How to get rid of hanging belly after C-section without hurting your abdominal muscles? Here is the honest answer no one is telling you!
Yes, it was a rewarding event in your life. But it still had consequences. And these after-effects often undermine your health as well as your confidence.
Hanging belly is the major cause of concern after stretch marks and weak feelings. And while you know your strength will recover with time to its pre-pregnancy level, you aren’t sure about restoring the skin or belly health.
You are concerned, how can I get back in shape. Will every pound of excess weight I have accumulated during pregnancy ever go away? You don’t want to be stuck with those last pounds which seem to be most stubborn.
Luckily, it is possible for you to recover your pre-pregnancy body. All you have to do is to know how to get rid of the hanging belly after C-section.
This article will tell you all you need to know about getting a flat belly.
Table of Content
Why Should You Get Rid of Hanging Belly?
Before we start exploring the right strategy to reach a healthy postpartum belly, we should understand what constitutes health after giving birth.
We all know that it’s natural to gain weight during pregnancy. You must have considered the guidelines from your doctor about healthy weight gain during your term. Now is the time to lose this weight. As you lose weight during the first eight weeks after childbirth, you will also lose some belly fat.
Your body’s natural healing abilities kick in as soon as you give birth.
But because most new mothers are over-stimulated and stressed immediately after birth, this healing process may not give a full recovery. You end up retaining some unwanted fat. If this fat is left untreated, you are at risk of gathering more fat over time.
Most of the time, this fat will accumulate directly under your skin only causing us to feel concerned about physique.
But the bigger issue arises when this fat starts gathering between our internal organs. These excess tissues gather the abdominal organs and lead to serious ailments including diabetes and cardiac issues.
You would want to limit this accumulation so you have to heal this bulge to ensure long-lived health.
Will It Go Away on Its Own?
This pooch should be a temporary thing, right? After all, it’s a consequence of a short-term procedure – pregnancy.
Considering the immunity process of the human body, this theory of self-healing of belly fat is true. Yet, in most cases, the external conditions impact this fact and prevent complete recovery after childbirth leading women to wonder how to get rid of hanging belly after C-section.
Stress is a major part of the post-natal lifestyle. New mothers are often sleep-deprived, tired, and overwhelmed. Add to it lack of time, and you get a mother who has no energy to remain active during the day.
Because of recent operations, they are also rightly wary of indulging in heavy exercises. And most are discouraged from breastfeeding because of prevailing myths about this natural procedure.
All these conditions prevent the natural weight loss that should have followed childbirth. In turn, the first eight weeks of major healing that was expected after delivery goes wasted and women are left with artificial measures or natural remedies to heal themselves.
Two Causes of Hanging Belly
Now that we understand the consequences of excess fats in the belly, let’s move towards remedying the risk.
The strategy to get rid of this fat depends on the causes of this bulge. There are two types of tummy overhangs women experience after birth. One of these is a simple accumulation of fat and doesn’t happen because of damaged abdominal muscles.
The second one of these types happens when your abdominal muscles are separated – a condition which is medically known as Diastasis recti. In DR or Diastasis recti, the left and right belly muscles are separated creating space for the bulge in the middle.
Understanding these two causes of c section shelf is important because both call for different remedies. You should acknowledge that DR is a medical condition and should be rehabilitated under medical supervision only to prevent further harm.
You can either visit your doctor to know if your condition is DR or you can assess the separation at home. For the second option, you can assess your belly by pressing a finger in the middle of your belly. You would feel the separation as a soft pit enough to hold two or more fingers.
If your belly fat is the leftover fat from pregnancy without DR symptoms, you should proceed with the strategy detailed in this article. To treat DR, you should consult your doctor.
The only way you can lose belly fat is by losing the weight you have gained during pregnancy. There is no shortcut to it. And the best way – and often the only method – to lose weight is to create a calorie deficit in an everyday routine.
You can create a calorie deficit by limiting the number of calories you consume. And the other method is to increase the metabolic rate to burn the consumed calories. Most weight-loss strategies combine the two techniques to get sustainable results.
‘So, where does breastfeeding fit this bill?’ you may ask.
Breastfeeding is known to help new mothers burn extra 500 calories every day. After burning off excess calories, you will have to put in less effort in exercise or calorie counting.
And it’s healthy for you and your baby in many other ways. You will feel a sharp decline in stress levels that will indirectly lead to further healthy weight loss.
While cutting out the calories will help you regain your pre-pregnancy body, it shouldn’t be followed too strictly and ruthlessly.
In any case, mothers should remember the fact that they have recently gone through a surgical procedure. Also, new mothers should keep in mind that they are in rehabilitation mode and have to take care of the baby, a task that would need higher energy levels.
