Cesarean Birth Recovery

 

A cesarean birth is a birth route that includes a major abdominal surgery.
A surgery is an instance wherein an incision is created within the skin, our biggest organ, in order to explore, put in, or take out with a heavy reliance on instruments. In the case of a cesarean birth surgery, doctors are removing the baby from the mother’s physical body.
I think it’s a little more than just moving a physical mass from point A to point B.
Mom and babe have grown, evolved, and adapted together for 40 ish weeks. Mom’s body has adapted to support and move in a way to allow for her growing belly, baby’s home, and baby has been exposed to our world in small doses through mom’s bodily systems.  It is a very integrated, complex relationship that our society has forgotten all emotion and spirituality involved and thinks everything is just fine after cutting, stitching, and sending the new family home as a plus one (or two).
In our Queen in Training eBook, we recommend that cesarean births take a longer journey to re-introduce movement. Our recommendation is not that much longer than a medical augmented labor and delivery, but still long enough to make a handful of women antsy to get moving again. Within the Postpartum Pop-Up Programming that happens throughout the year, there is special attention and/or recommendations throughout the four weeks of class for those that had a cesarean birth.
Why do we take our time?
As mentioned earlier, a cesarean birth involves a major abdominal surgery. The last surgery I had was left knee ACL surgery (I tore my left knee up). Prior to that surgery, my orthopedic surgeon advised me to “train” for surgery for at least a month. I realized I’d found the right doc for the task. Upon opening my eyes post-op, my knee was moving in a machine, and I was puking my brains out due to the medication. The next 3 months involved the most extensive rehab protocol: chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, acupuncture, and strength and conditioning at my level.
Was all of this covered by insurance?
Hell no.
Was all over this recommended by other surgeons?
Maybe about half of it.
Why did I choose this surgeon?
I had interviewed 3 different surgeons. He told me that my comeback depended on me and my willingness to put in the work, be consistent, and trust the process, because it was a long one.BF web ebook qt
Currently, those that have a cesarean birth in our country are at a severe disadvantage. There is no established rehab protocol. I’m guessing that the orthopedics and physical therapy world is a little more connected than the obstetrics and gynecology and physical therapy world. I mean just within the last ten years have women started to TAKE BACK POSTPARTUM and this includes letting the Western Medical world know that cesarean bodies need support post surgery. Heck, I know all bodies need support after birth, but for shit’s sake,
a cesarean birth should not be “cleared” at 6 weeks for regular activity.
Now, I see women of all levels and all different stages of their postpartum journey. Throughout the past few years, myself, with the help of my awesome team, have  developed some of our own recommendations and protocols for BIRTHFIT.
Below is a GENERAL outline of how I approach the postpartum cesarean birth:
0-2 weeks
Lay In & Bond as a New Family 
Posture Up- Your Posture is Your Foundation 
Belly Breathe- Your Breath is Your Life Force 
MamaStrut- 5 hours Daily During Initial 10-14 Days (“newmama”) 
Make Sure Scar is Healing
Get adjusted
Massage
Walk 10 Minutes a Day 
Bone Broth- A Cup A Day 
Supplements- Original Nutritionals

 

2-6 weeks (this may feel like the longest time)
Get Adjusted
Massage
Walk 10-20 Minutes a Day
Self-Massage Scar (Video Below) 
Squat 5-10 x Day for Range of Motion
Baby-Wearing Around the House If You Feel Good 
Bone Broth- Same As Above 
Supplements- Same As Above 
Eat to Nourish Your Spirit 
Utilize Other Healing Arts 
Get Your Hair Done
4-6 weeks
Get Adjusted
Massage
Queen in Training / Postpartum Series
Wake Up Posterior Chain and Postural Muscles 
Eat to Nourish Your Spirit 
Utilize Other Healing Arts

 

[vc_video link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDBNA-9czc8″]

Only at 10-12 weeks is mom thinking about transitioning back into her regular workout routine and/or classes. This is AFTER she’s done the Queen in Training program and/or The BIRTHFIT Postpartum Series or at least 4 weeks of intentional movement integration. And yes, these have a few strict recommendations such as no sit-ups for the first year.
This may seem like a long, drawn out plan, but it’s really not. We are establishing a whole new foundation, healing, and bonding with baby. Our bodies take 4-6 months for ligaments to heal; these are super important structures like our ACLs or linea alba that we cannot see but function in movement daily.
If you have recently had a cesarean birth, or any birth for that matter, I encourage you to change your mindset and look at as an opportunity to build a solid foundation from which you and your little one can flourish. Take the time now to learn proper movements as they will be with you the rest of your life, both in and out of the gym.
-Lindsey  
@BIRTHFIT
@GigEmLindsey

 

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Related Blogs: 
Planning a Cesarean Birth?

http://www.birthfit.com/2015/04/30/michel-odent-talks-in-labor-pre-emergency-cesarean-birth/

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