16 answers

Exercise After C-section

Me again-I just had a c-section 15 days ago. I was told not to exercise for 6 weeks. But I can't bare it! I'm not feeling pain anymore, except on a few weird twists getting out of bed. I feel paranoid to do any sort of abs workout, but yet feel like I could....

Did anyone start exercising soon after c-section? How soon? And what was the max you were able to do, or in what way did you overdo it? I have 30 pounds to lose and of course a big soft middle. I want to do as much as I can...this isn't cute! I was able to exercise immediately after vaginal births (crunches and so on, not jogging). All advice welcome! My diet is in check, I'm just curious about safe abs work outs after c-section.
Thanks!

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So What Happened?™

WOW! I don't even know what I was thinking! Not only am I going to wait longer to exercise, but I'm going to do less than I'm doing now-someone nailed it on the head-hauling laundry up and down the stairs...I've also been lifting my 40 pound toddler because it's been so long since I could...and yes, I'll be kicking both kids off my lap for a while too-nicely of course. Thank you so much for the shared experiences and the REALITY CHECK!!!! I really probably would have hurt myself if not for all the great advice. THANKS SO MUCH.

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Ok,, Again I never had one but I say NO unless the doctor OKs it. My friend had nasty staph (sp?) infections that kept coming back. If you get one its going to put out of commission longer.

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I started walking the neighborhood pretty soon after my C-section and that was fine. But ab work - no way. Your muscles have to heal from being cut before you can strengthen them.

I also know someone who ruptured her uterine wall by doing too much after a C-section, had to have repair surgery that put her out of commission for much much longer than if she had taken it easy for the original 6 weeks. Please don't risk it - it CAN happen.

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I was told not to do any additional weight lifting other than the baby. That being said, you can try laying on your back in a crunch position and lift your little 1 up & down. You can also try using a baby bjorn/snuggly to carry the baby and go for a light walk. I was told that I couldn't push my daughter in the stroller as that was more weight than just her. If you notice that your more tired, you actually start bleeding again (or it's heavier if it hasn't stopped yet) - you're over doing it. Another option, if you have stairs where you live, is to not be efficient (hard for moms). Don't try to carry the laundry up & down in 1 basket. Take 1/2 the load (or 1/4) and then go back up for the rest. This gets extra steps into your day with little effort AND you don't need to really worry about the kids (I actually have my 2 1/2 son help).

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You had a baby 15 days ago. Of course you have weight to lose and jiggly abs. That is normal. You also had major abdominal surgery, gave birth to a baby and (I assume) are breastfeeding. That if plenty of exercise for your body. Breastfeeding alone burns 400-600 calories a day. So give your body a rest. At your 6 week check up the doctor will look at your incision and decide about exercise. Of course you can take short walks, etc now, but any kind of ab work would be foolish in the extreme and useless. Your uterus won't be shrunk back to its normal size until 6 weeks if you aren't breastfeeding (4 or so if you are). Give yourself a break. If losing the baby weight is important to you, you will make it happen, but it took you 40 weeks to put it on, and most people say it takes 40 weeks to take it back off.

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You need to listen to the doctor and wait 6 weeks for your body to heal. I had a c-section too and my mom was here every day to help me with my son while I recovered. I'm a clean freak and I was going nuts because I wanted to vacuum. My mom had a c-section too so she wouldn't let me do anything because she knew it was important that I not tear anything while my body healed. She vacuumed and cleaned my house for me... was hard watching someone else do my 'chores'. Just because you don't have anymore pain, doesn't mean your body is healed up yet. I think walking is acceptable. Talk to your doctor. You have the rest of your life to exercise, you have 4 more weeks to wait (it's not that long). If you push it too early, you may do some damage and you'll be laid up even longer.

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Hi A., I too had a c-section and couldn't stand the feeling of the jiggly mid-section plus knowing I had 40 pounds to lose. First of all- and I know this is very hard to hear- do NOT worry about the numbers. You lose A LOT of weight in the first month, which will fly by. Between the weight of the baby, amniotic fluid and water weight, a ton will drop off very quickly. As far as exercise goes, get walking- slowly. Start by strolling around your block or apt complex a couple times a day- short loops- with your partner, friend and/or baby. Then build up to taking 20-30 minute walks daily. By 4 weeks you should be able to do this. The most important thing is to not overdo it. Remember not only did you have major abdominal surgery you also gave birth to a baby!! So take it easy and good luck!

