There is more to successful c-section recovery than just stopping driving and no hovering! Do try to get as much help as possible in the early days – I know we always want to do everything but you have just had major abdominal surgery. So even if you feel ok you still need to take it easy otherwise recovery can take much longer. A general rule of thumb is to not lift or push anything heavier than your baby for the first 6 weeks – this includes the pushchair.
Other considerations are:
- Continue to roll over to get out of bed – and reverse the action to lie down. Check out my video here. Some people find gently pressing a pillow on to their incision helps when rolling over and when standing up.
- Remember to lift the pelvic floor and breathe out as you stand up – read about it here. You need to use the same technique when lifting baby and during any exertion.
- Be aware of your posture, especially when lifting holding your baby.
- Make sure you are well hydrated and try to eat nutritious food instead of junk – more about healing nutrition here
- After doctor’s clearance at 6 weeks, introduce scar massage to prevent adhesions.
Adhesions are tiny ropes of tissue (collagen) that bind together to help with healing after surgery and also after infection, inflammation, radiation therapy and trauma. It is an important and necessary part of the healing process but unfortunately there seems to be no stop button. This means the adhesions can remain and continue to grow for life – so even if you are way postnatal this may still be something that could help.
Something else to consider, especially for those of you who are way post surgery, is that NeuroKinetic Therapy proposes that other pain can also come from a stuck scar. Scars are neutrally dense which means they receive all the messages from the brain instead of other parts of the body e.g. the abdominal muscles. This could lead to pain and a lack of strength in other muscles – which may mean you don’t get the results from strengthening exercises that you think you should. Deactivating the scar could make a huge difference – think I’m going to have to start practising what I preach!
Although you need to rest in the early days, movement is an important part of your recovery. It improves the blood circulation helping to nourish your body, keep muscles healthy and prevent stiffness and constipation – gentle walks are perfect!
When you do consider a return to exercise after a C-section (at least 8-12 weeks later) you need to be aware of any pain/tenderness you experience. A painful scar is a good indication that you need to ease off a little. And it goes without saying – NO CRUNCHES!