My daughter arrived January 1, 2008. Her name is Brody Jo
Hamilton. She weighed in at 8lbs, 2oz, and she looks a lot like a smaller
version of my four-year-old daughter Reece. I had to have a C-section with
Reece, after 17 hours of labor and about two of pushing — she just wouldn’t
come out. Here in Hawaii they don’t like to do VBACS (vaginal birth after
caesarean) so I had to have another C-section with Brody. By the time I got to
the hospital I was about six centimeters dilated; Brody was ready to join us.
The first week back from the hospital is always tricky,
having had the surgery, and then, suddenly needing to care for a new baby and a
small child, too. I have always found it tough to relax and “do
nothing.” But if I have learned at least one thing in my life, it’s this:
To know when to ease up, heal and, by doing so, build my strength for later. So
I was a good girl for about 16 days and then, I started doing very, very light
exercises. Three weeks after giving birth, I began to spin lightly on a bike
for 20 minutes, just to get my heart pumping. I would bring Brody with me into
my home gym and work out for as long as she would lie there.
Now, over a year later, I think I’ve figured out a few ways for new moms to ease back into workouts
and get your bodies back to where it was before giving birth:
1) Move a Little Each Day: I find that even minimal exercise
really helps me function better during this time of intense sleep deprivation.
If you’re pregnant, think about getting your exercise
routine in place right now. I always preach to other women that if your doctor
says it’s okay, and you feel well enough, you should keep moving during your
nine months. This will help you get back into your workouts after the baby
comes. It has really worked for me.
2) Set the Tone of the Day with Your Mind, Not Your
Hormones: Reece caught a cold that she gave to Brody so, on top of dealing with
newborn baby sleep patterns, we also have a munchkin who can’t breathe very
well. I almost feel like I’m floating in La La Land because of the lack of
sleep. So, to counter this, I just keep reminding myself to set the tone of how
I am feeling with my mind — not to wait to see how I feel but to try and
decide before hand.
This way I am less of a victim to being grumpy or snappy
(especially first thing in the morning). This time with my new baby is so
fleeting and so precious. That’s why I remind myself to take it all in, for
this too shall pass.
3) Visualize How You’d Like Your Post-Baby Body and Self to
Be: It’s been a month since I gave birth and with the exception of fuller
breasts, a dark line down my tummy, and a slightly enlarged uterus, I am about
four to five pounds above my regular weight of 170lbs (I’m 6’3″). With
each day that passes, I feel more and more like myself. On the days I don’t, I
fudge it in my mind. I visualize how I want to feel and look. I keep seeing myself
as fit and strong. Now, I’m just waiting for my body to catch up to my
Try it. I’m telling you it works.
Being pregnant, having a baby, and having had a C-section
would make anyone feel vulnerable – I know that’s how I felt. But I believe
it’s great to go through the incredible experience of giving birth and raising
a baby and allowing yourself to feel all your emotions to their fullest.
However, I do think that as each day passes it becomes
important to start viewing yourself as the YOU you want to be, and not get
stuck in this vulnerable state. For me, going through all of this only makes
all of us stronger. Women and moms prove everyday how tough they are – this is
a great thing. I have this wonderful acupuncturist who told me women are
stronger because they suffer more. I’ll take it.
|Want more words of wisdom from Modern Mom’s Fitness Expert
Gabrielle Reece? Check out this super athlete’s website at www.gotogabby.com, where you can also pick
up Gabby’s Prenatal First and Second Trimester DVD Workouts.