sharing and maybe you’ve been on the journey towards positive health for some time now. Maybe you’ve tried other standard methods of treatment but you are still not experiencing the results you’re looking for. You want to figure out why your digestive health issues aren’t resolving and how to heal on a deeper level, so you can be at ease in your body.
It’s been my experience that women who go through the process of building their inner intelligence which happens through healing their scars experience a freedom in their body and mind that's cultivated by getting in touch with and communicating with their body again.
If this has resonated with you, I want to offer you a free 30 minute consultation. Let’s chat further so that you can share your pain & symptoms, needs & desires and life story & experiences. Follow this link to find a time that suits you.
Kendra Toothill is an Athletic Therapist specializing in treating chronic and complex health problems. For over a decade, she has been offering holistic methods to those who are ready to dive deep and transform the way they think, act and feel.
Her integrative process is all about putting the client in the driver's seat and heading straight towards their goals by using their pain & symptoms, needs & desires and life story & experiences to create a completely individualized and powerful healing journey.
It involves learning to communicate with the body and ultimately how to curate a self-empowered life of natural ease and harmony by building inner intelligence. Kendra currently lives in Costa Rica and works both online and in-person. In her free time, she's outdoors appreciating nature or practicing yoga, meditation and martial arts with her teacher and partner.. You can learn more about Kendra here.