Fitness and Wellbeing

Having a C-Section – Tips to Recovery

new baby

  1. Time – Remember a c-section is major surgery through the abdomen as such the body needs time to heal and recover.    Healing takes place gradually over a few months with the skin healing first.  So don’t be in a rush.


  1. Help –  Accept offers of help from friends and family, don’t let visitors stay long as can be tiring when you’re trying to recover and getting settled with your baby.  Anyone who offers to cook you a meal should be grabbed immediately


  1. Sleep – Sleep and rest is restorative to the body.   Try and get a rest while your baby is sleeping during the day.


  1. Planning – Before you even have your baby whether it’s a booked c-section or not, having some meals in the freezer will help make the early postnatal period easier.   Also focus on healing nutrition.  Bone broth for meat eaters is full of amino acids – precursors to collagen which the body needs to maintain skin elasticity, muscle fibres, ligaments and connective tissue.  So use the bones of any meat eaten to make a bone broth or stock which then can be drank as a tea or made into a soup.


  1. Protein –  Following on from the last post – Protein in any form is important as stated above is the building block to collagen / muscle etc so make sure that every meal includes at least 1 portion of protein.


  1. Nutrient Dense Food –  Making sure that meals are full of nutrients not just empty calories like cereal for breakfast which often is full of sugar and minimum else.   So include at least 1 fruit daily and 4 -5 helpings of vegetables in the meals as these provide necessary vitamins and minerals again needed for healing and muscle function like zinc, magnesium, also vitmin C helps the uptake of iron.


  1. Movement –  Initially in the first few days post op you may need to support your wound / operation site whilst opening your bowels, sneezing , coughing.   Push up sideways into sitting lowering your legs at the same time as pushing up with your arm.  Roll over in bed as 1, like a log so not to stress the operation site.  As this starts easing off then listen to your body gently moving, as the wound heals it needs movement to help the tissues regain their normal flexibility.  So move as much as you feel comfortable with your normal daily movement  – in bed, around the house and looking after your baby.


  1. Hydration –  Stay hydrated – the body is made up of 70% water and as such starts to dehydrate when we drink less.  Also breast feeding requires more hydration.  Try and drink at least 2l of uncaffeinated  drinks keeping sugary drinks to a bare minimum.


  1. Breathing –  Just starting to be aware of your breathing and will start getting more oxygen into your body allowing tissues to have better healing conditions.  Also as baby was up to your lower ribs and diaphragm then it’s important to focus on moving these.   So take a deep breath in like the rib cage is opening up like a umbrella, then gently breath out.  The abdomen should also move outwards on the in-breath and back in again on the out-breath!


  1. Finally Exercise –  please do not be in a rush to get to pre-pregnancy exercise, running or bootcamps.  These are all for when the body is healed and has recovered some strength.  Running isn’t a way to get fit after pregnancy – it’s better to have some fitness first.   Make sure to be past the 6 week check on a normal vaginal delivery or in the case of a c-section at a minimum of 8 weeks post  AND make sure to go to a special postnatal class with a fully trained instructor in postnatal fitness.  You should also be assessed on your first visit with a posture check and a diastasis check too.


C-section healing

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