Chapter 6: How To Reduce Belly Fat After Cesarean Delivery: Best Advice From Mothers
Every woman’s pregnancy and post-pregnancy journey is completely different. While some might find it easy to bounce back after the delivery, others might have to wait a little longer to see results.
Here we’ve compiled some personal stories from real mothers about their post-pregnancy fitness journey. These stories can offer you several helpful tips on how to reduce belly fat after cesarean delivery and help you understand that you’re not the only one undergoing these changes to your body.
Housewife, freelance interior designer, PGT teacher, and fitness model
Harman Sidhu confesses that during pregnancy, she was confident that she would easily be able to lose weight. A C-section and excessive weight gain, however, posed a greater challenge than she expected. Fighting against all odds, Sidhu lost 28kgs in a span of 1 year.
While speaking about her diet, Sidhu revealed cutting down on sugar and carbs helped her remain active and energetic. Although the curb on sugar and carbohydrates made her weak initially, she felt the opposite after getting accustomed to the diet.
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The MamaBacha blogger says new mothers after a C-section often experience stomach pains due to intestinal gas. Singhal says mothers should spread out their meals throughout the day to avoid flatulence. Five to six light meals a day and chewing carefully instead of gulping the food down are ways to keep the problem at bay.
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Chapter 7: Frequently Asked Questions On How To Reduce Belly Fat After C Section
Will I have labour pains with a C-section?
In the event of a scheduled C-section, the caesarean takes place before you go into labour. In such cases, you will not notice any signs of labour. However, in cases of an emergency C-section, the surgery may be done after the labour has already started.
How is a C-section performed?
Cuts are made through the wall of the abdomen and uterus. The muscles in your abdomen are separated and may not need to be cut. The incisions may either be transverse or vertical.
The baby is delivered through the incisions. Then, the umbilical cord is cut, and the placenta is removed. The uterus is closed with stitches, which gradually dissolve in the body.
What are the complications that occur during a C-section?
Not all women have to endure the complications of a C-section procedure. Infection, blood loss, blood clots, bowel or bladder injury, and reaction to medications or anaesthesia are some complications to be aware of during or after a C-section procedure.
Can I breastfeed after a caesarean?
There is no difference between a vaginal delivery and a C-section when it comes to breastfeeding. In fact, breastfeeding will help you lose belly weight faster. Provided both you and your baby are well, and your gynaecologist gives you the green light, you may breastfeed the baby shortly after delivery.
How long will I take to recover after a caesarean?
What kind of diet is recommended after a C-section delivery?
Chapter 5: Weight Loss Tips After C Section: Exercise When The Time Is Right
As the saying goes, there is always a right time for everything. This is true even in the case of weight loss exercises after C section to lose belly fat.
After the multiple transformations, your body has undergone pre-and post-delivery, it is natural to wonder, how to lose belly fat after C section, and when can you get back to your original weight—however, you don’t want to rush this process by performing a rapid weight loss after c section.
Although caesareans in India have become common, the procedure is still major. The weeks following a C-section require a certain amount of time for complete recovery and healing. Needless to say, no two births are alike, and each case needs to be assessed according to the new mother’s needs.
When to Start Exercising After a C-Section Delivery?
Resuming exercise after a C-section requires a longer waiting period than it would after a normal delivery. For a smooth recovery, it is safe to get back to your post-pregnancy exercise regimen after 6 weeks of delivery and after a postnatal check-up with your doctor.
If you become impatient and begin exercising without waiting for 6-8 weeks after delivery, it may lead to harmful complications such as heavy postpartum bleeding, muscle and joint injuries, or the opening up of surgical incisions.
Which Exercises to Avoid After a C-Section?
