April is C-section awareness month, so it’s only fitting that I devote some special attention to all my c-section mamas! Having a c-section is major abdominal surgery and often, it’s not given a whole lot of attention in regard to healing postpartum. There can be a lot of fear wrapped up in recovery, so I want to de-mystify some of that and empower you to have a successful return to daily life and fitness post c-section.
1. Mobilize your Scar
This is the first thing I start with in training any c-section mama. As soon as your incision is fully healed, you need to start mobilizing that tissue. Scar tissue can build up through layers of skin and tissue and cause a whole host of issues, so you want to make sure that you get the skin around that incision moving, so that you can break up that scar tissue. And, if you are months or years post c-section, you can still do this!! Working on scar mobility point at any time will be beneficial for you.
2. Start with Breathing
The first step in returning good function to your core, for both daily life and fitness, is to reconnect your mind and body. The way to do that is through breathing! You can start on your back, if that feels best, and focus on big, deep inhales, that open up the chest and belly and then work on re-engaging your core and pelvic floor on your exhales.
As a side note – just because you didn’t have a vaginal birth, don’t assume that you pelvic floor hasn’t had any trauma or damage. I still advise all of my clients to see a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist for an evaluation.
3. Return to Fitness Gradually
Your 6-week checkup isn’t the “all clear” to return to everything you were doing prior to pregnancy. You are going to want to give your body plenty of time to progressively build your exercise. This includes both a low intensity of exercise to start off with, as well as lots of rest in between exercise. Finding a postpartum fitness specialist can be a real plus in helping you navigate your postpartum fitness!
Your body is strong and capable, and you CAN have a successful return to fitness post c-section. Reach out to me with any questions you have!