“I’ve a C-section twice. I got an abrupt weight gain as I had an incision that takes time to heal. 9 Incredible Ways To Lose Weight After C-section are those practical ways that I used to maintain a healthy weight. Hope you’ll find them helpful too. “
So, you’ve survived childbirth via C-section. And now, a little human being is in your lap.
You’ve gone through nature’s most pleasant phenomenon; a childbirth…
During the whole nine months, your body has gone through a lot of variations. Some of them are inner and some are outer.
And amongst these variations, the most ultimate one is the stubborn weight gain. The postpartum belly. The poor looks. And weakness from head to toe.
Since I too have gone through the same surgery twice. For me, there was a big question after the rest period and that was: How to lose weight after C-section?
But don’t worry! You can get rid of belly fat even after C-section. What I have for you is a list 9 Incredible Ways To Lose Weight After C-section. Some simple and practical things that I did in order to lose post-baby weight.
Hope you too will find them working for you.
Before digging in the main topic, lets discuss some background parameters.
Weight gain in pregnancy
When you follow a myth: “Eating for two”, you are more likely to gain a lot and after the delivery, even losing a few pounds becomes an impossible thing for you. It’s generally believed that pregnant women should eat a lot more food. But that’s not the case.
During pregnancy, the net amount of calories is increased by just a very small amount. Only a healthy snack is quite enough to fulfill that requirement. But when you start eating for two, you multiply the chance of extra weight gain. Instead, the healthy choice is to eat ‘twice as healthy’ and not ‘twice as much’.
Gaining a lot during pregnancy can lead to a bulk of the post-pregnancy weight. The risk of obesity, diabetes, muscular pain and some related issues may arise for you. But, contrary to this, not gaining enough weight is suspicious too.
How much weight gain is “normal”?
Medical parameters are quite strict in this regard. The weight gain should limit to a few kilograms and not more than that.
But there is no standard figure of weight gain that applies to all the women at the same time. The medical recommendations are based on pre-pregnancy weight.
The body mass index (BMI)
The body mass index (BMI) is the simplest way to determine whether you are underweight, overweight or have a normal weight.
It gives the link between weight and height. A BMI below 18.5 is considered to be underweight, a BMI between 18.5 and 25 is “normal weight,” and a BMI between 25 and 30 is “overweight” or obese.
Here is a standard BMI Calculator along with one more, to check out how much you are gaining or have gained during your pregnancy.
Now, let’s come to the point…
What is a C-section?
You might have a C-section history, that’s why you are reading this post…
If I’m right then you might have some know-how about C-section.
“Caesarean section, commonly known as C-section, is a surgical delivery. In this practice, a horizontal cut is made in the lower part of the abdomen in order to deliver the baby safely.”
Why a C-section delivery?
C-sections are mostly done due to medical reasons. Nearly 30% of deliveries in the US are C-sections. In most cases, these operations are pre-planned but sometimes they are done on an emergency basis.
Common reasons of C-sections can be:
- Prolonged labor
- Baby’s size and position in belly
- Twin pregnancy
- Issues with placenta or umbilical cord
- Inadequate oxygen supply to baby
- Maternal health issues like diabetes, HIV or high blood pressure
- A previous C-section delivery.
C-section recovery is prior to Weight Loss
You have to show up the patience.
You can’t compel your body to heal quickly as C-section is much more complicated than the normal delivery.
Let things happen gradually.
You have to wait patiently for the stitches to dissolve and the uterus to come back to its original position. It takes around 6-8 weeks for the uterus to come back to normal size.
Why is it difficult to lose weight after c-section?
Dr. Jaishree Gajaraj, consultant and gynecologist from Fortis Malar, Chennai says about losing weight after C-section :
“Whether a c-section or vaginal delivery, losing weight calls for some dedication, planning and discipline just like what it would have been for women who never gave birth. But most mothers tend to be lethargic and fatigued post-delivery and so a proper weight loss never happens or they never achieve their pre-pregnancy weight. However, one way to ensure that you have a smooth weight loss post-surgery is to keep a tab on your weight during pregnancy. If you pile up too much weight during pregnancy it could be difficult to shed that weight later. So, make sure that your weight gain during pregnancy is healthy. This helps the body to shed the excess weight with little effort invested.”
How Long Should You Wait to Start A Weight Loss Plan After C-section And Why?
The best way to start exercising after a c-section is to indulge in brisk walking, yoga or swimming, after consulting with your doctor and taking into account how you have healed.
Strenuous exercises like joining a gym or ab-crunches can be done later like two to three months after starting with the basic exercises.
Doctors suggest 6-8 week rest for mothers who had a C-section. When I talk about the exercises, you have to wait one week more. Not waiting for your body to heal entirely can have dreadful results on your health such as:
- Muscle and joint pain as well as injuries
- Chronic backache
- Rupture of surgical incisions
- Heavy postpartum bleeding
Weight loss After C-section
Here I’m with the 9 evidence-based approaches you can use to lose postpartum weight and belly fat:
Massage therapy works well to reduce weight.
It breaks down the belly fat and helps to drain out fluids from lymph nodes.
You can practice this technique within the first 6-8 weeks after C-section but remember the first two postpartum weeks are very critical for complications to arise. There is no trouble in getting a massage after the first two weeks.
Avoid the abdominal area during the initial days, instead, focus only on the arms, back and legs. One month after delivery, scar tissue will begin to grow and your abdominal area will be safe to massage.
