ZocdocAnswersHow soon after a C-Section can one exercise?

Question

How soon after a C-Section can one exercise?

My son was born nearly a month ago. After a complicated labor, I opted to birth him by C-section. The healing process has come along nicely for me, but I don't want to rush it. When is it safe for me to do some vigorous exercise, like running or swimming?

Answer

Return to an exercise program after an abdominal surgery is a complex decision, one which is best managed in consultation with an OB/GYN physician or the surgeon who performed the surgery. Generally, your OB/GYN physician will recommend an office visit about 6 weeks after the caesarean section. This visit is designed to assess healing of the wound and determine guidelines for return to exercise. Most likely, your physician will advise you to avoid any exercise program prior to this office visit, although gentle stretching and light activity, such as slow walking, will likely be ok. Following the 6 week office visit, your physician will develop some individualized recommendations on when and how much you may exercise. Generally, it will be ok to increase your activity level gradually after 6 weeks, but many OB/GYN physicians will still discourage a rigorous exercise program such as weight lifting for an additional 6 weeks. Most physicians will advise that you begin with lower impact activities such as swimming. The risk of resuming vigorous exercise too quickly is that the surgical scar may not heal well or even, in severe cases, may open up again completely. As always, specific recommendations on activity after caesarean section will require a physical examination by your personal physician. It is recommended that you make an appointment with your OB/GYN doctor to discuss the issue.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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