Exercise After C-Section

What got cut? What does it mean for the strength and the look of your tummy? What exercises will help and how soon can you start?


Just because lots (that’s millions) of women have a c-section, that doesn’t mean it’s not major surgery. Don’t underestimate the physiological trauma your body has undergone, and don’t let anyone make you feel like it’s no big deal, or an easy ride. Giving birth, however you do it, IS a big deal!


When you have a c-section, a horizontal incision is made with a scalpel, just above the pubic bone where the pubic hair begins, through five layers of skin, tissue, and muscle:

1) the derma, or outer layer of skin and 2) fat; 3) the fascia, the tough, thin layer that supports the muscle; 4) the rectus muscle, which is manually separated by the surgeon’s fingers down to the pubic bone; and 5) the peritoneum, a shiny layer that encases the entire abdominal cavity. The rectus muscles are parted to gain access to the uterus and your baby.

A ‘bikini line’ transverse (side to side) cut is the more common type of cut, as this results in less scarring and chance of infection or complications. A vertical cut is usually now used only in emergency situations and can be slower to heal, with more scarring.

In neither incision are the abdominal muscles cut. The two strips of rectus muscle are manually further separated at the midline to gain access. This is important – your muscles have not been cut!


Layers of tissue are cut, and then sewn back together, which creates scarring through multiple levels of tissue of your abdominal wall. This scarring affects the muscles’ ability to glide over the top of each other during muscle contraction. The result is weakness and a lack of stabilization.

If you have had more than one c-section, with a gap of less than two years in between, then your abdomen may not have repaired completely before your body went through the whole process of pregnancy and surgery again. Your recovery and ability to regain physiological balance is related to hormones, body weight, posture and alignment, and muscle tone.

Starting with stronger abdominal muscles will help with recovery,  and strengthening the deep muscles of your core and pelvic floor during pregnancy will give you the “muscle memory” to make it easier to do the exercises after the birth.

But if you’re reading this and your stomach muscles can’t remember last Tuesday, let alone how to synchronise with your pelvic floor, don’t worry!


Start as soon as you can. You’re not ‘exercising’, you’re breathing and re-connecting your brain to your tummy and your pelvic floor. And the sooner you do this after any type of birth, the better.

For full instructions on how to restore your core (IE get a flatter tummy again) after birth, you can follow the week by week, step by step MuTu System program.

GetStartedNowMuTu System training and programmes have a holistic philosophy, which deals with posture, functional exercise (IE metabolic resistance exercise techniques that make you truly strong, lean and ‘fit for purpose’), optimal nutrition for health, hormone balance and energy, specific yoga techniques to help re-settle the pelvic organs,  tone and heal the deep muscles as well as relieve stress and promote optimal respiration… AND at the foundation of it all, a complete 4-Phase program to train (find) and then strengthen the muscles of your core.

You need your core if you want to stand up, sit, move, twist, pull, push, bend or turn. Kinda important. It’s connected (literally) to the muscles of your pelvic floor, which you need to prevent you from wetting yourself or having a prolapse. Kinda important too. You need strong core muscles to help close a diastasis recti, or separation of your abdominal muscles. And if you want a flatter tummy after having babies, you need all of the above in spades.

After a Cesarean section, you will experience numbness around your scar site, and so the the visualisation of ‘gently drawing belly button to spine’ may be unhelpful as you may not be able to feel this movement.

Instead imagine your abdomen as a clock, with your belly button at 12 o’clock, your pubic bone at 6 o’clock, and your hip bones as 3 and 6. Imagine you are slowly and gently drawing the hip bones, or 3 and 6 o’clock, together. It will also work if you imagine you are drawing them apart! Don’t worry that you can’t feel much happening for now. Go gently and do the movement on a long, slow exhale.

At the same time, engage your pelvic floor muscles. Not a little squeeze at the front, a deep, high lift in the middle. MuTu System teaches you how.

Get as used to this movement as you can. Practice as you sit in bed recovering, and as you feed your baby – just take long slow breaths in time with the muscle contractions. When you move around – roll out of bed (always from your side!) when you start to try lifting things, when you do anything that is going to place forward forceful pressure on your scar site… engage the muscles.

Don’t try to get up from lying on your back – always roll to your side first. And  don’t – under any circumstances, not now or in the future – do sit ups or crunches.

If you have had one or more Cesarean births, or other abdominal surgery, then there may also be scar tissue or adhesions exacerbating your mummy tummy. Massage (just rub the skin gently between your fingers around the scar) will help to break down scar tissue, encourage oxygen flow in, and toxin flow out of, the area which will aid healing.

Whilst muscles have not been cut, ligaments and fascia have been, and this all takes time to heal. The more you can ‘connect with’ and use your deep core muscles, the quicker recovery will be. Scar tissue and adhesions can cause a tummy overhang, and body fat may appear to be unevenly distributed around your middle. Stress, lack of sleep and a lack of sensation or confidence with your stomach (factors all common to most new mums!) will make this worse.

GetStartedNowSo, in the early days, massage, mobilize, find and strengthen your deep muscles, eat clean fresh food to recover and nourish your body, try to get plenty of sleep and love your body a little. The will help you heal, restore and strengthen your abdominal muscles.

