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Exercise after having a caesarean

After a caesarean, you will have to wait for your wound to heal before doing some physical activities.

For at least the first 6 weeks, try to avoid:

  • lifting anything heavier than your baby
  • pulling yourself up into a sit up position from bed
  • high effort exercise

It can take around 12 weeks for your wound to heal properly.

Recovering from a caesarean

How to get active after a caesarean

When you feel ready, you can start:

Exercise after pregnancy

Focus on your posture

During pregnancy, your tummy muscles stretch and get longer. This can affect your posture. As soon as you have your baby, focus on correcting your posture.

This will help:

  • your tummy muscles strengthen to support your scar
  • ease back pain

How to correct your posture after pregnancy

High effort activity

You will need to wait 3 to 4 months after your baby is born to do high effort activities.

High effort activity includes:

  • fitness training - such as aerobics classes or high-resistance exercise machines
  • running or jogging
  • jumping
  • team sports
  • lifting heavy weights
  • swimming

Only start high effort activity if:

  • your scar is healing and has not been a cause for concern
  • you have been building up your strength with gentle activity and pelvic floor exercises

Start high effort activity at a beginner's level.

Exercise plans 0 to 12 weeks after pregnancy

Non-urgent advice: Talk to you GP if you are:

  • unsure if you are ready to get active again
  • uncomfortable doing exercise after a caesarean

Page last reviewed: 28 August 2023
Next review due: 28 August 2026

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.