Getting A Flat Tummy After A C-Section
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. Like most new mothers, you're keen to get back your figure as soon as possible, and you're probably already thinking about what type of diet and exercise program will help you. Don't forget, however, that in addition to bringing a baby into the world, you've also had a major operation - therefore you shouldn't be discouraged if it takes you longer to slim down your stomach area than it does a woman who delivered vaginally.
If you've had a C-section, you'll have a scar, and it's very important to protect it and give it time to heal. You should only begin trying to lose weight or tone up your tummy muscles after you've consulted a doctor and he has advised you that it's ok to start. Most doctors advise women to wait between six and eight weeks after a C-section before starting light aerobic exercise aimed at gradual weightloss, combined with gentle abdominal exercise for stomach toning.
Protecting Your Scar
Some women find that wearing a special "after cesarean" panty helps them to heal after their operation and gives them more confidence when undertaking physical activity. The panty also helps to hold in the stomach and makes some women feel better about their general appearance just after the birth. If you are interested in trying out such a product, you could ask your doctor for more information. Alternatively a simple internet search would soon lead you to a store or website where you can purchase them yourself. In any case, it's always best to ask your doctor before using such products, as the position of your cesarean scar could determine whether or not the panties are recommended for you.
Diet And Exercise
If you are patient and determined, eating a healthy, balanced diet, and taking sensible exercise, you are already on your way to having a flat stomach even after a cesarean section. Aerobic exercise such as jogging, swimming, cycling and walking are recommended to help you burn fat and lose weight. You can also begin toning your abdomen with pelvic floor exercises (squeezing your muscles as if trying to stop urinating mid-stream) and by practicing pulling your belly button in and up. When you build up some strength in your muscles, you can then move on to gentle sit-ups. If you decide to take a fitness class or work out at the gym, be sure to tell your instructor that you've had a C-section. When it comes to dieting, always ask your doctor before beginning a special eating regime, especially if it involves cutting out an entire food group, and particularly if you are breast feeding.
Unfortunately there is no set length of time it takes to get a cesarean stomach back to its pre-pregnancy shape. We are all different. Women who have had several pregnancies may have to work harder than first time mothers, and women who were fitter before and during their pregnancy may find it easier. It's important to maintain positive body image and not to compare yourself too much to other women. If you are really struggling to tone your stomach, you might want to consider a "tummy tuck" operation. See our page on tummy tucks for more information.