Post C-Section Exercise

June 26, 2017

As a cesarean mother, you will experience fatigue and discomfort after delivery. Remember that you have not only had a baby, but you’ve had surgery as well! Even so, you should not avoid the rehabilitation exercises. These will hasten your recovery and ease your discomfort.

The exercises gradually prepare you for more activity. The first exercises bridge the gap between surgery and your first walk, and they can make the transition more comfortable. It is essential that you gently exercise the muscles to encourage healing. These exercises will cause no damage to your incision.

Phase 1
The exercises in Phase 1 encourage your recovery immediately after your cesarean birth and prepare you for your first walk. Progress at your own pace and go to the next phase when you are comfortable.

As you prepare to get out of bed, remember to raise the head of the bed, bring up your knees, and roll slightly to one side. Walk your heels over to the side of the bed and then down the side. At the same time, push yourself up with your arm beneath you and support the incision with your other arm. If you use your feet as leverage, you will reduce tension on your incision.

Sit for a few minutes and then stand up tall. Do not lean forward.
Abdominal Tightening
on Outward Breath

Strengthens and tones abdominal muscles

Lie on your back and bend your knees while placing your hands on your abdomen


  • Take a deep breath though your nose. Keep your ribs as still as you can and push your abdominal wall upwards
  • Blow air out through your mouth, pulling in abdominal muscles
  • Progression:
    As you become more comfortable, you may practice this exercise while sitting (a rocking chair is perfect), standing, or lying; the exercise encourages the transverse muscles to com- press the abdomen and prevent it from bulging.
    Practice this exercise for the rest of your life for good muscle tone.

    Helps clear lungs of mucus after a general anesthetic has been given in order to avoid postoperative chest complications

    Lying or sitting, support your incision with your hands or a pillow


    • Take a deep breath in through your mouth, with mouth opened wide and relaxed
    • On outward breath, quickly say, “ha-ha- ha” at least five times
    • As you say “ha,” pull in your abdominal muscles rather than pushing out
    • Relax and repeat several times
    • Spit out any mucus

    Ankle Rotation
    Increases circulation and decreases risk of blood clots in legs

    Sitting, lying, or standing


    • Make slow circles with each foot in a clockwise, then counter-clockwise, direction

    Foot Bending
    Increases circulation and decreases risk of blood clots in legs


    • Sit or lie on your back in a comfortable position with your legs out straight
    • Bend your ankle, pulling your toes up toward knees
    • Slowly point toes downward Relax and repeat several times
    • If pointing toes downward causes cramps, bend ankle and pull toes up toward knees only
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