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C Section belly....

(19 Posts)
Jellyrollgumdrop Sun 29-May-11 16:26:13

How long befor your belly went back to 'normal'? Im not expecting it to happen overnight , & it has gone down quite abit but was wondering does it take longer to go down than if you had a normal delivery? TIA smile

minibmw2010 Sun 29-May-11 16:36:41

I had my DS on 20th May (so 9 days ago) and although the swelling has gone down considerably I definitely have an over-hang. I think part of this is my fault for not religiously doing the exercises to "fix" my separated stomach muscles so I'm going to make more of an effort to start today. I'll be interested to get other views on this too.

midnightexpress Sun 29-May-11 16:38:42

I'm still waiting. DS2 is 4. grin

vj32 Sun 29-May-11 17:00:14

What exercises? I had cs on the 16th and still can't get out of bed easily, definitely can't bed or twist very much.

yankiedoodledandy Sun 29-May-11 17:07:55

I'm no expert but don't think you should be doing exercises so soon after cs. Natural births can still lead to separated abs, it happens in the pregnancy not the delivery according to my buggyfit teacher (post natal exercise class). I had cs last year and started buggyfit after 15 weeks, I was given modified tummy exercises until my abs knitted back together which was another 6-8 wks later. There's no way I could have been doing any form of exercise any sooner, I was shuffling about for weeks, struggling in and out of bed.

theborrower Sun 29-May-11 19:06:13

Depends what you mean by normal, and what you mean by belly. I think it can take slightly longer than a VB for your uterus to shrink back down, but I think we're only talking about a week for it to return to its normal size. As for your tummy, I don't know. I had a jelly belly for what seemed like ages (you know when it just feels really wobbly and no muscles in there whatsoever), but in reality it was maybe only a few months. I'm 10 months postnatal now and I still have a bit of a tummy. but I think that's down to stuffing myself with chocolate hobnobs and cake the postnatal cravings for energy and sugar! As for exercises, you defintely have to take it easy - I think the advice is to wait at least 6 weeks, then start slowly. Maybe ask your doctor at your 6 week check or your HV?

Madlizzy Sun 29-May-11 19:08:58

Don't do stomach exercises yet! Your wound is still healing and you have bruising and swelling inside. It's a major op you've just had. Wait until your 6 week check and get advice then. Just remember that it took 9 months for your baby to stretch your body and it's perfectly reasonable for it to take that time to get back to anything like normality.

minibmw2010 Sun 29-May-11 19:15:37

OK, thanks ladies. I was in for 3 days because DS had jaundice and it was the Occupational Health Therapist who came around and told me I should start them as soon as my wound was healed (and it is and the dressing is off). One of the exercises is a kind of semi-sit up for 5 seconds where you put your chin down to your chest and then with your hands crossed across your stomach you literally pull your stomach back in together. I have to admit I feel I've been lucky in that I'm almost fully mobile again so maybe it didn't occur to me not to start them yet ..

sprinkles77 Sun 29-May-11 19:29:15

Noone told me about exercises! I know that the uterus is mostly muscle, but I don't see how you can exercise it to get it to go back to normal. Damage to the abdominal muscles is the result of pregnancy, not child birth, and does not happen to everyone. The enormous surgical wound caused by the CSection is put back together in lovely neat layers, with all the muscle and skin being put back together. Sure there will be scaring. I was back to almost pre-preg shape and size after about 5 months, no exercise, no serious diet. I have a little bit of overhang on one side (where the wound got a bit gammy). And now 14 months later the scar still feels a bit numb and niggly sometimes. No rush.

QTPie Sun 29-May-11 19:30:35

It will take some weeks (4, 5 or 6?) for your uterus to pretty much shrink back down into your pelvis properly. Then things are pretty much down to weight gain (whether you have a CS or a natural birth). Your skin is likely to be pretty loose for a while (even if you loose all of the weight straight away - I lost all of mine within 2 weeks of birth, despite eating like a horse!). Depending on age, amount of weight gain, how healthy you are post-birth, you will probably be looking at the best part of a year to get completely back to normal.

Yes, you can do CERTAIN exercises straight away after a section (I was given a set of exercises to do the day after my son was born - by an amazing Osteopath who visited me in hospital).

I did a lot of pelvic tilts, pelvic floor exercises and "holding abs in" exercises - as recommended by the physio - during the first weeks after birth. They are brilliant. DEFINITELY avoid sit-ups - they can make abdominal seperation a LOT worse... You need to take it easy with your abs and build up your core muscles very gently - otherwise you risk throwing your back out....

I also started "walking" about a mile or two a day (gradually building up over the first week or two), with the pram, from two weeks after birth. Great for me and great for baby.

