C-Section Recovery with Julianna Peña

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In March 2018 my office received a phone call from Julianna Pena who is a professional mixed martial arts fighter for the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). Julianna endured an unexpected cesarean section in which to deliver her breech daughter. Isabella is Julianna's first child so trying for a breech vaginal birth is frowned upon due to the riskiness of baby getting caught in the pelvis during the delivery. 

We met mid March to discuss her medical history to include details of her pregnancy and birth. Upon my initial evaluation of her c-section scar and situation underneath the scar was that her uterus was adherent to her bladder and completely immobilizing all pelvic structures. This is typical due to the shear nature of what a c-section entails. 

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During a surgical birth the skin in incised down to the muscle. Muscle is opened and bladder is carefully dissected and pulled into a position of safety to ensure that it is left intact. The surgeon will make a lateral low incision on the uterus and retract into the uterus to rupture the amniotic sac and remove the baby. Once baby is delivered the placenta is removed, uterus is irrigated with saline and pulled out of the pelvis than placed on the woman's abdomen for repair. Think about what happens when you cut an apple into slices and allow it to sit on the counter......it becomes brown due to oxidation which is exposure to room air. This happens when our internal organs become exposed to room air. Our organs are perfectly compact in to our body and when opened and exposed the self protective healing mechanism is for the body to make scar tissue. C-section is no exception. This is major surgery. Typically post major surgery we are instructed to seek out therapy for rehabilitation. No physician is telling women to seek out post c-section therapy until symptoms of obstruction and immobility ensue and even then the c-section scar may not be looked at as problematic. 

Post c-section issues can be mild to serious in which more surgery would be the only recommendation. What would require more surgery you ask? 

Bowel resection to remove invasive scar tissue. I've spoken to several women that are 10-30 years post c-section and complained of severe abdominal pain. CT scan reveals scar tissue adherent to the abdominal wall which requires surgery to remove it or the intestinal loop may become completely obstructed. While few and far between it is still not unlikely and this scenario can be life threatening if left untreated. 

In addition, the scar may cause a slight postural change, a sort of “pulling forward” that along with a decrease in the support of the back from the abdominal muscles could result in back pain.

But the possible consequences don’t stop there. The scarring can cause the adjacent muscles to develop trigger points that refer pain to areas like the clitoris or urethra. In addition, the adjacent connective tissue can become restricted also causing pain. Lastly, the scarring can irritate superficial nerves in the area of the scar.

What’s more, the round ligament that attaches from the sides of the uterus to the labia can be caught in scar tissue after a C-section because the incision is also right over the area where the round ligament crosses the pelvic brim. If this happens, a woman can experience labial pain, especially with transitional movements like going from a seated position to a standing position.

Another symptom I've seen of those women who have had C-sections is that they may have issues with lower digestion such as irritable bowel syndrome or constipation. This occurs because of the tightening created by the scar tissue pulls within the abdominal cavity and thus affects the organs.

The good news is that the problems caused by a C-section scar can be treated with Mercier Therapy. So how do we address a c-section scar?

Most problems caused by C-section scarring can be improved or corrected altogether by making the scar more flexible by manipulating the scar tissue. The more scar tissue is moved and manipulated, the softer and more similar to the tissue around it it becomes. This reduces tightness and breaks up adhesions (an “adhesion” occurs when scar tissue attaches to a nearby structure).

So if a scar is pulled in all directions, the body will lay down the fibers of the scar tissue with more organization, and in a similar alignment to the tissues around it. This results in the scar blending in better and behaving more like normal tissue.

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During your Mercier Therapy session we will manipulate your c-section scar and the area around it. Scars (internal and external) can be pushed, pulled, pinched, rolled, and rubbed. (Warning: manipulating a scar can be painful. That’s because tissue that has restricted blood flow is super-sensitive to touch, so treatment can be painful.)

But, this is a pain that comes with gain. Ultimately, scar mobilization promotes collagen remodeling, which increases pliability of the tissues and reduces uncomfortable sensations, such as itching or sensitivity.

It’s best to start c-section scar mobilization early in the healing process, usually six to eight weeks after the procedure. The reason that early intervention is ideal is because the tissue will respond quickest during this period.

However, the body remodels scar tissue constantly, so your tissues are being replaced with new tissue all the time, just at a much slower rate when scar tissue is older.

Working with Julianna to help her get back to training and ultimately back into the ring has been rewarding. She is passionate about shining a light on c-section recovery work and allowing all women to learn about Mercier Therapy. I want to help her feel like she is training to come back strong and unencumbered by nothing.

Mid Winter Gratitude

I continue to rejoice in the love of Christ as He sends me the women who need my help in trying to conceive or remedy pelvic pain. This little practice of mine never ceases to amaze me and I say thank you for trusting me to care for you in this time of struggle and confusion. 

