Exercises After Cesarean Delivery: What You Should and Shouldn’t Be Doing
Many women wonder when they can get back to exercise after delivery. Here we’ll look at what exercises can help to make sooner recovery and which of them are better to put off till better time comes.
Cesarean section delivery
Since the 1990s, rates of cesarean section deliveries have been on a steady rise around the world. In North America, more than 30% of all births are C-section deliveries.
Exercise after C-section delivery usually requires a longer waiting period․ Do not push yourself too hard, it can elevate the risk of infection and other complications that can make your recovery period more complicated.
When is it safe to exercise after cesarean delivery?
If you’ve had a C-section delivery, wait to jump into your post-pregnancy exercise regimen until at least 6 weeks postpartum, and after you’ve visited your doctor. These two milestones need to be behind you to ensure that your recovery goes smoothly.
Gentle exercises for the first six weeks
Here are some things you can do as soon as you feel up to it.
- As soon as you can get up and move around, venture out of the house and around the block a few times.
- Pelvic floor exercises. You may have already been doing pelvic floor exercises throughout your pregnancy, and if you have, you know how important they are. As soon as the catheter is out, you can resume doing Kegel exercises․
- Light stretches. Focus on stretching your neck, shoulders, arms, and legs with light stretches that do not put pressure on your C-section scar.
Pelvic floor exercises after C-section delivery
Try these pelvic floor exercises for after a C-section delivery:
- Kegel exercises. They may not look like much, but they are a great tool to gain control back over those pelvic floor muscles. Contract and hold for 5 seconds, then release. Repeat 10 times a few times a day.
- To perform a squat correctly, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and squat down with your hips pushing back, like you’re about to sit in a chair. Your weight should be in your heels. Straighten your legs and repeat 15-20 times.
Cardio exercises after C-Section delivery
Start out with low-impact cardio workouts for the first four to six months after C-section delivery. Try these exercises:
- Water aerobics
Postpartum exercise is very important for your physical and mental health, but it’s even more important to make sure that you’re healing properly before getting into your post-pregnancy exercise regimen.
If you are struggling with walking or experiencing pain on or around your C-section scar, make an appointment with your doctor and hold off on exercising until after you have been cleared.