  • http://twitter.com/cafebebe Karin Joyce

    Love you Wendy! Beginning week 4 post op this week so now trying to FIND my muscles again! ;) Wish me luck… I’ll be back soon…

    • http://mutusystem.com Wendy Powell

      They’re in there Lady… they’re in there!

  • Anita

    Oh wow, that is an excellent explanation! I had a c-section and am due to have another in 4 months and DID NOT KNOW that my abdominal muscles had not been cut! thinking that they had completely coloured my attitude to exercise after the first birth.  Many thanks for that information and for your very helpful blogs.  :)

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      So glad it helped you Anita ;)

  • I. P.

    Glad I have found you! I am scheduled for a c-section in three weeks. I have exercised through my whole pregnancy and I seem to still have extraordinary strength in my abdominals as I still can such my stomach in! So far, I do not have a diastasis recti. I cannot avoid the c-section and I have read that the procedure of stretching apart the muscles might create a diastasis. Will I still benefit from strong abdominals? Or will it not help at all as I will end up with a diastasis anyway?
    Thank you!

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Ooh i missed this one – sorry, you must have had your baby by now – congratulations! Not necessarily – they do need to manually part the muscle at the midline to get your baby out, but your muscles may come back together just fine. Follow the guidelines on the blog for immediate recovery & come back to me afterwards if you need help!

  • SJ

    i am overweight, 90 kg and it’s been 2 months since my first c-sec. i am very worried abt my huge tummy and excess wieght. pls help

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Hi there, don’t worry its still quite early days, but there’s plenty you can do to help get your body back where you want it. Remember the ‘weight bit’ is essentially separate to the ‘muscles bit’… the 12 week program will guide you through the whole thing gently & effectively to help you lose weight & restore your tummy

  • Anon

    I have a question about the cut. Due to a Grade IV Placenta Previa with an anterior presentation my C-Section incision runs vertically from the bottom of my ribcage to the top of my belly button. A year later my stomach is still lopsided (the right side sticks out noticeably further than the left). Would I have had the same things cut as a woman whose incision was in the normal place near the pubic bone? It’s a horrible scar – hypertrophic, red, raised, and just gawd-awful ugly. It’s depressing to know that no matter how much weight I manage to lose I’ll never look good in a bikini again.

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Oh poor you – that sounds like you’ve had a really tough time :( I can’t comment on the actual surgery you had or the reason for the lop-sided-ness I’m afraid – it may be worth requesting an MRI scan or ultrasound to find out about the uneven shape of your tummy. Various tissues have been cut & they can recover & regain connection, but you’ll need some help. The Mutu Focus programme (click on DVD store up above) will help enormously in terms of re-connecting nerve pathways & healing, restoring & strengthening the underlying muscels. This is a really useful article about scar tissue & manipulating & healing too. I hope it helps http://www.pelvicpainrehab.com/blog/2012/09/pelvic-pain-the-role-of-scar-tissue/

  • RP

    i m worried about something after reading ur article. i m a mother of two, both c-section and youngest is 2yrs 3 months now. i started to do exercise for weight loss and of course for my mummy tummy which is really saggy. usually i run 5min for warm up then walk incline 3 speed 5.5 for 5 mints, speed 4 for 2mints again speed up 5.5 for 5 mints and so on. usually i do this for 50 mints. after that sit ups and crunches. is it ok for me to do so sit ups and crunches..worried it will effect for my c-section scar. pls advice..thank you.

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      I don’t recommend you do sit ups or crunches at all – they only increase intra abdominal pressure & push your mummy tummy outwards… you don’t need them! MuTu Focus will put your midsection back together to allow you to run & workout any way your choose with strength, stability & a fully functioning core. (Oh & it’ll give you a flat tummy too ;) This post explains more http://mutusystem.com/mummy-tummy-101-facts-you-need-to-know-if-you-want-a-flat-post-baby-tummy.html

  • Sally

    I had my c section just over a year ago and today for the first time I did crunches. I feel I waited till my body was ready. What is your opinion? I was a well trained person before hand. My hobbies are Olympic lifting and Crossfit. I didn’t go back to full training for 5 months after and focused on posture and core. I would really like to to hear your thoughts after reading your article.

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Hi Sally, I don”t know what core restoration you have done first, but crunches are not a good idea unless the entire system of core muscles have been restored, reconnected & re-trained. Crunches are never the best ab exercises for anyone, but definitely not post childbirth – regardless of how long ago you had your baby!

      • Sally

        What would you use as a test for the entire core system?

        • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

          Whether or not it works! And whether it looks & feels like you want it to. You don’t need a test as such (although of course you can test for diastasis recti, & if your abdomen bulges or strains at all during any exercise then that’s a sign your transverse isn’t engaging correctly) …If your tummy lies flat & strong, if your pelvic floor does its job, if your core is strong & stable, if there is no back pain, pooch tummy or weakness, then whatever you’re doing is working just fine! But if it doesn’t look or feel the way you want it to, then that’s all the test you need to know your core needs some help.

          • ella

            Hi..i would like to ask if is it possible if i could go to gym i was undergo c section 5 years ago.i just dont want to have a conflict. thank you.hoping for your reply.

