I have so much to share in my seven weeks postpartum recap. I want to talk about everything from work I had done on my c-section incision to my 6-week postpartum doctor’s visit to my first run and more. I won’t write a lengthy intro and we’ll just get right to it.
THE FOURTH TRIMESTER: SEVEN WEEKS POSTPARTUM
Six Week Postpartum Appointment: my first order of business upon arriving back in Charlotte was to see my doctor for my six week postpartum visit. I was there with Finn bright and early on Monday morning. I was eager to get my doctor’s opinion on how my c-section was healing and to catch up with him. I mentioned this in my birth story but my doctor is seriously amazing. If you are in the Charlotte area and looking for an OBGYN, I can’t recommend Dr. Danner enough as well as his practice, Mintview OBGYN. I really loved the whole practice throughout my pregnancy. They were so efficient and thorough. I never waited longer than 5 minutes to be seen, I had very consistent care and they were fully available and responsive any time I needed extra assistance.
Dr. Danner is such an attentive and caring doctor. He was aware of my situation at home and truly took an interest in my emotional well-being as well as the physical care of the pregnancy. I never felt like he was rushed when I came in for visits and he talked to me about the holistic picture of what was going on with the pregnancy and not just the baby. At my postpartum appointment he spent so much time with me making sure I was okay from a mental health perspective along with checking my healing from the c-section.
I was thrilled when he told me that everything was healing as it should. He also told me that I probably didn’t remember it in the moment during the surgery (there was kind of a lot going on!) but he pulled my lower abs together when he was sewing me up so that helped a lot with any potential diastasis issues I might have had. He also said that was why I was extra sore in my abdominals after the surgery.
I’m sure you’re all wondering about workout clearance. I got the green light for everything except for intense abdominal exercise and really intense exercise in general. I tentatively asked him about running thinking he’d tell me to hold off for a few more weeks but he said it was absolutely fine. I was shocked!
C-section Incision Healing: this is a great segue into some work I had done on my c-section incision. Sorry for the slightly graphic photos but I wanted you to see what the incision looks like realistically post-surgery. Can you believe how low it is?
On Friday I saw Tom Archer, a local clinical bodyworker, for my c-section incision. He does a lot of work on people post-surgery and sees a ton of postpartum women. During our session Tom spent about 30 minutes focusing on my incision. One thing I never knew about c-sections is that it’s common to have a “flap” over the incision. He is going to help me avoid that by working with the tissue around it to encourage it to heal smoothly and properly. This also helps prevent adhesions from forming which are bands of internal scar tissue that can cause chronic pelvic pain, painful intercourse, female infertility and bowel obstructions.
I could not believe the difference what Tom did made in just one session! The top is the before picture and the bottom is the after. Incredible, right? I am so looking forward to working with him.
If you’re in the area, Tom can help you with basically anything funky you have going on with your body. Check out his website!
Breastfeeding: thank y’all so much for validating and alleviating my fears about my supply last week. It made me feel so much better. We are still going strong with our breastfeeding relationship but I’m going to start pumping soon.
I am nervous about introducing pumping and bottles and scared it might throw us off. We have done so well with exclusive breastfeeding and I’ve loved doing it. I know in the long run that it’s a positive to have him take a bottle so that I have a little flexibility and freedom.
We are still having a lot of issues with spit up and gas pain. I took Finn to see a pediatric chiropractor last week and she looked him over and said all things considered he is all good but she has me journaling my food intake as well as Finn’s gassy episodes and bowel movements and their appearance (motherhood is glamorous y’all!). She also showed me how to do acupressure on points that will help with Finn’s digestion.
Tom also does pediatric work and took a few minutes at the end of our session to check Finn out. He was so calm while Tom was working with him!
Emotional Well-Being: well, now that the news is out about my relationship status, I can tell you with more detail that things have been hard. My trip to Florida to visit my family was an amazing escape that helped me get back on solid ground but the adjustment back to life in Charlotte and the reality of dealing with things like custody and the fact that I’m going to have to surrender some control and spend time away from Finn has been hard as shit. There’s just no way to sugarcoat it. I don’t want to miss a second of my baby boy’s life.
I am holding it together because Finn is a constant reminder that I have to. I’m leaning on the support of my friends and family, which has been mind-blowingly incredible. I am so grateful. My grandmother called me today and told me that she read my post and all of your comments. She told me how proud she was of me and how lucky I was to have such amazing female support. Thank y’all from the bottom of my heart.
Workouts/activity: I’m sure you expect that since I got cleared on Monday that I would have gone crazy on the workouts this week. A 3-mile run was the first thing I wanted to do after getting cleared but other than that, I kept it pretty low-key for the remainder of the week. I tried the run and it honestly felt completely fine but the day after, I just felt like I wasn’t done taking it easy. I’m going to keep sprinkling runs and moderate gym sessions in as it feels RIGHT but for the most part I’m just going to keep walking and doing some yoga.
So my first week postpartum being cleared for exercise looked like this:
Monday: 3 mile run + short dog walk
Tuesday: 2 mile walk
Wednesday: 16 minute incline walking treadmill workout + 9 minute rowing interval workout + upper body dumbbell workout. The dumbbell workout was three rounds of…
10 incline chest flys
10 single arm rows (each arm)
10 bicep curls
10 upright rows
10 shoulder presses
10 tricep extensions
This whole workout took 35 minutes! (treadmill, rowing and weights).
Friday: 3 mile walk
Saturday: 3 mile walk
And that wraps up my seven week postpartum recap. Thank you all for following along and for all of your support, input and encouragement.
Talk to me about pumping. Any tips? Anyone else sad to do it?
How did you ease back into postpartum workouts?
Did you have any post-op work done after your c-section?