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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2000
    Southern Pines

    Post C-Section Recovery

    Hi all, I was hoping for your stories of C-section recovery. What did you do to get your core strength back, how long before you were back in the saddle, and any other tips and advice you might have. DS is now three weeks old, and I've been VERY GOOD about not lifting anything, resting, etc. I am going a little stir crazy and wanted some other people to commiserate with while I'm waiting for the all clear. I haven't had any complications, the incision is healing nicely, and I feel great.... just missing my ponies who are enjoying they're winter vacation. I'm fighting the urge just to go down for a walk about the ring on my very good gelding, and so far I've resisted, but it's getting old just sitting inside nursing the baby. An hour outside on a horse would do me a lot of mental good, but I don't want to push things physically and end up regretting it in the long run.

    All that rambling to say, what was your experience with post C-section riding?
    "One thing vampire children have to be taught early is, don't run with a wooden stake."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2013


    Hi, I had an emergency C- section 30 years ago. Perhaps I can help. I made a number of mistakes by rushing back to my horses. I learned too late that it takes some time months (check with doctor) for the connective tissue to firm up after giving birth. The hormone Relaxin softens the connective tissue in preparation for birth. This softening makes the joints somewhat unstable. After my daughter was born, I was was riding after a month. I ended up with very painful siactica which eventually subsided. Unfortunately I still get some pain now. So I would say check with your doctor and be patient. Pamper yourself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2011


    I had two C sections 12 and 20 years ago... Was back on the horse 4 to 6 weeks later. I think after my first C section I even backed a green horse for the first time, the first time I rode Dont do anything which might make you feel uncomfortable.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2008
    The eastern edge of the eventing wasteland

    Default I waited the full 6 weeks

    It was a lesson in patience both times.

    Very frustrating. I had my husband drive me to barn to walk around and I would groom and and walk. Because I was not allowed to be in the front seat due to the seat belt on the belly.

    Once or twice I brought the baby in the stroller meant for off road and pushed the baby while leading the horse. With a friend of course! Anyway, horse could care less about the stroller ;-) The walking helped me gain strength. I was surprised how much core strength was gone, just walking! I was afraid to lunge, only if the horse acted up & I needed to hang on it wasn't going to happen.

    I walked every day around my neighborhood, with the dogs for motivation. I built up to a good 45 min-1 hour brisk walk. My first C was horrible. Emergency C after a long labor, drugs made be ill, I got a UTI then a bladder infection then another UTI. I was very sick for at least 3 weeks after delivery, which contributed to being on "stall rest". When I started walking, I could not make it down the block without stopping and crying! The abdominal pain was incredible and lasted for a long time. I could not take pain killers because I was breast feeding, not even Tylenol. It was a very awful time!

    The second one was easy breezy, no complications, and I was back to my regular self inside a couple of weeks. Or whatever passes for normal with a newborn!

    My advice it to wait. If you tear those muscles again they take a long time to heal because you use them for everything! My OB-GYN was very clear on this on my weekly visits. Getting the staples out was a mile stone!

    When I finally got the pass to start riding it was like starting all over again. I stopped riding at 6 & 5 1/2 months, respectively. So I had not ridden in almost 4 months. Longer really because at the end I was really just taking it easy. I used to look at my watch and be like "OMG! Has it only been 5 minutes of posting trot! I want to get off!" Everything was off. Everything hurt :-)

    If you have a change to go to a gym when you get the all clear go for it.

    Other than that go to the barn, groom, hand walk, turn out if he behaves. Just spend time bonding with him and hanging with your barn friends if that is part of your scene. Not worth the risk IMO.

    It will pass!
    "I am a sand dancer... just here for the jumps!" - Schrammo

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 8, 2011


    I just had my first kid on 1-24 via C-Section. The week of, I rode (walked around bareback) Monday, worked Tuesday (Im a paramedic, so lifting, moving, dancing around the back of a moving vehicle), Wednesday I went to the Dr for a scheduled appointment and my BP was way up, so we decided to do a C-Section on Friday. The surgery went great, the hospital was great, the staff was awesome. I got pretty sore after the good drugs wore off and was pretty sore for about 4 days once I got home. I was able to take myself off all pain meds after about a week and a half.
    I just got back from my 2 week check up with my Dr. He said Im good to drive, can go back to work in 4 weeks, and if Im careful, I can start SLOWLY getting back on and seeing how things go. He admitedly said, "you are pretty big into the horses, aren't you?" So he may have figured that I was going to start riding soon with or without his blessing.
    Bottom line, you have to do what's comfortable for you. I rode all throughout my pregnancy. I took my baby horse to his first recognized event at 5 months. I did my last show, a novice level CT, at 7 months. I did stop jumping at about 7.5 months, because it was uncomfortable and my gut was in the way, but I found getting on and lightly hacking, or even just walking, was relaxing and good for my mental health.
    I do plan on getting on one of my more trusted horses for the first few rides, and probably just walking, then gradually build up as Im comfortable. No greenies or broncos for awhile Good luck, hopefully you can get back up and going without complications soon!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2000
    Southern Pines


    Thanks for the input all. I rode right up until about two weeks before I delivered and we walked several miles a day until it was time to go to the hospital. I feel pretty fit, but I know it will be a big adjustment once I actually get back on.

    I'm blessed that the horses are at home, so I do get my dose of cookie feeding and pets, just missing the saddle time. I'm halfway there with only three weeks to go, and I know it'll be worth it to make sure there aren't any crazy complications. I was super disappointed to have to have the surgery, and it certainly is making things go slower, but at least I have a healthy and wonderful baby.
    "One thing vampire children have to be taught early is, don't run with a wooden stake."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 8, 2004


    Congratulations on the birth of your baby, Miriam! I had two vag deliveries followed by an emergency c-section. My doctor was away on a fishing trip when I had the c-section, so I really didn't get any post-surgery instructions from the ob-gyn who filled in. I went home to 5 horses, a husband who was busy and didn't really help much anyway and a boarder who traded free board for helping with the horses during my recovery.
    I felt so good (maybe a little Percocet happy?) after the delivery I was back in a regular routine way too fast, within days of coming home, although I didn't do barn work for about 3 weeks. Later, a friend told me that I had risked getting adhesions by not taking it easy. I just never knew how dangerous the complications could have been. There was stuff to do, kids to get to pre-school, and I just did it.
    My advice is to lay low, let your body recover, and enjoy this time with your new baby. Let people do things to help you. The horses will still be there, but there is no sense risking a tear or injury if you push it too fast.

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