  • rabiya

    hi i am mother of one baby girl and its 3 months over i wanted to ask that can i start excersice like cycling and walking inclined from now however sometime i only feel little pain over my c-section please advice ..

  • fari

    hi i had have a very worst experience of my c-section i am totally ready to give birth vaginally but my doctor told me that its your 40th week and you have to (my due date is 2 aug-2012) took admission for induction on 3 Aug ,and when i reached to hospital a nurse put a tablet inside my pelvis and then they waited for 6 hours only then the Dr ask to my mother in law and my husband to do a surgery because heart beat of my baby is getting disturb then they allow her and she started the surjery on me .. none asked from me and she have not taken any ultrasound and other test on that day .. i wanted to ask you that is this a fair scenerio because i think that i m able to do vaginall birth but she didnt try to induce properly .. i also want to know that what chances do i have to VBAC to the next baby .

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Hello Fari, Oh Darling I am so sorry your experience sounds incredibly traumatic for you, but I’m afraid I’m really not qualified to comment on your personal medical circumstances. I wish you the very best in finding caregivers who can advise you properly.

  • Ann Marie

    Hello. In one of the posts you mentioned a test for your abdominals. I have never heard this before. But I have often wondered if something healed wrong from my c section 11 years ago. If I’m laying on the floor & tense my abs like I’m going to sit up I get a big buldge in the center (kind of at an angle) of my stomach. It doesn’t hurt. It just looks really weird. When I really got into working out back in 2010 it seemed like everything I did just made my stomach “pooch” or “pouch” look bigger. My oblique seem to really respond well to crunches & other ab excerises. B/c the oblique responded so well it appeared that it made my stomach in the front look bigger. Any suggestions? Thank you so much!

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Hi Ann Marie, the free test video is here http://mutusystem.com/diastasis-recti-test-video.html What you describe suggests that your transverse + pelvic floor muscles (the deep muscles of your core) are not ‘connecting’ + the outer or superficial muscles of your abdomen are taking over. This is why your stomach pooches. The MuTu Focus program will help you correct this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marry.yous Dao Hlub Marry

    I just had my son sep 25 2012 this is my 3rd csection and I’m 26 year old…it took me a week to heal from the pain then a month to slowly start working out…since then I been going to the gym and going tridmill and stuff…but no crunches….is that okay to workout.

    • http://www.facebook.com/marry.yous Dao Hlub Marry

      When I first found out I was pregnant I was 236…3 days before I had my son I was 214…aweek after I had my son I was 200 now a month of working out I’m 184

      • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

        Hello Dao, its ok to start working out 10 weeks or so after your c-section, with your doctor’s permission. I recommend you keep your exercise no- or low-impact for at least 20 weeks to allow your pelvic organs + muscles to settle + recover. The MuTu System programs (Focus or 12 Weeks – see links above) will give you exactly what you need in terms of gradually progressive, specific exercise to heal, restore + strengthen. Your abdomen has taken a lot of trauma with 3 c-sections – i would recommend the Focus program to help you restore + reconnect your core muscles + tissues.

  • Ninu

    Hi Wendy,

    I had a c section 9 weeks ago and am super upset to learn that i have a 5 cm diastasis :( I’ve always been very fit and active and was so in my pregnancy as well. I only gained 23 lbs while pregnant and have four left to lose. My belly currently bulges out as though I’m 4 months pregnant and it is really depressing. I find myself nearly always thinking about sucking my belly in or lifting my pelvic floor, it’s pretty much my main worry at this point as baby is healthy and doing well. What do I do? I’m so desperate to fix this and as soon as possible!

    Thanks in advance!

  • Rio

    I had my first c-section with my third child June 7, 2011. I tried the insanity workout about this time last uear and just couldn’t do it. Am finally ready to loose this weight but I’m not sure what exercises to start with for my tummy. I’m worried I will hurt my belly again. Any advice?

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Start with MuTu Focus for core only, or 12 Week if you want food + fat loss workouts too – nothing called Insanity is right for a woman who had a baby + hasn’t put her middle very carefully back together IMHO!!

  • Tracy

    Wendy, please could you advise….l received the Focus DVD today but l probably should have asked this before l purchased…..l had my c-section 6 weeks ago. l am of a tiny build and had a strong core prior to pregnancy due to being a Pilates teacher. l have pretty much gone back to my pre-pregnancy figure except for my bulging tummy. l have no infections and an ultrasound scan showed no sighs of an Hernia or haematona . All the doctors have told me that they cant refer me to a specialist until after week 12 . When lying down my tummy is flat and quite painless. When l am standing, l have a solid bump of a tummy making me look 4 months pregnant and it feels bruised & tender above the scar. It is like my muscles are not supporting my insides so when standing or sitting, the gravity is making the weight of the bump push down on my incision area. It becomes more uncomfortable later in the dayThe doctor thinks it may be due to weak rectus muscles.
    In your DVD you mentioned that it is safe to do the exercise with swollen tummys. Do you think it is safe to still do the exercises when l generally feel discomfort in this area when sitting & standing? please let me know ASAP as l am desparate to do something to reduce this bump.

