Women who have a C-section may experience some post-pregnancy issues, one of which is a hanging belly. The common reason for this occurrence is the weakening of the abdominal muscles and the separation of the rectus abdominis muscle due to scar tissue.
Hanging bellies are unattractive. It’s hard to feel sexy again when your stomach looks like you’re pregnant with triplets! Let’s not get started on the pain and discomfort that it can also cause.
If you have a hanging belly, do not worry, there are some things you can do to help reduce the appearance of your post-pregnancy belly. Keep reading to get the full scoop.
How to get rid of hanging belly after C-section
1. Eat a healthy diet with lots of protein
Studies have shown that women who eat a high protein diet will increase their metabolism and help to burn belly fat. Go for lean proteins like fish and chicken and non-starchy vegetables.
Do not eat processed foods. Junk food contains many bad chemicals that will cause your belly to bloat and look even more dreadful than before. So say no to fast food, soda pops, refined sugar products, etc.
2. Breastfeeding helps
Breastfeeding is a great way to burn calories and prevent pregnancy weight gain. The hormone oxytocin is also released in the process, which helps your uterus return to its original size much faster. So get breastfeeding if you can!
It is best practice to breastfeed your baby for at least six months. The health benefits of breastfeeding accrue to both child and mother. For you, the mom, losing postpartum weight is just one of them.
Breastfeeding is reported to burn an average of 500 calories for mothers. When you’re breastfeeding, your body burns between 200 to 500 calories per day.
The exact amount of calories your body burns depends on how often you breastfeed your baby, the quantity of milk you produce, and your baby’s age.
Generally, if you breastfeed more times daily, you will burn more calories. Similarly, if you produce more breastmilk, you burn more calories. And the result is the same if your baby is younger.
3. Drink plenty of water
Drink plenty of water to help get rid of your hanging belly after a c-section.
A common misconception is that drinking enough water will make you feel bloated, but it helps flush out excess sodium from your system.
Drinking plenty of water can also reduce bloating by releasing excess salt and fluids from the tissues in your stomach. Drinking water will also help you recover the fluid needed to make breastmilk.
Also, water fills your stomach, making you less likely to snack when you aren’t hungry. If water isn’t your thing, try spicing it up with some citrus or fresh mint.
Start each day with a glass of water and have a couple of glasses throughout the day.
4. Get enough sleep
Try to get plenty of sleep every night. The more you rest, the better your body will feel and be able to heal itself. If you can’t get enough sleep at night, try taking a nap during the day or sleeping in as long as possible.
We know it can be challenging to have long hours of sleep after your bundle of joy comes through, but you need to find the time. Sleeping is an effective way to get rid of a hanging belly after a C-section. Here’s a tip: sleep when your baby sleeps.
5. Exercise regularly
Exercise regularly to get rid of your hanging belly after C-section.
Start slowly by walking around the house for 15 minutes or doing a few stretches or yoga.
Once you feel comfortable, take your baby for walks in the stroller or try using an exercise ball to help tone up those abs and pelvic floor muscles. Remember that any physical activity is better than none at all, so if you can only do five minutes of yoga each day, it’s still good for you!
Avoid weight-lifting while you’re still healing.
You can also try Kegel exercises to tone your pelvic floor muscles.
In all, it is best practice to start any form of exercise months after your baby is born. Even better, seek your doctor’s advice before commencing any workout routines to get rid of your hanging belly.
6. Postpartum support belt
A postpartum support belt can help you get rid of your hanging belly.
Doctors frequently recommend similar belts for patients who suffer from back pain due to underdeveloped abdominal muscles.
Because your muscles have recently been strained, it’s crucial to give yourself some extra support.
A postpartum belt may even support your uterus in contracting and returning to its original position, speeding up the process of decreasing your tummy and eliminating that c-section hanging belly.
7. Post-pregnancy massage
Postpartum massage will help the stomach muscles to relax. The massage will also help to improve circulation and release toxins.
Postpartum massages tend to include some of the elements of regular massages. After giving birth, women who get a massage will discover various health and mental benefits connected with massage in general.
Massage can help in the redistribution of water inside the body and the disposal and circulation of excess fluids.
As soon as you feel ready, you can begin the postpartum massage. In some hospitals, moms can even have in-hospital postpartum massages in the days following their delivery.
Check with your doctor before having your first postpartum massage if you had a C-section or a complex delivery. Some massage techniques may not be suitable for your recovery.
How long will it take to shrink my belly after a C-section?
It will take between six to eight weeks for your belly to return close to its pre-pregnancy size. However, you should know that this is just an estimate, and the healing time will depend on how you heal and what you do to facilitate the process.
If your belly feels tight or swollen, massage may help reduce that feeling and improve muscle tone in the stomach area. A spouse or partner or professional may do post-labor massages for comfort, but they should never push too hard on any muscles.