Caesarean section recovery Sarah’s top 10 tips | The Physios


1 in 4 women will deliver their baby by c section each year. This could be via elective or emergency surgery. It is important to remember that this is major surgery and like any abdominal surgery it takes some time to recover. Seeing a women’s health physiotherapist after this type of delivery will ensure safe and effective return to previous activities and address any potential problems, optimising caesarean section recovery.

Here are Sarah’s top 10 tips on recovering from c-section.

  1. Move slowly to begin with, get comfortable with pillows, especially when feeding for longer periods
  2. Protect your wound with your hands when coughing, sneezing or laughing – it can help to make you feel more secure and reduce the discomfort.

Pelvic floor

  1. Start pelvic floor exercises early. Unfortunately a c-section doesn’t mean your pelvic floor isn’t still vulnerable, especially if an attempted vaginal delivery progressed to an emergency c-section. The process of pregnancy and hormonal changes can still affect the function of the muscles, leaving urinary leakage a potential problem. Start with 5 slow squeezes for 5 seconds and 5 quick contractions in sitting or lying, ideally three times per day.
  2. Progress exercise slowly. Walking is the best way to aid with circulation after surgery. Try to bring your shoulders back and breathe deeply into your tummy as pain will allow. Increase walking distance each day, building up to around 30-45 minutes in 6 weeks.

Breathing

  1. And breathe….Deep breathing exercises are a great way to help with any pain, get much needed oxygen into your body for healing and start to move your abdominal muscles and tissues in a gentle way. Start in supported lying or sitting and breathe into your lower tummy, slowly in and out. Repeat 3-5 times.
  2. Don’t rush back into household chores, hand the hoover over to your partner or a willing friend if possible or if not, just do 5 minute stints at a time.

Scar massage

  1. Massage that scar! This can be done when the wound is starting to scab (6-12 weeks post surgery). Start very gently and increase the pressure over time. The idea is to mobilise the scar so that its moves like the rest of your skin and the layers don’t stick to themselves. This is so beneficial in the long term as adhesions can cause pain and/or bladder problems.
  2. Try to self massage every other day for 10 minutes. A specialist women’s health physiotherapist can assess you scar and treat any adhesions in combination with reconnecting with your deep core if required.

Core strength

  1. For optimal caesarean section recovery it is important to regain strength from your deep core in a progressive way through regular exercises to challenge your body for the new lifting/pushing/carrying that it needs to do with a new baby. Getting a personalised exercise plan is a good way to start these exercises.
  2. Oh and did I say it’s major abdominal surgery… listen to your body!

If you have had a caesarean section and would like more help and advice contact Sarah or book an appointment for a personalised assessment. Follow our facebook page for more information.