Then after my 6 week check, I started post-natal yoga (which you can take your baby to - make sure that you get a GOOD instructor and tell them about your section), swimming and the gym. However, before the birth, I did keep active: I swam 50 x 20m lengths twice a week (up until 4 days before my section) and did pre-natal yoga once a week.

Take it easy, give your body time: your body has just done the most amazing thing, so it needs looking after. Good nutritious food, lots of water and gentle exercise smile


theborrower Sun 29-May-11 19:42:41

Actually, just been thinking - no one told me about specific post CS exercises either confused I've just been doing lots of walking with the pram, I love it.

QT - I lost all of mine within 2 weeks of birth, despite eating like a horse! envy grin And all that exercise (wonder woman!) makes me feel very lazy indeed blush

I'm going back to work tomorrow <<sob sob>> and have finally managed to get back into (most) of my pre pregnancy work clothes, but I still have a few pounds to go. Actually, I'm bizarrely looking forward to work, as it will mean far less opportunity to scoff biscuits and less coffee and cake mornings with other mums, so am hoping the last stubborn pounds drop off!

QTPie Sun 29-May-11 20:31:49

I was probably lucky: didn't put on too much weight during pregnancy (about 24lbs) and had a baby with a real healthy appetite (I breastfed until 11 months).

Exercise was my "destress time": valuable "alone/me" time, plus it made me feel better about myself. I didn't do a lot of execuse post birth - two sessions a week (from 6 weeks) plus post-natal yoga (which wasn't too relaxing after DS was about 3 months - he required quite a bit if attention). Walking was a big help (and if things get stressy, nothing better than packing LO into the pram and getting out ;) ) and anyone can do that (proving you don't overdo it in the early days....).

sprinkles77 Sun 29-May-11 20:40:38

I think there is always an element of luck with the healing process. Different people respond differently to pregnancy, surgery and looking after a baby. I think the old adage of "9 months to grow the baby, 9 months to recover" is pretty reasonable. I agree, walking is great for the body and the mind, and for a baby. I took DS out in his pram starting with 5 minutes on day 5 after my CS. Spent 6 months walking, getting a tan and showing off my gorgeous little baby. Oh, and yes, definitely eat fewer biscuits at work!

Jellyrollgumdrop Sun 29-May-11 20:42:30

Thanks for all the info. DD1 was 'normal' birth & back to pre preg clothes in about 8-9 weeks but I dont think it will be that quick for a cs!! DD2 was born on monday & I still look 6 mths pregnant!

sprinkles77 Sun 29-May-11 20:54:22

oh, maybe that's cos it's 2nd time round more than cos it was a cs.

QTPie Sun 29-May-11 20:59:05


Am trying to remember, but I think that you should see quite an improvement by 2/3 weeks (honestly you arent even a week yet! ;) ). Give it time. Some of it may be trapped wind (bloating)? Peppermint tea certainly didn't harm me.... Supposedly good for wind post section.
Are you bfing? That is supposed to help your uterus shrink.

I could fit in my pre-preg jeans 2 weeks after my section, but generally chose to continue wearing my pregnancy jeans or yoga type pants because they just put less pressure on my tummy (not painful, just tender).

It may well be a "second birth" thing, rather than a "section" thing (I am worried that I won't bounce back as well next time sad ). And/or your two pregnancies may have been different.

Give yourself time, look after yourself and get out and about lots smile

Jellyrollgumdrop Sun 29-May-11 22:33:07

Thanks qtp smile

diyqueen Mon 30-May-11 20:07:21

I had a cs 10 weeks ago and my tummy's pretty much gone down but is nothing like before. The general softness I put down to pregnancy stretching, but I also have a little 'bulge' above the scar of hard, lumpy scar tissue. It is slowly improving though and I hope will get less noticeable with time. I'm still a clothes size bigger than pre-pregnancy but was only an 8 before so figure some of it is fat reserves for breastfeeding... that's my excuse anyway, probably more to do with spending hours sitting on the sofa feeding little one and eating cake smile

trixie123 Tue 31-May-11 20:48:19

had my 2nd CS almost 3 weeks ago. Am back to pre pg weight and clothes but need to lose about 2 stone anyway so its not that great really! The "overhang" bit is horrible but no worse than last time which did gradually improve over about a year and the scar also faded a great deal in that time. exercise I think will vary on how you personally are recovering. As the replies on here will attest, some people are still in a lot of pain weeks after a CS, others feel fine within a week (though that doesn't alter the fact that there is still major internal healing to be done). I really don;t think the method of delivery makes any difference to the speed at which you will get back to normal other than the fact that you may be able to do more exercise sooner after a VB (though no necessarily).

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