The ultimate cheat sheet to an amazing weight loss after C-section
The joy of having created a tiny new human just fails to be described beyond superlative words! I still remember my daughter’s first cry as I lay on the table, half drugged, awaiting my stitches after the C-section. Aah, that’s probably synonymous with what you call ‘inebriation’. You know you can barely move, and at the same, you’re as happy as the heavens. And then, holding the pink, roly-poly munchkin who’s asleep most of the time, but cries only when you want to sleep, is yet a one-of-a-kind experience of any brand new mom.
And so is your difficulty to sit, get up and walk even an inch when the incision starts reminding you of what you’ve been through. The pain gets maddening as the pain killers run out of time. And the first time you see yourself in the mirror is just a silent horror story! Your face is worn out already. You feel you’re walking your first baby steps (‘coz who can suddenly forget all that weight you carried almost for half a year?) And that huge pouch of fat and skin your baby just abandoned seems to look like your ugly companion for life. Agreed?
Well, every mother who delivers either normally or via a Caesarean, goes through the same ordeal during post-partum recovery. I’m sure most of you moms would agree. It’s just that a C-section mother is always watermarked as “the unfortunate mom” who’ll never be able to get back to her old body. “Damn, the cut is never going to heal. I wish you had endured a little more pain before the doc could trick you. You wouldn’t have had to endure back pain for life (blame it on the spinal anaesthesia, I say).” These are the comments of sorts, which are meant to enlighten the C-section women with what’s to come! *Sarcasm alert*
And soon there’s an avalanche of sleep-deprivation, breastfeeding issues and an already diminishing self-image, that finally crumbles under comments & warnings. These, often become ingredients to spells of postpartum depression.
Well, my charming women, if there’s anything more to life after your baby, it has to be your motivation & perseverance. Stare back at the mirror so that you know how much of a fit power mom you can chisel out of that sensitive & tired woman pining for her old form.
Here’s what will keep you motivated to work on a healthy weight loss journey as you traverse this beautiful journey of motherhood :
Haste makes Waste
I remember being expressively anxious about my weight the day before my daughter’s birth. To this, my gyn responded with quite pacifying examples of popularly fit moms of Bollywood, Shilpa Shetty & former Miss World Aishwarya Rai. These divas, not only embraced motherhood with ethereal grace, but also made a precious retreat to their pre-pregnancy frames with equal poise. They took their own time to rebuild themselves after welcoming their newborns. Shilpa, was also a mom to have undergone C-section for her first kid. So there my gyn sounded such a motivator and I could sense that I had already cracked that little fear of mine. He further validated his opinion by saying that if the mother is determined to bounce back to her old good weight without being carried away with the overwhelming new life, she is UNSTOPPABLE!
Hence, make peace with your new body, but never settle over it! It takes 9 months to put on so many extra pounds. They’re definitely not going to leave you so soon. Neither are they here to stay forever, unless you don’t bother!
And so, Breast is BEST!
That’s one of the best perks of exclusively breastfeeding your new little friend for the first 6 months. A latent form of a massive workout in itself. Because you can burn upto a mammoth 500 calories per day by just breastfeeding your baby! And this hugely helps you burn all that abdominal fat with a fairly easily job of having to eat well to keep up with the immense stamina required. Extended breastfeeding, all the more, continues to boost your post-maternity weight loss by many folds.
Studies demonstrate steady & rapid weight loss in breastfeeding women over the 1st 6-8 months in comparison with those who didn’t breastfeed or did for a very short period. So, that’s an incredible incentive nursing your baby offers you.
However, fallacies associated with breastfeeding assert that it doesn’t guarantee weight loss. That’s because dedicated breastfeeding stimulates intense hunger, & when the mother tends to gorge on unhealthy calories in the name of food, it may start working on the OPPOSITE. If you don’t watch what you eat, you’re sure to pile up even more than what you gained so far.
I just can’t stop endorsing Yoga for the heap of benefits it endows our life with. I can’t thank Yoga enough in this part too. Post a C-section, one cannot afford to push herself beyond flexing her basic muscles & begin with intense exercises, such as weight training in order to strengthen on the core. Although the incision tends to heal soon, heavy exercises that cause any pressure on the abdomen may take a huge toll on your health hinting uninvited complications.
Such be the case when you shouldn’t be rushing to the gym for those crunches, cardios, lunges or weights, Yoga is always a rescue. Nevertheless, make it a point to discuss with your gynecologist if you can proceed with your first attempts at Yoga after birth. And strictly stick to his/her instructions in any conditions whatsoever.
3-4 rounds of Suryanamaskara after 4 months could serve the best warmup for your body post the surgery. You may increase the number once you find your form returning. Apart from that, Anulom vilom, Cobra pose & Tree pose are effective in strengthening the core muscles, thus making it easy to lose that stubborn belly fast.
CAUTION – Do not practise Kapalbhati or Bhastrika Pranayama before your child turns 6 months old. Always consult your doc before you think over it.
Water is that precious liquid which only has benefits to fill you with. Drink ample amounts of water every day. It not only eases postnatal constipation, but also eliminates toxins, prevents any kind of water retentive weight accumulation & keeps you hydrated & replenished. Water, indeed is your ticket to an incredible weight loss journey (like mine!)
These are mostly every mom’s personal favorite. Abdominal binders not just provide awesome support to your strained back during & after pregnancy, but also aid in healing the incision wound. Having a tight corset-like fabric wrapped around your flaccid-yet-still-swollen midrib is nothing short of a therapy. Belly binders give you a feeling of being massaged over the back as long as you wear them. And it doesn’t stop just there. As your wound heals better with this kind of support, your ab muscles get more ready to tone up effectively.
Well, in India, traditionally, a soft & pure cotton fabric (usually a saree) has often been used to simulate a belly binder. Like this kind!
Wearing binders at least for 2 months for most of the active part of the day works wonders in slimming the tummy. If you’re working & prefer to wear them further, no worries. They hardly make their presence felt to the onlookers!
No matter how vague & eerie punctuality may seem to you now, it’s the key to be a healthy mom. You cannot even imagine losing a pound without feeling sick if you do not eat on time & sleep enough.
Well, finding time to sleep may now be a tough nut to crack, thanks to the baby’s crazy sleep pattern & your second love, the smartphone. Keep the phone away for the first 2 months, lest you should use it to make or receive calls. Focus on making time for quality sleep and have healthy & nutritious meals on time. Ensure that your dinner is not anything beyond 8PM. Erratic sleeping & eating habits are always bad gamblers of metabolism. And that will never let you shed any weight. EVER.
It’s never too early to walk
Walking is probably one of the most refreshing & powerful exercises that work miracles on our body. That’s because you technically do not need a special gear or outfit for it & thus, can never realize the beauty of it until you befriend your long time enemy this time. Your weighing machine! After a month, you can start walking at moderate pace in tranquil ambiences like in a park. Strolling around with your little moppet in a pram is only going to get the very active & better person out of you.
You really are UNSTOPPABLE!
Belief & faith in your efforts are two greatest strengths of your psyche. When you know you will nail it some day soon, nobody can discourage you. So the next time somebody frowns upon your body to say, “I gather you had a C-section seeing your flared tummy”, your confident & smirky smile should be all it takes to silence them.
More power to you, beautiful woman!
Please share your weight loss story after having a C-section so that we have at least a tonne of motivation for the new wonder mommies.