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Hi Tracy, I would advise you revisit your consultant re any pain you feeling – its impossible for me to know where that is coming from… meanwhile, stay on Phase 1 of MuTu Focus + make sure you have throughly understood all the intro + ‘science bit’ sections – please don’t work through pain. if ANYTHING causes pain, stop doing it + seek medical advice. These exercises should not hurt – if they do, there is something else wrong.

  • April Grow

    I had triplets and two singletons (and therefore 3 c-sections) in 3 years and ended up with a diastasis 4 fingers wide. It was actually baby#5 that did me in. I was in good shape when I got pregnant with the triplets, but they were only 9 months old when I was pregnant again. Those 9 months were so intense that I never had time to sleep, much less exercise. And since the weight just fell off I didn’t have vanity motivating me. Add another baby and life got even crazier. A year later I was pregnant AGAIN. After she was born I started my fitness recovery and was feeling really good about everything. My tummy was super slow to recover. I bought an abs video (Jillian Michaels 6-week 6-pack) and that was the final blow. My belly exploded.

    I found the Tupler Technique and was oh so faithful. In the space of 2 years I have closed my diastasis 4 times completely (and a few more times partially) and ripped it open again and again. It is beyond frustrating. Part of the problem is that doing 20 sets of the seated exercises and 9 sets of the back-lying exercises takes me a total of 2 hours (spread throughout the day, but still 2 hours!!! I do it along with her on the DVD so I know I’m not taking extra long). I’m super frustrated by having to do it over and over. I got sick of wearing that splint, and I’m sick of the roller coaster of feeling good about my tummy and then not. I hate wearing empire waist shirts ALL THE TIME bc I’m trying to hide my belly.

    My undoings haven’t been glamorous either. I moved a heavy box during our move. I reached behind me to change the DVD in the player in the car. I had a stomach flu and the action of throwing up undid it (I could not tolerate the splint when my guts were expelling themselves from my body). I had a cough for about a week. Last week my husband had me laughing SO HARD that it ripped from 2 fingers to 5. I can’t even have a good belly laugh? I was even holding my belly to support it, but that didn’t help. Lame stuff. I don’t intend to look like I did when I was 20, but I’m a size 4 (everywhere else on my body), I stay in good shape, I eat very healthy, I dress nice, and like looking and feeling good. Meaning, I don’t want to look pregnant when I’m not. I want to wear what I like instead of what hides my belly.

    Except I am pregnant. I’m 5 months along. And this is my last baby. And I had basically decided surgery is my only option at this point. I will have to wait a year postpartum to have the surgery, so I’m willing to try yet another thing (this will be the 4th program I’ve tried). My questions are: can I do anything while I”m pregnant? This pregnancy is different in that I’m exercising while pregnant, and one of the things I was doing did close it from 4 fingers to 2 (until the belly laugh). Obviously something isn’t right bc it keeps ripping open. I don’t want surgery. It’s a particularly brutal one.

    PS All of our pregnancies have been planned (well, you don’t plan triplets) and each one of my kids is a treasure, I just hate what it has done to my body. It’s caused back troubles, among other things.

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Hey April, you’ve been busy! ;) MuTu Focus takes 10 minutes a day… + is perfectly safe + beneficial during pregnancy. That would be my recommendation – plus watch the video interview I did to understand exactly whats causing the problem in there. Good luck x http://mutusystem.com/diastasis-recti-your-questions-answered-video-interview.html

      • April Grow

        So what I understand from the interview is that you will teach me to retrain my body so that after I close it, I won’t rip it open again doing something like reaching to catch one of my little ones who is slipping off the couch (yes, that one happened) because my body will have proper training? I also have a question about the not tucking my tailbone. I am very short waisted. There is one inch between my hip and my last rib. So I naturally have a sway back. When I work on tucking that it makes my back feel so much better, especially when I’m pregnant and it gets even more exaggerated. So when I heard that it was bad on your video I was really confused. When I let it all hang out, it feels so good/easy in the moment, but it hurts me quite a bit by about lunch time. I’ve been doing Physique57 prenatal workout and it has relieved a lot of my lower back pain partly bc I focus on tucking and stretching those muscles and I’ve been practicing it throughout the day. This is my last ditch effort before I give up and have surgery to repair.

        • April Grow

          After doing phase 1 this morning I can see that for me neutral pelvis is tucking. My natural stance is with my pubic behind quite a bit behind my hip bones. Since I’m so short waisted I really can’t tuck much farther forward than neutral without considerable effort. So I guess that answers my question about that. For the back lying positions how should I modify? I have a foam wedge that can support me from the top of my head down to my tailbone or I can scoot farther down it.

  • Ashley

    I had a c-section over 4 years ago, am i allowed to do sit up or crunches?

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      If your core is strong + stable + you have no separation, then provided you’re engaging your core correctly as you come up, on an exhale, + your abdomen draws in, not bulges out, as you do… then you can… but you don’t need to – crunches are not the best way to get a flat stomach anyway so don’t worry – you’re not missing anything!

