Exercise After a C Section – Doing it Right!

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Exercise after having a baby is very important, not just because you want to lose the extra weight you may have gained, but also because it helps your body heal faster and come back together. 

As you get back into an exercise routine, you should do so very gradually and carefully, especially if you’ve had a c section.Exercise After a C Section

C Sections are so common these days that many people don’t realize, or consider anymore that it really is major surgery. The doctors are cutting through several layers of skin, muscle, and tissue. They’re moving your organs around to get to the baby then sewing it all back together.

If you aren’t careful about getting back into shape afterwards, you can end up causing damage to your muscles, organs, and more.

After each of my boys were born, I looked around at some of the resources and instructions available to mothers who’ve had a baby, and it really bothered me to find so much misinformation out there about the right way to get back in shape.

Many of the guides I found will actually make your stomach worse and make you more prone to developing Diastasis Recti and other conditions that could need surgery to repair later on. For those of you that haven’t heard of it, diastasis recti is a condition in which the inner abdominal muscles split down the middle leaving a gap several finger widths wide.

Diastasis Recti Abdominis

Although pregnancy is not the only cause of diastasis recti, it’s most common during and after pregnancy because the baby puts a lot of extra pressure that your body isn’t used to on your abdominal muscles. If your abdominals aren’t strong enough to hold up against the pressure, they split, leaving a gap that your intestines will poke out through.

Most mothers do develop diastasis during their pregnancy but, the majority of them, will heal on their own within a couple months of the baby being born. For those cases that don’t heal on their own, it’s critical to give your body adequate time to heal and to use the right types of exercise to close the separation.

Women who’ve had a c section are much more prone to developing diastasis recti after their baby is born because the surgery takes a big toll on your abdominal muscles.The 3 Week Diet

You probably haven’t heard that, after a c section, your brain actually loses its connection with your abdominal muscles. Particularly the muscles affected by the incision and the ones around it.

If you don’t use the right exercises and techniques to reestablish that connection, the result is the c section pooch you’re here searching for a way to get rid of!exercises to get rid of c section pooch

As you look for ways to get rid of that pooch, you’ll find people outlining exercises like bicycles, crunches, or planks so that you can target your lower abdominal muscles. I can tell you from my own experience, that if you’ve developed diastasis recti, these exercises will only make the condition much worse!

You’ll also find people saying that only surgery can really repair the pooch so your options are:

  1. Fork over the money for a surgery that you may “need” again in the future if you choose to have more kids.
  2. Wait until you’re done having kids to get the surgery and spend years disappointed with your body.
  3. Take care of it yourself by using proper exercise and nutrition.

It is possible to get rid of it and I’ll be outlining a great set of exercises and programs you can start with to get your mummy tummy into the shape you want it in.

I am a big advocate of using a girdle after a baby to help bring your stomach back in. They won’t help you lose the pooch on their own (despite what my mother always told me), but they are an invaluable tool to use along the way.

I used one after every single one of my kids and found it was actually quite painful to go without one because my stomach was so weak.  They give you the extra support you need, help your insides come back together, and allow you to heal much quicker.

I’ve tried more than I care to admit in my quest to find a good quality one and one that I really like is this one here.



How Soon Should You Start Exercising after a C Section

The sooner you start exercising, the better your body will heal. However, when I say
exercise, I don’t mean full out grabbing the weights and jumping into an intense workout or how soon can you exercise after a c sectiongoing for a jog.

The first step in your recovery process is just getting to the point where you can walk. This really is going to be a challenge those first couple days.

Numerous studies have shown that women who start walking within a couple hours of a c section or by the next day, heal much faster than those who stay in bed.

Waiting till you “feel better” or feel up to walking, increases the risks of dangerous blood clots as well as infections.

It definitely won’t be easy! You’ll need help and will probably feel like your entire midsection is missing. But, the more you walk, the quicker your body will heal and that connection can be reestablished.

Start with just walking to and from the restroom while you’re in the hospital. Your stay will likely be about three days, then you’ll be sent home with instructions on how to care for your incision and prevent infections

You shouldn’t drive for at least a week after your baby is born and you should avoid stairs for at least two weeks afterwards. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. You shouldn’t be lifting anything heavier than your baby or you risk the incision splitting open.

What Exercises Should You Avoid After a C-Section

The first couple weeks after having a baby, especially after a c section, your body needs rest and time to heal. Trying to get into an intense exercise routine too soon can cause several problems from infections to tearing to many more complications.

The following exercises should be completely avoided for at least three months after your baby is born; longer if you feel it’s necessary. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

  • Crunches & Situps: Have you ever heard someone say they do a hundred crunches orexercises to avoid after c section situps a day to get a flat stomach? Though that may work for some people, it won’t work for a mother who just had a baby. These types of exercises work your outer abdominal muscles. You need to start with the inner ones first.
  • Bicycles: These will have the same effect as crunches and situps. They’re excellent exercises, provided your inner abdominals are up for the task.
  • Full Body Plank Exercises: These exercises put unnecessary pressure on your incision. These should be saved until your body has had adequate time to heal and the incision is fully closed.
  • Backbends: These exercises pull your abdominal muscles tight and for a women with a c section scar that hasn’t adequately healed, backbends put much more pressure than is safe on the scar.
  • Lifting Anything Heavier than Your Baby: Causes Postpartum Workout Equipmentunnecessary pressure on the incision that often results in heavy bleeding, tearing, and frequent infections.
  • Running & Jumping: The first time I went running after my first son was born, I was in for quite a shock. The entire time I could feel everything in my abdomen flopping around and it was clear things hadn’t moved back into place yet. This is even more extensive after a c section in which the muscles were cut through, organs were moved around and replaced, and it was all sewn back together.