Don’t rush into a strict postnatal exercise regimen for rapid weight loss after C section. Here are some exercises to avoid after a caesarean delivery:
Chapter 4: How To Reduce Belly Fat After C Section: Foods To Eat
Although it’s important to consume a very light diet, it is necessary to follow a diet loaded with nutritious foods, as they need to replenish the lost nutrients. Plus, it also becomes essential that your body gets proper nourishment after delivery. As such, these are some Indian foods to eat if you are wondering how to reduce belly after C Section.
- Whole-Grain Foods
Essential Indian whole grain products contain iron, fibre, and folic acid. In addition to giving you a wholesome portion of enriched vitamins and nutrients, whole grains also boost energy levels and maintain breast milk supply. Whole grain cereals in India such as brown rice, oats, whole wheat and millets make a good option for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Proteins stimulate the growth of new cell tissues and encourage the healing process. Protein-rich foods help in tissue repair and maintain muscle strength after delivery.
Some of the protein-rich foods to eat after c section include fish, eggs, chicken, and meat. These can be consumed by Indian mothers who enjoy non-vegetarian food. While fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, eggs provide zinc which is beneficial for you and for your baby’s growth and development.
Vitamins help in producing collagen and in building new scar tissues, ligaments, and skin. Green vegetables such as spinach, fenugreek leaves, broccoli, and lotus stem are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, iron, and dietary calcium.
- Fibre-Rich Foods
- Iron-Rich Foods
Is Losing Weight After A C Section Harder Versus A Natural Birth
Losing weight after a c-section delivery might be a bit harder than if you had a vaginal delivery.
The reason is that it will take longer to heal and recover from surgery than from an uncomplicated vaginal birth.
A c section is a MAJOR surgery.
Recovery might take 6-12 weeks.
During this time, you probably won’t be as active and you may find yourself spending more time resting up and healing.
After this time, you should be able to catch up by using the tips stated in this article.
Find Out The Yoga Asanas To Reduce Belly Weight After A C
A caesarean surgery can take from a woman s reservoir of physical and emotional strength. Be it the physical pain she goes through in the first two weeks after surgery or the feelings of anxiety and depression, every postpartum physical and emotional issue could leave a woman feeling drained. Thankfully, post-C-section issues can be tackled with the practice of yoga. To know more, we asked our senior yoga experts with degrees in medicine from The Art of Living.
Yoga and pranayama can help achieve emotional balance
While exercising only affects the body muscles, yoga affects the body s endocrine system , says Geetanjali Mulay R, a Pune-based yoga expert. That is why with the practice of yoga and pranayama a new mother can soon overcome her negative emotions that can linger after a C-section. Here’s what to expect after a C-section.
Core Exercises To Avoid Right After A C Section Include:
2. Twisting movements that put strain on abdominal tissues
3. Lifting heavy objects
4. Push-ups on a flat ground
This is Me.
I want to show you how I looked at 12 weeks pregnant and then again 10 weeks postpartum. Scroll down a little further and you will see me each week of my first 7 weeks after childbirth.
Why Do I Still Look Pregnant After My C Section Delivery
You might be wondering if its normal to have a big tummy after a c-section.
You may feel that you still look pregnant after a c section or a vaginal delivery. The reason is that your uterus is still really big.
It grew from the size of a deck of playing cards, to the size of a watermelon!
It doesn’t just shrink back to a pre-pregnancy size right away. It can take approximately 4-6 weeks to return back to normal size.
Another important thing you should keep in mind is that you might have Diastasis Recti after a c section.
Diastasis Recti causes stretching of your abdominal muscles and a bulging of your inner organs – leading to what appears as a postpartum belly pooch. Check out my article: how to tell if you have diastasis recti to learn more.
Effective Yoga Poses To Lose Weight After Having A Baby
Our hectic lif style and busy schedule often leaves us stressed out and tired. Yoga is a centuries old way of relieving stress and improving strength and flexibility so that we can have a healthy body and mind in the long run. It helps in harmonizing our inner being with the world and bringing forth peace and tranquility. At physical level, it helps in improving posture, toning and strengthening the muscles, relieving stress and reducing the risk of diseases. Yoga also helps in improving the health of would-be mothers and reduces pregnancy complications. It also helps in quickening the recovery after delivery, relieving post-partum complications and pain and promoting weight loss in a healthy way.
