Ashley Batz/Romper

Will Your Underwear Hide Your C-Section Scar?

by Cat Bowen

No matter how you deliver, your body will be changing as much as your ideas about personal hygiene. (Did I brush my teeth today?) It's not all huge, but if you had a C-section, your scar may worry you. Wondering, "Will I see my C-section scar above my underwear?" You're not alone.

In an incredibly informal poll among my friends who’ve had C-sections, all of them worried over their scar, regardless of when the decision was made to have a C-section. If they knew long before they were going to have the procedure, they worried over the type of incision their doctor would use. If they had an emergency cesarean, they worried over its healing. Most of them also worried whether or not the scar would be visible while they wore a bikini, or if it would show above their panties.

Scars are hard to deal with at the best of times, but when you add on the emotional turmoil of the postpartum period, it seems particularly awful. I have many, many scars. I was not a particularly healthy or graceful child, and therefore have endured more than my fair share of angry, red tissue. The idea of a bad C-section scar added atop the scar on my wrist, my elbow, my knee, or the real doozy of the scar near my ribcage, isn't appealing in the least, but C-section scars are sometimes unavoidable. Like all the ladies in my informal poll, you're worried, "Will I see my C-section scar above my underwear?"

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are three basic types of C-section incisions: low transverse or bikini cut, low vertical — wherein a 4 to 6-inch vertical incision is made several inches below the belly button — and the classic incision: a long, vertical incision that is basically stem to stern. The most common incision, used in over 75 percent of C-sections, however, is the low transverse incision, according to Healthline.

This incision is not only the best designed to be covered by your underwear or bathing suit, but it also presents the fewest complications and risks for extraneous scarring and adhesions, according to Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Whether or not you'll see the C-section scar above your underwear is dependent on a few things, noted Fit Pregnancy, such as which incision was used, how it healed, and what kind of underwear or bathing suit you're wearing. Obviously, if you have a 10-inch long vertical incision, you'll see that above your panties or bikini bottoms. However, with most women receiving a bikini cut surgery, visibility is most dependent on healing and the type of underwear you're wearing. Super-low cut boyshorts or bikinis will probably show the scar, but if you wear something a bit higher and a bit wider across the front, you'll likely be able to hide it.

But if it has to do with how you've healed — perhaps you have a scar that has formed a keloid or the top overlaps a bit — you're probably going to see it no matter what. But hey, you made an entirely new human being and a doctor nabbed it right from your belly into the world. That's pretty cool. I understand why you might feel self-conscious about scars — I know I do — but it's pretty amazing what you went through to bring your child into this world, and you should be proud.