What if I had a c-section?

If you delivered via c-section, you underwent major surgery. You’ve had to rest and recover. The bad news is that you’re probably going to have a core weaker than you would like for longer than you would like: six months, nine months, even up to a full year after you delivered. It’s easy to feel frustrated with the pace of recovery.

One of the best things you can do during this recovery period is to take short, frequent walks. As soon as you are able, roll onto your side and walk for five minutes–to the front porch, to your neighbor’s driveway, to the corner. The body adapts quickly, and just two weeks of bedrest atrophies the multifidi (important spinal stabilization muscles) and increases activity in the psoas (overactive psoas muscles are common contributors to low back pain). Reminding the body that you need it by getting in these tiny little exercise bits is going to go a long way toward reducing that atrophy and activation.

Now the good news. You can likely reach the same levels of strength and fitness as someone who delivered vaginally. You’ll just need to add some time to your plan.

One of the most beneficial things you can work on, even while you’re just beginning to heal, is your breathing. Work on your lateral rib mobility and opening the ribs at the back through your breath. Frozen ribs, caused by a lack of mobility in the intercostal muscles, can be very detrimental to your posture and can even contribute to a sense of increased anxiety. Practicing full breaths is something you can do now to prevent problems down the road.

C-section scars can be tricky things. They can affect other parts of the body by adhering to underlying fascia and yanking on muscles and joints as far away as the knees. Six weeks after delivery might be a great time to begin scar massage.

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