Exercises That Help To Reduce Belly Fat After C Section
Once the doctor permits you to start exercising, you can design your own exercise routine. The exercise will help to reduce your tummy by strengthening the abdominal muscle and burning the accumulated fat around the hips and core. Start with mild exercises. If possible, hire a physical trainer to design an exercise routine that is suitable for your body and health. Also, wearing a compression garment will put gentle pressure on the C-section wound so that pain due to movement can be avoided. Some of the exercises that you can indulge in once you recover from C-section you can reduce tummy after c section are:
Home Remedies To Lose Stubborn Belly Fat After Delivery
Since most new mums breastfeed, there are lots of things you can do in terms of dieting and exercising but these would be a better option right after the first 6 weeks. Here are things you can do just after baby delivery…
- Regular Massage: Get a tummy massage to work on the cellulite and dilute it so that it is easy to burn by the body. Massage will also help you feel energetic and relaxed. There are several experienced ladies who do after-delivery massages to help uterus get into original shape
- Eat Cabbage: It has been seen that eating cabbage helps in decreasing belly fat and gives a boost to your metabolism so that your body can process and digest food easily without accumulating any fats
- Avoid Stress: Taking too much stress can lead to weight gain. This is why you need to be happy and stress-free all the time, around your baby and keep your hormones in balance
- Exercise: Indulge in some easy tummy exercises in your home. Sit-ups, yoga, squats, leg raises, etc are highly beneficial and effective in cutting the fat around the stomach. Do them several times a week and increase the frequency when you feel the body is ready. Do not stress the body
- Follow a Diet Plan: Talk to your doctor and follow a plan without compromising baby health. Start by including healthier foods that increase metabolism rate and stop pilling up of fat in the body. Remember, you must not compromise the health of your baby in order to get into shape by following a diet
How Long Does It Take To Lose Weight After A C Section
If you gained 25-35 lbs throughout your pregnancy, it could take anywhere from 3-6 months to lose your baby weight.
If you gained more than 25-35 lbs, it will take longer, and might be more challenging.
In general, you can expect to lose about 3-4 lbs per month as your body returns back to its pre pregnancy weight.
Home Remedies To Reduce Tummy After Cesarean Delivery
Everybody knows pregnancy and delivery can be a stressful time for the mother, especially if she has had a c-section. The body needs time to heal and recovery can get delayed due to complications such as wound infections, back aches or body swelling.
You have to remember that the body took a good nine months to gain all that weight, so being patient and going slow is the key to post pregnancy weight loss. A lot of mothers develop that post c-section stomach pouch which can be extremely irritating, so remember you are not alone. How to reduce tummy after cesarean delivery home remedies, well, here are 5 effective ways to do just that while sitting in the comfort of your home.
1. Breast Feeding
The first and earliest way to start losing that extra belly fat is breast feeding. Nursing will not only help you in establishing a bond with your baby but it burns a lot of extra calories, almost 850 Kcal per day to be exact. Breast feeding also causes the release of hormone Oxytocin that helps contract the uterus and reduces post-delivery bleeding. On the other hand, you have to be mindful that breast feeding will make you hungrier. And a hungry, sleep-deprived mom will look to satisfy her cravings by snacking most of the time, which brings us to our next point.
2. Snack Right
3. Safe Detox
4. Use a postpartum support belt or girdle
5. Move your body
Can I Exercise In The First Six Weeks After C Section
During this life-changing period as a new mama, you will be experiencing a lot of emotions and post pregnancy body changes. During this period, you should not be doing any high-impact intensive exercise. You should be focusing on your breathing and re-connecting your your tummy and your pelvic floor.
Exercise as you once knew it is different now. So the answer to this question is that you should not participate in any vigorous exercise and you must know what exercises to avoid. But once your core has healed, you can start with some appropriate, safe postpartum exercises.
