What is the best way to recover from a c-section?

Jade - posted on 08/04/2009 ( 36 moms have responded )

56

58

2

I want my stomach muscles back! I'm an athlete and I feel week and I want some advice on what I can do to get my muscles back because sit-ups are almost impossible. Is there any mom's out there that has had a c-section that could give me some advice on how to get back in shape?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Tami - posted on 12/13/2012

1

0

0

I am so upset since the outcome of my weight especially around my stomach since my last c-section.. I had my 4th child, 3 by way of c-section in 8/2011... I have always been a small person and gained a lot of weight during pregnancy with big babies, but always had the weight just melt away over time after I had the baby.. Never needed exercise or a special diet to help.. As a matter of fact I used to complain because I wanted to hold onto some weight.. But this time I had my last baby at the age of 32 and it was my third c-section... My weight looked like it started to go down approx 2 weeks after I gave birth, but then I got the depo shot and gained some... I currently am approx 40lbs higher than my normal weight with a big stomach that I can barely hold in... Had someone ask me a question at the store like I am pregnant... Had my baby over a year ago... Don't know what to do.. I am so upset.. Please help!!

Crystal - posted on 08/08/2009

1

20

0

Hi, I have had 2 c-sections. My daughters are 23 months apart. I had just figured out how to get my body back but then I got pregnant with my 2nd child. I do not like sit-ups. I found that just doing sit-ups made my stomach feel bigger because the muscle was growing but the fat on top was not going away. I am a stay at home mom and I tried going to the gym but my daughters did not like the childcare. So I tried almost every home workout. Taebo gave me the results I wanted. My waist shrank I was building muscle and burning tons of calories. 4 months after having my 2nd child I was back in my skinny jeans. I have 4 different Taebo workout programs that come with either hand weights, baton, or spree bands. The Firm is also a good workout program for building muscle but I noticed I would have to do extra cardio on my treadmill to get more of a lean look. What you eat is really important to. Anyway hope I was helpful.

Jasmine - posted on 08/14/2009

9

29

0

Doing sit ups is the worst thing you can do for getting your core strength back from a c-section. I am a certified as a perinatal instructor and a Master Trainer for Healthy Moms Fitness www.healthymomsfitness.com focus on stability exercises like getting on a ball, doing planks and on a BOSU if accessible. I've had a c-section and it has taken me 2 years to finally recover, but it still hurts to do lower ab work, you still have to a tad careful. If it hurts don't do it. It literally takes 2 years for the body to recover from a c-section (meaning the uterus), since that was not the case for you, it is still healing. You can also try yoga or pilates and get proper instruction on stability exercises.



Good Luck!

Jasmine, MPH, ACE-CPT

[deleted account]

The best way to get your abs back in shape is to work on your core first. Once your doctor clears you for abdominal exercise (usually about 6 weeks postpartum for a c-section), don't start immediately with sit-ups or crunches. The best ab work out I found for after my c-section was to go into a plank (push-up) position and hold it. Hold for 30 sec, relax, hold for 60 sec, relax, then hold for 90 sec. I know it doesn't sound like a long time to hold, but you'd be surprised how hard it is! And it really strengthens those core muscles. Once those start feeling stronger, you can move on to whatever ab workout you enjoy most. Hang in there, and I hope this helps! And congrats on your new baby!

Ruth - posted on 08/14/2009

7

11

0

I am also a workout fanatic and it drove me crazy how long it took to feel strong in my core again. I started back with sit ups as soon as my doctor said I could, and it was hard to wait. It is not worth it to start back till you have given yourself time to heal, you don't want to end up worse off than you started. Power yoga builds your core strength. really quick. If you are in shape you will get it back, it just takes time.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

36 Comments

View replies by

Kelley - posted on 08/14/2009

14

27

1

Since it has been a year, I strongly recommend the "Lose the Mummy Tummy" book. It will explain with you about what takes place to the muscles in your stomach. It is called distasis (sp) and can be severe, depending on your body. There is a way to repair it, but you need to edjucate yourself because certain stomach excercises CAN MAKE IT WORSE. Please pick up this book, strenthen those muscles in your core (this includes your back) and all my best to you!

Connie - posted on 08/14/2009

1

1

0

I have had 3 c-sections and have never been able to abdominal exersizes since the first one. I am surprised your doctor didnt tell you that..Your ab muscles will never be the same...Sorry

[deleted account]

you know your body better than anyone else.
do whatever you feel COMFORTABLE doing... if it hurts or your lose increases it means you have pushed yourself too much.
i was vaccuuming floors and mopping about 3 weeks later... started doing light walks at about 5 week mark.
most general house work activities will help to build up your muscels.

just remember that it takes 3 months for you to COMPLETELY heal from the surgery... it is MAJOR surgery after all. im 10 weeks post op and have JUST started to do push ups on my knees and sit ups again. i can do about 5 before i collaps in a heap and cant do any more... but it doesnt hurt which is the important thing.

just slowely slowely build back up to what you were doing before. give your body time to heal, but as i said before you know your body better than anyone else so just do what feels right for you.

good luck!

