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ObGyn/Pregnancy issues/Exercise with Pregnancy #2 after Cesarean

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Question
Dear Helene,

As a pregnant athlete, I remember your answers helped me a great deal during my first pregnancy- and I now have a new question regarding my second. My first pregnancy ended with an unexpected C-section. This was 3 years ago. I am now 20 weeks pregnant with my second child. Due to a very difficult first trimester, I stopped training for a period of 2.5 months. Last week, I started my high-intensity training again twice a week and I am doing okay. My question is whether or not I need to take any specific precautions with my workouts having had a previous c-section. Can I do everything I had done during my first pregnancy (which included high-intensity cardio with plyometrics, jumping jacks, etc. up until week 36 as well as weight training until week 40).

Thanks very much,

Nili

Answer
Nili,
While there are no studies to support or deny the safety of high intensity training after a C, we do know that uterine rupture during the stress of a vbac labor is a real complication.
Your uterus does have a scar. To stay safe, I suggest that you avoid moves that could place too much strain on your uterus/scar such as heavy weight training squats, lunges, dead lift, clean and jerk, over head press etc. Lighter weights, above 12 reps, should be OK.
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Helene Byrne

Expertise

I can answer all questions regarding prenatal and postpartum fitness and exercise. I will not answer any questions that are not related to prenatal and postpartum fitness and exercise. I will not answer questions regarding getting pregnant, or signs or symtoms, only fitness and exercise during and after pregnancy. No due dates, medical problems during pregnancy, signs or symtpoms of pregnancy, pregnancy tests, vaginal problems/smells/discharge, periods or ovulation.

Experience

Pre-and-Postnatal Exercise Specialist ACE certified Personal Trainer Author: "Exercise After Pregnancy: How to Look and Feel Your Best" Book Author: "Bounce Back Fast! Post Natal Core Conditioning" DVD Founder: BeFit-Mom Teacher: Post Pregnancy Exercise Workshops

Organizations
IDEA Health and Fitness Association

Publications
numerous regional parenting magazine

Education/Credentials
Dancing Thru Pregnancy, Pre/Post Natal Exercise Specialist Certification 2000 Resist-a-Ball Core Program, 1999 American Council on Exercise, Personal Trainer Certificate, 1999 Peak Performance, San Francisco, CA, Pilates Instructor Training Program, 1992 Health and Fitness Institute, Cal State Hayward, Personal Trainer Certificate, 1990 American College of Sports Medicine, Group Exercise Leader, 1989 Boston Conservatory, BFA/Dance, 1982

Awards and Honors
´┐ŻBounce Back Fast! Post Natal Core Conditioning´┐Ż, 2005. Winner of the Platinum Award from the Family Review Center, 2007.

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