Mommy Workout: C-Section Recovery - Restorative Cycle, Week 2, Day 2
The goal of these workouts is to begin the slow process of healing after a c-section. The workouts are posted three times a week and focus on three critical aspects of recovery:
- Restoration of the Abdominal Muscles
- Re-conditioning the Body With Regular Walking
These workouts are intended for women who are still in the first eight weeks of recovery post-cesarean. You can start the routines as early as two days after your c-section. The goal of this cycle is to get you to a point where you are comfortable walking up to one hour at a moderate to brisk pace with a stroller. There are four two-week phases and you will gradually increase the length of walks and amount of exercises during each week. Each workout includes a short meditation practice to help you process your birth experience and adjust to the mental and emotional demands of caring for a newborn.
If you experience pain at the incision site at any time during these exercises, stop immediately. Feel free to modify the workouts as needed and increase or decrease the intensity as you feel comfortable. Congratulations on the birth of your baby and best of luck in your recovery!
Phase 1: Week 2, Day 2
Phase 1: Supine Exercise and Walking Focus
This two-week phase focuses on reconnecting with the transverse abdominal muscles with simple supine exercises you can do in bed. You will also work up to twenty minutes of walking each day. In meditation the focus is processing your birth experience and addressing any fears or anxiety you might have about your birth experience and life with a newborn.
A. Supine Exercises
- Belly Breathing x 15 breaths: Breathe deeply and focus on expanding through the diaphragm. When you exhale, draw your navel in toward your spine.
- Leg Slides x 15: Lie in bed with your knees bent. Slowly slide both legs out until they are fully extended, then draw them back to the starting position. Repeat.
- Pelvic Tilt with Bracing x 15: Inhale and with your knees bent, raise your pelvis off the bed and lower. As you lower, exhale and draw your navel to your spine. Repeat.
- Rolling Over x 8 per side: You want to avoid the jackknife movement after a c-section to get out of bed. Instead, practice rolling from side to side. Lie on your back and place a pillow over your incision site. Slowly shift your weight to the right and stack your legs on top of each other. Push your upper body up with your lower elbow, and hold this top position for 10 seconds. Relax and rest here for a minute, then repeat on the left side.
Walk for 5 minutes, rest for 2 minutes, then walk 5 more minutes. Repeat at least once later in the day.
This meditation is modified and is taken from the book "Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful" by Gurmukh:
Exercise for Strong, Loving Arms: Sit cross-legged on the floor (use support if needed) and stretch your arms out to the front of you. Press your palms together and keep your arms parallel to the ground. Inhale and open your arms, feeling your lungs expand. Stretch as far as you can comfortable go. On the exhale, bring your arms back to center. Continue for ten deep breaths.