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Coach Is Courtside Hours After Giving Birth: Redefines Bouncing Back

Amber Branson coached a tournament basketball game Friday afternoon, gave birth Friday night, and returned to the court Saturday to lead her high school girl’s team to a 21-2 victory, qualifying them for the state finals.

“I didn’t do anything that didn’t feel like I was supposed to be doing,” Branson, of Lipan, Texas said. “And I just wanted to be with the girls. During the game I was fine as long as I was standing. I think emotion and adrenaline and everything else kept me going.”

These stories can do one of two things: inspire women or set up unrealistic expectations.

It’s worth noting that this was not Branson’s first experience giving birth, but her third. She had a relatively quick and un-medicated labor, so she was eligible for early hospital discharge.

I think there’s definitely something reassuring in this story: It really would be weird of our bodies hadn’t been designed to be able to get up and do things soon after giving birth. After my second labor, also relatively short and unmedicated, I was up and active right away.

I read a great book once called A Midwife’s Story by a midwife who served the Amish community. Of course you can imagine– the Amish women were making food and keeping house and doing chores– one women was refinishing a chair on her porch at 9 centimeters!–right up to and after birth.Very inspiring.

But I have also read that women who leave their stressful office jobs in advance of going into labor have a slightly lowered chance of a c-section.

It seems like staying active and participating in activities that are meaningful to you– as Branson did with her basketball team– can have a positive impact. She “wanted” to be there. It felt right to her. But maybe jobs involving lots of stress and communications and logistics are far too overwhelming at the end of pregnancy and right after birth.

Will you work right up to labor? How important is you to be able to get up and go after birth? Do you want to work? Or do you have to?

photo: Shockmotion/Flickr

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