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When Can I Start to Do Stomach Exercises After a Cesarean Section?

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author image Stephanie Dube Dwilson
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When Can I Start to Do Stomach Exercises After a Cesarean Section?
Stomach muscles can take up to three months to heal completely after a c-section Photo Credit: Thinkstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Exercise can start immediately after a c-section. Your stomach muscles are healing so start with gentle movements and slowly add more strenuous activity. No two women are alike, so listen to your body and advance your movements at your own pace.

First Weeks After Delivery

Exercise may be resumed as soon as it is physically and medically safe. This will vary from one individual to another with some women able to resume an exercise routine within days of delivery. (REF 1) Immediately after birth you can start to take deep breaths using your stomach muscles. Isometric exercises can be done while lying down. Begin by slowly contracting your stomach muscles for a few seconds. Once you start walking, mind your posture. Standing straight will stretch your stomach muscles. If you are not having any pain or discomfort gradually increase the distance and speed you walk.

After First Physican Visit

Work with your doctor at your first post partum visit to design an exercise plan that is more difficult. At this point in your healing process you can incorporate: 1. modified crunches-while laying flat slowly contract your stomach muscles and lift only your head off the ground 2. pelvic tilts - while laying flat lift your pelvis a few inches off the ground while gently pulling your abdominal muscles in toward your spine 3. walking/jogging- slowly increase your distance and speed Pace yourself, listen to your body and be flexible as you incorporate exercise with your new duties as a mother.

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