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Baby Belly After Cesarean Physical Therapy After C-section You Need to Know About

Baby Belly After Cesarean: Physical Therapy After C-section You Need to Know About

Get through the pain after having a baby by doing some physical therapy after a C-section.

Why is physical therapy after a C-section so important?

Let’s be honest — no matter how you give birth, having a baby is extremely painful. There are two routes when it comes to childbirth — vaginal (natural) or cesarean (surgical). Both birthing options come with a recovery process; however, a cesarean section (C-section) comes with a little more maintenance and pain management. In the US, about 1.3 million cesareans are performed each year. That means there are over 1 million women who have to struggle through recovery. While it is major surgery and pain does come with it, you can reduce your symptoms and recover quicker with physical therapy after a C-section.

Learn all about it below.

What is a cesarean?

The surgical delivery of a baby by a cut (incision) made in the mother's abdomen and the uterus is known as a cesarean section, C-section, or Cesarean birth. It is used by healthcare providers when they feel it is safer for the mother, the infant, or both. It is a common birthing surgical procedure that is performed thousands of times a day all over the world.


What are some of the after-effects of this surgery?

Just like any other surgery or vaginal birth, there are going to be after-effects. Here are the most common ones:

  • Scar pain and sensitivity
  • Reduced mobility and flexibility in hips and low back
  • Difficulty bending forward or lifting and standing upright
  • Low back pain from weakened core muscles
  • Myofascial trigger points in the abdomen
  • Urinary incontinence, frequency, and urgency
  • Pelvic pain during intercourse
  • Pelvic immobility

If you notice puss, foul discharge, fever, or other issues, please contact your OB-GYN immediately.


How does physical therapy help after a C-section?

Physical therapy can help minimize incision site pain, regulate pelvic floor muscle tone, decrease tissue hypersensitivity, enhance core and back muscular strength, and retrain muscles altered by pregnancy and delivery for optimal function if you’re experiencing pain after a C-section. Manual therapy, scar tissue mobilization, myofascial release, and core, abdominal, and pelvic floor muscle stretching and strengthening are all part of post-C-section physical therapy.

About six to eight weeks after birth, the physical therapist employs soft tissue mobilization methods to soften and flatten the scar tissue surrounding the C-section incision. Gentle myofascial release at the incision site can be done four weeks after birth. Scar tissue mobilization assists in reorganizing the collagen fibers of the scar tissue into a pattern similar to normal tissues, allowing the scar to move and stretch more like the skin around it. Manual scar treatment also aids in the reduction of adhesions in the underlying connective tissues and myofascial layers. The manual treatments increase flexibility and fluidity of the body's fascia, which reduces discomfort surrounding the incision.

Are there any exercises I can do at home to help with recovery?

Before resuming regular exercise, mothers should consult with their doctors. The transverse abdominis is one of the important muscles that must be retrained after pregnancy. The corset-like muscles that wrap around the midline to the spine, the pelvic floor muscles, and the abdominal and lower back muscles are all part of this group. Following a cesarean birth, it is critical to activate and strengthen these regions so they can provide support, reduce your risk of damage, and aid in your postpartum recovery. After a cesarean birth, try these moderate workouts. They don't require any special equipment and may be done from anywhere:

  • Belly breathing
  • Seated kegels
  • Wall sits
  • Scar massage
  • Leg slides
  • Walking


Any further tips to help with my recovery?

Before you’re discharged from the hospital, your doctor and nurses will give you additional tips and support. Please follow their instructions on how to properly recover while still caring for your newborn. Here are some further tips that can help with your recovery:

  • Sleep as much as possible
  • Walk at least 30 minutes a day
  • Do not lift anything over 10 lbs
  • Wear a belly brace or have a pillow across your abdomen
  • Take stool softeners
  • Drink water
  • Eat light meals

You do not have to recover alone; instead, try out physical therapy after a C-section if you have a cesarean. Physical therapy is not the only thing you need to do after giving birth. As a new mom, you may feel like you can’t treat yourself, but we’re here to tell you that you can’t stop caring for yourself. MOBILESTYLES has many different health and beauty services that will travel to you! Whether you want a new look or a massage, our PROs have you covered. Download our app today to find the best PRO in your area.


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