Losing weight after delivery is hard for any woman, but especially so for women who have had a c-section.
Learn how to lose weight after a c-section safely and naturally.
Pregnancy and childbirth are hard on any woman. C-sections (or caesarian sections) compound this by the fact that you have had your muscles cut and moved and it takes time to recover. It is, after all, a major surgery. You may also find that your stomach remains bigger for longer than a woman who has given natural birth. This is due to swelling and water retention.
Aside from the excitement of meeting that little human being that you carried, nurtured, and protected for all those months, I am sure you are looked forward to having a smaller tummy. This can take time, but with these tips, losing weight after delivery will be much easier.
When it comes to weight loss after delivery, you are already so busy that taking some time out to look after yourself can be tough. But if you are healthy you will have more energy and have a strong immune system which is good for the whole family. You will also get back to feeling sexy again.
How to Lose Weight After a C-Section Safely
You do not have to cut any calories or spend hours in the gym to achieve a healthy weight loss and getting back to your pre-pregnancy body. You just need to boost your metabolism. You’ll see how easy it can be to lose weight after delivery:
1. Eat Healthily
When you are pregnant and breastfeeding, you need to make sure that you have all the vitamins and minerals that you need as your body will naturally take the vitamins and minerals available in your body for your baby. This can deplete your nutrient stores. Vitamins and minerals play such a crucial role in our bodies from regulating our heartbeat to hormone balance, to better stress response.
Vitamin D and vitamin K2 are especially important as your baby needs to have enough vitamin D to develop strong bones and grow normally. Vitamin K2 makes sure that calcium is directed into the bones and teeth and not into the soft tissue.
Both vitamins D and K are found in meat, dairy, eggs. Vitamin D is also found in mushrooms and the sun. Vegetarians and vegans can find vitamin K2 in fermented foods like sauerkraut and miso. Calcium and iron are also important. Legumes and leafy greens in addition to the above-mentioned foods contain calcium and iron.
All nutrients are important. The bottom line is to eat a variety of healthy foods. Fill up on veggies as they contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water which will nourish your body, help with your water intake, and help to prevent constipation. Cut out junk food and processed food as much as possible.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
There are many claims made about apple cider vinegar, some of which are not true. But one of them that is true is that it helps you to lose weight. It needs to be raw apple cider vinegar that contains the “mother”. This works as a prebiotic to feed the good bacteria in your gut. This will ensure that you are regular, have less gas, and less bloating.
Drink a teaspoon to a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar 2-3 times per day before meals. You can also eat it over your salads or put it into soups and sauces. You can also use it to make this detox drink by combining it with garlic, lemon juice, honey, and water.
I now sell my own apple cider vinegar detox drink that helped me and so many others to get back into shape.
3. Coconut Oil
This may sound contradictory. But in order to burn fat, you need to eat fat. You can still lose weight while eating full-fat foods. One of the best oils to cook with and to eat is coconut oil. Coconut oil helps to speed up the metabolism and encourage your body to burn fat.
Another area where you might struggle after pregnancy is with your thyroid. Coconut oil can help your thyroid to function properly so that your metabolism is no longer running slowly and your body will be less prone to hanging onto fat.
Having a new baby in the house can leave you very sleep deprived. Along with waking up to feed your baby, you may also be struggling with pain from your c-section. Your body needs sleep to heal and to have the energy for the next day.
Being sleep deprived also leaves you with higher stress levels due to the release of the stress hormone cortisol, not to mention that it makes you overeat due to an imbalance with your ghrelin (hunger hormone) levels and leptin (the hormone that lets your brain know you are full) levels.
Wanting to have a clean house and delicious wholesome meals on the table is normal. But try to keep things simple or ask your friends and family to help. In addition to sleeping at night as well as you can, sleep when your baby does during the day too. Getting enough good quality sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health as well as your waistline.
As mentioned, getting a c-section is undergoing a major surgery. Most doctors will encourage you to take short walks to prevent blood clots from forming, but any exercise more strenuous than that should not be done until at least two months after the c-section. When it comes to this, listen to your doctor. Your body needs time to recover.
Once you are able to exercise, you can carry on with your walks, but walk faster, or you can start jogging, cycling or whatever other forms of exercise you enjoy. When it comes to exercise for your stomach, going straight into doing crunches and sit-ups is a no-no. You may have diastasis recti (where your stomach muscles have separated first) which need to be corrected first.
Here are two exercises that you can do for your stomach 3-5 days a week:
Lie on your back with your arms by your sides and your knees bent and facing toward the ceiling, your feet flat on the ground.
Then breathe in and as you breathe out tighten your stomach muscles and tilt your pelvis up. You will know that you are doing it when your lower back flattens against the floor.
Hold it for a few seconds before releasing.
Do 5-10 reps, and work up to 3 sets.
Lie on your back with your arms by your sides and your knees bent and facing toward the ceiling. Your feet should be flat on the ground.
Breathe in and as you breathe out tighten your stomach muscles and slide one foot along the floor until your leg is straight.
Breathe in and then as you breathe out, tighten your stomach slide your leg back into the starting position.
Do this 5-10 times on one side, then repeat with the other leg.
You can also check out these first exercises after delivery that will help to correct diastasis recti and strengthen the rest of your body too. If you like video workouts, here is a 10-minute workout with me:
Building muscle will tone your body and help to boost your metabolism. You can even exercise with baby. Push your baby in the pram when you walk or use him or her as a weight when exercising. Many babies also love it when their parents dance with them. Whether you want some “Me time” or want to play with your baby, you can exercise effectively.
So now you know how to lose weight after a c-section. Remember that while it is important to get back to a healthy weight that losing weight after pregnancy won’t happen overnight. Do not pay attention to celebrities who have their abs back within a month of giving birth. Be proud of how strong you are and enjoy your little one.
- If you have had a c-section your stomach takes longer to go back to its pre-pregnancy size due to water retention and swelling.
- Despite needing to take it easy there are things other than exercise to help you lose weight.
- Eat healthy making sure you eat a variety of whole foods like leafy green vegetables (though you should eat a wide variety of veggies), legumes, fermented foods, mushrooms, lean meat, dairy, and eggs. These foods contain the vitamins and minerals your body needs, especially vitamin D, K, and calcium and magnesium.
- Breastfeeding moms lose weight more easily than those who don’t because your body uses up energy when it makes milk.
- Apple cider vinegar is proven to help with weight loss. Drink a teaspoon to a tablespoon of ACV mixed with water before meals.
- Eat coconut oil and use it to cook. It helps to speed up your metabolism, encourages the body to burn fat for energy, and keeps your thyroid working well.
- Get enough sleep by sleeping when your baby sleeps. It will give you energy and help your body to heal.
- Walking is recommended to prevent blood clots. You can start doing more strenuous exercise usually after 2 months. Do exercises like the pelvic tilt and heel slides to heal diastasis recti.