If you’ve had a cesarean section (c-section), then you’ve had major surgery. While you’re recovering over the next six weeks, you’re also in charge of a newborn. That’s a lot to take on all at once, so give yourself a break!
Once you’re fully recovered and have the “all clear” from your obstetrician, you can start to slowly add light exercise into your daily routine. You don’t want to push it too hard too fast because you could end up with bigger concerns than getting your flat stomach back.
So what exercises are safe after a c-section? Here are five we recommend:
- Breathing. Don’t underestimate how much deep breathing can do. It not only helps to calm you down (because stress alone can wreak havoc on your body), but it also pulls those abdominal muscles in and encourages healing.
- Walking. Walking starts to get you moving without too much strain on your body. Start by pushing your new baby around your neighborhood and see if your body can handle that before trying more.
- Kegel and pelvic floor exercises. Even though you may not have had a vaginal birth, it’s still important to strengthen these muscles.
- Bridge exercise. The bridge (sometimes called the glute bridge) is a good tummy-flattening exercise that doesn’t do damage to your c-section area. To see how to do this exercise correctly, check out this Youtube video.
- Side planks. Front planks are on the no-no list, but side planks or modified side planks are good for bringing strength back to your core.
Many women don’t know what to expect after a cesarean, so you’re not alone if you’re feeling overwhelmed or discouraged. It takes a lot of patience and time to feel “normal” again, so just keep at it and you will begin to see improvements.