Let’s talk about having a post-baby “mommy pooch”! Exciting stuff, right?! Well, I had planned on writing all about my journey with Diastasis Recti last year, before my last pregnancy. You know, about how bad my separation was after giving birth to full-term twins, how discouraged I felt, and what I did to help heal my separation.
Well, I got pregnant again and my separation quickly came back. I’m assuming it was due to the muscle-relaxing hormones during pregnancy, as I noticed the gap getting worse even before I began showing. My pregnant belly quickly became quite large, which I know was because my core didn’t have the strength to hold it in! So…I kept putting off writing this post because I knew that I was still in the thick of this problem, and that I’d have a long journey of healing post-pregnancy.
So here I am, two and a half weeks postpartum, and I’m feeling quite discouraged about the size of my diastasis. I’ve done a ton of research on this topic, and it is so extensive that I absolutely do NOT feel like an expert on it! I’ve learned that diastasis recti is much more complicated and whole-body-connected that it’s not simply about doing a set of key exercises to heal it. The separation of the rectus abdominals is a symptom of a bigger problem – it’s not the problem itself! The issue is the inner abdominal pressure, which causes the abdominals to separate! It is very common after pregnancy, but even women who haven’t had babies and men can also suffer from this separation.
For mamas, this condition is extremely discouraging because it leaves us with that unsightly “mama pooch” that makes us look pregnant and like we need to do more dieting. In reality, no matter how thin we may be, if we have a significant diastasis, our bellies will most likely protrude. There are also many other side affects (like back pain for me) of having a separation, which you’ll read about below in the infographic.
Here is what it looks like for me, at 2 weeks postpartum. The pic on the left is my core relaxed, and the pic on the right is my core engaged. Big difference, huh?!
So what are my plans to correct this problem? Last time around, I completed the Mutu System, which was extremely helpful! It’s not a commonly known or discussed issue, and most OB’s aren’t very educated on how to hep their patients heal from it. I found that I was on my own to research and create a plan of recovery. This time around, I have begun doing the exercises outlined in the Mutu Core program (very simple, and all about finding and engaging the core, and moving with the body in proper alignment). Once I get cleared to exercise, I will begin physical therapy at a pelvic floor rehab center here in Kansas City – a place I’ve heard great reviews about! I’ll definitely be documenting my progress here along the way!
How is this for crazy?! This is my core engaged while laying on my back!! It’s hard to even FIND any muscle there, the two sides are so pulled apart from each other!!
Here is great info about Diastasis Recti, if this is new to you: