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What are gentle exercises for women to recover after a C-section?

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C-section, or cesarean section, is a surgery to deliver a baby through a cut in the mother’s belly and womb. You can try gentle exercises a few days after the C-section:

  • Deep breathing: Take 2-3 slow, deep breaths every half hour. This can help prevent lung congestion from sitting in bed so much.
  • Shoulder circling: Sit upright and roll your shoulders 20 times in both directions every hour to help with stiffness.
  • Gentle stretching: Stand against a wall and raise both arms slowly above your head until you feel the muscles in your belly stretch. Hold for 5 seconds, and then relax. You can do this up to 10 times a day to boost flexibility around your stitches.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Health: “What is a Cesarean Delivery?”

Mayo Clinic: “C-section What You Can Expect,” “C-section Recovery: What to Expect.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Breastfeeding After Cesarean Delivery.”

Kaiser Permanente: “Recovery After a Cesarean Birth.”

University of Rochester Medical Center Obstetrics Division: “Pain Management.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Cesarean Section.”

American Psychological Association: “What is postpartum depression & anxiety?”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on June 24, 2019

SOURCES:

National Institute of Health: “What is a Cesarean Delivery?”

Mayo Clinic: “C-section What You Can Expect,” “C-section Recovery: What to Expect.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Breastfeeding After Cesarean Delivery.”

Kaiser Permanente: “Recovery After a Cesarean Birth.”

University of Rochester Medical Center Obstetrics Division: “Pain Management.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Cesarean Section.”

American Psychological Association: “What is postpartum depression & anxiety?”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on June 24, 2019

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