Pregnancy cause a lot of physical and emotional stress on the mother as having an abdominal surgery weakens the muscles. Hence, it becomes very important to re-train them, to maintain a healthy body. There are simple exercises to lose weight after C-Section that you can try.
A C-section or a Caesarean delivery unlike the vaginal delivery, involves an incision made in the abdominal wall and involves longer resting periods than normal delivery. Post a C-section delivery, the deeper abdominal muscles like transverse abdominis, pelvic and lower back muscles primarily need a lot of strengthening to achieve better support to decrease injuries and recover quickly.
There are several post natal exercise programmes that are available that you can try. However, you can always start training your muscles at home safely, once you have a green signal from your doctor. Regular workouts along with a balanced diet will help you lose weight while staying healthy.
The following are 6 exercises that you can consider to help you shed those extra pounds gained after a C-section delivery.
Aerobics are those exercises that constantly keep your heart rate up. Post-delivery, you can begin with brief bouts of walking and progress it towards biking, jogging and other aerobic workouts as you progress. These exercises are not only safe, but they will speed up the healing process and prevents blood clots.
Have you ever tried kegel exercises? It is one of the simple exercises to lose weight after C-Section. Kegal exercises help in activating and strengthening the pelvic muscles. The abdominal muscles are connected to the pelvic muscles and they work together in holding the core strong. Kegal exercises also help in relieving stress, post-delivery.
Start by lying down on the floor and contracting the pelvic muscles towards the centre of your body. This can be further explained by imagining to close all the openings to your vagina, anus and urethra by lifting them away from the floor.
Hold this position for a few seconds and release. You may begin with 5 seconds and slowly progress towards a longer duration.
Also read: 10 Ways to Reduce Belly Fat after Delivery
The core comprises the abdominal, pelvic and back muscles and it is important to train all the muscles in the recovery process and weight loss. The basic core exercises help in engaging the core effectively and it is advisable to perform them only after the stitches of the abdomen are healed completely.
Belly Breathing:Start this simple exercise by lying down on the floor and engaging your stomach to breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth to the maximum. Try to breathe as long as possible. This exercise works on the deeper abdominal muscles called transverse abdominis.
Planks are an excellent option for core strengthening which involve balancing the bodyweight on the arms and feet alone. You may perform a plank in a horizontal or a sideward method.
Bend your arms with your elbows right below your shoulders, keeping them in line with your knee and ankle. Engage your core by pulling your belly button close to your spine and hold for a minimum for 20-30 seconds.
Hold your body on any arm by placing all the weight on the forearm stabilizing your shoulder. Raise your hips from the ground and engage your core to maintain the position. You may start by keeping your legs apart and join them as you progress.
Yoga is one of the most effective and widely used forms of simple exercises to lose weight after C-Section which works on the overall body and helps in keeping the mind and body calm. You can consider to begin yoga post 6-8 weeks of a C-section delivery. Some yoga postures that you may try are-
The posture works on stretching the abdominal muscles while strengthening the back muscles. Lay on your abdomen and place your palms beside your shoulders. Start by lifting up the head slowly thereby stretching your abdominals and forming an arch in your back while keeping the hips attached to the ground.
Bridging helps in strengthening the pelvic muscles and muscles in the lower body like low back, glutes and the hamstrings. Perform this exercise by lying on the back with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your pelvis off the floor by squeezing your glutes and hence engaging your core muscles. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds and slowly come back to the floor.
Also read: Ways To Speed Up Recovery After C-section
In the hunt for simple exercises to lose weight after C-Section, you can also give water exercises a try. Since the body weight decreases by almost half when in water, water exercises are quite popular to help lose weight as they serve the purpose without imposing too much strain on the muscles and joints. Aerobic exercises in water like aqua aerobics, aqua zumba or even simple swimming are safe and great forms of cardio that can help in shedding the pregnancy weight.
Though massage is not a direct physical exercise, it may be a good way to start working your muscles. Massages strengthen your joints, ligaments and muscles so that you can gain the required strength to begin exercising. Massages help in losing weight to a certain extent and can tone up the muscles making you feel more confident to begin your workout regime. Massaging falls under simple exercises to lose weight after C-Section.
(Writer Dr. Reetika is Physiotherapist by profession and has an experience of 8 years in fitness industry as a consultant. )
Want to share your experience as a mom with other moms through words or images? Become a part of the Moms United community. Click here and we will get in touch with you