  • http://www.facebook.com/julia.v.johnson Julia Victoria Johnson

    Hi OK I had a c section in 2011i found out I was haven a other baby my son was only 6 month when I found out OK. So the point is I haven’t work out never but now my.lil girl is 9 month and to day my son turn one OK so so I started running for the frost time and my lower stomach where theycutme when I push itin and left up my stomach my lower stomach it like turn and gets hard then goes away but never felt like this and I use to push my lower stomach in be for so can it becoue I started running and my stomach muscle are not use of it van any one answer me

  • Meshia

    I had my first c section in 2009 , my second in 2011 and my third in july 2012 i had a lil tummy before I had my children and I’m big breasted I wanted to know what exercises I can do to flatten my tummy I can move my muscles but I have pains every once in a while I also had sciatica during all three pregnancies plus one epidural and two spinals my back locks up on me at least two to three times a week

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Hi Meisha, you have a severely weakened + compromised core + pelvis from everything you’ve dealt with + need to re align + restore connection with these muscles in order to relive pain + then get strong. You have to start with foundations first – the MuTu Focus program is most suitable for you

  • http://www.facebook.com/bluejennybarnes Georline Gutierrez Lee

    hi wendy,

    i got also a c-section last december 1, 2011…its been a year ago but until now i still hav a big tummy. i did hav sum exercise like jogging,aerobic exercise, push-ups and sit and reach…my question is, are those exercise advisable for me to do after a year from having my c-section?…right now im doing bicycling every morning for 30 minutes or 1 hour…is that also ok?thanx

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      If you have slimmed down everywhere else but your tummy sticks out, then it is more likely to be intra abdominal pressure causing the problem than extra fat. You need to realign your pelvis + connect with those muscles to get them strong – use the search box on the homepage to read more about alignment.

      • http://www.facebook.com/bluejennybarnes Georline Gutierrez Lee

        thnx wendy i learned and have read about pelvic alignment…i will do it all..God Bless…

  • http://www.facebook.com/bluejennybarnes Georline Gutierrez Lee

    ahm by the way wendy i still have another thing to say right now im taking or drinking slimming tea which is laxative…does it affect my c-section even f my c-section s 1 year already?thnx

  • http://www.facebook.com/hacken.lee.58 Mei Chu

    hi, i had my c section 9.5 months ago. i gained 100lbs during my pregnancy, and lost 60lbs after the first 3 months. now i am still over weight. and my tummy is hanging over still. i dont know what type of exercise i can do to lose off the belly and the overall. I am 5′ and weights 160lbs right now. and it’s getting very depressing and sad for me because changing my eating habits still haven’t helped me much. and walking is still not enough to help me lose my weight and fat. can you give me some advices please. thank you

    • Diane

      Hi Wendy. I gave birth about six months and one week ago. I have a cersarean that’s been healing from the inside out due to it completely reopening.Its just now almost healed. I have been looking for a exercise to get my tummy back in shape. You see I’m a mom of seven but there are some years difference between the girls. This is my first cesarean. Now my belly hangs and I look like I’m still pregnant. Is it to late for me to start working out? I probably have another week or so till I’m completely healed.
      What can I do ?

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      The 12 Week Program will cover all your concerns Mei Chu – just start, take your time + you’ll get stronger + leaner if you follow all the guidelines!

  • ebony

    Hello, had my second child by c section on March 29, 2013. Still some pain and numbness. When can I start this system? I am pretty sure I have had diastases rectify since my first son, born vaginally 8 yrs ago. I am not a big work out person but have managed to lose most of the pregnancy weight with walking. Still have some prepregnancy weight to loss as well. Is now too early to start?

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Hi Ebony, You can start right away! The 12 week program is right for you as you want to lose some weight as well as restore your core, + you will be given clear guidelines for how to phase in the intensive work.

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Hi Ebony, You can start right away! The 12 week program is right for you as you want to lose some weight as well as restore your core, + you will be given clear guidelines for how to phase in the intensive work.

  • Varsha

    Hi i had a c section 2 weeks ago. Can i start with the program now?

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      You can start with MuTu Focus now, yes! The 12 Week Program – wait at least 6 weeks before you start (there are no intensive workouts until week 3 + you should adjust + progress very slowly with these + listen to your body).

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasmine.radford.9 Lilmiss Squatz Alott

    Hi… just wondering why is it a bad idea to do sit ups or crunches ‘in future’ I had a c-section almost 3yrs ago & have just started working out & have found im in alot of discomfort after an ab workout =/

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Crunches are simply not the best way to work your abs, + exert huge pressure inside the abdominal + pelvic cavity. You just don’t need them + they can be counterproductive in terms of exacerbating pelvic floor weakness + core instability.

  • sbenoit

    It’s been 4 weeks since my c section i would like to know when i can start working out again & when i can go hard core full out , sit ups/crunchs , the works! Like a timeline of when i can do what.

  • Noonoosmummy

    Hi i have had 2 csections and one vbac however since my last section i have had a lot of pain in my hips particularly at night some nights i get stuck on my side and the pain is excrutiating to roll on to my back. Can you suggest anything that can ease the pain? Through exercise as i am still carrying baby weight and have a slight tummy overhang but i dont know how to get rid of it

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Hello, I can help with exercise to realign + strengthen you, but I can’t diagnose your pain… please see your doctor in the first instance – you may want to request a referral to a specialist women’s physiotherapist

  • Saia

    Did you say that there are yoga poses we should do after a c-section to settle our insides? Are they in one of your videos?