Don’t despair about not being able to get your stomach back after a baby. You can do it; you just need to give yourself time. Spend those first couple months enjoying your baby and incorporating safe, gentle exercises. Once you’ve built up, you can slowly ease into a heavier routine.

After 6 Weeks You Can Incorporate the following Exercises

  • Brisk Walking
  • Ellyptical
  • Cycling on a flat path

My Recommended Program for Bringing Your Stomach Back in After a C Section

If you’re looking for a program or guide that can give you step by step instructions for getting Does the MuTu System Workinto shape after a c section or a natural birth, there isn’t any option that I’ve found or used that I like more than the MuTu system. 

The MuTu System, designed by Wendy Powell, was created specifically for women to use for postpartum recovery. The exercises included in it are meant to be used both during pregnancy to maintain a strong healthy body and core, as well as afterwards to bring everything back together and get rid of that wonderful mummy tummy (mutu).

I actually turned to the MuTu Sytem myself when I discovered that I’d developed diastasis recti for the first time after I had my third son.

There was a gap about four finger widths between my abdominals that steadily got worse for months because I was using the wrong types of exercise. When I finally realized what was going on, I tried to close it on my own.

I was able to narrow the gap a few inches then used Wendy’s MuTu system to close the remaining gap.

The MuTu System is a 12 week program with the first two weeks being specifically targeted at rebuilding your core, pelvic muscles, and your inner abdominals. It can be used whether your baby was just born, or is a couple months old. Even if it’s been years since you had your last baby, you can still use the MuTu system to get abdominal muscles you can be proud of.

What Exercises Should You Start With after a C Section

The first goal as you start exercising after a c section, is to reestablish the connection between your brain and your abdominal muscles; particularly your lower abdominals.

  • Use Good Posture: It’s very easy to become accustomed to slouching during pregnancyExercises to Prevent Diastasis Recti because of all the extra weight in your stomach. Once your baby is born, if you’ve had a C-Section, it can be difficult at first to sit up straight. You may feel like doing so pulls at your stitches, but you don’t need to worry about it. Sitting up straight will help your strengthen your back as well as your abdominals. It will also keep the incision area clear to prevent clots from forming.

Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor!

The pelvic floor muscles support your uterus, small intestine, bladder, and rectum. Performing pelvic floor exercises help to strengthen these muscles and keep all these organs in place. They also help your inner abdominal muscles heal.

If you’re wondering if you really need these exercises since you didn’t have a vaginal delivery, then the answer is an absolute yes! Just going through pregnancy weakens your pelvic floor muscles and puts a lot of additional pressure on them. Especially if you’ve developed diastasis recti, you’ll find that you have urinary incontinence and frequent bladder leakage.

As you start strengthening the inner abdominals, you’ll find that the separation between your abdominal muscles will start to close and you’ll both see and feel a noticeable difference. That connection between your brain and stomach muscles will be firmly reestablished.

If you work on your outer abdominals before building up a strong foundation on the inner ones, you’re stomach will always droop out because the inner muscles aren’t strong enough to hold it in.

Kegels

These can be done in a standing, sitting, or lying position and are one of the
first types of exercise you should start doing after your baby is born. They can be done within the first week or two. 

  • Identify the muscles you use to stop urination midstream. (You shouldn’t do them as you’re using the bathroom because that can cause urinary tract infections as well as cause harm to the bladder.)
  • Simply take note of the muscles used for this and perform kegels by tightening these muscles for 5- 10 seconds (without holding your breath) then releasing them.
  • You can also squeeze these muscles and release for 10-15 quick repetitions.
  • Work up to contracting the muscles for 30-60 seconds as you continue to breathe normally.

Clamshells 

  • Lie on your side with your knees bent and your hand resting on the hip how to do clamshell exercisegoing towards the ceiling.
  • Tighten your lower abdominals by breathing in and pulling your belly in towards your spine as you release the breath.
  • Raise the knee on top as much as you can while your heels are still touching and hold this position for a few seconds before returning to the starting position.
  • Once you’ve mastered these, you can use an exercise loop band around your legs for greater resistance and stronger muscles.  

Heel Slides

  • Lie on your back with your knees raised the same way you would for a heel slide exercise examplesitup or crunch.
  • Engage your lower abdominals by breathing in then slowly releasing that breath.
  • As you release it, pull your belly in towards your spine as tightly as you can.
  • Slowly straighten one leg then bring it back in.
  • Do the same with the other leg.
  • Repeat on each side for several repetitions. You can use a resistance band for additional pressure as you build up to it.

Glute Bridge 

  • Lie on your back with your Healing Diastasis Rectiknees bent for a crunch or sit-up.
  • Utilize your core by inhaling and pulling your belly button into your spine as much as you can then raise your hips off the floor until there is a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Hold this position for a couple seconds then lower your hips and repeat

Stomach Vacuum 

This is by far one of my favorite exercises to strengthen your inner abdominal muscles. If done correctly, Healing Exercises for Diastasis Rectithis can work wonders on your stomach. It can be done standing, sitting, lying down, or on all fours.

