Diastasis Recti pregnancy issues?
I have been asked by a few of my readers about post pregnancy diastasis problems. After talking to sufferers of this condition, I can see how this can be a concern for most women.
Because this problem is viewed as a cosmetic issue by many medical professionals, it is largely overlooked and it is for this reason that many women do not even know that they even have this problem.
I believe that this is not just a cosmetic problem as “diastasis recti” means, the separation of muscle. In the case of diastasis recti after pregnancy, this is a separating of the abdominal muscles.
If you know that you have this problem, there are steps you can take to fix it. In extreme cases, a doctor may advise that surgery is the only way. This is okay but it would be a last resort for me.
Can I start to fix this problem at any time?
I know that a lot of mothers who are just finding out that they have this condition would have had several children for several years, and hence, think that it is too late for them.
This is simply not the case. It’s never too late to start to develop or train any muscle in the human body. However old or aged you think you are, you are good enough to start.
What NOT to do!
It is very important that you select your exercises VERY carefully. If you go into the gym or get your yoga mat out and start doing big sets of crunches and sit ups, you will be in danger of making your recti split worse!
So do not rush into starting any old abdominal or “6 pack” routine. There are certain types of exercise that you must do to help you.
WHAT TO DO
There are physical products out there that some people use and I’m pretty sure that they work alright. You can use a “Splint,” for instance. This is a kind of wrap around piece of material that pulls your stomach muscles into place. I am aware of a few programs that focus on this kind of item for fixing the problem.
However, I think that it is more important to use correct abdominal exercises rather than relying solely on a “third-party object” to help you out.
This usually always means that if you only use an abdominal splint, as soon as you stop using the splint, your problem may just re-occur. By all means, get yourself a splint as it can only improve the recovery process. But don’t rely on it.
You can pick up an abdominal splint fairly cheaply from Amazon here.
One of the most important things that you can learn to do is to learn to engage your abdominal muscles and simply be aware of them. If you are reading this, I’m sure that you have heard of “pelvic floor exercises” or “Kegel exercises”?
What I’m going to show you is a similar exercise, but, this time, with your abdominals (or tummy muscles). If you can learn to engage this muscle group, you can then start to develop and fix your Diastasis Recti pregnancy issue.
Learn to engage your abs…
I feel that the easiest way to explain this is:
Sit on a tall backed chair with your back flat against the back rest and your head positioned so that your view is parallel to the floor.
Relax your arms so that they rest comfortably by your sides or on your lap.
Take a deep breath, and, as you breathe out, suck your tummy in so that your belly button moves closer to your spine.
As you are breathing out, pretend to cough slightly, and your abs will engage.
This is the key to the types of exercise that you should do. Some trainers refer to it as a “tummy tuck” or “tummy vacuum.”
Now that you know how to engage your abs, you can do it without coughing. Do this whenever you remember to do it; you can perform this movement and engage your abs while you are watching your favourite TV show or even while you are at work.
The more that you engage your abs, the more comfortable that you will become with this process and the stronger they will get.
Here are a few exercises that you can try:
Besides just finding your abs and engaging them, you can do several light exercises. But before performing these exercises at all, it is a good idea to go to your physician or doctor and ask them if it is safe for you to follow this kind of routine. Remember that everyone is different.
#1 Lying Tummy Tuck
Lay on your back with your hands rested over your navel and your knees bent with your feet flat on the floor.
As you breath out, suck your stomach muscles inward to pull your belly button closer to your spine.
Hold for 5 seconds, and then release.
That completes 1 rep.
Do 2 – 3 sets of 15 – 50 reps (You can add more sets and reps as you get stronger, so, if you are new to this, I’d advise that you start off with the minimum number of sets and reps).
#2 All 4 Tummy Tuck
Get into a position where you are on your hands and knees. It is very important that your back is flat and you are looking directly at the floor.
As you breathe out, pull your tummy muscles inward so that your belly button moves closer to your spine, making sure that your back stays flat.
Hold this position for 5 seconds, and then release.
This counts for 1 rep.
You should complete 2–3 sets of 15 – 50 reps (As your strength increases, you can increase the number of sets and reps).
#3 Kneeling Tummy Tuck
Get into a position so that the front part of your lower legs and feet are in contact with the floor and you are sitting back on your heels.
Rest your palms on the fronts of your upper legs, keep your back flat and pick a point on a wall or in the distance that leaves your gaze parallel to the floor.
Whilst breathing out, suck your abdominal muscles inward to pull your belly button in. You should make sure that your back stays flat and your eyes stay fixed so that your head does not move. Hold this position for at least 5 seconds, and then release as you breathe out.
This is 1 full rep.
You should do 2 – 3 sets of 15 – 50 reps (You can add more sets and reps as you get stronger, so if you are new to this, I’d recommend that you start off at the lower end of the sets & reps scale).
This is only a further progression and you should probably not start off with this exercise.
Position yourself so that you are resting your body weight on your inner forearms/elbows and toes. Keep your head straight and your back flat (It is a good idea to check your position in a mirror as it is easy to slip out of this position).
Suck your stomach muscles inward to engage your abs, and hold the position.
You can start with sets of 10 seconds but the longer that you do this, the stronger your abdominals will become and the longer that you will be able to hold the position for.
It is always good to keep in mind that consistency is the key to success when it comes to any kind of muscle or fitness development, so stick with it and you will do just fine.
This is a good start towards fixing your Diastasis Recti pregnancy issues. I would always advise that, before starting anything like this, you should consult your doctor or physician. These guys will be able to give you the green light on the exercises.
I hope that this information has helped you and I look forward to any feedback via the comments box below.
Thanks, and good luck!