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      I use yoga breathing + stretches in my programs – + yes the breathing techniques we use in the relaxation section of the 12 week program are specifically designed to settle both muscles + organs.

  • Rikki Christensen Johnson

    Hi Wendy- I’ve had 5 c-sections and 6 kids (one set of twins). I had 4 kids (3 c-sections) in less than 4 years. My baby is 9 months now and I’ve tried healing my diastasis with splinting and small contractions. It went from a 7-finger to a 4 finger separation. My midline is very weak and soft. I have a hard time wearing the splint full time. It is very uncomfortable. I’m looking for something to help me heal my tummy. I still have abt 15-20 lbs to reach my goal weight but I am feeling stuck. My back hurts every time I stand up from sitting. What do you suggest to start? What can I do to help my alignment and strengthen my muscles?

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Wow, you are BUSY Ma’am! You need our 12 Week Program – it covers *all of the above*! Pelvic + whole body alignment, DR + midline healing + restoration (both exercises + nutrition), intensive but low impact workouts, + nutrition advice to help you drop extra fat. As well as access to an incredible private support community of women on the same journey as you.

  • fran

    Its been 6 months since my c-section. i notice that when i lay on my back there is a space between my abs. Will this ever close and how long will this take, and how can get my abs to connect again.

  • Emy Rose Zaragoza

    HI Wnedy, I had C section 6 months ago, can I do Yoga already?

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Avoid boat pose, straight leg lifts + over-twisting or turning. Most yoga is fine provided you are correctly engaging your core as you do it… if you’re not sure, get reconnected + restored too!

  • Debbie Hardcastle

    I had a c-section and a partial hysterectomy 20 yrs ago I have worked out for four yrs and still cannot get rid of the stomach it looks like I am 4-5 months pregnant I assume it may be due to scarring and belly fat! I hate it I am fit everywhere else it is very depressing what can I do?

    Thank you,
    Debbie H

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      You can always help your body to heal + strengthen – the key is to build the foundations first – getting ahead of yourself will frustrate your efforts. Take a look at the MuTu programs!

  • CRH

    Hi. I have begun exercising after having 2 c sections. During the second c-section my muscle did have to be cut as I had adhesions. It was described to me as girl scout cookies melting together and my “muscle” was cut as it had adhered to the fascia. What muscle would that have been and is there anything I can do to tighten my stomach and gain strength in my core? Thanks!

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      I can’t say what happened to you individually, but you can help your body to heal – you need the right nutrition, along with a progressive program of ‘reconnection’ to repair all those nerve pathways + heal + strengthen. The MuTu programs are safe + will build these essential foundations. Moving onto other exercise before you have re established core connections will frustrate your efforts to get results.

  • Joan

    It’s 12 weeks now since I had my cs. Can I begin exercising. I have stationery bike and I want to know if it is safe to do cycling now?

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      You should be fine – provided you have the post partum all clear from your doctor. Stay away from high impact for a while longer, but all the MuTu programs are fine to start from 6 weeks postpartum

      • Eram Azhar

        plzzz wedy reply me fast

  • Hysterectomy girdle

    Really this is one of the nice post for the women those understand how to recover her c-section stretch after pregnancy thanks for sharing such a nice post….

  • Eram Azhar

    i had my c-section 2 years ago but when i am doing exercise i feel pain on my stitches cut,my belly is lose and belly botton is pulled up and lose plz tell me what can i do

    • De

      its because the exercise is full on for your C-section area of your tummy. Its not strong anymore. It just takes time but it should ease little bits at a time. – That’s what happened to me. Just keep it regular but light until the pain starts to lessen – increase according to the scar pain! All the muscles are re-joining & strengthening so its not a fun time for them! It does get better!

  • Eram Azhar

    i feel weakness i feel dizzy sometimes i feel pains in my bones and knees its all happened to me after c-section

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Please, please go see your Doctor. I am not medically trained or qualified + cannot possibly diagnose or assess you – if you have pain, you really should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Wishing you well x

  • De

    Ive lost 11 kgs (69 kg) & my tummy is still round & hard. When I pull my tummy muscles up – my tummy looks almost normal again. (are they really that weak?) I couldn’t exercise for 10 months post baby without being in pain for days afterwards – like a bad, bad period. Turns out that it was my scar area healing & the muscles re-building & to push through the pain – all in small dose! (I saw professionals to get this recommendation – as I started off with smaller exercises to get to the point of increased fitness – I found our post baby physio through the hospital as they help with correct exercises for you) After impatient patience I only feel bad pain if I’ve over do it in fitness. My over-hang skin has almost gone back to place. Its been a slow & steady weight loss but everything seems to be getting back to normal except this balloon tummy :( Its gone down a lot but still frustrating. I still haven’t found an answer as to why its so misshaped (apparently I don’t have the muscle separation. They are separated when Im relaxed quite a lot but they still join up well when I sit up – so Im confused!) & what I can do to help re-build it! All I know is that high processed foods or a big meal can make the tummy push out more. I have finally learnt to eat cleanly & smaller portions over the day. I hardly crave anymore & feel better for cutting out all the junk & my tummy doesn’t looks as bloated as often as it used to. I really, really don’t want to go through another C-section :(

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      The MuTu System program covers all aspects of healing: nutrition, exercise, everyday movement, stretching + vitally, alignment. We need to treat our bodies holistically to really heal, that’s what MuTu tries to help you with :-)

  • De

    I have a question. Can exercise help heal & ‘break up’/loosen scar tissue from the C-section scar?

