Birth plans are all the norm these days. However, as every pregnancy is different, it may not go as planned. Sometimes, an emergency cesarean section is a must. They can be quite difficult to recover from. Any woman who has undergone an emergency procedure will  relate to this. Not only is the recovery longer from a vaginal birth, but also there are a lot of restrictions in the first few weeks of recovery. With the added challenge of caring for a newborn, recovering from the surgery can be tricky.It is important to understand what the process involves and when to start exercising in order to help your recovery.


What is a cesarean section?

operation theather

Cesarean section is a surgery in which the surgeon does an incision through the tummy and uterus to deliver a baby. This surgery can be an elective procedure or performed as an emergency. This is due to medical conditions affecting the mother or the baby. It is important to note that the recent developments in surgical procedures has made sure that the tummy muscles are not actually cut. The various layers of the muscles are separated to get to the uterus and then held together,once the baby is born. This markedly reduces the recovery time.

Recovery after a cesarean section

picture of a doctor helping a patient

With the latest advances in surgical procedures, the recovery time after a cesarean section is now shorter. Obstetricians are adept at performing the surgery efficiently even in emergency situations. He creates an incision just below the bikini line so the scarring is minimal. He does not cut through the abdominal muscles but separates them ensuring that the healing is quicker. This allows his patients to return to walking as soon as able. Even driving, which was restricted to about 6 weeks initially, can be started as able. Usually within 2-3 weeks after surgery considering there are no complications.

Usually in all private hospitals , a Physiotherapist will visit you to teach simple core strengthening exercises that must be started immediately. This will help with the recovery.

How does Physiotherapy help after a cesarean section?

It is important to see a Physio soon after a cesarean section. This is to start with basic core strengthening and pelvic floor exercises for quicker recovery. The physiotherapist will also advise on certain braces or binders that can be used after surgery. These help to protect the scar and heal the abdominal muscles. It is important to pace your activities and take as much rest as able in the first 2 weeks after surgery. Of course being a new mother will come with it’s own challenges. However, taking help from family and friends will certainly make the process easier for you. The physio will also advice on when to get back to gym exercises as well. Usually a period of 3 months is recommended to get back to strenuous exercising after a c-section. However, it is important to listen to your body and progress slowly.