Are you daunted by the prospect of restarting your fitness routine following a C section? Or are you looking forward to getting back to your daily exercises while your baby naps? One in three American women give birth via C-section so you’re not alone in wondering how to safely get fit once you get the go ahead from your obstetrician. Recovering from a C-section can take time, but once you’ve healed, these are the best exercises to get your body back in shape.
Work your pelvic floor
Despite not having had a vaginal birth, your pelvic floor will still be weak due to the weight of your baby or babies and placenta pushing down on it for nine months. Ideally, you should have been working your pelvic floor muscles regularly during your pregnancy, but it’s not too late to start once you’ve given birth. It’s recommended that women wait at least six weeks after a C-section before they resume normal activities and participate in sports. However, you can start exercising your pelvic floor immediately after birth without causing any damage to your scar.
Walking with baby
Walking is a great exercise which is gentle on the body. What’s even better is that it’s an exercise you can easily do with your baby as all you need to do is pop your little one into their pram or into a front carrier and you’re off. Walking with the additional load of a child also burns off more calories than if you were walking alone, so it really is a great post C-section exercise to incorporate into your daily routine. You needn’t worry if you’re still feeling a little sore and weak following your surgery either, as a C-section recovery kit can provide additional support to your abdominal area.
Head to the pool
Once you’ve stopped bleeding and your scar has healed, head to your local swimming pool for some gentle exercise - you could even take your newborn with you. Swimming is a really good exercise to do when you’ve had a C-section as it’s low impact, provides an aerobic workout and is gentle on the joints and the stomach muscles, so you haven’t got to worry about pain around your scar tissue. It’s also relaxing and a great bonding activity to do with your child.
Hit the gym
When you’ve built your strength up, have fully recovered from your operation and have purchased some new workout gear, you can think about hitting the gym. Many gyms have crèches so you work out safe in the knowledge that your baby is being well cared for. When you first return to the gym, take it easy and remember you may not be as strong as you were pre-baby. You may need to work up to using powerful pieces of equipment and participating in effective programs, such as a unique power tower workout, which tones the abdomen and oblique muscles.
Exercising after a C-section doesn’t need to be a worry if you take your doctor’s advice and start off by taking it slow and easy.