  • Start by taking a deep breath in then release it very slowly.
  • As you release that breath, pull your belly button in towards your spine as much as you can. Also pull it upwards to tighten those lower abdominal muscles and get rid of the postpartum pooch.
  • Work up to holding this in for up to a minute then release it and do it again after a couple seconds of rest.

Side Planks 

  • Lie on your side with your body in a straight line from your head to yourBest Exercises for Diastasis Recti feet.
  • Put your lower elbow on the floor at a perpendicular angle from your body and place the other hand on your waist.
  • Raise your body up until only your foot and your elbow are touching the floor and there is a straight line from your feet to your shoulders.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds then repeat it with the other side.
  • Work up to holding this for 2-3 minutes on each side.

You Can Have the Post Baby Body You’ve Always Wanted

The above exercises will give you exactly what you need to rebuild your core, pelvic muscles, and inner abdominals. Once more time has passed and you’ve been using these for a couple weeks, you can start getting into heavier exercises and focus more on the outer abdominals.

It’s a lengthy process but, remember, it took months to create your sweet little baby, and you should just enjoy him/her and slowly start back into exercise as you feel ready for it.

If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to ask. I do answer all of them!

-Jessica

Jessica Camden

Welcome to Your Post Baby Body! I'm Jessica and have been blessed with 3 beautiful little boys, Conner, Jackson, and Jayden. I've learned throughout each of my pregnancies that building your post baby body can be quite difficult. I've learned what works and what doesn't, where to start, and how to build up. My dream is help other moms get the post baby body they want through diet, exercise, and natural remedies!
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67 comments

  1. Telisa says:

    I’m 55 years old had a c-session 14 years ago can I lose this pouch?

    • My honest opinion is that no age is too old if you are truly determined and willing to put in the time and effort. I’ve heard of men and women that never lifted weights in their life until they were 60 years of age and in just a couple months, sometimes a year or two, they were bench pressing several times their own weight.
      I would highly encourage you, if you want to get rid of your stomach, to put together a plan of targeted exercises that will help you do just that. You’ll notice your abdominals getting stronger and with consistency, yes I absolutely believe you can lose the pouch.

      -Jessica

  2. Vans says:

    Hello Dear,

    It’s great to have such a informative article with so much positive attitude. I had c-section surgery 7 months ago. I was too active before baby. I mean I was flexible to do many yoga and stretching exercise. I use to do lot of gym. But during g pregnancy I was big couch potato. It cause gestational diabetes, though I maintained it from the very week I came to know. But after baby my diet was not so good and my stress levels were very high. I was 57 to 59 KGS before pregnancy. But now I am 66 to 67 KGS. Though I joined a gym but the instructor suggest me to avoid core exercises and other abdominal exercise because of incension. Please tell me when I can start proper exercise. I already to little stretching and yoga by myself. Obviously not like before but I think I can achieve that level again. Please clear my doubts to start High Intensity workouts.

    • Thank you so much 🙂 There’s not really a set time after a baby, especially after a c-section when it’s ok to start exercising your core like you used to before you had your baby. Some people say 10 weeks, some say four months but it really varies by person and pregnancy.
      Your instructor was right to tell you not do do the abdominal exercises because that can aggravate your inner abdominals and cause diastasis recti or make it worse if you already have it.
      I would focus on strengthening your inner abdominals and your pelvic muscles. As you do you’ll notice a difference in your back, your stomach, and your pelvic floor. Once they’ve been built back up, you should be fine to start regular exercise
      -Jessica

  3. Tabitha says:

    Jessica, I just had a quick question. My daughter was born 3 months early due to me having severe preclamsia. So in between her 2 month NICU stay and I ended up having a second surgery after my csection to remove hematomas along my incision worrying about getting my prepregnancy body back was put on the back burner. Now that she’s home I really would like to start working on this but do you think the second surgery will make this more difficult and do you have any tips?

    • I’m sorry to hear that 🙁 I hope you’re both doing better. Depending on how long it’s been since your last surgery it could make some of these exercises more difficult when you first get started. I would start with walking 20-30 minutes a day and very light exercises you can perform while sitting in a chair. You can start with kegels and the stomach vacuum.
      A lot of people think kegels are only necessary after a natural birth but regardless of whether your baby was born via csection or naturally, you’re pelvic muscles and abdominals get weaker during pregnancy and need to be rebuilt after. Kegels help to strengthen both.
      As you exercise, pay close attention to your body and if a particular exercise is too painful, wait a couple weeks on that and only use the ones that you’re ready for. After my last son was born I could do most of these exercises but the clamshells were very painful and I just couldn’t do them until my son was about 3 weeks old.
      I wish you the best of luck hun! Let me know if you have any further questions.
      -Jessica

  4. RoseAnna Belaski says:

    Are these exercises good to regain the pre-pregnancy body after 26 years? I would realy like to get rid of my pouch.

    • Yes they are good exercises to use. Because it’s been awhile, it will take more time and effort but these exercises target your inner abdominals and pelvic muscles. Strengthening these muscles will help to get rid of the c section pouch.
      Keep in mind though that exercise should always be combined with enough sleep and a good diet to get the best results possible.
      -Jessica

  5. Alycia says:

    This was very informative. I had a c section 15 years ago, but just had a myomectemy where 20 fibroids were removed. I now have two incisions down below and I wanted to find some exercises post surgery . I’m about 3 weeks post surgery. I feel pretty good but very anxious to get into a regular work out routine. I’m going to check in with my doc about some of the exercises you mentioned. Thanks again for the info and for sharing your story.

