I heard hundred stories from women after a cesarean section. The geography of my clients covers all continents, because many of them are members of diplomatic missions or embassy employees. The experience of every woman is incomparable to anyone else. Therefore, the process of rehab in each case will be individual.
After caesarean section, doctors recommend not lifting weights, not driving and doing physical exercises. So there are no specific recommendations for physiotherapy, no protocol of exercises for recovery. Despite the fact that all postoperative actions will affect how quickly you are rehabilitated.
First actions after cesarean section
Cesarean section can be planned or emergency. After it, there are many layers of seams, which are transformed into scar tissue. Already in 6-12 hours after surgery, a woman is recommended to turn from side to side and stand up. Early standings up should be supervised by an assistant or supported because there may be dizziness. Usually women try to bend when they try to go at first. But it is recommended to try to straighten out after all. It can help healing. Women say that they were surprised by the need to get up so soon after the operation. They thought it was a doctor’s joke. But absolutely everyone who complied with the recommendations for early standing noted improvement with each next rise.
Already the next day after surgery, a woman is recommended to do a series of exercises lying in bed 2-3 times a day. After a cesarean woman constantly experiences discomfort and painful contractions. It is important that the exercises do not increase this discomfort.
First of all woman needs breathing exercises, which stimulate blood circulation and healing of the abdominal area. The most effective is diaphragm-lateral breathing. This type of breathing assumes that during inspiration you direct air to all parts of the chest from all sides, as if inflating a balloon. The ribs will move to the sides, as if the accordion is swelling. With an exhalation you “blow off” the lungs. Such breathing can be made progressive, for example, you begin to breathe on eight counts and with each next breath add one, two counts.
Complex joint-tendin gymnastics in the supine position and sitting on the bed. These exercises are desirable to do before each getting up from the first day after the operation. There are toes, feet and hands movements, knee flexion and pelvis tilt. Women who have been trained with a qualified trainer during pregnancy usually receive recommendations for doing such exercises. Especially if the cesarean section was planned.
If a woman knows Qigong techniques, their daily use from the first day will also help the recovery.
Exercises for the muscles of the pelvic floor. This is a necessary task for every day, despite there was no vaginal delivery. Most often, the muscles of the pelvic floor are weakened anyway due to pregnancy itself. To restore and strengthen them, we use pelvic floor contractions. The relaxed state of the pelvic diaphragm on the inhalation and its contraction to the exhalation. Contractions can be compared to the feelings in pelvic floor if you would enter the cold water of the sea.
Women after cesarean section may experience different emotional states. Audio meditation helps a woman to relax and gain an internal balance while different feelings, soreness, changes in the way of life and a lot of worries. You can listen to the meditations of such authors: Levine Stephen, Ram Dass, Sun Light, Joe Dispenza.
Additional recommendations for recovery after delivery with caesarean section
Pelvic floor contractions, joint-tendinic gymnastics in prone position, breathing exercises and walking should be everyday routine for 6 weeks after the operation, until the seam heals.
Attention! Even if from the outside the scar may seem healed it does not mean that you should immediately start active pursuits. Deeper layers inside the body still take time. The way a woman reacts to her recovery will affect her health for years to come.
Two months after surgery you can proceed to moderate motor activity: walking, swimming and Pilates.
Pilates helps to reduce the uterus, work with deep musculature, restores posture to the natural position, helps to avoid back pain and many associated improvements in the work of all body systems. Training Pilates with a trainer should be at least two times a week, the rest of the days you can perform complexes for 5-10 minutes. It is very important to do Pilates with a specialist, so be sure to ask which school of the method the trainer has studied, ask for certificates. This method is very deep and organic, so it can not be studied in a month or two. Before starting the training, the trainer should test you for diastase.
After 6-12 months since caesarean section woman can begin to restart the regime of those activities that were before pregnancy. During this period it is important to trust your body. It usually instinctively knows more than our brain. So, if you feel the need to slow down, feel discomfort, while starting activities, listen to yourself and continue at a moderate pace.
Whilst the recovery after cesarean section, you should not focus on other people’s goals and histories as well as compare yourself with other women, especially from Facebook and Instagram stories. Already today you are on the right path and you will succeed.
Author – Anastasiia Vekua