Gabrielle Reece on easing back into postpartum fitness

01/29/2008 at 09:49 AM ET

Gabriellereece19_cbbGabrielle Reece talks about her post-pregnancy body rehabilitation in her latest column. She gave birth to her second daughter Brody Jo Hamilton on January 1st.  She mentioned that she had to have a second c-section — her 4-year old daughter Reece Viola was born after 17 hours of labor and two of failed pushing, and "here in Hawaii they don’t like to do VBACs (vaginal birth after caesarean)." However, Gabby was already 6 cm dilated when she arrived at the hospital!

Having had a c-section, the 38-year old volleyball player knew she had to take it easy, but the athlete in her couldn’t wait to exercise again. After 16 days, she started "very, very light exercises" and then at the three week mark, she climbed onto her bike for light spinning.  And Brody, who Gabby reveals "looks like a smaller version of Reece" is her workout buddy — she said,

I would bring Brody with me intomy home gym and work out for as long as she would lie there. I can sometimesextend my workouts by breastfeeding her — I haven’t started pumping yet so I’mmilking on demand for the moment — and then, I put her back down on a blanketwith me on the floor.

Gabrielle, husband Laird Hamilton and their girls posed for a photoshoot in Hawaii over the weekend (click here for more photos). It’s refreshing to see that she still has a little belly, which goes to show that not all celebrity moms snap back into shape immediately. It’s also nice that her column doesn’t stress losing weight — her focus is just about getting back into shape.

Her tips to ease back into a workout are realistic and doable. They include moving a little each day, setting the tone of the day with your mind, and visualizing what you’d like your new body to look like. For the details, visit In closing, Gabby says,

Being pregnant, having a baby, and having had a C-sectionwould make anyone feel vulnerable -– I know that’s how I feel. But I believeit’s great to go through the incredible experience of giving birth and raisinga baby and allowing yourself to feel all your emotions to their fullest.

Do you have any tips for easing back into fitness?  Also, if you hada VBAC in Hawaii at a hospital or birthing center, tell us which one!

Mm_logoFor more of the interview and other great parenting resources, visit Mom features smart and practical advice on topics such asparenting, finances, career, health, wellness, beauty, entertainmentand more.


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Lisa on

I had a VBAC, but not in Hawaii. My first son was a c-section, second a VBAC, and third another c-section.

homefly on

I’ve had two VBAC’s, though not in Hawaii. They were wonderful, and perfectly safe. It’s too bad that she was already almost in transition, and had to have a cesarean. Maybe she wanted one, I don’t know, but from reading her writing it doesn’t sound like she was that happy about it. I had a friend who got the the hospital at ten centimeters and the baby was already at a +2 and they STILL did a repeat cesarean on her. She wasn’t happy about that, either. VBAC’s are perfectly safe if done right. Flat hospital policies that don’t look at each individual’s circumstances are wrong. Not every woman should VBAC, but at the same time not every woman should HAVE to have a repeat cesarean if she doesn’t want one, either.

FC on

It does sound like she would’ve loved to have done a VBAC, considering how far she’d progressed and probably could’ve gone through it just fine. If nothing else, to see what it’s like, etc…

Anyway, I love that she’s just taking things day by day. She could take all the time she wants. She really doesn’t need to do a thing, but, as she said, she can’t stand “doing nothing” She sounds a lot like my aunt, who’s a die-hard gym person and can’t take sitting around and “doing nothing”.

Though I’m sure Reece and Brody keep her from feeling like “doing nothing” is all that bad…;)

kerryann on

My first daughter was a c-section. I had a successful VBAC with my second daughter. And if I had a third baby, I don’t have a preference either way. I would let nature take its course and see what happens.

It’s a shame if they didn’t let her have a VBAC if she wanted one. At 6cms, she was definitely in a trial of labor. It’s just so wrong to not be able to choose.