Every woman after childbirth dreams to be shaped and toned again as soon as possible. And if you’ve had complications during pregnancy and it was necessary to undergo the operation, your body has experienced double stress. Bringing back your good shape after a Cesarean section is a matter that requires time, patience, caring attitude towards your health.
Your recovery after a C-section should be under medical supervision. Exercising and other recovering methods are selected depending on the severity of the operation. Here are some exercises and activities that will help you to get back in shape in a short period of time.
In 6 hours after the surgery, you can start doing the simplest exercises and massage the chest and abdomen. You can do them even without an instructor, lying in bed with your knees slightly bent:
- Make circular movements, caressing the abdomen in a clockwise direction, up and down along the rectus abdominis within 2-3 minutes;
- Caress the front and side surface of the chest from the bottom up to the armpit, the left side is massaged by your right hand and vice versa;
- Take a deep breath, put your hands on top of the chest to control breathing: 1-2 take a deep breath (your chest is rising) 3-4 exhale while the chest is slightly pressed with your hands;
- Deep abdominal breathing, holding the area of the joints with your palms, 1-2 take a breath, inflating the abdomen, 3-4 exhale, squeezing your stomach muscles as much as possible.
Even though you may experience pain, these exercises will not harm you, but vice versa – will help to restore blood circulation and speed up the processes of healing.
Repeat these exercises 2-3 times a day.
Give Yourself Some Time
C-section is abdominal surgery and your body needs time to heal. You’ll have to wait patiently until the moment you can actually proceed to active exercising. In about two weeks after giving birth by Cesarean section, you can do the following exercise. Exercising in the first weeks after the surgery consists of several basic movements that tone your muscles up.
Take a comfortable position, sitting or lying. You can put a pillow underneath your back. You do not need to do any sharp movements, do everything slowly and listen to your body.
- Bend and unbend your feet.
- Rotate your feet to the left and to the right.
- Tighten your buttock muscles and release.
- Alternately bend and straighten your legs: one, then another.
Do 10 reps of each exercise.
Exercises to Strengthen the Pelvis
Exercises after a cesarean section can tone up your weak muscles and burn fat.
Such exercises will strengthen the pelvic muscles and improve flexibility.
- Alternately tense – relax the muscles of the uterus and anus, starting with one or two seconds, gradually increasing the duration.
- Now try to do the exercise only on the vaginal muscles gradually increasing the resistance. You should feel how the muscles lift up to the pelvic cavity.
Such exercises are suitable for almost all women who underwent a cesarean section. Perform them for two months. Take your time, take care of your health. Then ask your doctor about the increase of the load.
Abdominal exercises after a cesarean section
In a month, considering your health, it is possible to perform the first gentle abs exercises.
Remember that intense training is strictly contraindicated, exercise in a controlled, slow manner, 10-20 minutes a day.
To work out this group of muscles, take the following position – lie down, bend your knees, rest your feet on the floor. You can put a pillow under your head.
- Keep your knees slightly apart, holding your stomach with your hands crosswise. When you breathe out, lift your head, shoulders, hands and squeeze the sides, as if you try to bring them together. Hold this position for some time, breath in and release.
- Take a deep breath in order to fill your stomach with air. You should feel how it becomes rounded. When you breathe out, hold your stomach muscles in, with your back pressed.
- Put hands on your stomach. Take a deep breath, exhale and slowly lift your head. Then take a breath again and lower the head. Every day lift your head a little higher. A few days later, add the shoulders, and in a few weeks – lift the entire body to a sitting position.
- Alternately, lift the bent knees to your chest, pause for a while, then lower.
- First, lift one leg to the chest and straighten it as you can, the second leg at this time is bent at the knee. Hold for a while, come back to the starting position and repeat the movement with the other leg.
Perform these exercises every day, but make sure that you listen to your body. If you feel some discomfort, consult a specialist.
When is the Time to go Back to Intensive Exercises?
Generally, it takes up to 3 months after the C-section for your body to fully restore. However, it is better to consult your doctor and if the scar on the uterus has healed well and you don’t feel any discomfort – you may start exercising with a lower intensity, increasing the loading month by month.
The best ways to get into shape after the C-section and obtain a flat belly are:
- Bicycle crunch. Lying on the back, imitate cycling with your legs;
- Kegel exercises will help to strengthen your pelvic muscles and tone your uterus.
If you perform these exercises regularly, you will reach perfect results, even if you had to go through a cesarean section.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.