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How Do I Get a Toned Belly After a C-Section?

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  • Written By: Donn Saylor
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 19 March 2014
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The best method to attain a toned belly after a c-section involves a structured program of diet, cardiovascular workouts, and abdominal toning exercises. After a c-section, women are confronted with a scar and a loose flap of skin on the belly, informally referred to as a "mother's apron." Eating right and exercising after a c-section can make significant strides in recapturing your pre-pregnancy figure, but these should be undertaken with great care and caution due to the nature of c-section surgery and c-section aftercare.

A c-section is a major operation, so first and foremost, you should allow your body time to heal and any c-section swelling to dissipate. Consult your doctor about the best time to start getting back in shape; typically this is six to eight weeks after the c-section. When you do begin your diet and exercise regimen, it is important to protect your scar from undue stress and infection. The c-section incision leaves a sensitive scarring on the belly, as well as c-section stitches, and these should be safeguarded at all costs. Specially designed panties are sold for just this purpose, and you may want to consider if they're right for you before undertaking any strenuous exercise.

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The first step in toning your belly after a c-section is establishing a healthy diet. This means incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your daily food intake and restricting foods that are high in fat or are overly processed. One of the most important things you can do is reduce or eliminate sugar from your diet. Undigested sugars cause bloating, which can make it much more difficult to get your pre-pregnancy belly back. It might also be helpful to eat five to seven small meals per day as opposed to three large, heavy meals; this will sustain your energy for exercise and help prevent junk-food cravings.

Cardiovascular workouts are an ideal starting point to get your blood pumping and lay the groundwork for more intense abdominal exercises. Walking, jogging, swimming, and bicycling are excellent ways to boost metabolism and help your c-section recovery. Even doing low-impact aerobic exercises like these for a few minutes off and on throughout the day can go a long way to getting back in shape.

The most influential thing you can do to tone your belly after a c-section is begin a program of abdominal exercises. These need not be high impact training sessions, but they should definitely be challenging workouts. A pelvic tilt entails lying on your back, raising your pelvis, and drawing in the muscles of your lower abdomen. Ab crunches and side crunches are also extremely beneficial as they work out the four layers of the abdominal wall.

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