How Soon After C-Section Can You Start Exercising?


A C-section, or cesarean section, is necessary when a vaginal birth is not possible. Recovery time takes longer after a C-section than after a vaginal birth. Although you can be released from the hospital two to four days after the surgery, you will still need to spend several weeks recovering at home. However, you can resume mild exercise sooner than you might think.

Factors that Affect Recovery

Recovery time after a C-section differs from mother to mother and various factors play a role. Some new mothers experience increased blood loss, bladder or bowel injury or blood clots after the surgery. In some cases, a C-section might also cause infections of the bladder or uterus, which can be treated by antibiotics.

Recommended Early Exercise

The day of your surgery you can typically begin walking, which actually helps to speed up recovery, according to MedlinePlus, a publication of the National Institutes of Health. Of course, don’t attempt to complete a 30-minute workout. Start by slowly walking around your hospital bed, to the bathroom or down the hallway of the hospital. Increase your distance gradually each day, but keep your pace slow.

Resuming an Exercise Program

In general, you should be able to complete a walking workout by the time your six-week postpartum checkup rolls around. However, you might still find any exercise that involves bending over, lifting, or stair climbing too uncomfortable or difficult to tackle. It’s OK to avoid them until they don’t cause any discomfort. Watch for any symptoms such as pain, bleeding or fever.

How to Speed Recovery

You can use several other strategies to enhance recovery after a C-section so you can get back to your normal routine and exercise more quickly. Rest whenever you can, drink lots of fluids and support the area near your incision during activities such as getting up, walking, sneezing or coughing. Don’t lift objects heavier than your baby and use a pillow for support when you’re breastfeeding. Do not have sex until your doctor says you can. Take medications as directed by your doctor.

Load comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.