Swimming After a C-Section

While each woman's recovery from a C-section varies, doctors generally recommend waiting six weeks after delivery before beginning any exercises. Swimming is an ideal form of exercise after a cesarean section because it puts very little stress on your body. If you plan to swim soon after your surgery, wait until you have stopped bleeding and your scar is completely healed.

Young Woman Swimming in a Pool
Swimming is a gentle form of exercise. (Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

Recovery

For the first few weeks after a cesarean, your recovery should be your main goal. After surgery and delivery, get up and walk around as soon as the doctor allows. Little movements, such as walking down the hallway and back to your room, will help speed up your recovery. Don't become too active too quickly. Returning to normal life after surgery can be stressful; don't be too concerned about cleaning your house and moving around excessively. Too much movement can hinder recovery.

Exercise

Begin to exercise only after your doctor has cleared you for movement. While some women can begin at six weeks, others might have to wait longer. Because swimming puts little pressure on your joints, yet still provides an efficient aerobic workout, it can be a great choice as you ease back into working out.

Risk of Infection

Because a C-section involves an incision, you need to wait until it is completely healed before swimming. An incision that is not entirely healed may become infected. Vaginal bleeding is common after childbirth, including a cesarean. Do no go swimming until bleeding has ceased, because wearing a tampon is not recommended in the first six weeks after a C-section.

Benefits of Exercise

Exercising post-delivery can help reduce constipation, improve circulation, increase your energy level, promote healing and decrease your risk of blood clots. In addition to swimming, walking, low-impact aerobics and exercises that will help strengthen your abdominals are beneficial after childbirth. Listen to your body, however, and if you experience pain, stop exercising. Take it slow in the beginning and be sure to get clearance from your doctor, especially regarding abdominal exercises.

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