Friday, October 24, 2014

Do You Have Diastasis Recti? {31 Days of Postpartum Health & Healing}




Lower hip and back pain? Is your belly still pooching out even months/years after giving birth? There's an answer.

Diastasis recti is a common problem among women who have been pregnant and is when the right and left rectus abdominus muscles separate. This is a completely normal experience that happens in every pregnancy as our amazing bodies expand to make room for growing baby, but the problems come after pregnancy, when the abdominal wall is weak and the muscles do not come back together. In subsequent pregnancies, lower back pain can be more severe and can even lead to poor presentation of the baby.

Check Yourself for Diastasis recti

There's a self-test you can do to check for DR. Watch this video on Fit2Be from Kelly Dean of the Tummy Team (a local diastasis recti expert and physical therapist) to check yourself.




If you do find that you have it, don't worry! There are exercises you can do to bring your abs back together. But in the meantime, do NOT perform the exercises listed below.  You have been told these traditional core trainers lead to a flat tummy - nope! They make diastasis worse!
  • Crunches of ANY kind
  • Oblique twists 
  • Pilates 100s
  • Plank
  • Reverse leg lowers 
From my own experience, I ordered a prenatal yoga DVD off of Amazon and, after learning about diastasis after the birth of my twins, was somewhat shocked that the instructor recommended a plank position. So be aware that not all instructors know that the above exercises are not recommended.

Healing Diastasis recti

According to Fit2Be's informative diastasis handout, "The injury is improved by correcting alignment, strengthening the transverse, utilizing upright activities, and discontinuing any exercise or activity in which you cannot keep your transverse abdominus actively engaged (ribs down, navel in). For women, proper prenatal core training and postnatal rehabilitation of the abdominal wall can effectively and non-surgically correct this condition."

Download and print out these "Exercises for Everywhere" and check out Fit2Be for diastasis safe exercises - perhaps join their monthly membership program! I am currently participating in their 5x5 program.

Fit2Be is also offering readers a 30% discount on a year membership that ends July of 2015 using the code bohomama. 

Next up we'll talk belly binding!

Resources:

Diastasis recti printable from Fit2Be
Kelly Dean's the Tummy Team online course
Diastasis Recti Test + Exercises: What Works and What Doesn't from MuTu System





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