Even if your doctor says it's okay to do so, returning to exercise after a c-section can be scary. But it's worth giving it a try, says Laura Staton, a dancer-choreographer, prenatal yoga instructor, and coauthor of Baby Om: Yoga for Mothers and Babies, because exercise can really help your body heal.
C-sections tax your pelvic floor and abdomen, and exercise is the best way to bounce back, adds Staton. Plus, you'll feel better knowing that you're taking charge of your own healing.
Here are three soothing moves that tone these areas:
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and legs hip-width apart. Slowly lift your butt and back off the floor. Return to starting position. Do 4 to 8 repetitions.
Lie on your stomach with your palms flat next to your shoulders. Your elbows should be tucked into your rib cage. Lift your head and neck off the floor, but not so much that it strains your lower back. Suck in your navel as if you were trying to lift your pelvis off the floor. Return to starting position. Do 4 to 8 repetitions.
Stand with your feet 3 to 4 feet apart and your hands on your hips. Extend your arms over your head and bend forward at a 90-degree angle, keeping your back flat. Return to starting position. Do 4 to 8 repetitions.