Like many women, mother of two Diane Bauer left the hospital with a new baby while recovering from abdominal surgery.
“I had C-sections with both of my kids,” says Diane Bauer.
One in four women in the U.S. will deliver their baby via C-section.
“Because of how common it is, people don’t always get that it’s still major surgery. We are still entering major organs,” says Dr. Melissa Lee, an obstetrician with Lee Memorial Health System.
A common surgery but a complex one too.
“We cut through every layer. We go through skin, whatever fat tissue is there, we go through the supportive layers of the muscle into the abdominal cavity and then we do an incision on the uterus and that’s how we delivery the baby. And we close everything back up on the way out,” says Dr. Lee.
Recovering from a C-section is a process. While rest is important, it’s also important to get up and move. Even walking promotes healing and prevents complications like blood clots.
“We are pretty aggressive with our C-section patients. We encourage early mobility. Even the night of surgery, we recommend that they’re at least out of the bed moving about the room a little, sitting up in the chair,” says Dr. Lee.
Within six to eight weeks moms can get cleared by their doctor to start exercising.
“As long as they realize their limitations and to slowly start rebuilding what they had. That’s the best way to do it. If they were working out throughout the pregnancy, rebuilding that baseline is going to be easier as well,” says Dr. Lee.
In addition to dropping pounds, Bauer found working out had added benefits.
“I was able to pick up my kids again, because it’s very difficult to pick up your children after a C-section and it pushed off the post partum depression,” says Diane.