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Exercises for C Section Recovery

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 4/21/2009

C Section Recovery can be a long and painful process, but it doesn’t have to be. Incorporating light exercise into your daily routine following C Section surgery will make your recovery faster and easier.

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    Getting Out of Bed After a C Section

    C Section recovery can be a long and sometimes painful process, so much so that many new moms dread getting out of bed after their surgery.

    However, it’s important to start moving as soon as you are able following your C Section. Exercise will speed up C Section recovery time, and taking baby steps towards getting becoming physically active again will make you feel better faster.

    Most women can expect to spend three days in the hospital following a C Section. You can start exercising during this hospital stay and should plan to include exercise in your routine once you return home.

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    Exercises For C Section Recovery

    It is important to get some mild exercise soon after your surgery to aid in C Section recovery. Exercise is vital because it will increase circulation, helping you heal faster.

    Your doctor may recommend that you start doing postpartum pelvic tilts and Kegels as soon as the day after your surgery.

    A Kegel is an exercise that strengthens the pelvic wall, the muscles that help you control urine. Urinary incontinence is common following a C Section, and doing Kegels can help alleviate the problem.

    Pelvic tilts (also called pelvic rocking) are a gentle movement that strengthens the lower back and lower abdominals. As part of your C Section recovery, pelvic tilts can ease lower back pain and tighten the muscles in your abdomen which stretched out during pregnancy.

    Even before you are ready to get out of bed, you can start exercising with ankle rolls and calf stretches immediately after delivery. These exercises can be done while you lie on your back in bed. While they may seem to have no affect on you, they will help ward off dangerous blood clots that can develop when you remain sedentary in bed.

    When you return home, try to make a habit of walking slowly around the house each hour. The more you walk around, the easier it will get. Besides aiding in circulation and warding off blood clots, your walks will also help ease constipation.

    Consult your doctor to devise the best plan for exercise during C Section recovery. As a general rule, physicians recommend reintroducing activity gradually after your C Section.

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    Exercises to Avoid During C Section Recovery

    While light activity such as walking is recommended for C Section recovery, there are several types of movements that should be avoided.

    Avoid any twisting and turning movements as these will cause discomfort for several weeks after surgery.

    It’s also important to avoid lifting heavy objects. If you are tempted to use your free weights for exercise, do not. Remember that a C Section is serious surgery that can require up to six months for full recovery. Give your body the healing rest it needs by saving the weights for later. Even after you’ve gotten the “all clear" from your doctor, be careful when lifting.