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Movement, circulation, hydration, great nutrition + the right massage – all will help you heal + help scar tissue to disburse.

  • ashh

    Had a c sec four months back. I dont experience any pain but the right end of my incision feels tight. I feel a stretch in that area when I get up. My gynae checked and said its nothing. Ultrasound too was normal too. But I experience this discomfort
    Willl it be ok with time

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      As my answer to De below, Ashh: Movement, circulation, hydration, great nutrition + the right massage – all will help you heal + help scar tissue to disburse.

  • Belly

    Hi, I had 3 sections 28 years ago and not once did the MD tell me how to exercise to prevent belly over hang etc. I’ve had this over hang and over weight has been a long time problem that I want to remedy. Please tell me how to get rid of this. Losing weight has not been easy now after all these years. Thank you for putting this website out here.

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Thank-you, + you’re welcome! Its never too late to make a difference to the way your body looks + feels – the MuTu System 12 Week Program is our holistic, best selling program which gives you everything you need.

  • Belly

    I meant to include that I had the bikini cut and the ligaments and fascia are still numb. I can feel the scar tissue deep but feel surgery may be the only hope to rid the over hang. Thank you

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Re the stretched + loose skin, the overhang… our body’s ability to heal depends on many factors – all those listed in my last comment, but also age, genetics, time since your last baby, time + levels of healing between babies… but you can always make a difference. You need to re-connect, emotionally + physiologically with your body, as well as hydrating nourishing, moving… :-) Thats what our programs help you do.

  • mummy

    Also i havent had any examination by my doctor/gp
    At this stage after the c-section is it still important for the all clear ?

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      How long is it since your c-section?

  • selene

    Its been 6 weeks after my surgery.its my first im 21 healing just fine. When can i do sit ups?

  • sally khan

    I had a c section 6 months ago. I started cardio exercises after 4 months of the section and now at 6 months of gap I started ab cruncher which gave rise to some slight pain in my scar area. What do you suggest me ? Should I discontinue my exercises?

  • swati

    I am 36 yrs old had c-section(10 inch )8 month ago. When I started cardio exercise.

  • Twinsmom0318

    Hi Wendy, I had csection 7 weeks ago for my twins and at my 6 week check up my Dr. Said my healing is fine. BUT I have a big round pregnant-looking bulge below my belly button that goes away when I lay down and then comes back when i stand. My Dr. said it happens during pregnancy and it can be fixed with cosmetic surgery otherwise I just have to live with it….my muscles have separated and it’s my organs pressing against my abdominal wall. Is it too late for me to use your program???

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Its never too late to make a difference. Our 12 week program will explain the symptoms you’re + show you how to improve them yourself

  • Debra

    Can this also help with a hysterectomy which is like a c-section?

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Yes, the same principles will help

  • Can Hu

    Why never do sit ups or crunches ever? Wish you had explained that.

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      You simply don’t need them. Crunches exert huge intra abdominal pressure (pressure inside your abdomen and pelvis, pushing outwards. Not good.). They also strain your hip flexors and lower back – theres no need to crunch and there are many better ways of building a stronger core – MuTu System programs are full of them :-)

  • Natalie


    I purchased your Focus program about 3 weeks ago when
    I realized I had a diastasis about 2-3 finger widths wide. I am 36 weeks
    pregnant with my 2nd child.

    I am fairly certain I had a diastasis before that had narrowed
    significantly to 1 finger width; I did not do much to narrow it as my stomach
    was very flat and I had good muscle tone, but a slight doming existed even a
    few years after my first pregnancy (Luckily, I’ve never felt the need to
    participate in “hard core” ab workouts that contain crunches, etc!). This time
    I will try harder, however, to strengthen my core. I have been doing the
    focus exercises and stretches each day in the hope my diastasis will at least
    not get worse in the few weeks before I have my daughter.

    To compound matters,
    I found out last week and it was confirmed today that the baby is breech. So,
    unfortunately I will be having a scheduled c-section unless she turns. This is
    upsetting b/c I felt that my lower abs were actually well connected and
    engaged. I think my diastasis is much higher, ending (I think) around my belly
    button. All this has been hard to swallow as I’ve always been very active and
    very petite. I’m 5’ and weighing 115lbs now at 36 weeks. I’ve really managed to stay slim, but healthy. Is having the c section going to make my recovery significantly more challenging than the diastasis would have, in your opinion? I was devastated enough to have to deal with that and am feeling very overwhelmed to also have to recover from a c-section…Not to mention I really wanted another natural birth :) I am assuming that weight loss and belly fat will not be an issue thanks to genetics, but I am still worried about the bulge coming from a weakened core. Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Hi Natalie, I’m sorry I missed this comment – if you are a customer you know you can contact us directly via the private group on Facebook or by email – its much quicker! I’m so sorry you feel disempowered regarding your birth, but of course you must do what is safest for you + your baby. Giving birth is an achievement – however you do it! You can’t change those things, you must do the right thing for your body right now… so don’t worry about them. Focus is perfect for you right now provided you feel good doing it. ANY move that doesn’t feel good, stop doing it. You will repair + recover + restore afterwards… don’t worry. Work with your body, not against it, its doing its best :-) Please use the private Facebook group (if you’re not in there yet, email hello@mutusystem.com giving the email address you purchased with) as you will find a tonne of support + can get direct help from me + my team there too

