Exercises & Tips to Reduce Belly Post a C-Section
When we talk about the pregnancy phase, every mother will agree that waiting for her little one to arrive in this world, and after that, the motherhood is a most beautiful and fulfilling phase. But after delivery, most new mothers try to get back to their pre-pregnancy shape. They are ready to try everything to be the way they were before the pregnancy. However, after a C-section, the body needs time to heal first and forcing the body to lose those extra kilos can be harmful and may cause unnecessary complications. In this article, we’ll give you some effective and safe ways to reduce your tummy after a C-section delivery.
Video: How to Reduce Tummy Fat After C-section Delivery (Easy Exercises & Tips)
How Long Should You Wait to Start Exercising and Why?
Doctors advise waiting for 6-8 weeks before starting any exercises. Not waiting for your body to recover fully can have disastrous consequences such as:
- Heavy postpartum bleeding
- Muscle and joint injuries
- Opening up of surgical incisions
So, get a first-hand opinion from your doctor before hitting the gym again.
Tips for Reducing Belly Fat After a C-section
Working out your belly fat may seem daunting but we assure you, it’s easily achievable with these tips:
1. Get a Massage
Two weeks after delivery, you can safely get a post-pregnancy massage. These massages break up belly fat and help to lose fluids from the lymph nodes, thereby reducing your waistline. However, avoid the abdominal area during the initial days, and focus only on the back, hands, and legs. Four weeks after delivery, when the scar tissue starts forming, the abdominal area can be massaged without pain.
2. Move Your Body
A C-section cuts through some of your stomach muscles, resulting in a pouch of fat on your tummy. This causes stress on your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor. So, it’s important to wait for 6-8 weeks before you attempt heavy exercises. Walking is a low impact exercise that burns calories safely. Go for a walk with your baby at least thrice a week.
3. Eat Healthily
All new mothers need a lot of energy when they’re lactating. Make sure your diet is rich in carbohydrates, low in fat and loaded with sufficient vitamins and minerals. Avoid sweets and items that have saturated fats like ghee, fried foods, butter and aerated drinks. Eat more fruits, vegetables and lean protein. Keep a food log and record the foods you eat in a day and its calorie count. This will help you stick to your defined portion size.
4. Bind Your Tummy
You can do tummy binding after the incision fully heals. In this, the tummy is tied up with a muslin cloth which looks like a bandage. Tummy binding is believed to push the stomach in.
This is one of the easiest ways to lose belly fat. Breastfeed your baby for 6 months after a c-section. Not only does breastfeeding burn about 500 extra calories a day, but it also releases the oxytocin hormone that stimulates uterine contractions, and helps your uterus get back to its pre-pregnancy size.
6. Drink Lots of Water and Fluids
Drink plenty of water post-delivery. This will not only help to maintain the fluid balance in your body but also burn the excess fat around your waist. Lemon water is a good home remedy to detox and reduces your weight. You can mix lemon juice and honey in lukewarm water and drink it once a day, preferably in the morning.
7. Get Adequate Sleep
One of the ways you can achieve your sleep and tummy goals is by getting a minimum of 5 hours of sleep. It’s difficult but we’ll give you a trick – sleep when your baby sleeps! This will also improve your emotional health.
8. Be Patient
Once your baby is born, the hormones in your body alters, contracting your uterus. It takes the uterus at least 6 to 8 weeks to return to its original size. Therefore, you should allow your body some time to heal and let it come back to its original form.
Yoga to Reduce Tummy Fat
You can practice yoga after a C-section to reduce tummy fat. Yoga helps to tone and strengthen the stomach muscles. It also helps new moms deal with stress and changes. However, it should be started only 6-8 weeks after delivery. Consult your doctor about this.
If you’re a beginner, take the help of a certified yoga instructor and begin with simple breathing exercises. Some yoga poses you can try to reduce your tummy fat include:
- Bhujanga Asana – This snake pose will help to strengthen your abdominal muscles.
- Pranayama – Pranayama will tuck your tummy in.
- Suryanamaskar – Once you learn the normal asanas, you can proceed with Suryanamaskar.
- Tadasana – This yoga pose will be beneficial in regulating the menstrual cycle, strengthening the arms and legs, and helping to remove lethargy from the body.
Exercises to Reduce Tummy After Cesarean
There are various exercises after C-section to reduce tummy that you can do. You can follow a routine once you recover and your doctor gives the green light. You can start with mild exercises and gradually move on to the complex ones, with guidance from a physical trainer. Wear a compression garment over the C-section wound to prevent the pressure from hurting it. Some exercises you can try are:
1. Pelvic Tilts
Contract your stomach muscles and tilt your hips forward. You can do this while sitting, standing or lying down.
Hold your body in a push-up position, while bearing all your weight down on the forearms, elbows, and toes. Hold for at least 30 seconds and repeat thrice.
Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold for five seconds and then release. Remember to not hold your breath while doing this exercise. Try it 4-5 times in a row, with a 10-seconds break in between each. This strengthens your pelvic floor muscles.
Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Spread your hands, keeping your palms facing downwards. Tuck in your stomach muscles and slowly lift your buttocks off the floor, followed by your stomach and middle back. Keep your shoulders on the ground. Hold for ten seconds and gently lower your body back onto the ground. Repeat this exercise around 4-6 times to strengthen your hips and tone the stomach.
5. Lower Abdominal Slide
This exercise targets the lower abdominal muscles which are affected by the C-section surgery. Lie down with your feet flat on the ground, knees bent and arms straight at your sides; let your palms face downwards. Keep your stomach tucked in and contract your abdominal muscles to slowly slide your right leg straight out. Bring the leg back to its starting position slowly. Repeat with the opposite leg. Do this 3-5 times with the right and left leg alternately.
6. Forward Bends
Stand straight and slowly bend downwards with your arms at your side till your head is level with your knees. Hold the position for ten seconds and straighten your body again. Repeat this 4-5 times to strengthen your lower back and burn calories off your middle.
Abdominal Belt for a Flat Stomach After a C-section
To reduce belly fat after a C-section, you can opt for a tummy reducing belt. It supports your body and helps you regain the firmness of your belly post-delivery. But it can also hurt the incision wound if the mom is overweight. Movements, like standing up or sitting down, can be very painful while recovering from a C-section delivery. An abdominal belt will hold your tummy in and ease the pain.
Remember that a C-section is a complicated delivery and any pressure to the wound post-delivery can interfere with the healing process. Therefore, consult a doctor before trying on such a belt.
Never exert yourself or continue exercising if you feel pain in your abdomen. If you’re planning to start working out after a C-section delivery, consult your doctor first so that you don’t risk your health in the process. Follow the above tips and exercises to safely regain your pre-pregnancy figure.
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5. Caesarean section; betterhealth.vic.gov.au; https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/caesarean-section