My baby girl is turning 3 months today and I feel like I’m ready to talk about my post labour experience. After an emergency c-section I was in shock with what I looked like, how I felt and how restricted my movements were. My body entered a slow recovery phase. Very slow…
But hey, I’m getting my confidence back and what’s more important, I feel much more like myself now.
My pregnant body
I had a very healthy pregnancy despite what most doctors were expecting from me at the age of 34. I followed most of the eating habits I gained during The Body Confidence Program which I completed last summer (see results here). The 8 week course taught me habits that now help me to live much healthier. I kept moving until the 9th month and generally I felt light and fit.
I didn’t have any crazy cravings. The only thing I really could not live without was spinach. I ate spinach every day, sometimes even three times a day. There were days when I would fancy certain fruits or veg – like carrots or bananas, and when I googled their nutrition content, I saw that my body was craving a specific mineral or vitamin. I just listened to my body and gave it what it needed to support the growing baby. As a result my blood tests didn’t show any deficiency during the whole pregnancy.
After the c-section
I was so much against the notion of having a cesarean that I literally fought for my right to give birth naturally. I kept repeating to any doctor in those 9 months that the only reason I might agree for a c-section would be if my baby’s or my life is in danger. Well, the circumstances required an emergency intervention that I could not argue against.
My body did well with the recovery, but I wasn’t mentally prepared for it. I refused reading anything about c-section during the pregnancy and I had no idea what to expect. It took a few tears and a couple of months but I recovered. Right now I’m a quarter stone away from my pre-pregnancy weight, so it’s all good.
Post labour belly tuck
I had a whole list of post labour exercises of which I could do none. The first month after the surgery, it was very painful to do even the simplest things. Getting up from bed took some dedication, not to mention how painful it was to sit and breastfeed. Just to make it more difficult I had a light diastasis recti. It all made it impossible for me to exercise until at least 6 weeks post labour. I just had to wait. And eat healthy.
I had one tool that helped me ease the process – the Upsie Belly. You may remember the two belly bands by Belly Bandit that I reviewed in the early months of pregnancy. I wore them under my clothes or styled them in outfits for as long as it was comfortable. When my belly stretched beyond them, I ordered this belt made of special SecureStretch™ material. It gave me great support, holding the belly weight up to the 9th month. Sadly, I didn’t get the chance to make any photos wearing it during pregnancy, because my photographer husband had his passport stolen, and was stuck abroad for a month. He came back just in time for me to go into labour.
The awesome thing about the Upsie Belly is that you can wear it after birth too. You only need to turn it around and have the wide side (which used to support your back during pregnancy) tucking your belly in. My hubby was helping me to put it on from week two, making it very tight and I wore it around the house – sometimes for 15 minutes, sometimes for a couple of hours.
The belly belt comes with a hot/cold gel pack for which I found so many different uses:
- Straight out of the freezer it would provide great relief on the days when the pain from my c-scar was just too strong.
- When the baby had colic, I’d warm the gel pack in the microwave for 20 seconds and keep it over her belly.
- When I got a blocked milk duct, I’d heat it and wrap it around the infected spot.
- My neck felt the strain of constantly looking down, in order to breastfeed. My hubby would warm the gel pack and use it to soothe my neck muscles, before giving me a massage.
It is so good and I think everyone should have this gel pack in their house – just in case they need it for something. And of course, it fits perfectly in the Upsie Belly hidden pocket.
Now things are much calmer than the first days. I can see how baby is growing and I’m getting smaller. The pain is gone and my belly is almost as tight as it used to be. I need to lose just a little bit of fat, but I will worry about it after ice-cream season is over – it’s still above 30 degrees over here!