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How soon can you exercise after a C-section?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Ok. I ended up with an unexpected C-section with this last pregnancy. My dd's were natural, but my little baby boy just didn't want to come out and, eventually, I ended up with a C-Section. I know that the the recovery process is longer and I can't wait to start working out. It's been 2 weeks now and I know it is kind of soon to do strenuous activity, but are there any exercises I can start doing now? Yoga? Pilates? I need to shed about 25 more pounds. Any thoughts and comments are welcome. Thanks!

Libby
post #2 of 15
I would do light walking - maybe. I wouldn't do any exercise that pulls and tugs at your incision. My incision with my first DD came open at about 2 weeks just from me bending to get a blanket I had dropped in the floor. I never started exercising again until my doc cleared me at 8 weeks out. A c-section is a major abdominal surgery as you know. So, my best advice is to get yourself good and healed before really focusing on exercise. Focus more on your diet right now, and making sure that that is a healthy one and add on exercise later. I wish you speedy healing.
post #3 of 15
I had a c/s too. No exercising except for light walking for 6-8 weeks postpartum. NO lifting of anything other than the baby during that time. After 6-8 wks pp, start REALLY slowly. You just had a lot of your abs cut through, and that takes time to properly heal. My abs were shot after my c/s. Babywearing actually built them back up, since your lo will constantly be gaining a little bit of weight, so you're adding just enough to keep challenging you.

I wouldn't worry about moderate cardio after 6-8wks pp, but things that REALLY use your core, like pilates, etc, give it a bit more time. Work up to it GRADUALLY. Like eastkygal said, you've just had MAJOR surgery, and your body needs to heal from that AND being pregnant.

Ami
post #4 of 15
I would aboslutely say no on pilates or yoga at this point. I took a pilates & yoga class when my daughter was 2, and part of it made my incision hurt.

I started going for short walks about a week and a half after my c-section. I went slow, and had somoene else take over pushing the stroller whenever I felt I needed a break.
post #5 of 15
Definitely take your time and allow yourself to heal. Just doing your normal mom activities will keep you plenty active for now. I was back to most of my normal activities a week after my 2nd second section, but took it really slow. Even though I was feeling good, I had to remember not to over do it and end up with a serious injury. I wore my newborn all the time and that added a little extra oomph to my normal day (plus I did carry my older child more than I should have but he wasn't walking when the new baby came)

I guess I would use babywearing as your "exercise" and wait for the doctor to clear you for more (6 or 8 weeks post patrum).
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelcat View Post
I would aboslutely say no on pilates or yoga at this point. I took a pilates & yoga class when my daughter was 2, and part of it made my incision hurt.
That happened to me this week! My daughter is almost 2 and I have been doing a lot of yoga lately. My incision was really sore, so strange...
post #7 of 15
I almost cried reading this ... 2 years after and still feeling it? I'd like to be pushing out another one in less than 2 years! I guess I should have expected that, but still. I have the same question as OP. I'm not ready to do any major exercise or stretching (it's been 18 days), but I was wondering just how hard I can push myself, and realistically how long I have to wait. I'm finding all the limitations quite frustrating, as I'm sure is the norm.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg08 View Post
I almost cried reading this ... 2 years after and still feeling it? I'd like to be pushing out another one in less than 2 years! I guess I should have expected that, but still. I have the same question as OP. I'm not ready to do any major exercise or stretching (it's been 18 days), but I was wondering just how hard I can push myself, and realistically how long I have to wait. I'm finding all the limitations quite frustrating, as I'm sure is the norm.
Well, yoga really stretches things down there so I am sure my not-used-much muscles are the big reason I was feeling it. That was the first time since my initial recovery that I had any pain down there.

I got pregnant 4 months after my first c-section. I had some minor pain in my incision area as the new baby got bigger, but nothing too serious.

I think it is important to be up and moving after a c-section, just have to watch how much stress you are putting on your abdomen. Just listen to what your body is telling you. If you are feeling particularly sore, it is best to rest. It is better to take it easy from the beginning, your recovery will be shorter overall if you don't do too much too fast.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg08 View Post
I almost cried reading this ... 2 years after and still feeling it? I'd like to be pushing out another one in less than 2 years! I guess I should have expected that, but still. I have the same question as OP. I'm not ready to do any major exercise or stretching (it's been 18 days), but I was wondering just how hard I can push myself, and realistically how long I have to wait. I'm finding all the limitations quite frustrating, as I'm sure is the norm.
I don't have pain there on a daily basis or anything. Just some stretches will do it.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg08 View Post
I almost cried reading this ... 2 years after and still feeling it? I'd like to be pushing out another one in less than 2 years! I guess I should have expected that, but still. I have the same question as OP. I'm not ready to do any major exercise or stretching (it's been 18 days), but I was wondering just how hard I can push myself, and realistically how long I have to wait. I'm finding all the limitations quite frustrating, as I'm sure is the norm.
Just an fyi, most doctors & midwives want you to wait 2 yrs between birth to next conception for the best chances to VBAC. I know around here there's no midwife who would take me unless I had 2 yrs in between. As for the docs, repeat c/s it is.:

Ami
post #11 of 15
I would suggest 6-8 weeks before you do anything besides walking (and start slowly with that even).
post #12 of 15
We have started with family walks around the block. I can't stay in the house any longer! But I think the healing is going well, and I'm being careful not to lift anything heavy. Thanks for all the comments. As for the VBAC ... every time an OB came to visit me in the hospital, I asked about their policy on VBACs. They all said 18-24 months. For the midwives, it's recommended to wait at least 18-24 months (between births), but I know of a few who have done them earlier. I didn't ask if they were home births though. With a VBAC, I think I'd be more comfortable in a hospital (just in case), but after my last experience, I might want to avoid the hospital (had the c/s only because babe was breech - no other health indicators at all, labor had progressed to pushing, but they wouldn't let me push). There's no way I will do anything to hinder my chance at a vaginal birth next time. The only way I'd have another c/s is if they took me kicking and screaming! I also wouldn't choose to be with an OB, and will try hard to avoid that too.
post #13 of 15
I'm LOL about the "no lifting anything heavier than baby" thing--I'm only 4 weeks post c-section, and I've been lifting my 26 pound toddler since week 1...nobody sent me a free nanny with the c-section so I have to lift her if I want her cared for. : (I've also lifted my 36 lb 5 year old when he fell asleep in the living room the other day). So yeah, I didn't get to follow that one very well. But I was also off pain meds and walking up/down stairs freqently at 5 days post c-section. I actually recovered a lot faster than with my two very traumatic vaginal births.

There is a book by Chrissie Gallagher-Mundy called "Cesarean Recovery"--I love that book because it has exercises you can start from a couple hours post-c-section and she includes more exercises for each week post-surgery to help speed recovery. They are incredibly gentle exercises and help with stretching and general recovery.
post #14 of 15
I was cleared for the gym at 12 weeks. Before that I had started some walking/childcare related stuff at 6ish weeks I think. I was active much earlier with my second c-section since I had a 2 year old to keep up with. But really, go slow.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info and for the book recommendation! I will definitely look into it. I was very active prior to the pregnancy and during the pregnancy, so I'm just anxious to start shedding some of this flabby skin! But, I know I need to take it easy. I feel like I am getting some exercise just lugging the baby in the baby-carrier in and out of the car. With two older ones that need to get places, I don't have the luxury of relaxing at home. Oh well. I've also been doing some very light stretches (nothing with the abdomen) and some isometric exercises. I feel like it is helping me to recover, actually, since they are very gentle. In any case, thanks for the info!

Libby
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