For most mothers having just experienced a cesarean delivery the very thought of doing any form of activity will send cold shivers down their spine.
However, exercise after c section or at least becoming active after the operation is one of the most important components of the whole recovery process. Hospital staff will often encourage you to start moving around your room as soon as physically possible.
A c section is a serious operation which will leave you feeling tired and in some pain for many weeks. Initially the thought of just getting out of bed will fill you with dread.
At this time you may not be considering any form of exercise after c section. However it is vital to become active as soon as possible as this will help to aid circulation and so reduce your recovery times.
After you have managed to get out of bed the first time following the operation you will find it does get easier. Usually you can expect to stay in hospital for about three days after the operation and full c section recovery may take up to six months.
Simple exercises such as ankle circles and calf stretches done whilst still in bed can improve circulation to your lower body which may help to prevent the formation of potentially serious blood clots.
Any twisting and turning movements should be avoided completely to begin with and this type of action may cause discomfort for up to six weeks after the operation. Don't lift heavy objects during this time and even after this you should be very cautious in the things you do attempt to do.
You should start practicing specific postpartum pelvic tilting and pelvic floor strengthening exercises the day after your operation as these do not involve any flexing or extension of the lower back or stomach.
Move around slowly. Regularly walking (every hour) around the house will promote healing, prevent constipation and the build up of blood clots.
Over the following weeks you should attempt to increase your activity levels, but don't be impatient. Allow time for your c section recovery it needs to be a slow and gradual process.
Jago Holmes is a registered personal trainer and director of New Image Fitness Ltd. He is a qualified personal trainer with over 10 years experience working with new mums and pregnant women. He has created a website for new mothers, devoted entirely to safe and effective weight loss after pregnancy -
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