It’s just been over a month since I had my C section and despite being reasonably fit and active during my pregnancy …it has been disheartening to see a bloated and misshapen tummy. While pregnancy itself causes a lot of stress on the pelvic floor and the abdominal muscles…a-c section causes even more damage to these areas. In fact, a c section is like any other lower abdomen surgery except that you get your very own bundle of joy afterward. I researched a lot on the ways to reduce tummy after my c section, especially Exercise After C Section and here is what I found out.
When to start weight reduction
No kind of weight reduction or tummy reduction activity should be undertaken till 6 weeks after the operation. This is the standard time frame for a c section incision to heal….exercising before this time frame will cause irreparable damage. Wearing a tight belt before the wound has healed completely can also cause serious infections.
Dieting as a means of reducing tummy should only be undertaken if you are not breastfeeding. In case you are breastfeeding your baby then you would need 2000 extra calories per day. However, you can make intelligent choices in the kinds of food you consume and reduce bloating that’s an immediate side effect of a c section. However breastfeeding naturally helps you lose weight, tightens up the uterus and sometimes it even helps loose fat from the hips and lower abdomen. If you do have the choice…opt for breastfeeding as a natural way of giving your baby optimum nutrition and losing unwanted weight in the process.
Low Impact Exercises
Invest your time in low impact exercises like stretches, walking and low-speed spot jogging. If you are taking long walks then take your baby along….you get mother and baby bonding time too in the process. Most areas now have stroller walking clubs…join one if you need to have company during your walks.
Another great way to start off is to learn breathing exercises….these can be done a week after your c section. You need to place your hands on a pillow that covers your incision site and breathe in deeply. Your diaphragm should fill up with lots of air…exhale really slowly and then repeat the process till the muscles feel tired. You can do this breathing exercise many times in a day.
One important point to remember while starting off on any exercise regimen is that there should be a warm-up program preceding the actual exercise routine. Warming up before exercising and cooling down after the exercise regimen will avoid any chance of muscle strain. Another important point to remember is to stop if any kind of dizzy feeling, nausea or a burning sensation around the incision occurs. Exercise regimens after a c section should always be phased…they should build up gradually before you reach the pre-pregnancy fitness levels and the pre-pregnancy tummy!!
Choose the right kind of nutrients if you want to get rid of your tummy fast. Your diet should have high amounts of lean protein, moderate carbohydrates (slow releasing carbs) and low saturated fat content. You should choose whole grains, low-fat dairy produce, fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein. You should have lots of colors on your plate…colored fruits and vegetables have micronutrients that are responsible for increasing the metabolic rate and burning fat faster. Eat smaller more frequent meals and avoid sleeping immediately after a meal…this will reduce bloating and discourage the accumulation of abdominal fat. Avoid consuming food that promotes the formation of gas (women who have c sections are more likely to suffer from gas) like cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, kidney beans etc. drink 2 to 3 liters of water daily…this is an effective way of reducing belly fat.
Tummy Binder and Belts
Many women opt to use a tummy binder to get a flat tummy after their c section. This binder should ideally be made of soft elastic cloth or muslin cloth which acts like a firm bandage. The use of the tummy binder belt pushes the belly down and encourages it to become flattered after it has been used continually. The use of a tummy binder should only be done after 2 months of the surgery when the tissues have completely healed.
Post-Partum Support belts can help the abdominal muscles tighten and reduce stomach fat while minimizing back pain. The belt should only be bought from a reputed manufacturer and should be used after 2 months of delivery.
Here’s hoping that you achieve a flatter tummy and tighter muscles real soon!!
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