Recently, a friend of mine showed me her C-Section scar and I was pretty surprised: It was a tiny horizontal slit that was about the length of her hand. In fact, the incision only needs to be big enough for a baby’s head to fit through, so the average C-Section scar is about five-inches long, says Lana Selitsky, DO, an ob-gyn in private practice at Midtown Obstetrics and Gynecology, in New York City. Occasionally, a larger incision has to be made — say, if the baby is especially large or the mom has scar tissue from a previous surgery. Doctors cut about two centimeters above the pubic bone, horizontally, for both cosmetic purposes (it’s easily hidden under a bikini bottom, for example), as well as easier healing for the patient, she adds. Scars after a C-Section are unique. “We close everybody the same way, but everyone heals differently,” Dr. Selitsky explains.
According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 1 in 3 women in the United States deliver their babies via C-Section, for many different reasons (from delivering multiples to delivering a baby in a breech position). If you’re about to deliver a baby and it’s possible that you may have a C-Section, knowing what to expect afterwards can be comforting. (And, OK: Even if you’ve already had a C-Section it is sort of fascinating to compare your scar to others.) So, we’ve rounded up a collection of C-Section scar pictures to give you a sense of what it looks like after you’ve had a C-Section, with photos taken a few weeks to a few years post-birth. They’re all different, but they’re all beautiful. After all, every scar symbolizes the birth of a new baby (or more!).
A woman reveals her recent C-Section scar, with bruising
Scar after a C-Section, just above the pelvic bone
A client who was worried that she’d have to deliver via C-Section — and then did — asked photographer Helen Carmina to capture this powerful photo after her baby’s birth. “Her worst nightmare proved to be what saved her and her child’s lives,” Carmina shared on Facebook.
Country pop star, Jessie James, posted this photo of her C-Section scar, along with this message. “My tummy is still swollen and you can see my c-section scar and pooch! I had another due to my 9lb baby and petite frame. So no rushing and no stressing about losing weight! Wanted to make sure y’all saw what my tummy looks like under the tank top and blazer…I do wear a belly waist train thingy a few hours here n there which helps c section mamas and swelling to go down. I am so glad we all can support each other. Being a mommy is so rewarding but hard work so we need to stick together and help each other out. I’m not perfect but I do my best.”
C-Section scar, two days after childbirth
Sutures being removed after a C-Section
Horizontal C-Section scar, not long after childbirth
Photo: New Health Guide
Vertical C-Section scar, one year post-childbirth
Photo: New Health Guide