How To Keep C-Section Incision Dry When Overweight (Do’s and Don’ts)

Keeping the C-section area dry most of the time is one of the essentials after child delivery. But there are times when keeping it dry is challenging. For example, when a shelf of skin hangs loose, moisture and sweat buildup is inevitable. It can put the C-section incision at risk for yeast infection. It will also cause the wound to heal slower than it normally should. A sterile gauze pad, washcloth, or cotton can be a great help for keeping the incision dry.

You may hear about some women using cornstarch to dry their c-section incisions. But it is only applicable if the wound is totally healed. Cornstarch or any talc will only enhance bacterial growth and invite infection.

C-section for overweight women

They say that every child delivery is unique for every woman. The C-section is among the safest way of bringing your child into this world. And it does not make you any less of a mother contrary to the conflicting beliefs in other people’s opinions.

The rate of C-section delivery is higher in overweight mothers, especially if they have any serious complications. It is in this mom group where the baby is often too big for vaginal delivery. They are also more likely to undergo induction of labor, making the C-section the convenient way out, literally.

The procedure is similar, except that your OB may need to tape your belly underneath your breast. It will prevent it from getting into the way as the doctor work her way into delivering your child. It may look kind of horrifying for most moms, but the procedure is not in any way painful or disconcerting.

Wound recovery after C-section

The flap of skin hanging over the incision site can be troublesome after the surgery. It is called the apron belly or a mother’s apron. Apron belly prevents the skin from staying dry as sweat can pool up in that postpartum flab.

The excessive fluid from fatty tissues, characterized by a colorless and odorless liquid, may also seep out into the wound. It is generally harmless, but the moist environment provides the perfect breeding ground for infection microbes to proliferate.

Here are some ways you can keep your C-section dry:

  • Put a sanitary pad or cloth diaper over the wound with the soft side down. Change it often to prevent it from soaking.
  • Place a soft towel between the wound and the fold of the skin to soak up sweat.
  • Air-dry the wound if possible. Wear a loose nightgown and avoid covering it with anything if you think it helps dry it out better than when covered.
  • Use a hairdryer in a cold setting to airdry the incision.

Cleaning the C-section wound

Two days after your C-section, you may be able to take a quick shower. It will clean you up and your wound to prevent infection. A light shower is also important to reduce your stress and calm your nerves. Take note, though – a light shower – not a full soak in a tub.

You may run water over the wound lightly to clean it. You can use antibacterial soap around the incision but do not rub it into the wound. After about four to five days, you can start washing it with warm and soapy water.

Do this simple wound care for your C-section:

  • Remove the wound dressing and take a light shower.
  • Eventually, wash the incision with warm and soapy water daily.
  • Dry the c-section wound thoroughly after washing using sterile gauze or cloth.
  • Use a hairdryer at a low and cool setting to dry off the wound.

The sutures will fall off on their own or get absorbed in the skin as your wound heals. So, avoid picking and removing anything in the incision area. If you think it is necessary, you can ask your doctor for help regarding your stitches on the next visit.

Dos and don’ts after the C-section

Sure, your apron belly is getting in the way. Thus, you want to know how to get rid of it. But for the next few months after your c-section, your focus should be on how to recover quickly.

You will stay in the hospital for about four days or a couple more after the procedure. The recovery process at home may take a while, depending on your willpower or stubbornness.

Roughly, it may take around six weeks to about three months for moms to recover from a C-section.

You can speed up recovery by getting and doing what your body needs at this time. Ample rest, a balanced diet, plenty of fluids, and some light activities are necessary. Constipation is your enemy number one, so load up on fiber and lots of fluids. You may also have a postpartum massage to help manage all your discomforts.

Avoiding the things that can aggravate the situation will also expedite the healing process. So, be a good momma and take note of these things and abide by the dos and don’ts after C-section:

  • No vigorous activities
  • No swimming
  • Avoid crash-dieting
  • Avoid using any healing agents or creams in the wound
  • Do not rush things up and avoid stressing yourself

Your belly flubs can stay or go if they must. However, you have to wait for the right time to deal with it until your body is ready. If you want to work on your weight, wait until you make your full recovery first. Strenuous activities can put pressure on the area or risk loosening the stitches.


Is C-section necessary for all plus-sized women?

Definitely no. Vaginal delivery is still an option as long as there are no serious complications.

Some women use cornstarch as a dusting powder to soak up wetness, but why is it bad?

Aside from allowing bacteria to grow into the wound, cornstarch can cake up over the incision and worsen the matter.

Why is there a foul odor coming from the wound?

Any surgical wound should not have any foul smell. If you notice a stench coming from the wound, it is a sign of infection, and you should notify your doctor.

Is it normal for the wound to be painful?

C-section is major abdominal surgery, and abdominal pain is common a few days after the operation. Contact your doctor only if you experience extreme pain, run a fever, or develop swelling around the incision.

How about itching, is it normal?

As your wound heals, it is normal to experience itching. You may reduce the sensation by holding something tightly over it. But do not get tempted to scratch the area to avoid infections.


At some point, plus-sized women may worry about many things if they undergo the Caesarian section. Drying the wound, for example, can be tedious if the apron belly gets in the way.

Managing it only needs a few helpful tips to ensure that the wound is always dry. Dry c-section wounds ward off infection and prevent complications. Thus, women can recover quickly and nurse their health back into caring for their babies.

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Ann Marie is a licensed nurse in the Philippines. She experienced handling and assisting deliveries of newborns into the world. She also trained in labor rooms and pediatric wards while in nursing school - helping soon-to-be mothers and little kids in the process. Though not a mother by nature but a mother by heart, Ann Marie loves to take care of her younger cousins as well as nephews and nieces during her free time.

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