Post c-section exercising


Hi Shiela,

I had a c-section 2 months ago. When do you feel it's safe to start back up exercising(step aerobics, running etc...)? How about ab exercises? I feel fully recovered but I don't want to overdo it too quickly.



Exercising after C-Section

Hi Lisa,

Congratulations on your newest family member. Hopefully you are now settling into a routine and maybe getting more rest that you were before!

I would definitely check with your caregiver before resuming your exercise program. Remember that a C-section is major abdominal surgery and you want your incision to be healed before you attempt a lot.

We usually see our C-section moms back in class around 2-3 months postpartum on the average. They start back with low impact moves and work their way back up to impact moves. You should keep your step moves low as well to begin with.

Even though you had a C-section and did not go through a vaginal delivery, your pelvic floor needs to be "rehabilitated" back to its pre-pregnancy strenth and tone before you add any impact. (Your pelvic floor strength was still diminished by the weight of your baby plus the hormones of pregnancy) If you cannot do a move with your kegels contracted, you should not be attempting the move. Make a commitment to yourself to do your kegel exercises daily. This will help restore pelvic floor strength and tone and will help insure that your don't "wet your pants" when you sneeze, laugh, do a jumping jack, etc. as the result of a lax pelvic floor!

For your abs.... Women can practice "belly breathing" from Day 1 postpartum. (Inhale and "make your belly big" - pretending that you are blowing up a balloon in your belly - and then exhale and pull your navel into your spine.) It sounds very easy but this is one of the first rehabilitative exercises that we give our postpartum moms. It will help to shorten the abdominal wall.

Do you know about "diastasis recti?" It is an actual separation of the rectus abdominus that can occur during pregnancy or during delivery. I would have your caregiver check for the separation or you can check for it yourself. I would suggest that you borrow from the library or buy "Essential Exercises for the Childbearing Year" by Elizabeth Noble. It has great instructions for checking yourself for the separation and many rehabilitative exercises for the abs. It is important that you do not progress your abdominal routine too quickly if you have a separation. If you do have one you should hold off on your oblique work until it is closed. Elizabeth Noble's book does a great job of explaining the progression for abdominal rehab. Her book is one of my "bibles" for our instructor training program.

Hope this all helps.

Keep in touch.


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