    • You’re welcome hun. I wish you the best of luck!
      -Jessica

      • Urvi says:

        Hi jessica

        I tok hav had a c-sec delivery.. my baby is 1.5 years old. And i hav really been unable to do anytg .. can u plz tell me will i b able to loose my baby pooch even if i start now

        • I don’t think it’s too late for you to start. I’ve worked with moms whose kids are much older that were able to get back into shape and lose their mummy tummy. The key is combining a healthy diet with the right kinds of exercises and building your inner abdominals back up before focusing on the rest of your body. A weak core only gets worse when the wrong types of exercises are used.
          The exercises above will help you to strengthen your inner abdominals and your pelvic floor. If you’re interested, Wendy Powell has a program called the MuTu system (Mummy Tummy) that is designed specifically for postpartum mothers to use to rebuild their core and get their stomach back in shape whether their baby was just born or is a couple years old.
          -Jessica

  6. Liz Cornelius says:

    I’m defiantly going to try everything here with a healthy diet. just had my baby on February 23 and I feel that my stomach is not going anywhere, but i want to be able to wear a bathing suit this summer.

    • Aww congratulations on your little one hun 🙂 I know the feeling that your stomach isn’t going anywhere but it just takes a little time and your baby is only a month old. With these exercises and a good diet you should definitely be able to wear the bathing suit this summer 🙂
      These exercises will help to heal and strengthen your pelvic muscles and your inner abdominals. If any of them feel too uncomfortable, I would hold off on those ones until you’ve had a little more time to heal.
      In the meantime I wish you and your sweet baby the best!
      -Jessica

  7. Misty says:

    Thank you for all the great information you have provided. I have had 3 c-sections plus a hysterectomy and a follow up removal of my fallopian tubes. So in all I have had 5 horizontal bikini cuts in the same area. I have been trying to find a way to get rid of the unsightly “pooch” but I have found that the typical floor exercises causes the muscles to go into extreme cramps of terror with the feeling like an alien is about to rip through. It’s incredibly painful. I’m not sure if anyone else has experienced this same reaction or not but I would love to know if there is any suggestions on how to out smart my body on achieving the flat tummy with out screaming and crying on the floor from total mutant muscle take over. My oldest is 15 years old and my youngest is 7 years old…. it’s time I take charge of this situation!

    • That is a lot of abdominal surgeries 🙁 I can understand why some of these exercises would be quite painful. I’d recommend starting with the ones that don’t require you to lie on your back. I know most of the ones here do but I have additional exercises here and here.

      I’d recommend trying some of these to see which aren’t too much for your body and build up to the ones that are too painful right now. You should also make sure you’re getting your walking in at least 5 times a week. If you can’t power walk right now, just a slow walk is fine to start with. As you start to grow stronger, increase the intensity and speed of your walk. I think it’d also help to invest in a good girdle to give your stomach extra support until it’s strong enough.

      I wish you the best of luck hun, let me know if you have any more questions!
      -Jessica

      • Angela says:

        Hi Misty ! Like Misty I’ve had 3 c-sections and a hysterectomy and I had my over lapping pooch left behind ! All my children are grown I’m a grandmother of 3 and still at 50yrs old and in menopause this pooch haunts me still! Will any of these exercises help me as well?!

        • They should help hun. Make sure that you set aside extra time to do them and that you really focus on what you’re doing. Focus on bringing your abdominal muscles back together and strengthening your pelvic floor.

          If you’re interested, Wendy Powell has a great program here that can be used to get your stomach into shape after childbirth even if it’s been years since your last child was born.

    • Angela says:

      Hi Misty I seen your message thru Pinterest and I so agree like you I’ve had c-sections and a hysterectomy thru the same incision! It’s miserable to have a pooch ..all three kids are grown ! Have any of the exercises here worked for you yet?

    • Michelle says:

      Misty I share your experience. 3 c-sects and 1 hysterectomy. The difference is I had 3 verticals (navel to pelvis) followed by 1 horizontal. So now I am left with a puffy T. I started experiencing problems with baldder leakage and was sent for pelvic floor therapy. They did mention my muscles were seperated. I figured after my second child because nothing I did would make the pooch disappear. Now I have a 7yr old and a 5yr old hysterectomy. I have been trying to get my stomach down. I have even considered surgery. The therapist said women who have c-sects should be sent to therapy to teach them how to rebuild their core. I have experienced tons of abdominal discomfort and know it is due to the several cuts to my mid section. I have tried a few of these exercises but will admit it is discouraging when you do not see any immediately progress. I wish all ladies well both mentally and physically. Thank you all for sharing!

  8. Trisha Boyles says:

    I had my second child about 11 months ago and both went c-section. I definitely do not like this pouch and I just feel so fat! I’m glad I came across this! I already printed out the information. I want to see if I have that Diastasis Recti but not quite sure how to do it. I want to start making my stomach stronger so maybe it will help me get better in exercising! I was doing good in the beginning and have hit a low!

    • Hey hun congratulations on your new baby! These exercises should help quite a bit to bring your stomach in. If you’re wondering if you have Diastasis Recti, I have a post with instructions to test for Diastasis Recti.

