Updated: Jun 14, 2022
It might be surprising to learn that a c-section does not prevent "mommy pooch." Actually, it can present additional challenges.
A Cesarean Section is major abdominal surgery, which results in scar tissue that can adhere and become tight if it goes unaddressed.
A tight, immobile scar can actually create a type of "shelf" for excess skin and tissues.
This, in addition to abdominal separation or abdominal weakness as a result of pregnancy, can leav moms feeling ashamed of their bodies and also dealing with back pain, pee leaks and prolapse as a result of core instability.
So what can we do for moms besides address the unrealistic expectations of the female form, especially in motherhood, that are rooted in patriarchy?
We heal the core and restore mobility to c-section scar tissue. This is not just an aesthetic necessity.
The c-section scar needs to be mobile in order for the core to function optimally. It also needs to move well to make sure the bladder, uterus and bowel are not adhered and can move freely.
We need to restore strength and function to the abdominal wall to promote life-long pelvic and spine health.
By doing this, we empower moms to participate in regular physical activity without pee leaks, prolapse or pain, which is a huge barrier for many moms wanting to return to working out.
Restoring strength and function to the abdominal wall also improves the appearance of the "mommy pooch," which will forever remain in quotes on this blog because...I hate that term!
Core Rehabilitation Postpartum
So what does core rehabilitation look like for restoring core strength?
It starts with simple breathing exercises to facilitate the connection of the deep core, pelvic floor, and breath.
Once this concept is mastered, I have patients challenge their ability to maintain correct core engagement with small leg movements.
This often feels more like a frustrating, mental challenge than an ab workout. Moms can get discouraged through the early part of this process.
But teaching moms to correctly engage their core is critical to them being able to perform more intense abdominal exercises later and actually get results.
Think about it, anyone can go to ab lab at the gym, but not everyone will get results. Why is this?
It's because it has nothing to do with the intensity of the exercise, and everything to do with the technique of the exercise!
It's not the exercise that you're doing, it's how you're doing it.
If you're trying to strengthen and muscle that doesn't know how to fire, all the crunches in the world are going to end up strengthening whatever does fire, which will not result in a flat stomach and is instead going to reinforce whatever compensatory mechanism you already have going on.
Retraining your brain to activate your core system in a healthy and appropriate way is the key to healing the "mommy pooch," and is also the key to prevention.
A C-Section will not fix an abdominal wall that doesn't activate correctly, and may aggravate symptoms.
If you are looking for help with your c-section recovery, make sure you reach out to me today to book an appointment!
If you are pregnant and wanting to prevent these issues before they occur, make sure to book an appointment as well!