During a C-Section, also known as a Cesarean section, the stomach muscles, or abdominals, of a pregnant woman are cut through to deliver a baby and sewn back up again. A few weeks of recovery are necessary to allow the stitches from your surgery to heal. Many times, because of the surgery, fat tends to form a deposit on the abdominals that is difficult to get rid of. However, with a fitness program concentrated on fat loss and toning your stomach muscles, your belly bulge can be eliminated.
Consult your physician before beginning an exercise program. Generally, you must wait at least six weeks after a C-Section to begin abdominal exercises to give your body time to recover from the trauma of the operation. Never attempt abdominal exercises without your doctor’s permission. You could damage the muscles.
Lie on an exercise mat or clean, carpeted floor. Cover your ears with your hands and point your elbows toward your toes. With knees bent and feet flat on the floor, slowly raise your head and shoulders off the floor as you exhale. Do not raise your back off the floor below your shoulder blades. You should feel your abdominal muscles contracting. Hold this position for one second, then lower your shoulders and head back to the floor as you inhale. Repeat this crunch exercise eight to 10 times for one set of repetitions.
Lie on your mat or the floor and raise your legs until your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and your shins are parallel to it. Cover your ears with your hands and point your elbows out to the sides. Curl your hips off the floor a few inches while exhaling. Hold the position for one second, then slowly lower your hips back to the floor while inhaling. Do eight to 10 reps for one set of these reverse crunches.
Repeat a set of crunches and a set of reverse crunches every other day. As your abdominal muscles become stronger, increase the number of sets to two of each, alternating them. Your belly bulge will begin to tone up and flatten. Once you are strong enough, you should be able to do three sets of each with a half-minute rest between sets. When you feel even stronger, perform this workout every day.
Engage in an aerobic exercise program such as walking or riding a stationary bike three times a week. This will help burn body fat and eliminate the belly bulge. You can add other resistance training as you progress, such as weightlifting. The Centers for Disease Control states that adults need a minimum of 2.5 hours of moderate activity, such as brisk walking, per week and muscle training 2 days per week. The Harvard School of Public Health reports that a 185-pound person, walking for 1/2 hour can burn 200 calories. Creating a deficit of 500 calories per day for a week will lead to a 1-pound weight loss.
Eat a healthy, low-carbohydrate diet in which you consume fewer calories than you take in. Your body will burn body fat for energy and help reduce your belly bulge. Stay away from soda, candy, desserts, fast or fried foods, and high-fat foods. Instead, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat and low-fat dairy food every day as part of a balanced eating plan. To lose one to two pounds a week, the CDC explains that you need to reduce your caloric intake by 500 to 1000 calories per day.
It will be easier to flatten your belly after a C-Section if you maintain a good diet and exercise program all the way through your pregnancy.
Have patience. It will take a few months to flatten your stomach after giving birth via C-Section.
Stop exercising immediately if you feel pain or dizziness. See your doctor immediately.
- Weight-Loss-for-Busy-People.com: Abdominal Exercise after a C-Section
- IDEA Health and Fitness Association: Pregnancy and Postpartum Exercise
- Pregnancy.org: Can I Get Rid of this Mother’s Apron
- Centers for Disease Control: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need
- Centers For Disease Control: Healthy Weight: Balancing Calories
- Harvard School of Public Health: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes