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Exercise after having a caesarean

After a caesarean, you'll have stitches causing a scar along your bikini line. This scar needs time to heal. You will need to be careful with it for at least 6 weeks or it could tear.

Do not do anything that puts extra pressure on your wound.

This includes:

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

When you are getting out of bed, roll onto your side before getting up.

Focus on your posture

Focus on retraining your posture. This will help your tummy muscles strengthen to support your scar.

Your tummy muscles are usually still intact after a caesarean delivery. They are moved to the side during surgery to allow your baby out of your uterus (womb).

But during pregnancy and birth they do stretch and get longer. This is why working on your posture is important.

Starting exercise

Start pelvic floor exercises and gentle walking when you feel ready. Walking is good for your physical and mental health. Listen to your body and take it easy when you're tired.

Speak to your GP before doing any other exercise. You may have to wait for at least 6 weeks.

High-impact exercise

You will need to wait 3 to 4 months after your baby is born to do high impact exercise. This includes gym exercises and running or jogging. This is because your scar needs at least 12 weeks to heal properly.

Only start high-impact exercise if:

  • your scar is healing and has not been a cause for concern
  • you have followed the exercise advice for week 0 to 12 weeks to build a strong foundation

Start back to high-impact exercise at a beginner's level.

If you are jogging, start with a very gentle pace and distance. Gradually increase your distance or pace over a period of time.

Do the same with gym exercises. Ask the gym instructor to check that your technique is good. Do this before pushing your body harder than it might have the strength or endurance for.

Talk to your GP if you have any doubt if you ready to return If in doubt or uncomfortable speak with your GP.

Related topics

Recovering from a caesarean

page last reviewed: 05/06/2020
next review due: 05/06/2023