exercises to prepare for c-section

Exercises to Prepare for a C-Section

At One Strong Mama, we believe that every birth is amazing and beautiful and having worked with many cesarean families, we know that our cesarean parents are freaking rockstars! Regardless of the type of birth, the pregnancy and the growing baby causes a lot of stress on the core and pelvic floor. It is important to give special attention to your deep core system while planning for a caesarean birth to prevent diastasis recti and pelvic floor dysfunction after birth. Consider specific exercises to prepare for a c-section.

A lot of the exercise prep work is the same regardless of the mode of delivery. However, there are certain moves that a person preparing for a c-section may want to pay special attention to. Here are some exercises to prepare for a c-section:

1. Spinal Segmentation

Preparing for an epidural/spinal, it’s very helpful to be able to segment the spine! Pay special attention to spinal flexion (back rounding). As pregnancy progresses, avoid excessive spinal extension, but some is just fine! Having a mobile spine is important for a functional core, as well! 

spinal segmentation exercise for c-section prep

2. Candles / Deep Core Activation

It’s so important to connect with your core. On its own, and with movement. Exhale and engage. We teach how to train the core to be responsive and reflexive. That starts with learning HOW to activate it. This will be very helpful as you learn how to reconnect with your core post cesarean. This can help you to have a smoother recovery and connect with your core more easily post-birth.

3. Side Bend

Mobility in the trunk is crucial for core (and thereby pelvic floor) health. Make sure you actively resist the movement, as if moving through syrup. Notice the tendency to flop… deeper isn’t always better!

safe exercise for c-section side bending

4. Hip Hinge + Slide

Getting those glutes and whole backside long and strong is critical to pelvic floor health. Research shows that you can have pelvic floor dysfunction no matter the mode of delivery- so learn how to have a responsive pelvic floor!

These are some exercises to prepare for a c-section. If you are preparing for a cesarean give these simple moves a try!

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  • I'm so grateful for the One Strong Mama program, it helped make my 3rd pregnancy the most comfortable yet. This program helped me find ways to prevent further diastasis recti that I had experienced before, as well as find ways to adjust daily movements practices to continue to feel strong all the way through birth and postpartum. As a prenatal yoga instructor and social worker, I appreciated Lindsay and Lauren's focus on mindful movement, alignment, as well as their inclusiveness of all the ways we give birth. Margot Strahl

  • I'm a mom of three, a doula, a yoga and fitness professional with over a decade of experience, and I love the OSM program. The exercises are simple and easy to follow. But even more, they are truly purposeful, with a clear focus on building strength and function for pregnancy, birth and life. The videos and the library of information have definitely informed my teaching. And at a fraction of the cost of most professional trainings, I  now have ongoing access to an incredible collection of resources. Moms in the pregnancy year and beyond, and professionals working with this population, will greatly benefit from this program. I can't recommend it highly enough. Melissa Gutierrez Nelson

  • Our patients love One Strong Mama. We notice that patients who are working through the One Strong Mama program have less restrictions throughout their soft tissues and muscles. Our patients who have dedicated time to One Strong Mama, do not tend to have many complaints or favor certain positions through their pregnancies. As we continue working on balancing their pelvis with chiropractic care and bodywork, having little soft tissue and muscle tightness it makes their visits with us further apart than other patients that are in our office. We highly recommend One Strong Mama to our expecting mamas! Dr. Jeni Massa and Brianna Bing with Sprout Chiropractic and Wellness

  • Lindsay and Lauren's work got me through my 3rd pregnancy. Their restorative and corrective exercises are easy to do, the instruction easy to follow, requires very little equipment, and can be worked into daily movement practices. I feel stronger than I ever have and cannot recommend this program enough to mamas! You don't have to be in pain during pregnancy, be a strong mama and live well! Laura Pladson

  • I had such an amazing experience with One Strong Mama and would highly recommend to everyone. Not only did it help prepare me physically, but also helped me process emotionally while preparing for my vbac. I was able to have such an easy birthing time as well as recovery postpartum thanks to the movements/exercises I learned. Jessica Anderson

  • Staying comfortable and active my entire pregnancy was priceless. What surprised me was how it stuck with me postpartum. Even when I ended up with a baby that always needed to be held! Sarah Schultz