The problem I have found is that most new mamas do not know what these exercises are. This is why I created my Core Rehab for Mamas program.
Does Exercise Help For Tummy Reduction After Delivery
As much as you would detest going to the gym, the fact is that exercising can be your best friend to lose that round, squishy belly after delivery. Once you complete 6 weeks postpartum, with advice from your doctors, you can start light exercises to cut down the tummy fat. Exercises like sit-ups, leg raises, squats, etc. have been proved beneficial. When teamed up with a healthy diet, you can see results as soon as a few weeks. This will not only give you are slimmer waist but also help you gain confidence, strength, and stamina that you would have lost after delivery.
I can understand how much you want to lose that tummy fat and I know you cannot wait to get back to your pre-pregnancy size. However, it is important to understand your body’s requirements and how it affects your baby’s health. Have patience and give your body the help it needs without burdening it. I am sure you will be back within months. Good Luck!
This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.
How Long Should You Wait To Start Exercising And Why
Doctors advise moms who have had a C-section to wait for 6-8 weeks before starting exercises to reduce belly fat. Not waiting for your body to recover fully can have disastrous consequences on your health such as:
- Heavy postpartum bleeding
- Opening up of surgical incisions
So, get a first-hand opinion from your doctor before you hit the gym again.
Also Read: Bleeding After Cesarean Delivery
Get Yourself An Abdominal Or Postpartum Support Belt
Get an abdominal belt or postpartum support belt. It is extremely beneficial as it tightens the abdominal muscles and gets your flabby stomach back to a flat one or more of normal one at least. Along with that, it aids in reducing back pain, protects your incision, and improve your posture.
You have to wear it all the time. You can take it off when you go to the wash room, sleep or have your meal. Sounds annoying? Yeah, but you will see how beneficial it is when you wear it. Opt for a belt that provides you with firm binding and good compression. If it has been two to three weeks since your c section and you are looking for something that keeps you at ease, then you can go for a post c section belly band.
How To Get Rid Of Swollen Abdominal Muscles After C
Cesarean section indications and contraindications: Reduce the swollen upper abdomen after c section in these ways.
Women’s HealthTavishi Dogra
Swollen lower abdomen after c-section: Motherhood is a beautiful feeling for every woman! But with this feeling, new mothers also face some difficulties! Stomach or belly enlargement is a common problem after C-section, i.e. cesarean delivery, . Just remember that your weight will not lose immediately after birth, but if effective and safe measures are adopted, then your stomach may be the same as before. C-section, i.e. Caesarean, is used when traditional methods of delivery are difficult or normal delivery threatens the health of mother or baby. Never try to lose belly fat immediately after Caesarean. It is essential to be patient in this process and give time to the body to recover after delivery.
How Long Will It Take To Shrink My Belly After A C
Your belly will be doing some heavy duty shrinking in the first few weeks post-delivery.
The excess fluid should work through your system within a couple weeks, and your uterus will begin to shrink, contributing to a thinning belly with little extra work on your part in the beginning.
Remember: It took 40 long weeks to grow your belly to the size it was to house your baby.
After birth, whether you delivered vaginally or via C-section, it will take your uterus 6 to 8 weeks to shrink down to its pre-pregnancy size.
What Should I Eat To Lose Weight After A C Section
It’s not so much what you eat, but rather how much you eat. One of the biggest determinants of your body fat levels is your caloric intake.
With that said, there are foods you can eat to help you lose weight after a c section.
In general, you should try and eat MORE foods that are
- low in calories,
- very high in nutrition, and
- are filling
Can You Exercise After Having A Caesarean Section
While there is no restriction on exercising after having a C-section surgery, it is to be noted that C-section is not the most tender procedure done on your body parts, and it is essential that you take adequate rest until you recover fully. Hence, you will have to wait for the right time before you can begin with your exercise routine.