      Once you know what to look for, it’s fairly easy to diagnose. If you find that you do have it and it’s been 11 months, it’s not likely to heal entirely on it’s own without extra work on your part. Usually the separation heals on it’s own a 6-12 weeks after your baby is born.

      If you’ve had more than one baby, there’s a higher chance that the separation won’t heal entirely on it’s own without exercises targeted to bring it back together. I’d recommend starting with the exercises I have above and also looking at some of these pelvic floor exercises. It also helps to use a girdle that will gently hold your stomach in place.

      I wish you the best of luck hun. We all hit those lows but we can always get back up and if you need any further help or have more questions, don’t hesitate to ask!
      -Jessica

  9. Erica says:

    Love the information. I just had my baby 5 days ago via csection, if I feel decent and able to get around fairly well. Is 1 week too soon to start the non intense exercise?

    • I’m happy to hear that you’re feeling good so quickly! If you feel like you’re up for it I don’t 1 week is too soon at all. As long as they really are non intense exercises like I’ve given above.
      The sooner you get started, the faster your body will heal. Pay attention to your body as you exercise and if something feels too strenuous, stop and wait on that exercise for a bit.
      I’d also strongly recommend you use a good quality girdle to help support your stomach as you exercise.
      I wish you the best of luck hun and congratulations on your little one!
      -Jessica

  10. Anna-Marie says:

    This really hit me: “…after a c section, your brain actually loses its connection with your abdominal muscles.” I had a laparotomy almost 11 years ago and I have struggled with my stomach for a long time although I never knew for sure if it was because of the operation. Now it makes perfect sense why nothing ever worked!! Thank you so much for this information!!! Do you think that I’ll be still able to fix it after such a long time?

    • It’s hard to believe until you experience it for yourself, but you really do lose that connection with your abdominal muscles even if you haven’t had a c-section and you need to purposely rebuild those muscles and reestablish that connection. Using targeted exercises like these, is the only way to do that.

      The longer it’s been the more work it’ll take on your part to reestablish that connection and rebuild those muscles but you can do it. I would recommend using these exercises daily and as you exercise focus on the muscles you want to build.

      I wish you the best of luck hun!
      -Jessica

  11. Anna says:

    Hi- I haven’t had a baby but I have had a laparotomy and myomectomy- basically a c section without the baby. My abs are still really distended. It’s 6 weeks post surgery- my doc has given me the all clear to exercise. I’m going back to yoga- will this program
    help me too? This dozen muffins has got to go!

    • If you’ve basically had the c section without a baby, I do think Wendy’s program will help you quite a bit. It’ll guide you through the process of exercising your inner abdominal muscles and strengthening them so that they can come back together.
      I wish you the best of luck hun!
      -Jessica

  12. Victoria says:

    Also, when can I start doing HIIT (high intensity interval training)?

    • If you’ve tested yourself to ensure your abdominal muscles aren’t split, I would recommend brisk walking a couple times a week for 2-3 weeks before beginning HIIT exercises. The ellyptical you mentioned will also do alot to help you get ready 🙂
      That’ll help to build up a cardio foundation so that you’re more prepared for the high intensity interval training.

      -Jessica

  13. Victoria says:

    Oh my goodness thank you SO much for this article! I’ve been scouring the Internet for information on what sorts of exercises to do and for how long in order to get a flat and toned tummy again. I’ve found some info, but not nearly as much as you provided.
    I am currently 3 months post c-section and I am already doing low-impact cardio (elliptical) but I’m scared to do any work on my core in fear of making it worse (like you mentioned). From what I understand, you’re saying to begin with INNER abdominal exercises first (all of the exercises you’ve shared)? How long should I do these for before I start working on my outer abdominal muscles? When do you think it’s ok to start high-impact exercise like running?
    Thank you so much <3

    • Thank you hun, I’m glad it helped! I am indeed saying to start first with Inner abdominal exercises and those are what I’ve provided here.
      The exercises I’ve listed here will help you to reestablish the connection between your brain and your abdominal muscles.

      You should do these for at least a couple weeks (sometimes it could be longer) until you feel your core getting stronger and you can feel that your abdominal muscles have come back together.

      If you look here, you’ll see a set of instructions to test yourself to see if your abdominal muscles are still split.

      If it’s your first kid, they should come back together on their own within three months but it can take longer when you’ve had a c-section and more work on your part.

      If there doesn’t appear to be a separation using the test above, I would start out with brisk walking for a week or two then light jogging. It’ll definitely take some building up to but start slowly and you can work up to high impact running. 🙂

      If you have any further questions please let me know!
      -Jessica

  14. ejiro says:

    Lovely write up, very informative. Pls I have a question, if your last c section was more than six years ago, what exercise do you recommend for stomach thats still a little pouchy? I hope it not too late to eliminate the little pouch left?

    • I would recommend the exercises I’ve listed above to start with. I know there’s a lot in this article but my hope is that it will give you everything you need to get your stomach back into shape after a baby. If you feel like you need more help and guidance, I really love Wendy’s MuTu system because it is designed to help postpartum moms get their body back into shape whether your baby was just born a few weeks ago or it’s been a couple years.

