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Preparing for a C-section

Preparing for and healing after a Cesarean birth

Preparing for a C-section

A Cesarean section is a major abdominal surgery through 7 layers of abdominal tissue to birth a baby. While you might know in advance, only about 14% of c-sections are elective. Preparing may not always be realistic. Whether your C-section is planned or required, pelvic floor therapy can help.

Pelvic Floor Therapy for Preparing for a C-section

If you know or think you might have a C-section, seeing a pelvic floor therapist prior can help you better understand what to expect with the surgery, how to move immediately after, and what your recovery process may look like. A PT can also assess the current strength of your abdominal, pelvic floor muscles, and other supporting muscles and determine any tightness or weakness that might affect how you move later. One of the best ways to prepare for a cesarean birth is going in with a strong core and good mobility.

Arming yourself with the knowledge of what to expect following surgery will help be better prepared for the recovery process. A pelvic floor therapist can teach you techniques to help with managing pain, taking care of the incision site, and gradually resuming activities.

You may think, "I don't need pelvic floor rehab if my baby is coming out of my abdomen." However, the weight and downward pressure of your baby during pregnancy affects the pelvic floor muscles regardless of your mode of birth. Maintaining a strong, flexible, and most importantly, coordinated, pelvic floor will help you lift your baby and move postpartum.

Therapy for C-section Recovery

Pelvic floor therapy can be highly beneficial for a person recovering from a C-section.


While this may seem like something we should all know how to do, there are specific breathing techniques a pelvic floor therapist can teach you. Your ribcage expands during pregnancy affecting your diaphragm, or breathing muscles, and abdominals. These techniques will help you calm your nervous system, improve your rib mobility, elongate and engage your pelvic floor muscles, and manage any pain you may be experiencing.

Preparing for a C-section

Scar Massage

Massaging your Cesarean scar will help the scar tissue remain mobile and not stick to layers underneath. Scars that aren’t massaged can become firm, adherent, tight and raised. Massaging your scar is a large part of managing abdominal pain, pain with intimacy, and bladder urgency.


A c-section disrupts the muscles at the center of your core. Simple, normal movements can be hard to do after abdominal surgery. A pelvic floor therapist can show you techniques and proper body mechanics to help you get out of bed, stand up from a sitting position, and lifting your baby. Pairing breathing with good body mechanics after birth can make a drastic difference in your postpartum experience.

Returning to Activities You Love

The strain of pregnancy and birth may lead to over-lengthened or weak pelvic floor muscles or to tight ones. We frequently observe a combination of weak and tight muscles. The impact on your bowel and bladder function can be significant. Tightness and weakness need to be resolved to help your posture and core. A pelvic floor therapist can work with you using techniques and manual therapy to start the process of strengthening your core and pelvic floor muscles. This will help you safely return to your favorite activities from long walks to running or crossfit.

Emotional Impact

Recovery may be emotionally challenging, especially if birth didn't go to plan. If you are experiencing any negative emotions related to giving birth, we strongly encourage you to seek the help of a mental health professional. Remember that asking for help is a strength, never a weakness!

Pelvic floor therapy is highly beneficial to moms and birthing people of all genders, both before and after the birthing process. Incorporating the expert help of a pelvic floor therapist into your recovery plan will help you support your body’s healing process, address any issues or conditions you may face, and improve your overall postpartum health. If you want to prepare for postpartum, check out our virtual healing course so you know how to move and take care of your body after your birth.


If you have pelvic health concerns and would like to see how our therapists at

Embrace can help, follow the link to schedule your free discovery call.

embrace pelvic floor physical therapy

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