By Jennifer Mercier, Mercier Therapy
In our country more and more women seem to be delivering their infants via cesarean section for non-medical emergencies, such as failed induction of labor, or by their own choice. This surgical delivery can be life-saving in the event of a medical emergency. However, it is major abdominal surgery that includes many risks and possible complications; infection at the surgical site is common. Due to more severe complications such as blood loss, blood clots, and organ injury, medical intervention sometimes becomes necessary in the healing phase, which can take three times as long as a vaginal birth.
Once a cesarean is complete and the infant has been delivered, the uterus is removed from the pelvic cavity via the incision in the abdomen and surgically repaired. Once repaired, the uterus is returned to its place within the pelvis and the incision is closed. Ultimately there is a good bit of moving the uterus in and out of the body. During this process the reproductive organs and surrounding structures are exposed to air and irrigation procedures. Neither of these events is native to the internal visceral compartment; oxidation is considered foreign and may create more scar tissue than what is usually considered normal.
The healing has begun, and now the uterus has a sutured incision on its low anterior region that is in direct contact with the posterior bladder. In my opinion, as time proceeds and scar tissue forms, the two organs start to adhere to each other and no longer move independently of one another. With each breath a woman takes, the organs naturally move against each other in an orchestrated way. With all women who come to me for postpartum work on their c-section scars, I have found that the organs beneath the skin and muscle are restricted in movement, and perhaps blood flow.
I start working with women at six to eight weeks postpartum and only with their physicians’ permission.
To help restore the organs to their natural optimal function, I have to work deeply into the space between the umbilicus and the pubic symphysis. Once well established in the space, I can feel the organs and musculature soften to allow for more movement, less restriction, and reduced pain sensation. This work is crucial to ensure proper healing and restoration of function. After our therapy sessions have finished, the woman once again has a better sense of connection to that space.
My therapy regime consists of six hours total work. We can break up those hours into thirty- to sixty-minute sessions as often as the client can commit. I ask my clients to come in at least once a week for consistency. Skipping a week of therapy is not recommended.
In my practice I have worked with women who had undergone a cesarean in prior years and who had not had any pelvic work done. They came to me with complaints of secondary infertility and pelvic pain. We do our therapy sessions with full realization that the scar tissue has already glued all or most of the pelvic structures together. When the organs, musculature, and fascia have been freed, women are typically able to conceive and are free of their pain.
If you are interested in caring for women, I would encourage you to come and train with me. Check our website for class dates and details: www.MercierTherapy.com.