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Pregnancy is a phase in which the body undergoes tremendous physical changes. After delivery, it takes time and effort for a mother to regain her pre-pregnancy shape. Getting back in shape after a C-section delivery can be more challenging than in the case of a normal delivery, as the mother can start exercising only after the C-section wound has healed. Yoga is one of the most effective ways of getting back into shape after delivery. Yoga is simple to perform, and at the same time, very effective.
Can You Exercise After Having a Caesarean Section?
While there is no restriction on exercising after having a C-section surgery, it is to be noted that C-section is not the most tender procedure done on your body parts, and it is essential that you take adequate rest until you recover fully. Hence, you will have to wait for the right time before you can begin with your exercise routine.
C-section results in loss of blood, as the muscles are cut and stitched back post-surgery. It is important to ensure that your incisions heal and stitches dissolve before you can start any form of exercise.
As a new mom, you might be excited and keen on reducing post-pregnancy belly fat. However, it is best to wait until you have regained your strength completely and the wounds from the surgery have healed to an extent where there is no risk of you hurting yourself with all the stretching and movements.
Yoga After Caesarean Delivery
Normally, women can start yoga after six to eight weeks of the delivery. But, it is recommended to consult your doctor and discuss when to start yoga after C-section. The doctor will gauge your body’s ability to handle physical stress, muscle pliability, and give necessary guidance. Once your doctor gives a go-ahead, you can start practising simple asanas and gradually progress to a more intense routine. Following are the reasons why yoga is recommended after pregnancy:
- Yoga after a C-section will tone your muscles, strengthen them, and aid you in overall recovery.
- Yoga helps in re-alignment of ligaments and loose muscles.
- Yoga will increase your focus and attention span; it will calm your mind, body, and soul.
- Yoga helps in dealing with any stressful and anxious situation calmly.
- Yoga will give strength to your organs and de-stress you.
Begin with basic stretches and follow correct breathing routine every time before starting your yoga session. Avoid excessive stretching and movement and do not push yourself beyond what your body is capable of taking.
Yoga Poses to Do After C-Section Delivery
Yoga is an ideal way to strengthen your body and re-energise it after the strain of pregnancy and delivery. Many women also practice yoga for a flat tummy after C section. But the time when you recover from a C-section delivery is best to start yoga.
Start with simple rhythmic breathing exercises, anulom-vilom pranayama, chanting ‘aum’, shavasana and other basic stretches for the first couple of weeks and then assess your physical strength before you start with complex asanas.
Once you feel you have recovered enough, you can include the following asanas in your yoga routine:
- Agnisaar Kriya: This kriya increases internal energy and vitality. It also helps fight indigestion, constipation and loss of appetite, things which are commonly experienced after delivery.
- Kandharasana: This asana tones organs in the abdomen area and pelvic region. It strengthens the female reproductive organs as well.
- Bhujanga Asana: It tones muscles in shoulder, abdomen and chest. Practising this pose will decrease the stiffness of the lower back and strengthen your arms and shoulders.
- Urdhva Prasarita Padasana: This asana strengthens the lower back, tones abdominal muscles, and improves posture.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana: Also known as the dog pose, this pose stretches your back and spine and muscles of the thighs and calves, and helps improve their strength. This asana leaves you feeling rejuvenated and energised. It also has a calming effect on the brain and helps in relieving stress.
- Tadasana: Also known as the mountain pose, this asana is excellent for the entire body. It helps improve your body control and strength; it tones your muscles and improves blood flow and posture.
- Vriksasana: Once you are comfortable with these asanas, you can go for the tree pose. Vriksasana strengthens your pelvic area, improves body balance and has a positive impact on the entire body.
After practising these asanas for a few weeks (ideally 3-4 weeks), you can progress to more complex yoga poses such as ‘Surya Namaskar‘. But, go for it only when you are comfortable and your muscle soreness has come down.
As a mother, it can be difficult to take out time to perform all these exercises in one go, especially if you are working. Plan your exercises in short and simple sequences and repeat them two to three times. For all kinds of exercises that you undertake after C-section, pay close attention to how your body responds to yoga postures and stop right away if you feel uncomfortable. You can also seek the help of a professional yoga instructor to take you through the initial phase of practising yoga. Yoga for pregnant women is also recommended.
Going back to her normal pre-pregnancy shape after the delivery is important for the mother as it makes her feel good, boosts her confidence, and gears her up for the challenges associated with raising a child. Yoga is an effective and convenient way to strengthen the body, both internally and externally and relax the mind at the same time.
Recovery after C-section surgery can take longer than recovery after normal delivery. It is, therefore, important to be extra cautious and careful while performing any exercise or yoga after the surgery. It is best to avoid any heavy movements or exercise for at least six weeks after delivery. Having a controlled diet which includes necessary nutrition will also aid in faster recovery from C-section.
Also Read: C-Section Scars – All You Need to Know