I had an unplanned c-section 3 months ago and would like to start getting fit.
However... I've only lost weight by cutting calories drastically, and jogging on the elliptical machine. I'm bfing, so I"m afraid to cut calories, and doing a few flight of stairs hurt my incision so badly I was in pain for the next few days.
If you had a c-section, how did you start off? Any advice?
I'd suggest reposting in birth and beyond, I only came here because the title made it onto the main page.
I have a book called "The Essential C-Section Guide", which has a good section on exercising.
I think I overdid it, was doing pilates reformer class just before 6 weeks pp, dance class 6 weeks and a day pp, and a crazy intense exercise class 10 wks pp.
It hurt, too much, so I stopped.
I would definitely recommend doing gentle abdominal exercises to strengthen up that area before you start anything with impact.
At 7.5mths pp I'm finally exercising again, this time I'm doing sessions on a recumbant bike - no abdominal strain yeah!
The pilates class would have been ok, with slight adjustments, it was everything that was too much, so you could try pilates and be sure to tell the instructor you just had a c-section.
My c-section was in April a couple years ago. I started doing a lot of walking about 6 weeks afterwards. I started lifting weights again in October, so like 6-7 months afterwards. And started running in January, so 9 months (tried a few times sooner than that, but it was affecting my milk). I never had any c-section related trouble with any of that. I don't think I would have been ready any sooner than 6 months though, for much more than walking, maybe swimming. It seemed to work out well for me doing it that way. As far as weight goes, I lost all my pregnancy weight (45 + lbs) between 3-6 months with a very high calorie, but healthy diet and just walking. I wouldn't cut calories while nursing, but I know everyone's bodies work differently.
I mostly walked a lot, and walked carrying the baby in a sling/carrier, plus carrying the diaper bag. I'd walk to the mall, walk around the mall, walk home, etc. Sometimes I'd take the stroller and walk a mile to the grocery store and a mile back. We had no car for a good chunk of the first year of DD's life. I never tried to control calories, but I was vegetarian at the time as far as diet goes. DD sucked all my postpartum weight right out of me and then some--I was 165 just prior to conception, and by the time she was 18 mo., I was down to 135. Then she started eating a significant amount of solids, my cycle came back, and I put it all back on again in a relatively short amount of time!
My grand plan with the next baby is to start watching how much I eat after baby starts on solids. A LLL leader friend said often a baby's milk is only taking about 500 calories--like half a pbj sandwich and a glass of milk, so it's not an excuse to eat 3000 calories a day or whatever. I'd say watching portion sizes is reasonable, as long as you don't go with a diet that really skimps on a particular nutrient (i.e., strict lowfat or low-carb might be iffy, esp. low-fat). This is based on what I did that I wish I'd done differently.
Keep in mind also that some women just hold on to fat like mad while bf'ing.
I'd talk to your doctor about exercise--it's long enough after surgery that climbing stairs probably shouldn't hurt, but my memory of that period is a bit fuzzy.
I'm about 3.5 months post-section and I concur that your incision shouldn't still be causing you pain. Talk to your doctor, and hold off on exercise until it feels better.
Coming for the December 2009 ddc to say I had a c-section 4 weeks ago and have been exercising daily. I avoid and exercises that could make my rectis split worse (lowering legs, etc), but I do core training like planks.
I ran and did Turbo Jam until I delivered so I'm back at that.
My doctor gave me the all clear and I began doing cardio a few days after having the baby, starting out easy and building up.
I'm ebf and eating 2600 calories a day. This is my second c in a row.
The good news is I'm enjoying exercise. The bad news? I can't get my tummy back. I wish I could shrink my mid section! arrggg!!
When I had mine, I started walking as soon as it felt comfortable (around 3 or 4 weeks) and then increasing my walks over time. Once I hit the 6 week mark I started doing some gentle ab exercises too. I started running again at 8 weeks, and just built up slowly. If something hurt or felt off, then I shortened the run or walk or just took it easy for a few days.
I never noticed any differences in my supply. I lost some weight, but my goal in exercising wasn't to lose weight, just to be active. DD had a lovely habit of waking up to nurse the minute we got home from a run, so she clearly thought the milk tasted just fine, no matter how long the run. (I ran a marathon when she was 20 months and she nursed immediately afterward, same as usual.
My tummy has never been the same, but I think that's what happens when women in my family have children, regardless of the method.
Also, I wouldn't worry about losing weight right now if it means you have to drastically cut calories. Just exercise and watch your supply, and worry about weight loss later.
Thanks for the advice mama's! I called the doctor-- the nurse said the pain was normal. It's gone now. I"m back to work and finally feel up to maybe taking a walk every day. Now just to find the time! I think today would be a good day to try, so I'll have the weekend to recover.
I also think being in better shape would help my recovery.
you might have adhesions, they can hurt.
I am amazed that some of you were exercising so soon after the surgery. at 4 weeks pp I could still barely get out of bed in the morning. I didn't really have an exercise routine before but the recovery was pretty bad I guess (I didn't think it was at the time because I expected to be in pain).
I'm 4 months out and need to start toning exercises. I'm 15lb below my prepg weight but flabby
texaspeach, what's an adhesion? I took my mom's dog out for a walk and was in pain about 3 minutes in (he's yippy but pulls alot on his leash). I can still feel it this morning (slightly).
After both of my c-sections I have resumed working out regularly at around 8 months post partum. My last c/s was the end of April this past year and I had made several attempts to work out. Seems like every month I would start out and after about 2 days I would be in crippling pain. Not necessarily related to my c/s incision but just all over body pain. So much that I just quit and waited another few weeks to try again. My ds2 is now 8.75 months and I have been working out successfully for 3 weeks. No pain beyond regular soreness. (not sure if its related but I am now able to enjoy sex with my husband too) I guess 8 months is that magical time for me when my body goes back to normal.
Go easy on yourself and goodluck!
basically an adhesion is scar tissue that is stuck to stuff. as you heal you can form bands of scar tissue that attach your organs to each other/the abdominal wall. when you do things that pull on the scar tissue it hurts.
I honestly didn't do much until about a month ago (so 11 months post-c-section). Not because I couldn't...I just didn't have time. Now I do yoga, tang soo do (Korean martial arts), weights, treadmill, and spinning...sometimes zumba too. The only thing I won't do is weight training that focuses on abs...I still have that muscle separation thing and weight training makes it worse for me.