Considering these conditions, they shouldn’t take drastic dieting decisions that may harm their health in the long term.
So, how should they limit food intake? They should indulge more in healthy foods while limiting refined carbs.
In other words, whole grain cereals and breads are great for you in balance. Meat, pulses, and grain will keep you full. And fruits and vegetables will keep the things moving in your rapidly changing digestive system.
You should also not leave out your postnatal supplements especially when they are advised by your doctor.
After proportioning your food in the right food groups, you should also follow the calorie counting mechanism. If you are combining calorie counting with breastfeeding, remember to never decrease your intake below 1800 calories a day.
And if you also throw in exercise in the mix, your intake minimum limit can rise at least by another 300 calories.
While losing weight becomes easier during the first eight weeks after childbirth because of breastfeeding and the natural healing mechanism, you can speed up the process with some exercise.
There are two things to consider while including exercise in your routine.
First, you are working on complete body weight-loss. It may seem tempting to only find answers to how to get rid of FUPA and focus on the primary goal of weight loss – that is flat postpartum belly – but if you should understand that belly is the last part of our body to lose weight. As it will take time, you will be prone to demotivation in earlier stages of weight loss.
You also wouldn’t want to do those promising abdominal exercises as they have little to no effect on reshaping the belly. The only exercise strategy you can carry out is strength training to build your muscles and it will eventually lead to losing belly fat.
Secondly, you shouldn’t overexert yourself during exercise. It’s ideal that you get a personal trainer to know what exercises are safe for you after C-section and which aren’t.
Most people will tell you that exercise and a healthy diet complete the strategy for attaining a healthy weight. These sayings can’t be farther from the truth.
The impact of exercise is exaggerated by most fitness gurus because it promises ease and comfort. But exercise alone cannot change your metabolic rate and wouldn’t turn in the desired results. This has become especially true because of our overly sedentary lifestyles.
Even if we engage in exercise for an hour on any day, the inactivity that highlights the remaining 23 hours of our day will outweigh this activity. In the end, we will see no change in our metabolic rate leading to minimum calorie burn.
If you want sustainable results, you want to set your metabolic rate to a level that converts fewer calories to fats. And you can do so by developing an active lifestyle.
Take standing breaks after every fifteen minutes. After an hour where you couldn’t stand up, you should do some warm-up exercises.
Muscle Building or Strength Training
You can choose to just lose fat or transform it into lean muscle. The first option may get you fast results but it will not sustain for long. The second option requires more effort but the end is worth the effort.
For muscle training, you can go with either simple exercises or compound exercises. The latter is more effective and speedy. These exercises affect more than one joint or muscle. Some examples include lunges, squats, rows, and deadlifts.
Make sure to avoid any abdominal exercises in this period.
It would be better if you enroll in postpartum fitness programs for this training online or in your neighborhood. This will allow you to follow a tried and tested routine.
Truth about Belly Bands
The easiest method to get rid of hanging belly after pregnancy appears to be belly bands. They have a magically swift impact. But we have to look at their long-term impacts.
New mothers wear them for three reasons. First, they want the immediate impression of a flat belly. Second, they use it to make their waist steady and comfortable to walk with time. In the end, they want it to restore their belly’s shape.
If you feel your C-section scar itchy, you may find these belly bands to help with it also.
Belly bands help them with the first two wishes of getting a better shape for the time and keeping them steady. It, however, doesn’t help them with burning belly fat.
Truth about Abdominal Exercises
It’s common knowledge that during pregnancy and postpartum a woman’s belly goes through different changes. Because of these shifts, its immune system and muscles don’t act like those of a normal abdomen.
Normal abdominal exercises aren’t suitable to carry out during these periods. It may weaken these muscles and prevent the natural healing and growth process from going on within the belly.
That said, you can do certain belly exercises given you are suffering from DR. But any exercise that is used immediately after birth should come either directly from your doctor or should be approved by them.
You may want to get rid of your C-section pooch as soon as you give birth. Unfortunately, these fats take time to dissipate. If you are reasonably active, stress-free, and rested and fed; this belly should be healed by your body’s natural healing process.
In most cases, however, our sedentary lifestyle, as well as the stress of parenting a newborn, prevents healing. In the presence of all these unavoidable factors, it’s normal for some fat to remain stuck with the belly months after childbirth.
If that has happened to you, you should restart the healing process by giving your body system the right ingredients. Don’t go for quick results or search how to get rid of hanging belly after C-section in six weeks. It’s not going to work.
Belly fat is the most stubborn fat that leaves your body. And there is no diet or tea that will magically remove it.
A healthy, active, and stress-free lifestyle is the only cure you can use for this belly.