Written by: Annéke da Silva
Yes – you are actually allowed to do exercise after a C-section, but doing it at the right time and doing the right exercises is what’s crucial.
I have some tips and tricks of how soon you can start and what is considered safe after your C-section.
First things first
Healing doesn’t take place over night – be realistic about your goals post-baby. You didn’t pick up the extra baby weight overnight so don’t expect to get rid of it just like that. A C-section is a big operation and it is really important to be patient with your recovery process for proper healing to take place. The first six weeks are critical for healing so make sure you don’t do anything to put strain on your body.
Directly after birth
You can start with Kegel and pelvic floor exercises directly after giving birth. These are exercises you can perform anywhere at any time. It requires very little effort and will be safe for the healing of your scar as well.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent 90 degrees
- Gently contract your pelvic floor muscles while exhaling
- At the same time contract your abdominal muscles in towards yourself and up – focus on contracting all your abdominal muscles and not just “sucking” in your stomach
- Hold this contraction for 10 seconds while not forgetting to breathe – really important
- Relax and repeat 10x
It is recommended that these are the only abdominal exercises you perform for 6-8weeks until your doctor has given you the green light to go back to normal exercises. Sit-ups, crunches and even planks are completely forbidden to do in this initial healing phase. Not only can you tear your stitches open but you can and most likely will cause or worsen Diastasis Recti if you experienced it during your pregnancy – so please avoid these exercises! It can cause long term damage to your abdominal muscles.