      Your body definitely heals much faster if you start working at it within a couple weeks of your babies birth but, if you’re determined, you can still get there. It took me almost a year to fully recover from my last son’s birth because, though I was exercising, I wasn’t doing the right kinds and everything I did made my stomach worse 🙁

      I started out with the exercises listed above and some of the ones from my exercises for diastasis recti page. I noticed a huge difference within just a few months but that list little pooch just wouldn’t go away 🙁

      That’s when I turned to Wendy’s MuTu system and it really helped me to get the rest of the way there and understand what I should be doing and how to strengthen my stomach muscles.

      I wish you the best of luck hun!
      -Jessica

  15. crystal says:

    hi jessica i never ever came across any info like this its been 5 years since my last baby and i believe i probably have a severe case can this work this late in?

    • People have waited alot longer than five years to turn things around and been successful. It will take more work because of the time that’s past, but I wouldn’t ever feel like it’s impossible.
      I really think the hardest part is knowing the right way to start and the right way to increase the intensity of your workouts as you start to build back up. These exercises are here to help you learn to identify your inner abdominal muscles and your pelvic floor muscles so that you can strengthen those before focusing on your other muscles.
      So many people make the mistake of going for exercises that work their outer abdominals because those are the ones that are advertised as the correct exercises to get your stomach in shape. As a result the pooch gets bigger because your core muscles aren’t strong enough to withstand the pressure.
      I would recommend adding these to your exercise routine a couple times a week. You will start to notice a difference 🙂
      -Jessica

  16. Jenny West says:

    I had to lose 29 pounds (big deal ha). Thanks to Mummy magic weight loss tea that helped me a lot. Started drinking the supplement right after 8 weeks pp and after a few weeks was back to my pre-pregnancy shape while breastfeeding my LO.

    • I usually need to lose between 50-65 pounds after my kids are born. I haven’t ever heard of that tea though, I’ll have to look into it. Is there a reason you waited until you were 8 weeks postpartum? Can you not use it immediately after?

      -Jessica

  17. Tessa says:

    Hi Jessica,

    I’m glad I came across your post, I’m willing to try it out and hope it works. Hopefully it’s not too late for me since my youngest is 10 years old. I had a c-section with my youngest and A tubal ligation. I do workout as well and jog when I can. If you have any quick workouts that you suggest please let me know. Thanks 😃

    • Hi Tessa 🙂 I’m glad you found my post and I hope these exercises can help you get the results you’re looking for. I would strongly recommend taking at least 2-3 times a week to do these exercises for about 20 minutes. If your inner abdominals aren’t built back up after a c-section, regular abdominal exercises and jogging can actually weaken your stomach and make it stick out more. I learned this the hard way 🙁

      It’s just a matter of identifying the right muscles and focusing on strengthening them. As you go jogging, I think it would help quite a bit to use a girdle to help hold your stomach in so that your stomach muscles aren’t under so much pressure while you run. I know I talk about them a lot, but the difference they make is amazing. They don’t squeeze your stomach, but intead, just gently hold it in.

      If you feel confident that your inner abdominals are up for it, I really love Kayla Itsine’s Bikini Body Guide for a set of quick workouts. The workouts are about 28 min each plus a warm up and cool down. I absolutely love the variety in her workouts. They definitely aren’t something you should start though until your pelvic floor muscles and your inner abdominals are strong enough.

      I wish you the best of luck hun!
      -Jessica

  18. jessica says:

    What exercises are effective if you are 7 years post c-section? I’ve tried everything to get rid of my pouch with no success. So frustrating

    • When it’s been a couple of years since a c-section it is harder to lose the pooch but it’s not impossible. You need to start with rebuilding your pelvic floor muscles and your inner abdominals. Also keep in mind that without a good nutrition plan to go with it, it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to get the results your seeking through exercise.

      For years, I focused only on exercise with little emphasis on diet and, while I got stronger, I didn’t lose much body fat. As soon as I turned my focus to my diet first then exercise, it was amazing how quickly I was able to get the results I wanted.

      If you haven’t already put together a nutrition plan to go with your exercise, I would start with that, then I would strongly recommend you use one of these girdles during your workout to help hold your stomach in. They won’t fix your stomach on their own, but if you use them while you exercise, they can help quite a bit!

      -Jessica

      The exercises I’ve listed here really are a great place to start. Some more great exercises are these Pelvic Floor Exercises.

      I hope that answers your question hun. If you have any further ones don’t hesitate to ask!

  19. Really Good post, I really love these tips for getting into shape after a c-section. It’s nice to have see a variety of exercises instead of just kegels.

    Kate Connolly

  20. Kyndra Yamaguchi says:

    Hello!y last baby was 8 years ago. I’ve had a vaginal delivery and two c sections. I always had a beautiful stomach until the last two! Is it too late? How often do I do your exercises?
    Thanks!

    • I wouldn’t say it’s too late. Your body does heal much quicker when you start these exercises within a couple weeks of having your baby, but that doesn’t mean if you miss that window there’s nothing you can do. I would recommend getting a girdle to help gently support your stomach as you do these exercises so that you can focus on your pelvic floor as you exercise.

      To start with, I would try to to find 10-15 minutes a day that you can do pelvic floor exercises. A great time for me to fit them in is any time my boys and I are watching a show. 🙂 As you get stronger, you’ll feel it in your pelvic floor as well as your abdominals. After a couple weeks of doing the exercises daily, I start doing them for 30 min 2-3 times a week.

