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Gina Rodriguez opens up about recovering from a ‘surreal’ birth injury

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Gina Rodriguez is loving early motherhood, but she’s still being transparent about the effects childbirth had on her body — including her ongoing recovery from an injury she suffered during labor.

Rodriguez, who gave birth to her first child, Charlie Ray, in March, opened up about the scary experience during a phone interview with Insider to promote her new partnership with Orangetheory Fitness. 

“I’m still gaining my strength,” said Rodriguez, who was breastfeeding her 12-week-old son during the call. She explained that while she was pushing through the pain of contractions without an epidural, she felt like her leg was going to “fall off” before hearing a “loud pop.”  “It was really surreal. I had no mind-body connection,” she told Insider, adding that her leg “wouldn’t move” for days after.

While Rodriguez said she still doesn’t know exactly what happened or the nature of her injury, she’s been managing it without medical interventions and finds that her leg is gradually healing on its own. She’s stretching and going to gym classes to aid her body along, but giving herself “grace” during the process, too.

Rodriguez said she’s “slowly building up my strength” and “loving my body for what it did, and that’s helped.” Rodriguez, who partnered with Orangetheory Fitness in support of their “Mother’s Other Day” movement that encourages moms to take the day after Mother’s Day (May 15) for their own self-care, said she’s still trying to find her own comfortable “balance” between her health, work, and tending to Charlie’s needs. 

For the actor, that includes regular fitness classes. But she thinks it’s “bananas” that there is pressure on mothers to get their old bodies “back” after giving birth, and it’s not one of her goals. 

“I don’t need my body to look the way it did. My body is new and it’s strong and it’s different. It’s life-giving,” she said, adding that she often looks in the mirror these days and tells herself, “I love you. Thank you for producing life. Thank you for now being able to stand.”

The “Jane the Virgin” star also credited the fitness company with providing the supportive, uplifting atmosphere she needs as a new mom “going through a body transformation.”

“I was shooting a TV show while pregnant. Seeing my body change and seeing it on screen, you have to have constant conversations with yourself so that you don’t go to negative spaces,” Rodriguez said.

In addition to giving all its employees a paid day off on May 15, Orangetheory is providing a free class for mothers on that day that can be booked via orangetheory.com or the Orangetheory app.

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