Are you struggling to reduce your tummy or lose the 'pooch' after a c-section?
With the right kind of exercise after a c-section you'll give your body the opportunity to recover and heal. Regardless of whether your cesarean was weeks ago or years ago, specific, targeted exercises for your core and pelvic floor is the first key step.
Core and Pelvic Floor Exercises
The benefits of following a postnatal core and pelvic floor strengthening program are both physical and mental. Physically you'll reduce back ache, neck, shoulder and hip pain and help heal a diastasis recti. Mentally you'll feel calmer, happier and more body confident as the endorphin hormones are released with the exercise.
Pregnancy and a caesarean birth is a major life event. It takes its toll on your body and pelvic organs so rest, recovery and gentle exercise is incredibly important.
What Happens During a C-Section
With a c-section, an incision is made into your skin which goes through the fat cells and connective tissue, into the abdomen. In order to bring the baby out, the abdominal muscles are spread apart and to get to the uterus the bladder is moved. Afterwards the bladder is moved back into its original position, the uterus is stitched first, then the connective tissue and layer of abdominals. As the body has many layers of muscles, this is when scar tissue is formed.
Whilst the connective tissue is cut through, the abdominals are not. Retraining the mind body connection is vital as part of the recovery process and understanding that healing means addressing the core and pelvic floor as one unit, with everything working together.
Avoid rushing into certain exercise
Women should avoid rushing into inappropriate exercises in an effort to flatten their tummy, exercises which are general and not specific to bodies which went through pregnancy and childbirth. These would be running, sit-ups, crunches and full planks. Although in time you'll be able to return to these exercises when your core and pelvic floor is stronger; the correct period of retraining your abdominals, scar tissue massage (which I always recommend), adequate rest and consistency will speed up your healing process and prevent issues further into motherhood.
Try these exercises
In this video, I give you some simple (yet not always easy) foundation exercises to engage, heal and strengthen your core and pelvic floor after c-section delivery. The position your body is in for these exercises means that there is no pressure onto your scar. The breathing techniques will also help you feel the muscles again and engage them.
Click play and follow along! You can do these exercises at home, whilst your baby naps or lies next to you.