So here’s my story:
“So, as you can see,” says my obstetrician to the resident working with her during my second cesarean section delivery in April 2007, “Jessica has very little scar tissue for someone who has had a previous c-section.”
“Wow”, says the resident. “You’re absolutely right! Why is that?”
“Well, Jessica has been mobilizing her scar since her first delivery (in 2004).” The resident promptly asked for clarification on “scar mobilization.”
My obstetrician responded, “Jessica is a physical therapist specializing in obstetrics and pelvic floor dysfunction and so after she had her first c-section she used what she knew about tissue healing to move and touch her scar. As I understand it, this meant protecting it, massaging it, and stretching it in certain ways that matched up with the stage of healing after surgery.”
The resident was intrigued and impressed and my doctor went on to tell them that she has made recommendations about scar mobilization to other women in her practice after abdominal surgery.
It is a vivid memory of a unique teaching and hugely validating moment. Amazingly, immediately on the heels of that exchange, the anesthesiologist – positioned at my left shoulder – leans in and says, “Oh, you’re a pelvic floor PT? Do you see women with pelvic pain?” When I answered in the affirmative, he went on, “I have heard great things about what physical therapy can do for pelvic pain and didn’t know any…I have this friend who had pelvic pain, can I refer her to your practice?”
I’m also happy to share that when I had my third child in 2010 via c-section, virtually the same conversation unfolded with the resident assisting on my case that day. Not only was that a repeated affirmation of the effectiveness of my self-directed scar management, that this scar management effectiveness was born out over more than one delivery, and that my doctor had truly been so impacted that she was still repeating this to residents over three years later…but the resident had actually attended my resident lecture at MGH the previous week about pelvic floor and obstetric physical therapy. Nice finish.
Find out more about scar mobilization and c-section pain.
Thanks to We Go Health for putting down the challenge of 30 Days, 30 Posts for National Health Blog Post month!