Get an OK from your doctor first. Exercising too hard or too soon after surgery can result in the incision opening up, the stitches coming lose or healing being delayed. It can take several weeks before you are ready to begin exercising, and your doctor can advice you on what to do depending on where you are in the healing process.
Start a walking program. A 15-minute walk on most days of the week can get you through the first couple of weeks, when the incision is still fresh. As the weeks pass, you can add swimming, yoga or Pilates to your routine. Don’t overdo it and add minutes to your program slowly (five to 10 extra minutes every week).
Consider breastfeeding your baby. According to a study done by Kramer Health Care Consultants, breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories a day and helps women slim down faster, even if no other changes are made to diet or lifestyle.
Set up an eating plan that makes your life easier. Especially during the first few weeks after a C-section, you might be in pain or too uncomfortable to spend time in the kitchen. It’s easy during this time to resort to junk food, fatty snacks and takeout. To reduce calories and help your weight loss along, get somebody to shop for you and stock up on produce, low-fat dairy and whole grains. Or have a few menus around where you can call in for healthy food, such as grilled chicken or steamed veggies.
Eat a small meal every four hours. According to Michèle Turcotte, a registered dietitian and contributing expert to the Diet Channel, eating five or six small meals a day (about once every four hours) helps control your appetite and speeds up your metabolism, so you can burn calories faster and more effectively.
Incorporate baby into your fitness time, so you won’t miss bonding time while trying to lose weight. While you shouldn’t be jogging right after a C-section, you can use a jogging stroller to take the baby along when you go out for a walk. There are also numerous DVDs created especially for new moms to exercise at home. Avoid crunches and other exercises that put pressure on your stomach, and instead focus on training your arms, legs and back.
About this Author
Diana Bocco is a health, wellness and travel writer with credits in various publications, including “Woman’s Day,” “Marie Claire,” “Adirondack Life” and “Self.” Bocco is also a seasoned independent traveler as well as a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant.