I am often asked, when can I start doing things after a C-Section because let’s be honest, they don’t give you much info. What you will normally hear is, don’t lift anything more than your baby, don’t sit up in bed, and get lots of rest. Hmm…that about covers everything 🙂
With my C-Section, things weren’t all peachy and I thought my abs would never be the same again. The good news, I survived and my core is functioning on all cylinders!
Let me shed some light on C-Section recovery, friend.
A C-Section is a serious abdominal surgery and should not be poo-pooed. If you think about the time we take to rehab other orthopedic surgeries such as a rotator cuff or ACL repairs, you would expect 12-16 weeks of rehab. This puts into perspective the time we need to take to rehab our abdomens after C-Section.
Word to the Mom: If you have just had a C-Section and things feel good, please take the time to heal and build appropriate strength. Your body will thank you later!
You are priority- Keeping the baby alive (and yourself), getting as much rest as you can, and focusing on the proper nutrition to fuel your body. I know it is SO HARD but ask for help during this time!
AIR BUBBLES– You guys! When they told me I may have pain up into my right shoulder due to the air that may have been “trapped” in my body during surgery…they were not kidding! The pain was crazy for the first couple days after surgery but did go away, thank goodness.
SORENESS– As I was hoisting myself into our Tahoe leaving the hospital…I thought life was over as we know it. Would I ever be the same again? I know a bit dramatic but I have always hung my hat on being tough but at that moment, I was anything but. Expect some abdominal soreness for a few weeks following your C-Section. It does get better!
SWELLING– You will experience some swelling in your abdomen. Your body heals by bringing fighting and healing cells to the area so expect some swelling for a couple of weeks. You may consider high-waisted leggings or shorts to help with the swelling and just provide a little more support to your core.
DRINK LOTS of WATER– This will help with swelling, healing, and also that dreadful first poop.
I know it seems silly but pregnancy and pain cause us to adopt a shallow or upper chest breathing pattern. Try breathing into the sides of your lower ribs and belly. This will aid in digestion, get the deep core and pelvic floor to start working and help with relaxation.
On your back with your knees bent, slowly rock your pelvis back towards you (like you were pouring a bowl of water into your belly-button). These are the beginning steps to strengthening your abdominals.
Start slow! Start with walking for 5 minutes and then build up from there. Manage your symptoms after each walk. If you have increased pain two or three days after the walk then decrease your time.
You are feeling better and may feel the urge to jump back into your pre-pregnancy activities such as running or higher impact exercise. I urge you to take the time to build your strength before you get crazy.
Once the incision has healed around 6-8 weeks you can start doing some scar tissue massage. Check out my blog post here on how to perform this.
90:90 Breathing exercise to help connect the pelvic floor, breathing, and deep abdominal muscles.
Things are starting to progress here! You are feeling much better, working on scar tissue, and you probably have little to no pain at the incision site. Now we need to start building greater strength.
This is a great start to returning to exercise post-C-section. There are so many great exercises to perform and these are just a select few!
To learn more on how to rehab your core post-baby, I am launching The Core Rehab Project! To learn more, comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!