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Getting Back on the Court: How an Athlete Reduced Pregnancy Recovery Time

By McCall Jones Da Pron

I’ve always been an athlete. I began playing tennis at the age of six and had an instant love for the game. Throughout my junior career, I was ranked top five in both Southern California and the nation. By age 14, I was playing international tournaments and I began playing some professional tournaments by the age of 16. I played top for the UCLA women’s tennis team and led my team to a national championship as team captain my senior year.

When I found out I was pregnant, I remained active. First, because it was important to me, and second, because it was approved by my doctor. I believe playing tennis helped my pregnancy go by more quickly and made it more enjoyable. I taught and played up until 20 weeks. I began to take it a little easier and cut back on the amount of hours I was teaching and playing after that. However, I was eager to get back to the court as soon as I could after I gave birth to my daughter.

My initial pregnancy excitement began to turn into nervousness as my due date approached. My mom had all four of her babies via C-section and my older sister had a C-section. Given my family history, I assumed I was going to have to have a C-section, too. I was concerned about the risks and recovery time involved with having the surgical procedure.

My doctor, Dr. Baginski, knew my family history and was determined to help me have my baby girl naturally. He asked me if I wanted to be a part of a study that would help me recover from my pregnancy no matter whether I had a C-section or natural birth. Of course I was on board when I heard that I could have a quicker recovery. That study was for a product called Protiva.

I took Protiva every day as directed and I do feel like it gave me more energy, especially since I wasn’t as active. I also enjoyed drinking it. I developed my own recipes, including an awesome chocolate shake. Protiva felt more like a treat than my other pregnancy supplements.

I ended up having my baby naturally. To my surprise, there was still a ton of pain and healing that needed to be done. Protiva helped. I had enough energy to start taking walks right away while in the hospital, and I felt like I was already back to my normal self by the time I got home. If it weren’t for my husband telling me to take it easy, I would have probably started to try to get back on the tennis courts right away. With permission from my doctor, I was able to start playing tennis just four weeks after giving birth.

I began taking Protiva in my third trimester and I still take it now, at almost 7 months postpartum. I like to take Protiva in a shake in the morning with my breakfast and then in another one before dinner. I love the taste of Protiva, so most of the time I just add water and ice to it in a shaker cup and drink it plain. This was also the easiest option for me while taking care of a newborn baby.

Listening to my body and doing what felt right for me—whether it was remaining active during my pregnancy or getting back out on the tennis court a month after giving birth—has made the transition from athlete to athlete AND mom easy and enjoyable. I believe Protiva has helped me get back to doing what I love to do.

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