Jolanda - posted on 08/12/2009

1

2

0

Join Adventure Boot camp!!! Just go on to their website and you will get all the details there, I had a c-section 4 month ago and started the bootcamp on Monday it is fun and i can tell you now that this is definitley going to work, Hope to see you at the next camp

Stacey - posted on 08/10/2009

14

8

0

Its been 11 months since my Csection and I still cant do sit-ups....but I do feel like I am getting more core strength back.

Nika - posted on 08/08/2009

3

10

0

i agree, i wish i had this advice also, my stomach has never been the same!

Kewanna - posted on 08/08/2009

4

0

1

I had 2 C-sections and I did not endure pain like that. I began healing and was ok within 3 weeks. The only thing that I do regret is having one because that muscle is stretched and it is hard to get rid of that "pooch"

Alli - posted on 08/08/2009

3

15

0

Jade one of the best way to get back to shape is by breasfeeding. Trust me it helps. I gained 23kg during my pregnancy and shed back all those 23 kilos..infact lost additional 2 kilos and now weigh about 53kg...back to my weight before pregnancy. Plus it's very good for ur baby as breast milk has got the best nutrition compared to any formula milk. I fed mine till 8 months. Doing housework and looking after ur little one is the best form of natural exercise. all the best...

Alli - posted on 08/08/2009

3

15

0

Quoting Jade:

What is the best way to recover from a c-section?

I want my stomach muscles back! I'm an athlete and I feel week and I want some advice on what I can do to get my muscles back because sit-ups are almost impossible. Is there any mom's out there that has had a c-section that could give me some advice on how to get back in shape?


 

Sophie - posted on 08/08/2009

1

0

0

Pilates, Pilates, Pilates but you may have to wait a few months before you a mobile enough to give them a go. Not only do they strengthen and tone to make you look and feel good, they also help your back with all the extra carting around you will be doing with your baby.

Pamela - posted on 08/07/2009

14

15

0

I had 2 c-sections and wished i'd had more information on how to get those muscles to work again. I still find it hard to do sit ups after 4yrs. I will say if you just had the baby to take it easy. I've had friends who tried too soon and actually tore and got infection with stuff oozing out of the incision. My grandmother also said to wear girdles and hold stomach in and increase the cardio. The exercise ball also makes sit-ups easier. This post is actually motivating me to get going again and to lose the fear that I am going to hurt something after all this time.

Angela - posted on 08/07/2009

2

20

0

I had a c-section last year with no problems, but I hated my abs. I didn't think I would ever get my body back. Well, I'm in the best shape of my life now. I walked a lot in the hospital and did some light walking when I got home. Once I was cleared, I started going back to the gym. It took me about 2 months to be able to do sit ups without that "pulling" feeling, but now I'm as good as new. The Ab Coaster is an awesome way to get those lower abs back in shape.

Like everyone has said, you just had surgery and a baby, so take things slowly. Enjoy the "down time" because it doesn't last:)

Congrats on your baby and God bless!

Jamie - posted on 08/07/2009

6

15

1

Hi, I had a c-section and the best thing I did was just to walk around, slowly. I walked in the hospital lots and gradually I got stronger. It helped me, that and resting a lot.

Bunny - posted on 08/07/2009

4

6

0

Hello, all my babies are c-section. I have had 2 and had no problems with either. I do know you have to take it slow for the first month at least. Don't exercise, clean house a lot, and try not to lift the baby seat to much. I know that is a hard one. Just be lazy for the first month and you will be fine. If you over exercise you can start to bleed and the c-section which is not bad a lot of times, but you want to prevent that as much as possible. I had a little bleeding on mine, but I have trouble sitting still for a long time. Good luck, Bunny

M.j. - posted on 08/07/2009

6

10

0

JUst git up and move around... slowly...ive had three c-sec, and that is the best thing but take it slow just walking at first to change the baby and do dishes is plenty. I hope you are felling better after your revisit to the hospital.

Jessica - posted on 08/07/2009

9

14

2

I've had two c-sections and the thing that helped me out was my post-postpartum belt. It help give me the support that I needed since the muscles couldn't provide the support for me. I was also up and walking as soon as the anesthesia wore off in my legs. The best thing to do is use the hospital bed to help you sit up so you aren't using any of your stomach muscles and then you simply have to throw your legs over the side and stand. This advice came from my mom who has had several abdominal surgeries. The nurses never said a word about this kind of thing. I took my doctor's advice about not lifting anything heavier than the baby for the first six weeks but beyond that listened to my body and did what I felt comfortable with including stairs and never had any complications. I was in average physical condition before both my c-sections so it's not like I was an athlete or even exercised beyond the work I did. The main thing is listen to your body if it hurts to much take it slower. If it's a different kind of pain than you are used to then talk to your doctor. Every woman is different and how she recovers and how fast her body is able to recover.

Good luck and congrats on the arrival of your baby.