2. Abdominal Belt to Flatten Tummy:
(Postpartum Support Belt)
One of the techniques you can imply is wearing a fat reducing belt after C-section. Here are its few benefits:
- A movement like walking and sitting becomes easier as the belt holds the tummy and eases the pain too.
- It supports the back muscles that were weakened and softened during pregnancy.
- It helps the uterus to shrink and regain its usual shape.
- The incision area will be pain-free as most of the belly weight is supported by the belt.
Sometimes the belt is bad for the healing process, that is when you are overweight. Since C-section is a complex surgery, a little of the increased weight over the wound may cause bleeding or pain. So it’s better to consult a doctor before using a belt.
3. Find a Like-minded Community:
Create a weight loss group whether it is face to face or online. Be an active member of it by making statistics of weight, height and calorie count for each member. There are many mothers who need the initiative to lose stubborn weight after C-section. Discuss the new strategies and plan for losing weight in a healthy way. It is going to support you in a very effective way. You’ll find it much more functional and efficacious to get your pre-pregnancy form back again.
4. Simple Exercises:
Slow and steady wins the race…
And that’s quite true in terms of postpartum exercises. Take a start with gentle and easy sets. Walking and stretching are comfortable. Stretching is of great value as it helps the belly to lean into old shape. In addition to walking, stretching is a great easy exercise.
Once you start weight loss exercises, don’t be aggressive on them. Leave them at once if you feel pain. Here are a few stretching exercises that are equally easy and worthwhile.
Lay on your back, bend your knees down in such a way that the feet are touching the floor. Lift up your back and abdomen making an arch shape.
Lie down on the floor with your back down. Gradually and gently take your arms and legs over your head.
Lie down your stomach. Now try to uplift your chest and head just a few inches from the floor. If you feel uncomfortable lying on your stomach (incision area aches) just leave this move and go for the next one.
5. Include A Little Champ In Each Exercise:
When I had a baby through C-section, I waited for my champ to sleep down so that I may start my workout. This was tiresome. Sometimes I had to wait and wait and wait.
One day I thought to include him in my exercises. I take him with me during a walk. I held him while doing simple exercises and that really worked for me as I couldn’t skip the workout that way.
6. Try A Simple And Healthy Diet:
Cut junk food.
Cut out sugar-sweetened fizzy drinks.
Be a wise and responsible mom.
Now it’s time to change your lifestyle by changing unhealthy eating habits. Stock a lot of fruits and fibrous vegetables and snack on them. Avoid sports drinks, 100 calorie snacks, coffee, soda, and tea, etc. Your healthy diet not only increases the healing process but also helps in shedding some pounds.
7. Get A Sound Sleep:
New moms are often sleep deprived. It negatively affects your weight. A review of the WHO (World Health Organization) reveals that:
“A lack of sleep in mothers is strongly related to post-pregnancy weight gain. In general, 8 out of the 13 mothers found sleep deprivation are significantly gaining weight.”
It’s better to sleep while the baby is sleeping. In the coming few months, your baby will easily adopt a good sleeping routine but for now you can take the help of your partner or family members to help you in this regard.
8. Avoid Sugar and Refined Carbs:
Sugary items and refined carbs are low in nutrition but have high calories.
Their one negative aspect is a quick weight gain but side by side they cause diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer.
Bakery products, sugar spreads, sugary beverages all are the common sources of sugar. Read the nutritional facts on labels when you buy groceries and anything that contains sugar is quite a stay-away item.
9. Breastfeeding: Does it help to lose weight after C-section?
Both in C-section as well as normal delivery.
It’s one of the beautiful things that happen between you and the newly born child.
It makes a strong and precious bond of motherhood.
Breastfeeding is a great way of losing weight. It burns around 500 calories a day, thus helping your weight loss criteria.
In addition to burning calories, breastfeeding also stimulates contractions in your body that causes a workout for the entire body.
Following are a few more benefits you get from breastfeeding:
- Breast milk contains all the essential nutrients your baby needs to grow in the first few months.
- It also contains antibodies that help to fight viruses and bacteria, thereby improving the baby’s immunity against diseases.
- By breastfeeding, the uterus is more likely to contract and go back to its actual state.
- Breastfed infants have a very low risk of gut diseases, lung disorders, skin infection, diabetes, pneumonia, diarrhea etc.
- Moms who breastfeed have lower risks of breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer, and many uterine disorders.
Some Home Remedies To Get A Flat Tummy After Delivery:
A cup of green tea twice a day keeps tummy fat away. It is rich in antioxidants so that’s an added bonus!
Yogurt is a good source of probiotics (good bacteria) that boost your metabolism. This causes a quick and healthy weight loss.
- Ginger Tea:
Ginger has immense health benefits. It helps in digestion and cures nausea and morning sickness naturally. It thermogenic properties elevate your body temperature to burn fats more orderly.
Ginger also minimizes the production of cortisol, a hormone that triggers stress. Stress is one of those parameters that cause weight gain. Drinking a simple ginger tea daily can help with losing belly fat quickly.
- Cranberry Juice:
Cranberry juice is a rich source of antioxidants that help in removing toxins from your body and boosts your metabolism rate. This ultimately helps in weight loss.
Cinnamon is a spice with great fat-burning properties. Like ginger, cinnamon is also thermogenic in nature. It stimulates metabolic activities and releases heat, therefore it helps in burning fats.
These were my 9 Incredible Ways To Lose Weight After C-section.
In a nutshell, weight gain is a part of that nine months’ journey. Just be patient and enjoy your first few months with your newborn.
If you follow the above-mentioned tips, it will make the weight loss process easier and you’ll soon get your flat tummy back.