How soon after a c-section can you do sit-ups?

(8 Posts)
Gangle Thu 15-May-08 12:02:00

Just had 6 week check with GP and she wasn't sure! Scar seems to have healed well and keen to start getting my stomach back in shape - is it safe to do sit ups?

fiodyl Thu 15-May-08 12:11:06

Im sure I was told 12 weeks after mine, but as I was pregnant again 10 weeks after I never did any blush

thebecster Thu 15-May-08 12:20:11

Whether C Section or vb, in both cases it's important that your abdominal muscles have knitted back together before you do sit ups - otherwise you can do more harm than good to your waistline and end up with a permanently podgy tummy.

This is quite a good article on it

In the meantime work on your transverse abs by doing a Pilates 'cat' - on all fours, pulling your tummy button towards your backbone.

walking fast with buggy (esp up hill) is
a) really good for tummy muscles
b) gets baby to sleep + you some peace
c) gives you fresh air
d) is really safe
do this instead of boring old sit ups

SheherazadetheGoat Thu 15-May-08 12:28:34

agree with other. get yourself to a pilates class and learn how to do proper pelvic tilts etc otherwise you may hurt yourself.

suey2 Thu 15-May-08 12:36:45

agree with becster. If you have a diastasis recti, this must be at max 2cm before you start doing any rectus work. Get your transversus in shape by doing the cat or other transversus work, and only return to sit up when you can do them without your tummy doming.

kitstwins Thu 15-May-08 20:47:03

Agree with the others. Don't, don't, don't do ab work too early. The recommendation is 12 weeks post caesarean (6 weeks post vaginal birth). It sounds like a long time, and can feel like even longer when you're keen to repair the post-birth devastation, but you need to give your stomach muscles time to fully heal and come together. This is much slower post-caesarean as the area is bruised and traumatised.

At 12 weeks your GP will be able to check your rectus abdominus to see whether it has come together enough. You'll be made to do a stomach crunch and they'll test the 'space' between the muscles that run vertically down your abdomen. If it's less than two fingers' space then you're good to go. Any more than two fingers and you need to leave it for a bit longer.

If you do abdominal exercises before you rectus abdominals have come together you run the risk of 'fixing' them in place and basically stopping them from closing. Which would mean much weaker stomach muscles, doming (so you'd have a 'belly' however much exercise you did).

In the meantime there are loads you can do to get yourself strong and prepare for post-12 weeks. As the others have said, brisk walks with the pram, pilates 'cat' (where you kneel on all fours and pull your belly button to your spine), plus heaps of pelvic floor exercises.

Hope this helps. If it's any consolation I know how frustrating it is having to wait until 12 weeks - I was super-fit pre-pregnancy/birth and it drove me mad not being able to do the extreme abdominal work. But I'm really glad I didn't as my stomach is now SO much better for having held off. Kx

wurlywoo Fri 16-May-08 21:53:46

Had to add to this as issue close to my heart, had c- section in January an elective one at that so I was sort of prepared..

However, I was slightly naive, in that being a dancer for 20+ years I thought I would heal very quickly and be back doing my sit ups etc. Ha ha ha, I am now nearly 5 months on and still looking like i'm 3 months pg.

I still cant do alot of sit ups as the area around the scar gets sore, ~i made the mistake of trying to do loads soon after only for my scar to get to very very sore and I got a lump where the scar tissue is on the right hand side.

Never underestimate how serious having a c- section is, I was very naive and didn't appreciate what it would do to my body. have slipped into slight PND as a result as looking at my terrible overhang brings tears to my eyes when I had a figure to die for.

I agree with witchandchips, walking is an excellent way to get the tummy back in shape. If you get time to do this that is, I have found it really difficult to do loads of walking with a demanding dp wanting the house spick n span. hmmm, nice when I have had major surgery to have his baby, fecking men do my nut in.

The moral after my huge essay (sorry about that btw) is take care please listen to your body and if its starts to hurt stop. Accept it will take time as I have done..

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