During my pregnancy I was able to continue hooping right up into my final weeks before giving birth. I think I surprised a lot of people who thought I’d have to give it up for quite a while, but with a few adjustments to my typical hoop dance practice I had no trouble. I believe hooping, along with regular yoga practice and a healthy diet are what made my pregnancy go so smoothly. I never felt sick and I kept my weight gain down to only 28 pounds.
I had planned and prepared for an all-natural water birth at home. However, the baby was transverse much of the time, only changing to a head down position on a few occasions and ultimately flipping back sideways. So my “all natural” birth plan went to hell and I ended up with a dreaded c-section. After the surgery, we learned that I have a heart shaped uterus and that is what prevented the baby from getting into the correct position.
Recovery from the surgery was unpleasant. It’s the only major surgery I’ve ever had. The first four weeks postpartum was very painful and slow moving. I started to feel a little more normal after about six weeks, but didn’t even attempt picking up my hoop until a full 8 weeks had passed. And even then I was very cautious and kept my core hooping to a bare minimum. I started stretching and getting back into yoga around the same time, but did so only on my own terms. I didn’t go back to any actual yoga classes until 3 full months had passed since the Caesarian, which is also when I felt comfortable resuming my full speed hoop dance practice.
It has now been 4-1/2 months since my c-section. I am still not comfortable hip hooping directly over my scar. It still feels tender, even with my lightweight polypro hoop. For now I just have to avoid that one area. Hopefully someday it will be healed enough that I can’t feel it at all.
On the plus side, it took less than eight weeks before I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and now thanks to breast feeding I have lost about 8 extra pounds beyond that. Staying active and healthy can be difficult to maintain anytime, especially when pregnant, but it is SO worth it in the end!