  • santhi siva

    after my pregnancy i started my exercise on 10th month. Is it possible to decrease belly and it takes how many months

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Every one is different Santhi, if you follow the program for full core recovery as well as the nutritional guidelines to help you lose fat, you’ll get there!

  • ashley

    I had my son to you 2 years ago almost 3 in December and I started working out probably2 weeks after I had my son I started working out and I had ac section so it took me 2 years for my belly to go down and its still not small enough I can’t get abs and I don’t work out no more but I was 168 now I weigh 110 and I’m 5foot 6I’m 21 years old and I cant seem to get any enough like models on t_v I am aware that I am under wait but I look in thr
    mirRor my weight doesn’t match my stomach

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Don’t worry about the models on TV for goodness sake Ashley! If you have no excess weight but a protruding stomach then excess intra abdominal pressure / diastasis is likely to be an issue. you need to re-align your body + restore your core. The MuTu programs will help – choose 12 Week if you want the holistic whole body program which will give you pull body workouts as well (its not about losing weight, but getting your whole body right where you want it!)

      • ashley

        Thank you I will try but I have the bottom part of my stomach that’s 4inches or 5 of fat and I can’t seem to tighten it but its by the c section scar they said I may never be able to tighten it. I’m not sure though.

  • wajiha

    Hi my name is wajiha . Mother of 2 kids .C section twice. Last c section is almost 5 years before. I have never done any type of exercise (except walking ) before. .Now my weight is 200 lbs. I have tummy of size 45″ and hips of size 51″ . My thighs are also heavy.My tummy is kind of very lumpy bag full of fat. Now i wanted to loose weight I have started walking and gradually increasing time and speed. I also have cut off about 30% of the food intake i used to take. but i don’t know any of the exercises i should do.i wanted to know a few things if u kindly tell me.

    1. What are the exercises i should do to burn fat from my tummy . thighs and hips?

    2. Does it is possible to loose weight as much as 90 lbs?

    3. Does doing any exercise other than walk hurt my inside stitches ?

    4. Can i do skipping rope?

    5. Please do recommend exercises that r suitable for me.( Facility of swimming and gym is not available to me)

    6. Does stop exercising make muscles lumpy and loose?


  • Pilates Mama

    Your knowledge has helped me enormously, Wendy. I have been studying Pilates and cannot, no matter how hard I try, do the roll up ( sit up) which is essential for teacher training. I take on board your advice that it’s not essential to fitness. However, it makes me feel like a failure in class. I’ve always believed that scar tissue and adhesions from 2 complicated c sections and a hysterectomy have got in the way. But I’ve never had this confirmed. Now I read that adhesions etc do affect the way muscles glide over each other, and so on. My obliques over compensate – I have very strong oblique control and can execute the required exercises perfectly, but I fear I will never have the transverse abdominal fitness required for instructor qualification. Pilates is a brilliant way to be fit and healthy, but I don’t think it addresses c section and multiple abdominal surgery effects. Could you please comment? Thanks so much.

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      Adhesions + scar tissue will totally have hindered progress if not dealt with… Regardless of the discipline, you need a core that recruits optimally from the deepest level for it to be fully functional. MuTu System will help you ‘back up’ to get those foundations right so you can move forward.

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  • Kia Wilson

    I wish I had seen this article when it was first written! Now, three years post c-section #2; I’m back to my normal weight, a little under actually, but still have a pouch that looks like I’m about 6-8 weeks pregnant! UGH!
    Is it still a no no to do sit ups?

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  • Chris

    Hello, I had my fourth csection three weeks ago and I still look pregnant.. With my other csections I did have a tiny pooch but wasn’t this bad. My scar seems higher this time could that be a reason. There are so many programs to choose from how do I know what will work. I’m ready to give up and get a tummy tuck but that’s not in my budget at the moment and who wants to get cut again. I do know I don’t want to live with this shelf above my scar. Ive seen woman who have had csections years ago and still have a big stomach. Is there hope

    • http://mutusystem.com/ Wendy Powell

      3 weeks is not very long!! But check out our FAQ page where you will find answers to all your questions about your suitability for the program + what results to expect http://mutusystem.com/faq.html

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  • jessica

    Hi I went to zumba on Monday and I tried to do some sit ups and now my stomach hurts it feels really sore and hurts when I try to get up. I had a c section 4 months ago due to pre eclampsia and lost some blood. Is it to soon to do sit ups? Did I damage my insides?


    HELLO,I had my c-section 8 months before,but still i have not started any exercises… please suggest me exercises to flatten my tummy…..