Serving Western MA and Northern CT

C-Section Considerations

A c-section is a major abdominal surgery. And although they are fairly common (approximately 30% of babies are born via cesarean section in the United States), they need to be treated and rehabilitated as a major surgery. 

If you sprained your ankle, you’d see a physical therapist specializing in orthopedic rehabilitation. It would be standard to receive a script from your physician and attend PT. The exact same principle needs to be the norm for women who have experienced a c-section. More specifically, if you have had a c-section, you should schedule an appointment to see a physical therapist specializing in pelvic rehabilitation.

Women too often believe that their pelvic floor is “spared” because of the c-section. That is not necessarily true. Any trauma to the abdominopelvic region can cause or exacerbate pelvic floor symptoms. However, there is a difference between a planned c-section vs. an emergency c-section. We can’t assume the healing time is the same for each patient who underwent a c-section. A detailed evaluation and proper progression is key🔑.

Here are some considerations if you are recovering from a c-section:

  1. Always roll on your side to get up or down. 
  2. Focus on breathing as a perfect start point – we want to get the ribs expanding, the back expanding, and thinking about breathing “bottom up” to avoid pressure through the belly and pelvic floor. Time spent connecting to the breath and abdominals is boring – but necessary. 
  3. Pelvic floor considerations are often needed due to the postural changes and weight of the baby during pregnancy. Simply going on frequent short walks can help with overall recovery.
  4. Gentle scar massage/belly massage – typically started at 6 weeks. There is a connection between scar tissue in the abdominal region with pelvic floor dysfunction as they share fascial connections! Focusing on the scar and the belly will help to reduce adhesions. This can help to get your abdominals back on board after a c-section. 
  5. Weakness in the core may be present whether someone has had a vaginal delivery or a c-section. Any surgery into the abdominal wall has the potential to “shut down” those muscles. Give yourself time. Be patient. 

 If you have had a c-section and are currently suffering from pelvic floor dysfunction or if you don’t know where to begin with an exercise program, send us a message. 

💛 Renew Health Team 

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