Gemma Atkinson shares pic of C-section scar as she details recovery and 'shock' when she first saw it

Gemma Atkinson has been praised for her honesty as she shared her C-section experience, confessing she was 'shocked' by the aftermath. The ex-Hollyoaks actress and mum-of-two, who shares her little ones with Strictly's Gorka Marquez, took to social media to have a candid chat with other mums about post-C-section recovery.

The 39 year old star gave fans an intimate look at her journey, posting snaps of her scar taken three days after welcoming son Thiago and showing her progress since. Gemma's openness about the realities of a Caesarean section struck a chord with new mothers.

With around one in four UK pregnancies resulting in a C-section, according to NHS figures, Gemma's message was seen as an important one. "The amount of messages I get from new mums asking is it normal for them to be sore and swollen after a section is unbelievable," she revealed.

Gemma Atkinson
Gemma Atkinson showed her healed C-section scar after two kids -Credit:glouiseatkinson/Instagram
Gemma Atkinson
Gemma Atkinson welcomed son Thiago last year -Credit:glouiseatkinson/Instagram

"A C-section is a BIG operation. It's essentially birth and abdominal surgery. They cut through 7 layers to get your baby out and in my opinion there unfortunately isn't enough information about the after care. I was bruised, swollen and tender for a while with both mine, and I didn't even contemplate exercising until around 15 weeks PP. It just isn't worth it."

But the former soap star confessed she was in 'shock' over the appearance of her scar post-surgery, sharing: "I know some women who are so upset at having to have a section they can't even look at their scar. When my bandages first came off I was shocked at the mess my tummy was in. It hurt when I coughed, sneezed, had a poo and when I held Mia and Thiago. I couldn't even open the fridge without being in pain.", reports the Mirror.

She then detailed her recovery journey, saying: "Now is a completely different story. It's barely visible and has turned from pink to a very pale white. It used to be tender to touch but that stopped after about 6 months. I regularly massage it myself in bed with oil to increase movement and flexibility around it. It also helps soften the scar and decrease scar tissue build up."

Gemma Atkinson family
The TV star shares her two children with Gorka Marquez -Credit:glouiseatkinson/Instagram

Gemma went on to offer advice and encouragement to others: "So to anyone who's had a C section or is due one, take your time postpartum. Be kind to yourself and your body and allow the healing process to take place."

She also mentioned undergoing a 'Mummy MOT' to check her posture, pelvic floor muscles, and stomach muscles.

Finally, she emphasised the importance of seeking information and care for post-surgery scars: "Ask the questions. Don't be left feeling worried and anxious about how it looks because with the right information and post scar care in place it will heal. I now look at my scar and smile because from it I have two beautiful healthy children. It's my permanent reminder marked on me forever."

Gemma and Gorka
Gemma and Gorka are parents to Mia and Thiago -Credit:UKTV

Gemma was showered with love and support after she bravely shared the C-section experience. One fan expressed their gratitude, saying: "I have a c-section coming up any time now and I am terrified of both the surgery and the recovery. Thank you for sharing this x."

Another chimed in, highlighting the lack of postnatal care: "Brilliant post England is severely lacking in post natal information and care, it really is shocking."

Emmerdale star Michelle Hardwick said: "I had two c sections...I’m so so proud of my scars and wouldn’t have it any other way."