Fitness After a C-Section: Advice for New Mamas

I wrote this article for On The Edge Fitness: Lauren’s Blog nine months after I had my son.  I give tons of credit to Lauren helping me get my body back in shape, safely, after my c-section. If you’ve had a c-section, please take a moment to read my story on how I bounced back the safe way through kettlebell training. Enjoy!

First off, I want to apologize to every new mom I saw pushing their six month old child in a stroller and thinking “Why hasn’t she lost the weight yet? It can’t be that hard.”  YES IT IS!!!

I got into fitness, primarily kettlebell training, after suffering a miscarriage.  Before getting pregnant with my son, I trained for my first kettlebell competition and level 1 kettlebell certification (I certified while 10 weeks pregnant, with doctor’s clearance).  I continued my kettlebell training throughout the first and second trimesters of my pregnancy.
2 months after c-section.

Once I was cleared from my c-section to start training again, I turned to Lauren’s article What Doctor’s Don’t Tell You After a C-Section for help. I wanted to get my strong body back, but wasn’t sure how to begin. I followed her programming of planks, pelvic tilts, kettlebell swings and 4-point tummy vacuum. I also added a 10 minute jog on the treadmill and some kettlebell military presses (with moderate to light weight).  Let me tell you, it was hard! I started off slow and listened to my body. I gradually increased reps and weight. Within two and a half months, I was able to do full leg lifts!!! And the weight and inches slowly started dropping.

I continued this program for a few months, but I have to admit, I fell off the horse. With a husband who owns his own business and is the mayor of our city, plus trying to balance a full-time job and mommy duties, I slacked. I would come home with every intention to train, but one look at my son and all training went out the window. I wanted to spend every minute with him.
9 months post c-section
When my progress stopped, I finally made a decision to focus on myself. I asked my husband to chisel out a few hours of his schedule to watch our son after I got off work so I could focus my training. I would change into my workout gear at work and head straight for the gym. I stared eating better and pushed myself a little harder.  Nine months after baby, I am back to my pre-baby weight, have my pull-up back, and my 1-rep max is 40 lbs., 5 lbs. less than what I was pressing at my strongest. I still have not achieved my goals, but the inches are falling off and I am seeing results, which has given me a ton of confidence.
If I have any advice to give to new moms, this is what I would say:
1. Don’t Stress About the Weight Not Magically Coming Off
Not sure why, but I was surprised that the weight didn’t magically come off. (Crazy, right?!) I cried all of the time because I had never been so big. I hated dressing up for events my husband took me to and seeing a bunch of skinny women. It’s hard getting back into training, but you can do it! (Plus, adding a good pair of Spanx in your wardrobe helps!)
2. Be Proud of Your Body
You did an amazing thing by giving birth – BE PROUD! We struggled for five years to conceive and there were moments I thought I would never become a mom.  Although I miss my pre-baby body, I am even more proud of the one I have now.
3. Find Time For You
Many times, I would feel guilty for choosing a training session over going directly home to my son. It’s okay to focus on you sometimes and EVERY mom needs that! Plus, taking care of your health benefits your child in the end and gives him direction into healthy living by watching you.
4. When You Fall Off the Horse, Get Back On
I fell off my training schedule many times. It happens! But I didn’t give up and would get right back into it.  When I finally got in two solid weeks of 3-day training sessions, it was easy to get back into the groove.  Sometimes you need to fall off the horse to figure out what kind of training schedule works best for you.
For more information about Lauren Brooks and kettelbell training, visit her website: LaurenBrooksFitness.com.

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