C-section results in loss of blood, as the muscles are cut and stitched back post-surgery. It is important to ensure that your incisions heal and stitches dissolve before you can start any form of exercise.
As a new mom, you might be excited and keen on reducing post-pregnancy belly fat. However, it is best to wait until you have regained your strength completely and the wounds from the surgery have healed to an extent where there is no risk of you hurting yourself with all the stretching and movements.
When Should I Start To Exercise After A C Section
After a c section, you can begin exercising ~ 6-12 weeks postpartum, provided you
- didn’t have any significant postpartum complications,
- have healed appropriately from your surgery, and
- your doctor has cleared you to exercise.
However, you could begin different types of physical activity within 1 day of having a c section.
You can do gentle exercises like pelvic floor work on day 1 after your cesarean delivery, and you can begin walking shortly after.
Both of these types of exercise are extremely beneficial and important for all postpartum women.
Abdominal Belt To Flatten Your Stomach After A C
One of the methods you can employ is wearing a tummy reducing belt after C-section. It gives the dual advantage of supporting your body and regaining firmness of your belly post-delivery. But it may also hurt the incision wound if the mother is overweight. You must remember that a C-section is a complicated delivery and any wrongly applied pressure to the wound post-delivery can interfere with the healing process. Therefore, consult a doctor before trying on any such belt. Some more benefits of wearing an abdominal belt are:
- 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.
- Your back muscles tend to become soft and weak during pregnancy. An abdominal belt will support your back and strengthen it.
- The abdominal belt will keep your stomach in place and allowthe stitches to heal quickly.
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 tips above to safely get a flat tummy in no time.
Getting Back In Shape And Reducing Tummy Post C
Having a baby through C-section is much more complicated than a normal delivery, and so, post-operative recovery is very important. Don’t push your body to heal after a C-section; it will happen gradually. Wait for the stitches to dissolve and the incision to heal before doing any cardiac or weight-lifting activity. Tummy reduction is not easy even on its own and becomes all the more difficult if you have had a C-section delivery. This is because, during your recovery period, you may not be allowed to do abdominal exercises for some time. There are a few non-strenuous ways you can employ to get a flatter tummy.
Is It Ok To Wear A Belly Band After A C Section
It is okay to wear a belly band after a c section for the first week or so. It is definitely not necessary, but it may help you feel more comfortable walking around. This is a
With that said, it’s important that you don’t rely on the abdominal belt long term. That’s because you need to re-learn how to use your core muscles again. Especially while you are walking.
A belly band WILL NOT help you lose any excess weight or belly fat.
To learn more about belly bands, check out Waist Training After Pregnancy- Do You Need To Do It.
Abdominal Belt To Reduce Tummy After C Section
Wearing an abdominal belt to reduce tummy after c section will help to support your body and also helps to regain the firmness of the tummy after delivery. At the same time, using a maternity belt can have adverse effects on the C-section wound, especially if the woman is overweight. Therefore, consult the doctor before trying any such items to reduce belly after a C-section. Don’t forget that a C-section is a major surgery which comprises of an incision that is made in the deeper layers of the abdomen. Hence, the healing takes time, and any wrongly applied abdominal pressure can, in turn, interfere with the healing process.Here are some of the benefits of wearing an abdominal belt to reduce tummy after c section:
- The abdominal belt will hold the abdomen firmly in place thereby healing the stitches faster
- The movement of the body after a C-section will usually be painful, especially during sitting down and getting up. An abdominal belt by holding the loose flab on the tummy together will help to ease such movements
- The muscles on the back weaken during pregnancy. Wearing an abdominal belt will support the back muscle and helps to recover its strength
To know more about this read: Maternity Belts – Do They Help In Losing The Belly Pouch?Motherhood is meant to be celebrated and enjoyed, and you can only do this when you are in the present moment, with a calm state of mind and a healthy body. So go ahead and try these tips to get that tummy fat out of your way.