A few people ask me about exercising after a c section.
A c-section is a major operation, and it takes time to recover. I approached fitness expert Jago Holmes to see if he could provide some pointers for exercising after a c-section.
Here are some tips from Jago.
C-section (Cesarean) births are becoming more common these days for a wide variety of reasons ranging from:
- fear of the pain of delivery
- designing the perfectly timed birth
- emergency birth
An emergency c-section is a procedure used to remove the baby as quickly as possible to avoid harm to either the mother or baby.
In certain cases, c-section recovery and repair can be aided by certain actions. Unfortunately, many women do the wrong things when it comes to exercising.
Damage to the Abs Is Not As Bad as People Think
The damage and injury caused to the abs after the c section isn’t as bad as most people think because the incision used during a typical c section doesn’t usually cut through the muscles. It’s just the outer sheath covering the affected abdominal muscles (aponeurosis). The rectus abdominus muscles are split down the middle after cutting into the sheath.
After the baby is born, the rectus muscles and sheath are realigned and repaired. Abdominal deliveries after that time are just as safe as vaginal deliveries.
The muscles will start to realign themselves within three to four days for both types of delivery.
During pregnancy, you should only do pelvic tilting exercises, which will help to tighten and strengthen the abdominal muscles as well as realign them.
Within about six weeks, the abdominal muscles should have fully recovered. However, this could take much more time if they were weak before the c-section or if the pelvic tilting techniques were not regularly practiced.
When to Start Pelvic Tilting Exercises after a C Section?
Pelvic tilting exercises should start immediately after delivery.
It’s possible to perform pelvic tilting exercises seated, standing, or lying down. They don’t require a significant amount of effort, but they may significantly speed up the recovery process and firm up the abdominal region.
An Exercise You Should NOT Do if You Have Had a C Section
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you do sit-ups or curl-ups after a c section until the abdominal muscles have realigned and recovered.
Doing this could potentially damage the stomach as the gap between the muscles may be forced apart, possibly stretching the muscles wider, leading to long-term damage.
9 Things to Remember When Exercising After a C Section
- It’s fine to do pelvic tilting exercises, provided you don’t experience any numbness or tingling around your belly button or scar.
- If you have any concerns about exercising after a c section, please contact your primary medical provider.
- Trying to stay mobile and routinely performing pelvic tilting and pelvic floor exercises will help speed up your c section recovery time and allow you to be more active much sooner.
- After a c section delivery, doctors recommend that you wait 8 – 10 weeks before doing any formal or more intense exercise. This will depend on your fitness level before the c section and how you have recovered from the c section. Consult your primary medical provider on what exercise intensity is best for you at this time.
- Avoiding movements that may irritate your scar or abdominal area postoperative is crucial.
- Rising from the bed, walking downstairs, and lifting heavy objects are all everyday activities that require close attention.
- When rising, use your arms to avoid stressing your weakened back and abdominal muscles, which are most vulnerable when standing. ALWAYS AVOID A FULL MOVEMENT from lying or sitting to standing. Rather, break the movement down into three parts.
- Working your stomach muscles requires tilting the pelvis backward and pulling the muscles in tightly throughout the entire exercise.
- Pelvic tilting exercises are not the same as pelvic floor exercises but can be performed simultaneously with a bit of practice.
That is it.
I hope this gives you a start on what to do when exercising after a c section.
Jago Holmes is a certified personal trainer with over ten years of experience working with moms who have given birth by c section. He has created an easy-to-use and highly effective system that every new mom can use to tone and flatten their baby belly and safely speed up their C-section recovery.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Jago’s exercise after the c-section program.
It is Rick again. Thanks for reading this guest blog post.
Please do share your experience with c-sections and exercise. If you have some tips, leave them in the comments below.