C-sections date back to ancient times and have appeared in numerous parts of the old world. However, most people are familiar with the C-Section based on the story of Roman leader Julius Ceasar. During his rulership, C-Sections were performed on mothers who were dead or dying in an attempt to rescue the child. Thus, the procedure was called a cesarean.
Today, moms don’t have to be in critical condition to have a C-section. 1 in 3 women in the US undergo a cesarean procedure. In some cases, a C-section is safer than traditional delivery.
But a C-section is not a walk in the park. You can come out with many side effects after a cesarean. And some of them have to do with your belly.
C-Section: A TLDR
Many mothers choose to get a C-section. Health concerns, stalled labor, and problems with the baby are some reasons why health providers will recommend a cesarean.
Unlike a normal delivery, a cesarean delivery is done under anesthesia. Your surgeon will do an incision in the abdomen area and deliver the baby. Like any invasive surgery, C-section carries risks such as injury, heavy bleeding, and infection.
There is a lot of preparation before, during, and after a C-section. Your health provider will do their best to help prepare you for your procedure.
The Road to Recovery from a C-Section
C-section is generally considered safe. However, like any delivery, you will need to recover from your procedure. It’s highly advised to get as much rest, avoid sex, and use pain relievers.
You might also want to watch out for symptoms like fever, pain, redness and swelling at the incision. These symptoms might point to an infection or other complications.
While recovering, you might notice a lot of changes in yourself. Your body, mind, and hormones need time to adjust after birth. More often than not, you might experience changes in your physical appearance.
The Dreaded C-Section ‘Shelf’
Loose skin from pregnancy happens to a lot of moms. And mothers who chose C-section are not exempted.
A belly ‘shelf’ or ‘pooch’ can appear after a C-section. It’s usually made of excess fat or stretched skin. A hanging belly comes in different shapes and sizes.
While some mothers lose the extra skin over time, others don’t. Human skin can have a hard time returning to its original shape after a long time of stretching. You’ll also find some stretch marks here and there.
A hanging belly can bring emotional distress and target a mom’s self-esteem. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get rid of your extra weight and/or skin.
How to Get Rid of Hanging Belly After C-Section
Before you get started on your belly-busting exercise, it’s important to first let yourself recover. Doctors recommend postpartum mothers wait 6-8 weeks before doing any workout routines. Doing reps too soon can lead to bleeding, injuries, and accidentally opening your incision.
With that warning out of the way, let’s talk about how you can get rid of that extra tummy. Here are some ways how you can get your old physique back:
Get Yourself a Massage
Who doesn’t like a spa day after undergoing major surgery? Good news for you: a post-pregnancy massage can help loosen those belly fat and retain water in your lymph nodes. Just be careful not to get your abdominal area squeezed before it has fully recovered.
Eat a Healthy and Balanced Diet
Nothing says healthy than eating a healthy diet full of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. You will also need a lot of healthy fat and protein to build your muscles. Plus, you’re not the only one who needs a lot of food.
And don’t forget to wash your meal down with a glass of water. Staying hydrated can make your skin more elastic. You also reduce water retention and burn off more fat.
Speaking of which: you can lose some extra belly fat when you breastfeed your baby. Your body needs a lot of fuel to make breast milk every day (500 calories on an average, to be exact). You also get a big dose of oxytocin, which helps bring your uterus back to its old shape.
Practice Belly Binding
Belly binding doesn’t just help give you back your pre-baby body. Belly binding also helps in the healing process for moms who underwent C-section. Binding lowers the risk of pain, bleeding, and discomfort.
Note: Belly binding is not waist training. Belly binding’s goal is not to give you an hourglass figure. It is a therapeutic way of recovery after giving birth. If you want to learn more about belly binding, you can read more about it on Healthline right here.
Start Walking Around the Block
Let’s say 8 weeks have passed, and you’re feeling better after surgery. Then it’s a great time to start doing some exercise again. The safest routine you can do is walking. It doesn’t put too much stress on your body, but you can still break a sweat.
Once you’re stronger, you can move on to more strength-related workouts. Planks, situps, and pilates require your core to work. These workouts can burn those stubborn fats from your belly.
These are ways how you can get rid of your hanging belly naturally. There are other more invasive methods, such as surgery. Although expensive, surgery can reduce fat quicker. However, this is not a substitute for a healthy lifestyle.
Many mothers choose to have a C-section every year. But while C-section comes with its benefits, it also comes with some drawbacks. Sometimes, moms can experience a belly shelf, where extra skin or fat hang loosely from their tummy area.
But you don’t have to fret over these extra chubs. You can get rid of the excess fat through massage, healthy eating, and belly binding. Just be careful not to overwork yourself, especially during your recovery stage.
You should watch out for your incision during their weight loss journey. You might risk accidentally opening it or infecting it. Observe proper care and cleaning, and you should be fine!
Don’t let your postpartum body get you down. Remember, your body held on to life for nine months. That alone is something worth being proud of.