Research shows that almost six times the women get post partum depression following a c-section over a vaginal or forceps birth. One theory is that the hormones responsible for preventing post partum depression are suppressed in the surgical process.
To me, it seems crazy to think that someone who comes out with a healthy baby and body would experience such debilitating depression. But depression isn’t rational. And you can’t think your way through it.
I feel the more challenging and isolating recovery process from a c-section is neglected in this explanation. Often these ladies spend a couple months house bound, with little to no activity. Exercise has been demonstrated as more powerful in fighting depression than many anti-depression medications. And to make matters worse, deconditioned post c-section mommies probably have a much harder time resuming activity and find less enjoyment in it. That, and they are way more likely to be lonely, bored and socially isolated.
Just speaks to the importance of taking a walk each day in the fresh air with a friend if you can.
Onwards. Here’s my recap for the second week.
Day 1: My first walk! My daughter decides we should go to the closer park (4k) instead of the more exciting park (8k). I’m glad she did. Pretty pooped by the time I get home and a big hill with a heavy stroller to finish. It was good to get the wrap out and remember how to use it. I feel more free now.
Day 2: Passport photos for the little ones, baby’s first doctor appointment and visit to my husband’s work to show off the cutie. I asked the doctor about increased bleeding with exercise – as all the forums seem to suggest that any increase in bright red lochia means you’ve over done it. He disagreed. He described it as channels being left open that were super active prenatally – and that vigourus activity shakes some blood loose. He said the golden rule of soaking through more than one pad an hour is still the most important thing to note. I’m nowhere near this critical point so I feel better.
Day 3: Baby is starting to sleep bigger stretches in the night and I am correspondingly feeling more human. I clean the house… which feels great! Ah… the simple pleasure of a clean house. I spend rest of the day digging, pushing and pulling… trying to recover all of my regular clothes and putting all my maternity stuff in boxes. Lifting feels fine to a certain size rather than weight. If it’s too big and off my axis I can feel my core engage. Ama and John go skiing in the mountains – and of course, the baby sleeping more at night means more awake time during the day. I end up singing to her the entire time from a fort of boxes.
Day 4: Repeat day 3. I have way too many clothes. But despite being a lot snugger, I can fit into them… which makes me happy. Never complaining about this little piglet breast feeding like a champ again.
Day 5: Today’s the day. The weather is gorgeous, the kids are at home and on the way to the store I run 10 sets of stairs. I am rewarded with a little lung burn (oh how I’ve missed you). I am looking to defend my title in this year’s stair race up the wall centre tower not even 6 weeks postpartum. I also find the stairs are a gentle way to functionally get my heart rate up, since the stairs come up to meet your feet. I focus on staying relaxed and supporting with my transverse abdominus. I also throw in 30 raised push-ups and squats for good measure… which feel surprisingly OK… although my butt is up in the air. To top the day off, some of my favourite friends come visit me in the evening. They bring me organic nuts, soup, vegan chill, organic fruit, homemade muffins, and salad.
Day 6: Due to yesterday’s delicious bounty, we eat like kings today. We wait until the hail stops, and then go for a walk in the heat of the sun. You just never know with the weather here. My husband is sick so I teach my bootcamp. Surprisingly, demoing squat tuck jumps and lunge switches doesn’t hurt. Although I only attempt one or two and land quietly so as to not push my luck.
Day 7: Rain, rain go away. I decide to give the rebounder a try and go back to running as gently as possible. I also throw in some exercises to strengthen my hips in all planes, my calves and my core.
And that’s week 2. Looking forward to getting back into health and fitness. Starting my journey back to my race weight is my big goal for week 3.