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Exercise After A C-Section: Practical C- Section Exercise Tips

By Kevin Richardson, NYC Personal Trainer & Founder Naturally Intense System of Diet & Exercise™

Exercise After A C-Section

Exercise after a C-Section: Practical C-Section Exercise Tips- A personal account: My son, Lucien was born several weeks from the time of my writing this article and I am always amazed at how resilient the human body can be after any surgical procedure. I was in the room the entire time for the birth of my son and for the births of all of my four children, and it has never stopped being an amazing experience. I am happy to report that my significant other is doing just fine after the C-section and was able to bounce right back into her workout regime after 5 weeks (with her physician’s approval, of course.) Having worked with a good number of postpartum mothers over the past two decades of my career as a personal trainer it was great to be able to apply the knowledge and experience. Exercise after a C-section can seem to be a difficult undertaking, but with the proper guidance it can go a long way in getting you back on your feet and do wonders for your self esteem when you see the baby pounds falling off. Six weeks out my significant other has already lost most of the weight that she gained during the pregnancy and she really is happy to be back in the gym again!

Exercise After A C-Section- How Long To Wait

Generally you can usually return to training and light abdominal exercises within 6 to 8 weeks. This presupposes that there are no complications and that you have your physician’s approval to begin an exercise program. My experience with several women that I have trained a day or two before their deliveries is that they tend to be quite anxious to get back in the gym and in a way back into a normal routine where they can take care of themselves- which is important for all caretakers, both mothers and fathers. Most of my clients that were actively training before delivery were able to get back into the shape that they were in before pregnancy within about two months or so on average. Though many of them were extremely disciplined to begin with.

Exercise After A C-Section- Do You Lose Abdominal Strength?

With regard to loss of abdominal tone and strength after a C-section, it has been my experience  that there is no long term loss of strength and I say this having worked with many women that had both vertical and horizontal incisions. Typically incisions are made horizontally and do not sever any abdominal muscles during the procedure. Women undergoing this type of Caesarian Section tend to recover quickly as their abdominal muscles are stretched and not cut. However a vertical c-section cut does sever the transverse abdominus muscle and this can take a bit longer to heal. There can also be some scar tissue build up, which makes the road back to exercise after a C-section a little harder, but in time and with a little training consistency, you can get your abs in even better shape than they were before pregnancy- but you will have to work for it!

A well executed training program for your midsection will help restore muscle strength and help firm the area. Doing isometric type exercises seem to help drastically in tightening the abs as well after childbirth.

The key is to not try to rush your exercise program after a C-section or even regular birthing. You have to take it slowly and be on alert for any signs that you are overexerting yourself or straining your abdominal muscles. After all, the point of exercising is to get fit – not cause other health issues.

Information contained in this article is not meant to treat, diagnose illness, nor substitute for medical counsel and is intended for purposes of information and education only. Consult your physician before modifying your diet or starting any exercise program.  Copyright 2009 by Kevin Richardson, Naturally Intense NYC Personal Trainer.


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Additional Resources

Exercise After A C-Section & C-Section Exercise Programs: Naturally Intense Prenatal-Postpartum Personal Training Programs

Exercise After A C-Section: C-Section Exercise Tips- pdf format
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