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What exercises should be done after a Caesarian section?

Q: I delivered a baby through Caesarian section 5 months back. I have been having intermittent back pains since then. Since it was a CS, I haven't been doing much exercises. My problem since last 2 months is knee joint pain. My knee aches when I try to sit on the floor / stand up / climb stairs / wake up in the morning etc. Since I had taken it lightly I have not been taking any medicines. But it doesn't seem to come down. Some days, the pain increases. Could you please advise on whether it could be something serious and what I should be doing for it. My tummy has not gone down fully after the delivery. It is almost the size when I was 4-5 months pregnant. I don't know what to do about this as well. Could you please advise. I am breast feeding the baby and have also started solids for her.

A:Do not get upset. You have still time to get back to your old self. After a caesarian, most women take a little longer to start off comfortably. You could have added on more weight than required. But, if you are feeding the baby, please forget about dieting. Instead, start morning and evening walks within your limits as you also have knee pain. If you know swimming, you are at an advantage to get back to normal. Start swimming for about 5 minutes and bring it up to 20 minutes. For your paunch, first try and make it a habit to keep your tummy tucked in while standing, sitting, walking or working. Gentle crunches should be good enough. Do not attempt any cycling for your tummy as this will increase your knee pain. For your knee pain you will have to do mobility as well as strengthening exercises. MOBILITY EXERCISES 1. Sit on a flat firm surface. Put a roll of towel under your knee. Flex your thigh muscle, bend up your feet and lift your heel from the surface. All the time, your knee should be firm on the roll. Hold your leg in the straightened position for 10 seconds. Rest for 5 seconds. Repeat the exercise 10 times. 2. Sit on a table with the thigh supported. Bend your leg as far as possible. 3. Lie face with your knee bent as far as possible. 4. Lie down on your back on the floor with one foot up against the wall. Let your foot slide downwards at the same time bending your knee. 5. Stand with the foot of one leg on a chair. Slowly stretch forwards so that your knee is bent. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Rest. Repeat the exercises with the other leg. It is advisable to do these exercises for short periods at a time several times a day. STRENGTHENING EXERCISES 1. Lie down on your back with your legs straight. Bend the foot of one leg, lift your leg with the knee straight. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Rest for 5 seconds. Repeat for 5-10 counts. 2. Stand with your back against the wall. Bend your knees so that your back slides against the wall. Hold the position for 10 seconds and gradually increase the time for holding. 3. Sit on the edge of a table with 2 kg sand bag tied to the ankle of one leg and lift the leg straight. Hold and bring the leg down. Increase the weight slowly adding I kg at a time till you can lift 5 kg. Do these exercises with the other leg too. Practice your sitting down and getting up and sitting cross legged gradually. Do not be in a hurry. Avoid climbing steps till your knee is strong.

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