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The Best Ways to Lose Weight After a C-Section

author image Michelle Fisk
Michelle Fisk began writing professionally in 2011. She has been published in the "Physician and Sports Medicine Journal." Her expertise lies in the fields of exercise physiology and nutrition. Fisk holds a Master of Science in kinesiology from Marywood University.
The Best Ways to Lose Weight After a C-Section
After having your baby, wait at least six to eight weeks before trying to lose weight. Photo Credit: Zurijeta/iStock/Getty Images

You should aim to be back at your prepregnancy weight six months after delivering your baby, states the MedlinePlus website. Your recovery from a C-section takes longer than from a vaginal birth, so don’t immediately rush into a weight-loss program. Wait until six weeks post-partum, or two months if you’re breast-feeding, to attempt to lose weight. Then gradually start an exercise program, eat right and continue breast-feeding to help shed those pounds.

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Breastfeed Your Baby

Breast-feeding your baby can help you shed pounds.
Breast-feeding your baby can help you shed pounds. Photo Credit: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

If you choose to breast-feed your baby, you’ll lose weight because you’re burning extra calories to provide nourishment to your newborn. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, breast-feeding moms lose more weight three months post-partum than moms who don’t breast-feed. If you continue to breast-feed after your baby is 4 to 6 months, you will continue to lose weight. The best part is, you don’t have to put much effort into it. The La Leche League recommends following your normal diet and eating when you’re hungry and you’ll lose weight.

Start Exercising

Walking after a C section can speed recovery.
Walking after a C section can speed recovery. Photo Credit: BAaAej Ayjak/iStock/Getty Images

The KidsHealth website states that walking after a C-section speeds recovery and prevents blood clots. Speak to your doctor first, but after six to eight weeks you can gradually increase your activity level and start an exercise routine. Start slowly and engage in aerobic and toning exercises. Exercise physiologist Jill Stovsky on the BabyCenter website recommends walking, jogging, swimming, biking and abdominal exercises. An increase in your activity level and eating 100 fewer calories will help you lose weight and is a safe approach if you’re breast-feeding.

Eat Healthy

Eat a healthy breakfast.
Eat a healthy breakfast. Photo Credit: ferlistockphoto/iStock/Getty Images

Get your day started with a healthy breakfast, which will give you much-needed energy and prevent fatigue. Eat five to six small meals a day and never skip a meal. Drink eight to nine glasses of fluid a day – preferably water. According to MedlinePlus, water helps you flush out fat as you shed pounds. Fill up on nutrient-dense foods, which contain a lot of vitamins and minerals without a lot of calories. Select whole-grain breads, rice and pastas over refined grains, and enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. For protein, eat lean meats, eggs, fish and nuts, and choose low-fat dairy products.

Limit Unhealthy Foods

Limit the amount of unhealthy foods you consume.
Limit the amount of unhealthy foods you consume. Photo Credit: Warren Goldswain/iStock/Getty Images

Every new mom should be able to indulge in dessert now and then, but do so sparingly. Cakes, cookies, ice cream and candy contain a lot of saturated fat, sugar and calories, which will make the numbers on the scale creep up rather than down. Snacking is important, but avoid salty snacks, such as potato chips, and choose fruits and vegetables instead. Steer clear of soda, juice and other sugary beverages. Their sugar and calorie content can add up, preventing you from losing weight.

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