How are you? Amazing, beautiful, on purpose as usual?...great. :)
I'm 3 weeks post my c-section and wanted to answer a highly requested Insta-question I received from other moms who had, or will be having a cesarean which is...Monica, what are your tips for c-section recovery?
Now, I'm sure I could google that question and get 3.9 billion answers with tips, tricks, and hacks to help us c section moms heal "faster". But call me old school, old fashioned, old soul...whatever, but I don't believe we can trick our bodies into doing anything they're not ready to do.
That being said, I still want to offer my personal tools I am using to heal post c section, and I hope they serve you too!
1. Listen to YOUR body.
I know, I know. That social media star you follow somehow has wash board abs 2 weeks post birth. Meanwhile, you and I are looking down at our bellies feeling less than because we didn't snap back immediately after giving birth to our bundle of joy. Don't allow distractions...*cough*--comparison, steal your joy, girl. Our vessels as women are magical, don't rush your transformation post birth. Take your time, and utilize a free tool given to all us gals--intuition!! Trust me, you will be able to just tell when you're ready to go for a walk, begin your fitness regimen (along with your doc's orders), and get back into your lifestyle. You'll be able to tell if it's your intuition talking if you feel peace after thinking of the decision your were mulling over...like whether or not to start that fitness plan yet.
2. Eat Well...(well, mostly :)
My diet has been pretty consistent since I made healthy living a lifestyle over 7 years ago--I aim to eat natural protein, whole grains, veggies, fruits, etc., but when I'm pregnant and/or breastfeeding (currently full time breastfeeding a cluster eater!), I still allow for more fats and calories while I am doing so. Why? Well because breastfeeding alone burns over 500 calories a day--in short, doing so is a workout. So I purposefully do not restrict myself. I am not in a rush to get in my best shape again. I am confident that will happen (as a mom who's already done it 2 times, and a certified women's fitness trainer). So, what's the rush? Life with a newborn + 2 kids can be hectic already. But again--to clarify--I'm not letting go of my standard to be a healthy, happy mom. I still have my green smoothies daily, healthy recipes, yadayada...I just am not eating like I'm competing in a fitness competition.
3. Load Up on Fiber
Okay, I have to tell you a secret. Using the bathroom after a c-section can really be a pain-in-the-you-know-what--specifically in the first week following your operation. I didn't know this, but the pain killers my doctor had me on caused constipation, and the stool softeners I was offered didn't help me diddly squat. My advice? Be sure you're not overdoing your medication following your c section--only take the recommended dosage, or when you feel pain! I heard the advice to "stay ahead of the pain", and I took my medication too close together now know (in retrospect of course). Refer to step 1 (listen to your body), as always, listen to your medical professional, load up on fiber (greens, flax seeds, etc), and listen to your doc's advice on how to handle this pesky little issue. Trust me, you'll be glad you did!
4. Wear the Belly Wrap Your Hospital Gives You
One of my lovely nurses at the hospital I delivered at offered my a white, simple binder for my stomach 2 days after my c section. She told me wearing it helped her after her c section to feel "held together". I tried it--sure enough, it helped me to feel less like I'd just gone through a major abdominal surgery. Many c section moms I've spoken to swear by wearing their wraps too. But keep in mind, this is not for "snapback" purposes, but rather, to organically aid in your body recovering from the trauma experienced during surgery.
5. Walk When You're Ready
It sounds paradoxical, but walking post c section can actually speed up your recovery, not slow it down. As soon as the same day I had my son, I walked a few steps here and there to start this process. Now 3 weeks later, I've been making daily walks a part of my lifestyle as a new mom of 3! I keep it casual, about 15 minutes or so on average--no beast mode for me yet! But let me tell you, when my doctor clears me to workout again girrrlll....it's on!
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