      -Jessica

  21. Violet says:

    is it save for me to start working out now that I’m 3 month post csection ! I’m just sacared I’m gonna do something bad to my csection ! Can I start working on arms ,back ,shoulders ,legs and glutens with very little weight or body weight ? You think that I’m doing wrong by getting in a mud race when I’m 4 months post csection ?
    Please help 🙁

    • After a c-section, it’s recommended you wait at least 10 weeks before starting any heavy workout routines. Ideally, you should use those 10 weeks to strengthen your abdominals and your pelvic floor using the exercises I’ve listed here. Since you’re past the recommended 10 weeks, I think you should be fine to start with light weights and your own body weight right now.

      As you exercise, remember to listen to your body and, if it feels like to much, stop and use lighter weights or less intense exercises. If you’re wanting to participate in a mud race in a month, I’d recommend walking or lightly jogging a couple times a week until the race. If you aren’t doing some type of cardio and try to do that race, it will be harder on you then it needs to be.

      Let me know if you have any additional questions 🙂 I wish you the best of luck hun!
      -Jessica

  22. Priscilla says:

    Hi there Jessica! This is amazing!!
    I feel Sometimes we can do all the exercises in the world but we still need a little extra help to tighten and tone, especially the tummy area!! I have been so grateful to have found these products to help with the recovery process! I love and believe in them so much!They really WORK!! Gave me that confidence I had been missing. I suffer from diastasis recti as well and arthritis and right after my second child my joint pain got way out of control so I’m not able to workout as hard as I really want and like I use to but when I started using the cream I started noticing my tummy getting smaller and no longer hiding in my clothes. Thank u!

    • Thank you Priscilla, I’m happy to hear that you’ve had success with some of the creams I recommended.
      You really can do all the exercises in the world and exercise a couple times a day with no results if you aren’t using the proper exercises. These here are designed to target your weakened inner abdominals so that you can bring your stomach back in and be prepared for a more intense workout.
      I wish you the best of continued success 🙂
      -Jessica

  23. moses says:

    hello,
    i was intersted in the 3weeks diet. i find your description very informative and revealing.
    i would like to ask you if the 3weeksdiet is a methos to lose fat fast and then balancing your eating or is it a method you can take for the rest of your life?
    regards,

    • Jessica Camden says:

      I really was very happy with the 3 week diet and it’s something I plan to use down the road if I do have anymore kids. It’s designed to help you lose weight very quickly but at the same time it helps you to establish a nutrition plan that you can use for the rest of your life.

      It’s 21 days because that’s how long it takes to form a habit. The first 11 days focus on helping you lose as much weight as safely possible while the remaining days take you through the steps to create a nutrition plan that you can continue to use once the diet is over.

      It teaches you to calculate how much you should be eating if you want to lose weight and how much you should eat if you want to maintain your weight. You shouldn’t ever follow a diet that has you perpetually eating at a deficit but when you’re trying to lose weight, that is an absolute must.

      -Jessica

  24. Noemi Reynoso says:

    OMGOSH! This is exactly what I have been looking for. I have searched the web for help to get rid of my pregnancy pooch. I too have 3 boys, all delivered through c-section. I had no problem losing the weight or the pooch with the first two pregnancies. Like your mom, my mom also told me to wear a girdle to help put everything back into place and it worked. The last pregnancy wasn’t as easy to lose the weight. I still wear a girdle everyday, its been 20 months since the birth of my 3rd boy and I have been asked many times if I am pregnant :(. This pregnancy obviously did a toll on my body especially my stomach, I felt it right from the beginning.

    A few months after having my third c-section I was diagnosed with diastasis recti. I went in to see my OBGYN because I was leaking urine. She sent me to a physical therapist who were the ones who diagnosed me with diastasis recti. The therapist said I had a separation of the abdominal muscles that was 4-5 fingers apart and she would help me with both problems, leakage and separation. I went to physical therapy for 7-8 months and we did some exercises as well as ones I needed to continue at home. She too told me to wear a girdle when exercising to help bring the muscles together. When the therapy sessions were finished I still had a separation of about 2 fingers. I was told to continue with the exercises and wearing the girdle. To be honest, I didn’t feel much different. I still felt weakness in the abdominal area, but I continued and followed the exercises.

    As mentioned earlier, its been 20 months since my son was born and I still wear the girdle everyday not just for the separation and weakness, but because I DON’T WANT TO LOOK PREGGO ANYMORE and my clothes fit better as well. I can’t wait to try everything you shared makes so much more sense and RELATES to me completely. Thank you!

    Noemi Reynoso

    • Diastasis Recti is more common if you’ve gone through a couple pregnancies. You’re experience sounds very similar to mine. I too had no trouble getting my stomach back into shape after my first two kids, but with my third, every exercise program I did seemed to make it worse. It took a couple months before I realized I did indeed have diastasis. I love how much help and support wearing a girdle gives you. That help is even more critical when you have diastasis and aren’t strong enough to hold your stomach in yourself. I think it is much harder to lose the pregnancy stomach after a baby without it. Without the proper exercise to go with it though, it’s really just a large band-aid.

      That is incredible that you were able to go from 5 finger widths down to two! That in itself is something to be proud of 🙂 It is possible to heal diastasis if you know how to target the right muscles like your therapist showed you. I found with my own case that those last couple inches were the hardest to lose and that’s why a turned to the program I mentioned above for extra help. With a combination of good nutrition and targeted exercises, I was able to heal mine and could feel my inner abdominals getting stronger as I went through it.

