While many new moms struggle with losing post-pregnancy weight and strengthening the abdominal muscles, recovery after a cesarean section presents unique challenges. Because nerves in the abdomen may be affected by a c-section, you may need a longer amount of time post-delivery for your abdomen to heal and nerve sensation to return. In order to rid yourself of the post-baby belly, you must combine efforts of a healthy diet and exercise.
Breastfeed your baby, which may help your uterus to shrink faster post-delivery. According to Baby Center, breastfeeding helps to burn extra calories as well as shrink the abdomen. It's also advantageous to the baby, as breast milk is designed to perfectly meet an infant's nutritional needs, according to the Nursing Mothers Counsel.
Drink plenty of water--Love to Know recommends at least 75 ounces of water per day for a 150-pound woman. Water is advantageous for c-section patients because it helps to reduce bloating by moving bloat-causing sodium through the body. Water also helps you to feel more full, which can reduce the tendency to overeat.
Follow a low-fat diet. Diet is very important for you after a c-section because you may not be able to exercise while recovering from this procedure. The key is to consume enough calories, yet choose low-fat, high-nutrient foods. Love to Know recommends a diet between 1,500 and 2,000 calories per day. You may wish to consume the higher end of this range if you are breastfeeding, as you require more calories in order to provide the best nutrition for your baby.
Exercise, taking care to gradually increase the intensity. For moms hoping to improve their post-baby belly, exercise sessions could include postpartum yoga or Pilates sessions geared specifically toward the unique needs of women after baby. You can even incorporate your baby into your exercise routine by pushing her in a jogging or walking stroller.