After a belly birth, smooth healing is a priority (along with enjoying your baby). Accept all offers of help with cooking, housework and shopping. The uterus and deep abdominal layers take 3 to 6 months to fully heal, so allow time to regain abdominal shape and strength.

Start with regular postural corrections, slow paced walks and begin to slowly strengthen from the inside out with the Hold It Mama ‘Shrink the Jellybelly’ program when your scar feels more comfortable.

Following a caesarean

  • Within 24 hours you will be encouraged to get out of bed with assistance. Pain medication helps to make these early adventures more tolerable.
  • Move feet up and down, circle ankles and slide one leg up and down at a time to improve circulation.
  • To get out of bed, roll onto your side, support the scar with your hand, lift your pelvic floor muscles and lower both legs to the floor.
  • Instead of coughing, use repeated ‘huffing’ to dislodge any chest secretions and reduce the impact of strong coughing on the scar.
  • Pay attention to tall posture when sitting, standing and walking as scar pain reduces.
  • Lift pelvic floor muscles before picking up baby, coughing or getting out of bed.
  • Regularly check the scar for signs of infection: redness, pain, and local areas of tenderness, offensive smell, swelling or oozing fluid. The scar takes months to go from purple to pink to white. Gentle massage and scar stretching promote healing and prevents adhesions forming between the uterus and other organs. Do not commence scar massage until you have clearance from the surgeon.
  • Scar problems, treatments and soft tissue techniques are included in Hold It Mama.
  • Incontinence, prolapse and abdominal muscle separation also occur after caesarean birth. Abdominal/pelvic support garments, pelvic floor exercises, tall posture and a gradual return to walking and swimming (when bleeding finishes) is commenced with the mother is comfortable post partum.
  • Seek advice and treatment for any post partum pelvic and abdominal issues to ensure a smooth return to activity.
  • Post baby blues can affect up to 80 per cent of new mothers in the first week after giving birth and usually settles in a week or two. Symptoms of post partum depression in the first year after birth include feelings of anxiety, tearfulness, loss of confidence, inability to cope, memory problems and sleep and appetite changes.

Speak to caregivers early to ensure you receive guidance and support.