      Don’t give up on it! It really isn’t something that you just have to accept after a baby. I wish you the best of luck and thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I always love hearing other’s experiences and I hope that what I’ve put together here can help you with those last couple inches.
      -Jessica

  25. Simone says:

    I had a c-section but that was 4 years ago. I got to caught up being a mom and forgot about myself. Now I want to get rid of the mommy tummy.

    I hope it’s not to late. I checked the space between my abdominals and there is about a 3 finger space. When I do exercise I have been doing crunches, planks and bicycles to try and get rid of my tummy.

    But it sounds like these may not have been the right exercises.

    Would the MuTu system still be worth it for me?

    • Jessica Camden says:

      I would stop doing the planks, crunches, and bicycles and focus more on using exercises that are aimed towards your inner abdominals. The ones you’re doing will make the condition worse.

      I started out using some of the exercises here and they helped alot! I couldn’t get the last couple inches to close though so I turned to the MuTu System and really loved it because it gave me a great place to start and helped me to identify exercises that worked the right muscles. It built up gradually to incorporate heavier, intense exercises. The bottom line for me is that I was able to close my diastasis with it. The other exercises I’ve listed here are also excellent ones for you to start with to bring your muscles back together 🙂

      I would start first with the exercises I linked to above and the ones given on this page. If you still aren’t able to close the separation, I think the MuTu System would definitely be worth a try

      -Jessica

      • Simone says:

        Thanks Jessica! I will take a look at the exercises you have recommended.

        • Thank you for reading, I wish you the best of luck!
          -Jessica

          • Sadaf says:

            Hi
            My wound tear again n again so can i get into my shape back with walk only??

          • I’m sorry to hear that hun 🙁 Walking is a good place to start but I would also include some of the exercises I’ve listed above. As you use these exercises focus on your stomach muscles and feel them coming back together. Pay attention to your body though and if something feels like it’s too much hold off on it until you’re ready.
            I also might recommend you try one of these girdles. They don’t pinch your stomach like some of the others but instead they gently hold it in place and it can help take off some of the pressure from your wound.
            I hope you feel better soon, if you have any other questions don’t hesitate to ask
            -Jessica

  26. Anna says:

    Hi Jessica,

    Your post is really great! Such useful information for new moms that nobody really tells them about.

    It’s so wonderful that you’ve created this website and are educating women about how to heal their bodies safely after a c-section and how to get back into shape so that they can feel and look good again!

    Many women just accept the fact that nothing can be done so their self esteem really goes down and you’ve proven that it doesn’t have to be that way!

    I learned so much from reading your experience with diastasis recti, and what I found to be especially interesting is that after a c-section the brain actually loses connection with the abdominal muscles!

    Your knowledge is going to benefit a lot of women – fantastic site!!

    • Jessica Camden says:

      Thank you for saying so Anna 🙂 I really do hope this is useful to other moms out there. I started to go down that road where I thought I’d have to just accept that my body would never be able to heal and I’d never be able to lose the pooch I’d developed.

      I was even more upset when I found out I had diastasis recti and felt like all hope was gone. I spent months looking into solutions and came across so many moms in the same boat who told me there really was nothing I could do.

      I kept going and working at it and when it started getting better through the program and exercises I was using, I was so excited. I finally got it to heal and I wanted so badly to find some way to help the dozens of other moms I’d come across during my search that were obviously just as upset as I was and felt like there was no hope for their stomach.

      My hope is that through my website, moms can learn how to rebuild their post baby body 🙂 You really do lose that connection with your muscles and it takes a lot of work and time to get it back. If you keep working at it, you’ll get the rewards and that connection will be stronger than ever.

      Thank you for reading!

      -Jessica

  27. Rik says:

    Hi Jessica,
    I found your website interesting. Some of my female friends actually discuss this topic with me; it’s not a topic I would raise myself around the dinner table. But your website gives great details about the exercises and diets for post delivery. The pictures you use are worth a thousand words. For sure, I will recommend this website to my female friends, not only after a C-section, but in general as well to lose weight.
    Thanks again
    Rik

    • Jessica Camden says:

      Thank you, it’s hard to know at first what exercises are ok to use and which you should wait on. I definitely didn’t do it right after my son was born but was able to learn from my mistakes which exercises really work.

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment, I wish you all the best

      -Jessica

      • Pooja says:

        Hii am 25 years old my baby born on 21st April 2017 via c section am active in my pregnancy its my first c section .am still looking pregnant after 3 months of my postporum I didn’t do any excersies before am feeling worse on my posture and am finding gap between upper stomach above belly button pleaseeeeeeee help me how to get rid off this stomach

        • Hey hun sorry it’s taken me a little bit to answer. First off, congratulations on your little one! Don’t forget to sit back and enjoy these first couple months. They get big before you know it. 🙂
          I know three months seems like a long time to still have a stomach after a baby but it’s actually quite normal and I would encourage you to not jump into heavy exercises to try to get rid of it as that can actually make it worse.

          After a baby, and especially after a c section, it takes your body a couple weeks to heal and come back together. I would continue with your daily walking and try to use the exercises I’ve listed above at least five times a week. Another great way to strengthen your back without putting unnecessary pressure on your stomach is to do squats. As you do them, pull your stomach in and focus on your pelvic muscles.

          If you keep at it, it will get better 🙂 I wish you the best of luck hun!
          -Jessica