Did you know that actually 1 in 5 all childbirths globally is carried out by a c-section? This research, done by WHO, also finds that this numbers are going to raise in next 10 years, and it is expected that by the 2030 almost 30% of babies are going to enter the world by a c-section.
Honestly, I am so surprised by these numbers, even thought being a part of this statistics myself as well.
I have to say that I would also like to know how many of those c-section are carried out for a real medical reason and how many actually were unnecessary.
Unnecessary c-sections can be seriously harmful for both, mother and the baby. And I just hope that every woman who chose c-section on her own is aware of all possible consequences.
Just to be clear, in my personal opinion, any woman has a right to do with her body what ever she wants. Period.
But, as a woman who had both, c-section and a natural birth, I have to say that a natural birth is far way easier and better in many ways than a c-section – of course, only when woman has a choice.
The biggest difference is in the recovery.
Or to be more precise, you have to recover and deal with many things in postpartum whether you had a natural birth or a c-section, only difference is length of recovery and in the life after postpartum.
After the natural (vaginal) birth I felt completely recovered after 4 months, while after a c-section I still feel my scar tingling even 2,5 years after.
Regarding coming back to exercising after a c-section, it really depends on your personal example.
First and the most important is how do you feel in your body? Did you exercise before pregnancy? Were you active during pregnancy? Do you breastfeed?
What ever you personal lifestyle looks like, I woulds suggest you to start exercising at least 8 weeks after a delivery.
During pregnancy your core muscles suffered the most, they are weakened and elongated so they don’t support your lumbar spine and the joints of the pelvic well anymore.
So, apparently what we should focus on is to get back strength to the core.
But, even before we start with a core exercises, a at the very beginning, I suggest starting with basic pilates principles, like breathing, finding neutral, learning to activate the core.
Before we jump to exercises I would only to remind you that your body has gone through an amazing transformation.
Whole this journey of bringing into this world a new life is not easy, and you should be proud of your body and yourself.
You should love your body unconditionally for such and amazing job it has done.
It is totally okay that you want to improve your fitness and get back to best shape, but give your self a time and start this journey from the place of love, not from the place of self judgment.
Go easy and slowly, step by step, and give yourself time. Don’t focus on a weight loss, instead find joy in small daily routines that will help you become your best self – physically and mentally.
I suggest starting easy and slowly, step by step, day by day, in your own pace.
It is very important to be intentional about your fitness journey.
Set your intentions every day to move your body and feel good about it.
Don’t force yourself to something you don’t feel like doing.
Remember you are doing it because your love your body and your-self, not because you hate it.
Listen to your body and start whenever you feel is the best time for you.
In my case I felt in my 8th week that I would like to experience some movement (other than picking a baby).
But only your can understand your body signals and know what is best for you.
So, start when you feel ready but not before 8 weeks postpartum.
First you should learn what neutral spine is and how to find it.
This is very important thing to learn before you start exercising.
Finding your neutral spine will help you have a proper posture during exercising.
In Pilates we do most of the exercises with neutral spine position.
It is the best way to protect your spine and be sure that particular exercise is healthy for your spine.
To protect your spine should always be your number 1 priority.
Joseph Pilates said “You are as young as your spine”.
Neutral spine position will also help you to engage your core, which is so important in c section postpartum recovery.
Watch the video bellow in which I am explaining neutral spine position.
First pilates movement principle is BREATHING.
It literally first thing we do in our life…
In pilates breathing is integrated into every movement, in order to focus on what we are doing, to improve lungs capacity and flow of oxygen through our body.
Breathing also can be used to decrease stress, lower or raise blood pressure and many other improvement can be done only with breathing technique.
It is so important to try different breathing techniques.
In this video you will learn one of them.
Watch this video as one of the most important steps before you begin your c section postpartum journey.
This a very simple but at the same time so useful exercise on the beginning of your c section postpartum journey.
Before making any move, and especially before you lift your feel off the floor make sure to find your neutral spine and pelvis position.
This will help you feel your deep core muscles and start engaging them.
Be very careful, and stop if you feel uncomfortable.
Remember, first find your neutral, pull your belly in, but don’t stick your back to the floor (imagine having a small space behind your back).
Lift one leg in table top position, and after lowering down lift the other leg up.
Repeat the movement by alternating sides.
Do no more than 10 repetitions for the first time.
If you feel good and capable, repeat the same with both legs together.
Stop if you feel pain in your back or lower belly.
Bridge is great Pilates exercise which will help you increase the stability of the spine and strengthen the muscles of gluts, hamstrings and abdomen.
All those benefits are much needed especially after c section
For bridge exercise we also want to keep safe neutral spine position.
Before starting to lift your back up, make sure your belly is in and that your back are not stick to the floor.
Start lifting a flat back up.
Squeeze you butt when lifting up and lowering your back down.
Repeat 10 times.
This is great exercise for developing pelvic stability and core control.
This is so important in c section postpartum recovery.
Single leg lowering exercise will strengthen your abdominals and increase flexibility of your hamstrings.
Keep your torso still when performing this exercise.
Lower one leg down together with head and upper body.
Reach your arms to one side, opposite of the leg which is lowering.
Pull the abdominals in more deeply with every repetition.
Repeat x 10 with each leg.
Now you are ready to finally start doing full workouts.
But I recommend only 5-10 minutes Pilates classes.
You might feel better and ready to something more challenging but trust me, you are still fragile and it is better to be careful and listen to your body.
On my youtube channel you can find plenty of quick 5-10 minutes workouts, so make sure to check them all.
Below find some I recommend.
If you followed my guideline for a c section postpartum recovery, didn’t experience any pain and didn’t feel uncomfortable about moving your body, you are finally ready to level-up your results.
I suggest starting with Pilates for beginners program in online studio Pilatesness which is free for everybody.
So, regardless of are you a member of Pilatesness or not you can get totally free a 5 day program which will introduce Pilates to you.
It will teach you main Pilates moves and principles, through exercising.
If you feel that you can already start with something more advanced you have 7 DAY FREE TRIAL in online studio Pilatesness.
When you become a member of Pilatesness you will get access to all programs and single classes.
Programs are created to help you achieve different goals – Weight loss, Core & Abs, Get rid of cellulite, Mindfulness & pilates and other.
Single classes are mostly Pilates based but I like to add Yoga, Body weight training, Hiit, Cardio and other types of exercising.
Wherever you are now, and what ever physical form is your starting point remember that your body needs love.
You have gone through such an incredible transformation and your body has grown and brought into this World a new human being.
Be grateful for this ability and show your body love for everything it has done for you.
Now it is your turn to give your body love it deserves by taking care of it and celebrating it.
There is no better way to do it than by exercising.