Infertility is part of your journey and is sometimes a really bitter pill but not without it's own graces and lessons. Walking through this myself I remember thinking that I was pregnant than my period would come and I'd feel crushed for several reasons and chief among them was the lack of support from my then husband but also my own heart would ache as I'd experience intense menstrual pain from endometriosis. Not one professional that I consulted gave me hope. Not one. It was a deflated and defeating feeling. During my marriage I had 7 pregnancies and 2 healthy pregnancies. 5 losses is nearly enough to shatter one's heart. It was lonely. 

I must say that where I am now with my two children (3 and 6) I look back on my journey to this place and it was not easy but here I am and still serving women. My commitment to myself and to you is to serve you as you walk this path. It's okay. All will be well and you don't have to feel alone. I'm right here. 

Blessings and Grace.

Happy Thanksgiving

I am so thankful for my children, family and friends. They are always enriching my life in ways beyond words. Blessed. 

There are so many reasons to be grateful. Make your grateful list and sit in that energy to feel God's blessings surrounding you now and all year round. 

This year has been abundant in change for me as I've been made aware of many new pregnancies and healing stories. Mercier Therapy classes have been full of love among the professionals who've attended and have implemented my work into their practices in which to serve their own communities. I am grateful to the Lord for this life of service. I serve humbly and diligently to care for the women who entrust their health to me. 

Be the light my friends. Allow His love to carry you at this Thanksgiving to give thanks for all of the love in your life. 

To your health and abundance.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Chronicles 16:34

 

 

 

September 13 2017

Love and glorious blessings are upon us in this season of late Summer. The leaves are starting to change and so are we here at Expect A Miracle. Our documentary film Fertility: The Shared Journey with Mercier Therapy has started to really circulate the globe as we've received emails from China, India, Ireland, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, the Caribbean and France. We couldn't be more abundantly blessed to have the knowledge of Dr. Mercier's work spreading and becoming more available to so many women. 

Along with the news of the film we continue to receive pregnancy and birth news.  

We thank you for trusting us to care for you in your time of fertility challenge. Come on in...get cozy and feel your uterus reawaken to welcome your baby. 

~Natalie

 

 

May 11 2017

I've started a VLOG which is listed here on my web site....take a peek at all of the amazing women as they share their fertility stories. 

Keep in mind....Mercier Therapy is not strictly used in fertility. We also help women and men with other challenges such as pelvic pain, trauma and surgical recovery, injury and bladder issues.

We welcome you to our practice and wish you a beautiful Spring.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. Timothy 1:6

 

 

Moving right along....

It is indeed a glorious time of awakening.....my crocuses are coming up so tiny, delicate and yellow pushing their way through the mulch. It always impresses me that something so small can make it's way out of the cold ground and in it's strength become something beautiful for us to look at especially during this time in change of seasons.

What kind of changes are you seeking in your life? Do you need to remedy that nagging or debilitating pelvic pain...do you want to get your body into a better place by creating overall wellness? Now is the time......give my practice a call. Allow me to assist you to feeling better.

Enjoy the new growth out there and feel the metaphor of what Spring actually brings for each of us.

Blessings.

 

Babies and more babies!

Lately we've had news of several pregnancies as a result of our Shared Journey Fertility program. This is the most exciting to me because I know that I am serving women who are just like me.

My fertility challenges started when I was 35 and ended when I was 40. In that 5 year span I had 7 pregnancies. 2 were the births of my Daughter and my Son. My 5 losses were a very sad and hopeless time but somehow we manage to gather that hope back up and move forward.

I hope to help you recover that strength from within and help you to realize that you are not broken. Sometimes all we need it for someone to believe in us and to walk with us down that path to pregnancy.

Be blessed today and everyday. I am here for you and will be here to serve you when you are ready.

From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:2

February, where have you gone?

Wow! I literally blinked and February is nearly over. We've had unusually warm weather here the last couple of weeks so it felt like a premature Spring. Now we digress back into a colder weather, which is normal because it is Winter, bring out the sweaters and warmer gear! I've always been intrigued with Hygge (hoo-ga) which is Danish for "happy living." Put of your wool sweater and a pot of coffee, light a candle and love on each other.

God bless you all.

 

Red Carpet Film Premier....... Woo Hoo!

Happy New Year. This year will be amazingly abundant with blessings. I'd like to say that if you're struggling from fertility challenges or pelvic pain than come on in....let me help.

My film Fertility: The Shared Journey With Mercier Therapy will be premiered on January 25th 2017 at 7pm at the Arcada Theater in Saint Charles, Illinois. Join us for an evening of fun. Take a look at the film trailer on MercierMovie.com

Thank you for all of your support with my documentary project. Help me to spread the word about my work as this is going to change the way that the consumer chooses the direction in which they take to achieve pregnancy in a safe and gentle manner.

Be well and be abundantly blessed in the new year.