Exercises After a C-Section

A C-section can affect the tautness of your abdominal muscles. This may result in your stomach taking on a pouch-like appearance. If you were very active prior to having your baby, you may want to begin exercising right away following birth. However, it is important to keep in mind that a C-section is surgery and that you need to give your body the proper time to heal. According to BabyCenter.com, most women can begin exercising six to eight weeks following a C-section. However, you should always check with your physician prior to beginning an exercise program to ensure you are physically ready for the challenge.

Walking

Walking is an ideal form of exercise following a C-section because it is a low-impact exercise that requires very little twisting, which could aggravate a surgical incision. Because it’s important to combine a routine of toning exercises with cardiovascular ones in order to regain muscle tone following surgery, walking can serve as an excellent cardiovascular activity. Take care not to walk too briskly at first; maintain a slow, steady pace and work your way up. You can also walk while pushing your baby in a stroller.

Swimming

Swimming is a low-impact exercise that’s ideal after your stitches have fully healed following a C-section. You may wish to apply a waterproof bandage over your incision in order to protect it from water damage. Because the water supports your body weight, taking the pressure off your abdomen, this can help minimize impact. Swimming strokes such as freestyle and back stroke require the least twisting on your body, and may be a good place to start.

Modified Crunches

If you are still hoping to build strength in your abdominal muscles, yet don’t yet have the muscle power to complete a full abdominal crunch, try a modified crunch. While on your back with your feet on the ground and your hands behind your head, lift your head and shoulder blades off the floor–but do not go any farther. Make sure you keep your pelvis tucked in, which will help to improve your muscle building. Repeat eight to 12 times with only one set the first time, then gradually add sets, working up to three sets total.

About this Author

Rachel Nelson is currently a managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. A writer for more than six years, she has written for the Associated Press and “Charleston,” “Chatter” and “Reach” magazines. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in public administration from the University of Tennessee.