Kelly Britter, from Fitness Addix, is a personal trainer and a mum. She has been training new and expectant mums for years, and is particularly skilled in exercise techniques which are suitable following caesarean. She recently had one of her own, so knows first-hand what it takes to get your body back, and how to do it safely. Before you start, get the all clear from your doctor, and make sure your body feels ready.
Kelly's top tips for getting back into exercise after a caesarean:
- Stay active during pregnancy, even if it's just gentle walking.
- Exercise your pelvic floor muscles when you’re pregnant, so you get familiar with where they are and how to use them BEFORE giving birth. They can be hard to locate and even harder to activate.
- After your caesarean, your preparation will come to fruition – try pelvic floor exercises once you’ve been given the all-clear from your doctor. If you haven’t done your homework, ask your doctor or midwife to help you identify your pelvic floor to avoid injury. Remember though to start slowly and listen to your body.
- Get moving as soon as you feel comfortable.
- Exercise at a level that you can maintain consistently, and take it slowly.
- Exercise shouldn't hurt. If it does, stop.
What are the worst things to do with your body after a caesarean?
- Pushing it too hard at the start. Pace yourself, and think long term. Celebrity post-birth bodies are NOT realistic.
- Rushing around doing chores and housework when you should be resting.
- Looking in the mirror and crying. You've just had serious surgery for goodness sake!
- Starting exercise when your body hasn't rested properly, and you're still in pain.
Be conscious of your core muscles and posture, and your strength, stamina and resistance will improve in no time.
It's important to keep moving, even in the early days after a caesarean. At that stage though, just getting out of bed and going to the loo constitutes a workout, so don't be in a hurry to get back in your runners. Listen to your body, and rest when you need to.