by maipham

May 16, 2020

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Getting back to shape after delivery is not easy. 

Yes, some moms seem like they figure it out the whole motherhood thing, and they know how to take care of their babies so well, and somehow they still manage to get some time to take care of themselves

But for most of us, fitting back to the same old skinny jeans or trying to reduce our sizes is some hard stuff.

However, it is not impossible though. In fact, with normal delivery, moms are recommended to start doing exercises only a few weeks later. 

If you’ve been doing exercises before having a baby, the desire to sweat, to feel pumped and feel active again is really big. And if you’ve done weight training before, it is tempting to get back to the gym.

But if you had a C-section, the picture has changed. You need to watch out when to get back to the weight, as it can have some bad impact on the scar and your health.

Yes, I know this question pops out in your head.

“When can I lift weight after C-section?”

So when can you?

The 6 weeks rule after C-section is just a myth

Many people claim that you can start doing exercise after 6 weeks. According to Parents, after 6 weeks of C-section, you are likely fully healed.

While this is true to some extent, in many cases, this will do you more harm than good.

A C-section is not a gentle procedure for your body and organs, so you need to get adequate rest and recovery. A C-section should be treated like a surgery, whose rehabilitation requires 9 to 12 months. There are checks and things you need to be concerned about, and cross everything in your checklist to make sure when it is safe to return to certain exercises.

The healing process is not done at six weeks. Not even close. 

From the outside, your scar can appear healed, but many deeper layers inside your body require more time to heal. Remember when the doctor opens you up, he went through every layer to your organs.

There is no specific time range for all moms

All moms are different. If you used to do a lot of exercises before the C-section, then it is likely that your physical recovery is faster than other moms. You can feel ready faster, but it doesn’t mean your body is ready.

On the other hand, if you have no or very little prior exercise before the C-section, with all the workload and sleepless nights, you won’t feel ready to start exercising at all even when your body is completely healed.

Should you force yourself into exercising?

I’m sure you are not strange to some inspiring quotes about exercises.

“No pain, no gain”

“Train insane or stay the same”

“Break is for the weak”

While these quotes are true for normal people, they don’t work so well for new moms, especially breastfeeding moms.

Remember, the most important thing for new moms is that you have to feel happy, relaxed and mentally healthy to raise happy and healthy kids. 

Exercises, in any form, should contribute to make you feel like that, not drain you, exhaust you and give you stress.

If you are tired and don’t feel like doing exercises, then rest and sleep. 

That’s it. No “must-do”, no “to-do list”.

When can I lift weight after C-section?

If you are mentally excited about exercising and you are well 9 months after C-section, I highly recommend you to gradually get back to your exercises.

If 9 months seems too long for you, after the 4th month, if you feel strong enough, you can start with some gentle exercises with your back remaining neutral, like squats, plank, …

Start slowly and gradually increase how hard you work and how long you exercise. Always listen to your body. Your scar and your stomach muscles react best to consistent, regular exercise – not training to exhaustion.

Checklist for a safe weight-training workout for new moms

When can I lift weight after C-section? Well, make sure you cross everything on this checklist, before you start doing some hardcore weight training sessions.

If you can't mark OK for everything in the checklist, you should instead start with some gentle exercises, from regaining control of your pelvis muscles to gentle stretching. 

Weight-training exercises are very effective, but new moms need to perform them with caution.

Don’t rush into it in the hope of losing weight. Weight-training, along with any other exercises, should provide a means to help you get stronger physically and mentally. 

Listen to your body, gradually get into the fitness world before turning yourself into some weight-loss-hungry mamas.

Your baby needs you to be happy and healthy. 

About the author 

Mai Pham

Mai Pham discovered her passion for writing a few years ago and she never stop thinking about it ever since. She finally took the leap and created Live a Worthy Life to brag about her smart ass (mainly just for fun). Enjoyed the fun writing brings, now with her new interest in everything-baby-related, she created Mommy Instinct, to tell mamas that it's ok that they mess up, that they don't know what the hell they are doing, and that it's okay to sit back and relax for a while.

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