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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tummy Reduction After C-section: Tips And Exercises

When it comes to losing weight and toning up your stomach after a cesarean section, it's very important not to push your body too hard before you've had a chance to recover.It's normal to wish for a quick return to your old self, but most new mothers are surprised to learn that their bodies don't instantly bounce back to a non-pregnant shape once their babies are born. The fact is, losing weight and belly fat after birth takes time. If you've had a C-section, your body will need additional time to heal, and your belly will be swollen from surgery. Be patient, and use these strategies to shed your excess fat and reclaim your pre-baby belly.

Be patient:
Go slow. According to the National Women's Health Information Center, pregnancy pounds should be lost gradually over several weeks and months, especially if you're breastfeeding. Your body needs sufficient calories to heal from your surgery and for milk production, so don't try to lose too much weight too quickly.

Healthy diet:
Focus on a healthy diet. Choose nutritious foods from each food group, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein.These healthy foods will allow you to stay energized and obtain necessary nutrients while minimizing "empty" calories from sweets and junk food.

Water:
Stay hydrated. Recovering from childbirth, healing from surgery and producing breastmilk can all be dehydrating. Drink plenty of water each day to speed healing and reduce swelling and bloating in your abdomen.

Exercise:
Begin exercising when your doctor says it's OK. Women who've had C-sections generally require longer recovery periods before becoming active than those who experience less complicated births. It will likely be six weeks before you're allowed to exercise, but when your obstetrician approves, gradually begin adding gentle exercise, such as walking or swimming, into your day. Work up to at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week for optimal fat loss.


Exercises For Belly Reduction After C-Section:


Bridges: Lying on your back with knees bent, contract your abdominal, buttock, and pelvic floor muscles, and raise hips up off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and relax down slowly. The farther your feet are from your buttocks the more challenging it will be. Bridging can also be progressed by lifting one leg while up in bridge position - but you must be able to keep hips level to do this.




Heel Sliding: Lying on your back, tighten your abdominal muscles and do a pelvic tilt. Slowly slide out one leg at a time while tying to maintain your pelvic tilt. You can progress to sliding both legs out together as long as you can keep the pelvic tilt and not allow the back to arch. Always bring legs back one at a time.




Curl ups: Lying on your back, begin with arms outstretched, exhale, and pull your belly into your spine as you slowly reach with your hands towards your knees. Only roll up until your shoulder blades lift off, then inhale and slowly lower. Be sure your stomach flattens (not expands) as you rise. Also, do diagonal curl ups by reaching right arm past left knee as you curl up, and vice versa. Increase difficulty by changing arm positions, from easiest to hardest - arms outstretched, arms crossed across chest, and arms crossed behind head.




Bridges with a twist: While hips are elevated, drop one hip toward mat, then the other, so that you are gently twisting your hips. This helps alleviate gas pain as well as working your core.



Single leg lowering: Lying on your back with knees bent, do a pelvic tilt and lift one leg up. Straighten out the leg, maintaining pelvic tilt as you return leg. Progress by lifting both legs and doing a bicycle motion. Your abdomen should be flattening with exhale, not bulging.





Double leg lowering: Maintain pelvic tilt as you lower your legs, starting with knees bent and straightening legs out as you lower. Only lower as far as you can maintain your pelvic tilt. Once you feel your back begin to arch, return legs one at a time to starting position. Double leg raising will work your hip muscles and is too much pressure on your spine and abdominal muscles - LOWER with both legs but RAISE one at a time.


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I hope this post will help you to get back your flat tummy!!




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