When should you start exercising after a C-section?
So you have just given birth? Congratulations! Giving birth via c-section is a huge deal. It’s going to take a while for you to recover, and that’s OK. Focus on loving your newborn as much as you can as you wait to heal.
If you are anxious to get back to working out, you are not alone. A lot of women wonder when they can start exercising after a c-section. This guide has all the answers.
When can I exercise after a C-section?
Your doctor probably recommended several exercises to help you recover from your C-section operation. You were likely encouraged to start moving around as soon as you were able to get out of bed. Gentle walking is the best way to start your recovery journey from the surgery.
That said, how long do you have to wait before returning to your regular exercise routine? Well, doctors recommend waiting at least until your 6-8 week postnatal check-up before resuming your pre-pregnancy workouts.
Upon fully recovering from your c-section and after all the pain has disappeared, you can start doing some low-impact exercises such as yoga, pilates, swimming, low-resistance gym work, and jogging.
If you were not active before you got pregnant, this is a great time to pick up this healthy habit. Start slow and build up gradually, and if you notice any pain, stop.
Your doctor will recommend waiting until your 12th week postpartum before engaging in any high-impact exercises such as running, aerobics, resistance training, or weight training. Again, start slowly and stop if you notice any pain.
If you had any pregnancy or birth complications or if you have any medical problems, be sure to consult your doctor first before engaging in any exercises after your C-section.
What exercises can you do after a C-section?
Several exercises are safe to engage in after your C-section. Keep in mind that you should only do them after getting the green light from your doctor:
1. Pelvic floor exercises
These are exercises that will help strengthen your pelvic muscles that support your womb, bowels, and bladder. If you have noticed that you leak urine a little when you cough, laugh or sneeze, your pelvic floor muscles are likely weak and need to be strengthened.
You can start doing your pelvic floor exercises as soon as your catheter has been removed and you feel ready. If you are worried about your pelvic floor strength, consult your doctor at your 6-week postnatal check-up.
2. Abdominal exercises
These are exercises that are designed to strengthen your abdomen after a c-section. They help protect your spine and promote good posture. Here is how to do them:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent slightly
- Relax your abdominal muscles and breathe in slowly
- Breathe out as you gently pull your abdominal muscles in
- Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles at the same time
- Hold in your abdominal muscles and squeeze your pelvic floor for 10 second
- Release gently and repeat. Do this at least 10 times
Why should you exercise after a c-section?
Exercise is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. It is a simple way to strengthen and tone your muscles while improving your overall health and boosting your mood.
Therefore, exercise after your c-section is good for you. As long as you start when you are supposed to, it will help boost your energy, relieve stress, and shed any extra weight you gained during pregnancy. It will also help you sleep better while also toning your abdominal muscles that were stretched during pregnancy.
A c-section operation can leave you feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and in pain. If you were an active person before your pregnancy, you probably want to get back to exercising as soon as possible. Well, experts recommend that you give yourself time to heal first before doing anything. Wait at least 6-8 weeks then start exercising gently as you build up toward your pre-pregnancy routine. And if you feel any pain, stop at once. Good luck!