Were you a free-spirited, active person prepartum? Did you find it hard to stay away from the pool for 9 months?
One thing about being a new mom is recovering from childbirth can be tough on your body — physically and emotionally.
If one of the many items on your to-do list after having a baby is swimming after c-section, you are probably wondering how long after C section can you swim?
This article will answer that question and more 🙂
Can I Go Swimming After a C-Section?
Generally, it is safe to swim after a c-section when the doctor gives you the all-clear.
However, the wound from the surgery needs time to heal and it is usually advised not to submerge oneself in water until that happens.
In fact, you must not go swimming for at least six weeks after having a C-section.
This is because the bacteria in the water could enter the uterus and cause an infection.
How Long After C Section Can You Swim?
It is crucial to wait at least six weeks before swimming after c-section.
This is because the risk of infection is too high due to your c-section scar as well as your pregnancy discharge.
In addition, your body needs time to recover its full strength!
Here are some tips to help you stay safe:
- Stay in the shallow end, even if you’re a good swimmer
- Avoid diving or jumping
- Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after swimming to stay hydrated
- Ensure your c-section wound has healed
Always consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine postpartum
Why Can’t I Go Swimming 2 Weeks Postpartum?
Open wounds from childbirth make you susceptible to bacteria, which can cause a serious infection.
Although infections can generally be treated with antibiotics, they can end up requiring hospitalization.
For this reason, it is best to avoid swimming for 2 weeks postpartum and wait at least six weeks instead.
Risks Of Swimming After Delivery
Swimming after delivery poses a risk of infection for postpartum women, regardless of whether they had a cesarean or vaginal delivery.
One of the reasons why women are prone to infection if swimming after c-section is due to their lochia—the vaginal discharge after birth.
Avoid any risks by waiting at least six weeks after delivery, and always consult your doctor if you have any doubts.
Swimming in Ocean After C-section
Swimming in an ocean after c-section can be dangerous since oceans are notorious for harbouring bacteria that can cause infection and serious health problems.
Therefore, if you have had a c-section, it is important to take extra precautions before swimming in the ocean.
How to Protect Your Stitches When Swimming
When swimming, it is very important to protect your stitches from water.
Here are some tips you can follow:
- Use a waterproof bandage to cover your stitches
- Do not submerge an open wound or any stitches which have not completely healed
- Consider a one-piece bathing suit
- Use a ‘tummy tucking’ suit or ‘shapewear’
If at all possible, try and wear loose clothing over your swimsuit so that it doesn’t restrict blood flow and cause swelling after being in the water for a long time.
Always check with your healthcare professionals before swimming.
How to Prevent Swelling and Bloating While Swimming After a C-section
There are a few simple things you can do to prevent swelling and bloating while swimming postpartum:
- Drink lots of fluids before swimming
- Swim for a shorter amount of time to start with
- Avoid laying on your stomach for long periods of time
- Wear loose clothes over your bathing suit
Is Chlorine in Pool After C Section Dangerous?
Pool chlorine is added to swimming pools in order to kill germs.
In fact, chlorine makes it less likely to get water-borne illnesses like diarrhoea, swimmer’s ear, and other skin infections.
Technically, this means that swimming after c-section in water that has chlorine makes it less likely to get an infection.
However, chlorine in water can result in irritation in wounds and slow healing.
Avoid swimming in chlorine water if your c-section scar is still healing. And as mentioned earlier, wait at least six weeks before you start swimming again.
How to Avoid C-section Scar Infection in The Pool
The c-section incision can become infected due to a number of reasons, but there are precautions you can take to avoid infection:
- Avoid damaging your stitches by swimming for too long
- Avoid exposing the open tissue to bacteria
- Shower immediately after exiting the pool and avoid swallowing the water
- Keep your c-section incision site clean and dry
- Cover the c section scar with a waterproof bandage and avoid getting the area wet
How to Avoid Cramps and Fatigue While Swimming After a C-section
To avoid cramps and fatigue while swimming after a c-section, it is important to hydrate before you begin your swimming session.
It is also vital to listen to your body, and if you feel like you need to stop swimming, then do so.
Can I Use A Tampon For Swimming After Childbirth?
It is generally not recommended to use a tampon for swimming after childbirth, because they enable bacteria to enter your body.
In fact, tampons should not be used at all for at least six weeks postpartum.
If you decide to go ahead and use a tampon for swimming after childbirth, make sure you speak to your doctor first.
Your doctor will probably recommend you change your tampon often, especially if the water is chlorinated.
What are The Benefits of Swimming Postpartum?
Swimming postpartum is a great way to get exercise and get in shape without putting your body under too much strain.
Swimming postpartum can help you lose weight, strengthen the muscles in your legs and back, and relieve pain.
It can also help with anxiety and postpartum depression.
Furthermore, swimming is a great low-impact workout that can reduce the risk of blood clots or other complications post-pregnancy.
Besides, it is such a relaxing activity to do in your spare time!
How Long Does It Take For Your Cervix To Close After Birth?
The cervix usually closes six weeks after birth, so until then, women are at high risk of having bacteria enter the uterus and result in an infection.
That is why doctors recommend waiting at least six weeks before swimming after c-section.
In addition, swimming prior to the cervix being healed can put your body under enormous pressure and even lead to uterine rupture.
Conclusion: Should You Be Swimming After C-Section?
Swimming after c-section is safe, as long as you wait six weeks and take all necessary precautions before getting back into the water.
To begin with, refrain from engaging in any vigorous swimming activities. It is always best to start slowly and gradually return to your pre-pregnancy form.
Nonetheless, always consult your doctor to get the all-clear first!