Exercise After C-Section

image001After undergoing a c-section, there is no perfect time of when you can start exercising. A workout plan depends on an individual’s recovery process, as every delivery is different. It also depends on the level of fitness that was maintained during the whole pregnancy. A c-section has a longer recovery period when compared to a natural birth. Two weeks after a c-section delivery, a walking program that is not intense is safe for most women, so long as there are no complications. It is very important to listen to your body and be keen to notice any signs of distress like bleeding, pain, or tearing at the incision site, or even excessive fatigue. To determine the most appropriate exercise time frame, you can discuss your fitness plans with your physician.

When Can I Start to Exercise After C-Section?

Some say that it is alright to gradually carry on exercising as soon as you feel that you are up for the challenge. However, your midwife or doctor may want you to wait until you go for your postpartum checkup at six weeks so that they can first see how you are doing. If you had a normal virginal delivery and was exercising all through your pregnancy, then it is safe for you to start with light exercises like modified push-ups, walking and stretching within a few days of giving birth.

If you underwent a c-section, consult your doctor and be ready to wait until you are fully recovered from your operation before you start an exercise program. A cut from a c-section takes a number of weeks to heal, and it might take some time before you actually feel like you want to work out. If you were very active during your pregnancy, it is very important that you consult your midwife before you start your workout routine. Walking at an easy pace is, however, recommended as it helps prevent blood clots and other complications, and at the same time it helps to promote healing.

Always remember that your ligaments and joints will still be loose for three to five months and you should, therefore, be very careful as you exercise to avoid falling.

Exercise is good for you. However, it is not advisable to overdo it during the first few months after you have given birth. You need time to adjust to your new role as a mother, and your body needs time to heal.

5 Best Exercise After C-Section

A c-section might cut through some of the stomach muscles, which may lead to you having a puffy stomach after delivery. C-section recovery takes longer than normal vaginal delivery.

1. Bridge

This is a type of exercise after c-section that does not cause excess strain on the stitches that you got after the c-section. Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor, and your legs apart (hip width). With your palms on the floor, straighten your arms at your side. Contracting your stomach muscles, lift your buttocks, then stomach, and then your middle back off the ground. Do not lift your shoulders off the ground. Stay in this position for 10 seconds then lower your body to the ground.

2. Cardiovascular Exercise

You have to lose the fat that you gained during your pregnancy so as to flatten your tummy. You must perform cardiovascular exercises so as to burn calories, and elevate your heart rate. You can start by swimming, using an elliptical machine, walking or riding a bicycle. As your body continues to heal, you can start taking aerobics classes or jogging.

3. Modified Cobra

With your palms flat next to your shoulders, lie on your stomach, with your elbows tucked into your rib cage. Without straining your lower back too much, lift your head and neck off the floor. Suck in your navel as if you are trying to lift your pelvis off the floor, and return to the starting positions. Repeat this 4 to 8 times.

4. Forward Bend

This is a standing exercise that helps to strengthen your abdominal muscles. It can be performed throughout the day. Standing with your feet hip width apart, bend your torsos forward at your hips, with your arms lifted overhead, and make a 90 degrees angle. Return to your standing position after 10 seconds. Keep your back as flat as possible during this exercise.

5. Lower Abdominal Slide

This exercise after c-section targets the lower stomach muscles, which are affected by the surgery. With your feet flat on the floor and your arms straight at your sides and palms facing down, lie on your back keeping the pelvis tucked in so as to work the muscles. Slide your right leg straight out contracting your abdominal muscles. Using the muscles, bring back the leg to your starting position. Repeat on the other leg as you take deep breaths.

Tips on Exercising after C-Section



Warm up before you exercise

It is important to stretch muscles first since your body and muscles are in the process of changing and later on returning to their former state. Simply stretch on the days that you are allowed to start exercise, as this gets the muscles ready for activity.

Do it together with your baby

Go for a walk with your baby if the weather is favorable. Do slow walks with your baby riding on a stroller and invite a friend or your spouse along. You can do a 15 minute walk every day for a week.

House cleaning can be good exercise

Housekeeping helps to burn calories. Mopping the floor, doing laundry and vacuum cleaning is one way to help blood flow in the muscles.

Watch post pregnancy DVD

There are specific workouts created for moms who have just undergone a c-section. They can guide you on the process.

Don’t overdo your exercises

Too much exercise after C-section can make your lochia flow more heavily and become redder. This is a sign that you need to slow down. You should stop exercising and call a doctor if you feel pain or notice spotting.

Be careful with your abdominal muscles

Most women develop a condition called diastasis recti, having a gap in their abdominal muscles. It takes around 4 to 8 weeks after child delivery for this gap to close. It is, therefore, important to make sure that your belly is ready before you start exercising by laying flat on your back with your knees bent.

Watch this video and find some helpful guide on exercise after c-section: