Can I do exercises after a Caesarean? Expert physio advice from Amanda Savage

Can I do exercises after a Caesarean?

Free safe exercise booklet & video

Many women are worried about doing any exercises after a Caesarean section and find themselves becoming very stiff, hunched over and uncomfortable.

Physiotherapists promote MOVEMENT as soon as possible after a Caesarean to help your circulation, stretch out your abdominal wall, regain your posture, engage your pelvic floor and support your back. There is an excellent booklet, “Fit for the Future”, published by the POGP, my professional physiotherapy network, full of clear guidance and advice for the early days after your birth, with a special section for after Caesarean.  You can download a free pdf of “Fit for the Future” here.

I have made a video with online platform Pactster of safe and effective exercises after a caesarean Section 

These exercises are  for the first stage of your post-op recovery, from coming home after Caesarean section to 6 weeks.  You can follow me through a sequence of  gentle but effective Pilates movements which actually mimic all the things  you are already doing, walking around, climbing stairs, stretching – but with cues to show you how to use your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor to support you and help you feel more comfortable.

BEFORE you Follow THE VIDEO  >>>>>>   Sensible   CHECK!

A caesarean section is a surgical procedure and the post-op period needs to be approached with sensible caution. Before you start the video take a moment to ask yourself the following 3 questions:

  1. Why did you need a Caesarean section?
  2. Was the Caesarean operation straightforward, and have you had any post-op complications?
  3. Do you have any other medical issues?

30% of women deliver routinely by Caesarean section, for many reasons such as breech presentation, prolonged second stage or foetal distress.  But if you needed a Caesarean section for an unusually complicated reason and/or you could write a small essay in answer to No’s 2 or 3 then you are better served by a 1:1 personal assessment of your situation and needs, rather than an online video.  Do see the page about how to find a local women’s health physiotherapist.

HAPPY ALL WELL, THEN LET’s CoNTINUE…

Though you will feel fragile and sore initially, you will still soon be moving around comfortably, enjoying the magic of looking after your newborn(s).  If after pondering these questions, you feel that you are  progressing as well as expected after C-section, then remember that MOVEMENT is good for you and will help you feel more flexible, stronger and in tune with your body.

  • Take a little time each day to focus on some proper exercise for you.
  • Do read the special guidance in “Fit for the Future” (download the free booklet here)
  • Wait to start the “Caesarean to 6 week” sequence until you return home from hospital as the midwives will have checked that your wound is ready for you to move about freely.  

At any time If you have any concerns at all about your caesarean scar oozing or bleeding, or feeling anything but mildly sore as you exercise or after, then it is very important that you stop straight away and ask your GP or midwife for advice before you continue.

Women recover at different rates from a caesarean section.  It is ok to just try 2 or 3 of the exercises at first and then each couple of days add another one until you feel you enjoy doing the whole sequence. 

Below is a trailer of the exercise session designed to be suitable for after a caesarean

It’s not your computer – the trailer is silent!  It gives a glimpse of the exercise session.

To watch the Caesarean to 6 week video in full click here to go to Pactster.com  Do Use my promotional code, “AmandaPostnatal” for free access to Pactster for a month.

How long should I follow this exercise programme?

When you are doing exercises after a Caesarean section you should feel that they leave you feeling more comfortable and energised, not at all sore.  Any worries at all do speak to your GP or midwife or contact your local women’s health physiotherapy department.

These exercises can complement regular walking (gradually building your distance each few days) and slowly picking up more domestic tasks (stall as long as you can on the hoovering!).

Though you will be feeling much more active after even 2-3 weeks post-op remember that time is needed for the internal stitches to fully heal and be robust enough to cope with more vigorous exercises.  Don’t try to progress beyond these or similar level exercises until your 6 week check-up.

Please do let me know  if you have found this video sequence helpful and how you find exercising using the Pactster.com website?   – your feedback is really valued.

 

 

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