Andrea - posted on 08/07/2009

6

26

0

Hello! I had my first via c-sec 10 months ago. I was also frustrated as I love to be active and work out. But I have to agree w/everyone's advice, TAKE IT EASY for the first 6 weeks. Do the breathing excercises each day, eat well, and get lots of rest. I also did an excercise for post c/s recovery that I read about that seemed to help, starting at around 3 weeks post partum (will post below, think I found it on fitmom.com). I know it may not feel like it now, but you absolutely WILL get your shape back with good nutrition and excercise, especially if you were fit before. It just takes a little bit of time. Good luck!
*Lying on back w/legs bent, slowly slide one leg down until straight, exhaling. Take a deep breath, and then exhale, slowly sliding same leg back up to bent position. Alternate.

Virginia - posted on 08/07/2009

1

0

0

When did you have your baby? I also agree with Kristin, I was told the very same thing... and that was in 1979

Tiffany - posted on 08/05/2009

194

1

24

i had a c-sec with my son, and my doc did not cut the muscles for me. pulled them to the side. my tummy hurt for about 3 mos, and you will have a pulling feeling for about a year on the incision, BUT i am now at 18 mos out, and no problems at all. just move as much as possible, it really does help. even tho it suxs!!

Jade - posted on 08/05/2009

56

58

2

Thank you everyone! I'm gong to try some of the things that you have told me. I cant avoid stairs those, I live in an apartment complex and I have to walk two flights of stairs to get to my apartment.

Dona - posted on 08/05/2009

8

20

2

I don't know how long ago you had your baby but.... I've had 2 emergency c-sections and had complications from the second requiring a second surgery. Don't push yourself too fast. My doctor said, it takes nine months to stretch it out and nine months to go all the way back. You should see a big difference in 3 to 4 weeks just taking it easy as your body adjusts to the birth. After 6 weeks, you should get feeling back in your stomach and using the muscles shouldn't cause pain, if it does, go see the doctor right away. I didn't and had a blood clot twisted around a nerve, no fun and had to have surgery and the nerve has been removed and I'm paying for that, I have no feeling and the muscle tissue did not reconnect properly so I'll have a permanent weak spot no matter how flat the rest of my stomach gets. So, take it easy, lay flat, do the breathing exercises they told you at the hospital (mine did anyway). I saw other posts with the same exercise. Take it easy, avoid stairs at first until the muscles recover, you just had major surgery remember, you can't expect to be back up running around! Take the time to bond with your baby and if you are breast feeding, it helps speed up the recovery process, something to do with the hormones. I noticed it worked for me where my sister-in-law had a vaginal delivery and did not breastfeed and her recovery took longer than mine despite the c-section. Plus, you will definitely lose the baby weight faster with breastfeeding so if you can and want to, you really should, it benefits not only the baby, but you as well. BTW, I play competitive volleyball 3 to 5 times a week and was back at full swing after 9 weeks with the first, little longer with the second due to the second surgery. Good luck and be patient, miracles are worth the wait!

Ashley - posted on 08/04/2009

79

31

4

Take it easy when doing house work or going back to work as I'm doing after my second c-section. When I had my first c-section with my daughter I use to sit on the edge of my bed and rock with her back-n-forth and it tightened up those muscles really well. I had started feeling sore the next day from working those muscles. And now with my second c-section with my son I'm doing it alot more. Also try power walking around by your house a few times, but don't over do it, take a few breaks here and there.It worked for me maybe it'll work for you, I hope my advise helps.

Angela - posted on 08/04/2009

17

17

0

hy well ive had 3 c/sections!!? and after the 1st it was a long time till i cd anythin but after my 2nd and 3rd c/sections i got better quicker? and id say the same as the other gals but u no yr own body? Ang x

Eleanor - posted on 08/04/2009

9

113

2

I agree with Kirstin too & walk not long distances at first just maybe to the end of the driveway & back is all.

Also press down on your stomach and massage where your uterus is although you had a c sect you still need to get your uterus to contract it helps reduce it back to normal. Lets put it this way it took me a month or longer to recover from having my son, but an RN told me to massage the uterus and by the time I left the hospital after having my daughter, I was a lil uncomfortable, but able to do a lot more than I did after having my son.

Keela - posted on 08/04/2009

261

14

33

I'm three months out and can do sit ups again. It was really hard at first but I do as many as I can then stop. I started by holding in my stomach and flexing a couple of times a day. It seem to help! Remember your body needs to heal! Good luck...

Jade - posted on 08/04/2009

56

58

2

Would that explain why I hemorrhaged and ended up back in the hospital. I started to do thing since the day I got home and on Monday the 27th I almost died because I lost so much blood. Did I do to much, to almost kill myself?

[deleted account]

i totally agree with Kirstin, i got told to do that with my first and i did it again with my second also. get up and move, nothing major but the quicker you can bear to move the better-DON"T over do it but or you'll be sore again. and try to get past the 6wk mark, even though u'll feel like your all good and can be more active, DONT. i did coz i hate sitting still and feeling incapable of doing anything, but i payed the price with antibiotics to deal with the clots i had made from doin to much to soon. so yeah, do LITTLE things, you'll be back to yourself if you were fit b4.

Kirstin - posted on 08/04/2009

1

6

1

hey threre i had a c-section and my midwif told me when a wake in the morning to breath in and hold then repeat further till you cant pull tummy in ant further..i found it helped untill you are able to do other exercise hope it helps.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms