24 January 2022

Pre and post natal fitness: Exercising after a C-section

November 8, 2010

If you are due to, or have had, a c-section and aren’t quite sure what the protocol is when it comes to exercising, our expert outlines exactly what you need to know.

Pre-and-Post-natalFitness4Mum answers some of the basic questions about exercising whilst pregnant and invites you to send in your questions to them.

Sportsister has teamed up with Fitness4Mum to answer your questions. Simply email us at fitness4mum@sportsister.comwith anything you would like to ask.

Q. I am 5 months pregnant with baby  number 2 and am due to have a C-section in December. My question is, how soon can I get back to work after my op ? I teach children’s swimming lessons for an hour on a tuesday and an hour on a Wednesday so it’s not a huge amount and I have an assistant in the water with me.

I recall after my first child I was in the pool again within days of my c-section, albeit not actually teaching. The doctor has said I should take at LEAST 6 weeks off but I’m assuming he is erring on the side of caution. Obviously I will see how I feel at the time but given that I had no problems last time and was back swimming lengths within days, I’d just like to know if this is too much to expect a second time around.

A. Thanks for your question.  Although everyone heals at a different rate GP’s usually give women who have had a C-section, clearance to exercise again after about 10-12 weeks. However this is just to resume exercise.

Due to the nature of your job, for example holding people up in the water, it may be better to use the guideline that your GP will give you for when you can drive again. I imagine it is very similar in terms of the stress placed on your core and the requirement to hold yourself upwards. Also with your exercise being in water it is very low weight bearing so it may not be as much of an issue as other sports.

However, in saying this we don’t know the full extent of your teaching, for example the age, size and weight of the children you teach, how intensive the classes are and what is required of you.

It would therefore be the best idea for you to approach your GP telling them all this and see what they recommend. It is hard to tell whether the doctor is erring on the side of caution. The amount of time it will take you to recover will depend on a few factors including what exercise you did during your pregnancy, if you maintained your core exercises during pregnancy, how fit you are and so on. These all greatly affect your recovery and so you can not always make a direct comparison to your previous pregnancy.

You are completely right in saying you will see how you feel, that’s probably the best advice we could give you. Listen to your body (and your GP) and progress things accordingly.

If you want any advice on what abdominal exercise you can do to help increase the strength of your abdominals after your pregnancy don’t hesitate to contact us at info@fitness4mum.com.

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