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Ok,, Again I never had one but I say NO unless the doctor OKs it. My friend had nasty staph (sp?) infections that kept coming back. If you get one its going to put out of commission longer.

1 mom found this helpful

A c-Section is major abdominal surgery. There is a reason why activity is limited as much as it is post C-section. You can do some light walking, but don't push yourself too hard. I would absolutely NOT do any abdominal exercises until cleared by your doctor (probably around 6 weeks). Even though you are feeling better your body is still healing and it takes a long time. Please try to take it easy!

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A.- I agree with the walking. You can walk as much as you want I think. I would not do any ab workouts at all until you have your 6 week appointment! It is summer and finally not raining in the northeast! Get that stroller out and walk! Great for the baby sleeping as well!
Congrats on the new little one!
S.

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Please be careful. I had a c-section with my second because she REFUSED to turn around - she was breech. I felt okay after about 2 weeks, so I started doing my regular routines. A doctor's appointment a year later uncovered a hernia at the site of my c-section. His best guess was that I overdid it too soon after her birth. Now I had to have another surgery to repair the hernia & now I can't lift more than 15 pounds for a total of 6 weeks. A friend of mine also had a bleeding problem 5 weeks after birth. I am not trying to scare you, I just wanted to let you know some personal experiences. So please be careful. Best wishes

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The muscles are still re-adhering (since you had an emergency C they probably cut across instead of separating, but it would be true either way), so if you try to exercise them now, you will only delay them healing. It's like trying to exercise a torn muscle--you wouldn't do that, right? The weight will come off, but you're going to have to give yourself a little slack with the tummy, it hangs around longer after a c-section because of the damage to the muscle.

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I've had 3 c-sections and even without doing abdominal exercises right away had complications with my recoveries. And I'm one who is out of bed walking the halls in the hospital as soon as they let me. Even if you feel OK and your external incision is healing well, it's hard to tell what's going on with the uterine incision, muscles, and other tissues inside. Worse case you could rupture the uterine incision and it could be very serious. Just take care of your baby and yourself and don't worry about the belly till you get the doc's OK.

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First, CONGRATS on your bundle of joy!!!! I have had 3 c sections (#4 on the way in October) and I can't imagine doing any ab exercises 15 days after a section. I agree with most others, you need to let your body heal after major surgery. You may "feel" well, but your body is still healing and you don't want to interrupt the healing process or you may be back in the hospital in a much worse situation! So, take it easy and slowly until you see your doc to make sure all is well and you can get back to your "normal" routines. Good luck and Congrats!!!

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Hi, A.!
Congrats! I would trust your doctor on this one. Your body needs time to heal. In the meantime, you are safe to walk every day, make sure to do your Kegels, and just practice laying on your back and drawing your belly button in toward your spine. Give yourself a little break -- enjoy your little one. You'll be back to exercise soon enough!

Best,
T.
www.onefitmama.com

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Hi,
I had two sections and the thing about your abs afterwards this that you don't have any! They cut through all the muscles and it takes awhile to heal beyond just not feeling pain. I don't recall how long I waited before going back to the gym, but when I did and I tried to do reverse crunches...I literally couldn't...I had no muscle...I couldn't lift my legs up at all! It was awful. It just took time of course, but my point is...don't expect to be able to jump right back in and I would wait a little while longer if I were you. You don't want to tear any scar tissue or any unhealed tissue inside that you can't see. I have been blessed with a flat stomach, but I still have a small soft pooch right above my incision that will never go away. It isn't bad at all, but it is there.
Just go slow and be careful....staying healthy for your kids is more important than getting back into a bikini body by the end of the summer (:
Also, if you are breast feeding, the weight will start to melt off, it is great!
Good luck.

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I would say trust your paranoia and follow doctors orders. You just had major surgery following 9 months of body changes. It is great that you are feeling well, but your body is still healing. Your incisions need time to heal. Too much exertion could tear them open. Denise's idea of walking sounds like a good way to ease back into exercising. Congratulations, by the way. :)

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No C-section advice here...just wanted to say CONGRATS on your new bundle! Enjoy her.
p.s. I think it would be safe enough to begin with some walking....?

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