Learn the do’s and don’ts after a C-section delivery and what you can do that will help you get a flat stomach faster after having a baby.

how long should I wear a postpartum belly wrap

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.



There are so many questions you might have now that you just had a C-section delivery and you are wondering what the Do’s and Don’ts are of cesarean section births.

You’ve never gone through anything like this before and this is your first C-section, so it’s hard to know what to expect from your body. You might be experiencing a lot of pain and a lot of fear of what might happen if you move a certain way or do something wrong. You are ready to get rid of the mommy tummy, but you don’t know how after just going through a C-section.

In this article we are going to go over the Do’s and Don’ts after a C-section as it relates to healing and getting your stomach to be flat again. Let’s dive in.


DO: You do want to focus on recovery at first.

DON’T: You don’t want to rush into too much activity at the beginning.

Take some time at the beginning to focus on the 3R’s: rest, recover and relax. You should not engage in any physical activity for the first 6 weeks until your doctor clears you at your 6 week postpartum check-up. If you feel the desire to start doing more exercise early on, call your physician’s office and get approval. I recommend starting with gentle walking. 


DO: You do want to pay attention to your body and how it feels.

DON’T: You don’t want to ignore your symptoms.

If something doesn’t feel right, do something about it and call your doctor. Don’t wait around for the 6 week postpartum check-up to discuss a major issue you are having. If your gut is telling you something is not right, it’s best to get it examined sooner rather than later.

You may have an infection, your scar could be having difficulty healing, you may have pelvic floor issues or the pain may not be controlled. Don’t let these issues and many others get overlooked. 


DO: You do want to drink lots of fluid.


DON’T: You don’t want to avoid drinking water because of the fear you will continue to swell and gain weight.

Weight gain from fluid is not the concern, healing at the fastest rate possible is. The more water you consume, the faster your body will heal. You should not be focusing on weight loss this early on in your postpartum recovery but instead focusing on getting your body feeling better so you can get back to regular exercise sooner. 


DO: You do want to look at your incision daily and be sure that the scar healing after a C-section is appropriate. 

DON’T: You don’t want to ignore your incision and assume it will heal properly on its own. 

Have your spouse look at your incision daily for adequate healing, or you can stand in front of a mirror and examine it yourself. Look for any infections that might be appearing along your incision. If there is an odor or a discoloration, call your doctor.


DO: You do want to eat healthy, nutrient rich meals to assist with a speedy recovery.

DON’T: You don’t want to skip meals in hopes to lose weight.

There are a lot of foods to avoid after a C-section such as foods high in fat, processed foods and empty calorie drinks. But there are a lot of healthy choices that will help you get the nutrients you and your baby need all while helping with healthy weight control.

You never want to diet when you are a new mom who is breastfeeding. Skipping meals will not help you speed up your healing but rather harm you and diminish the speed in which your scar recovers. 


DO: You do want to follow your doctor’s guidelines and avoid heavy lifting, twisting and bending.

DON’T: You don’t want to lift heavy objects, bend or twist in your spine.

A lot of new moms want to know when they can start bending after a C-section. The best thing to do is wait until your incision is healed. Typically this is around 2 weeks, but it could be as long as 6 weeks.

Avoid lifting more than your baby’s weight. Also, stretching, straining and deep bending are not recommended until about 4-6 weeks post-delivery according to most doctors. Some doctors recommend waiting until you don’t have any more pain and your incision is fully healed. 

Angela Jones, M.D. recommends that for at least the first 2 weeks women should avoid bending to do the dishes and reaching down into the dishwasher, hold off on carrying laundry and pushing the vacuum and avoid walking the dog or doing any activity where straining could occur. 

Related: 9 Things No One Tells You About C-Section Recovery


DO: You do want to wear a postpartum belly wrap that is medical grade, like Belly Bandit.


DON’T: You don’t want to wear an over-the-counter back brace or wrap that doesn’t provide enough compression.

There are a lot of postpartum belly wraps on the market for postpartum recovery, but there are a select few that actually work and provide an adequate amount of compression and will ultimately help support your uterus in returning back to its normal size.

Choosing a well constructed postpartum belly wrap, such as Belly Bandit, will help your stomach to shrink back down to nearly your pre-pregnancy size if used correctly and at the right time. Learn more about when you should wear a postpartum belly wrap here


DO: You do want to start with gentle and safe postpartum ab exercises taught by a medical professional.

DON’T: You don’t want to do any random ab workout routines on YouTube taught by a non-medical professional.

Turning on a random ab workout on YouTube is definitely not the way to get your stomach to recover after a C-section. There is a systematic and safe way to restore your core muscles after a C-section.

Remember, you just had major surgery. Typically if you had knee surgery, you would go to physical therapy to reintroduce exercises that are specifically designed for knee rehabilitation.

Well, the same should go for C-sections and abdominal muscle strengthening. However, that is not typically the case when it comes to postpartum healing after a C-section. Usually new moms are left to their own will on how to fix their abs after a C-section.

I’m a physical therapist, and I help teach new moms how to safely restore their core muscles after having a baby. You can learn more about my postpartum ab rehab program and what you can do now to help your stomach to recover quickly through exercise. Restoring your core is possible with the right exercises at the right time.  

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

*It is important to always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program and get medical clearance. Always warm up thoroughly and stretch after all workouts. LiveCoreStrong.com and Jena Bradley will be not be responsible or liable for any injury sustained while exercising at home, gym or elsewhere. Perform exercises at your own risk.

how long should I wear a postpartum belly wrap

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