My oldest sister recently gave birth to two beautiful twins. She had a cesarean section and is doing very well! At her 6 week check up post-surgery, her doctor gave her the "all clear" to exercise without restrictions. While this is great news, as a Physiotherapist, it disheartens me that there is no guideline for her recovery and safe return to exercise. For most surgeries, there is usually a strict guideline or protocol for returning to exercise, like a knee ACL reconstruction or a hip replacement. So why should it be any different for a Cesarean section, a major abdominal surgery? After being inactive for 6 weeks (likely longer depending on how your pregnancy was), it is not safe to just jump right into exercising without restrictions. Unfortunately, the research has not yet translated into practice as there are no guidelines given to women. If you have had a C-section, I strongly encourage you to see a Pelvic Physiotherapist so you can learn how to safely return to exercise.
In this blog, I will provide some general guidelines for hip strengthening post-pregnancy. My blog "What is The Core" is another great resource that I urge you to read as well.
Why strengthen the glutes after giving birth?
- Ligaments around the sacroiliac (SI) joints become lax during pregnancy
- The glute maximus and medius muscles help stabilize the pelvis and provide force closure, or reinforcement, to the SI joints. Strengthening the glutes can thus help manage SI joint pain due to pregnancy related changes.
Your muscles do not work in isolation so it is important that you are effectively engaging your core while exercising your glutes. It is important to note that returning to exercise post-partum is dependent on whether you had the baby naturally or via c-section. It is best to get clearance from your doctor or Pelvic Health Physiotherapist for determining when it is safe to exercise.
Check out our Video for exercise suggestions: https://youtu.be/oBjB4mWrIlw
Registered Physiotherapist and Kinesiologist