[Hi guys! I’m a prenatal/postnatal corrective exercise specialist. I have a passion to educate moms on becoming fit from the inside out. A lot of training methods (for pregnancy and postpartum) today are actually becoming outdated and it is going to take women like Brittany getting the word out! You can have a more enjoyable pregnancy and you can prevent aches & pains in your body. I’m so excited she asked me to do this with her!]
Since having my daughter I have felt it necessary to dig deeper into missing aspects of postpartum care – full, complete education.
Of all the reading I did prior to my daughters arrival, all the classes we attended (prenatal), doctor’s appointments and coffee dates with friend’s who started their families before us, there was little focus on physical changes and lots on life changes.
Why do people shy away from talking about the physical changes that occur after pregnancy? In many cases, these “small” post issues can be corrected and prevented with proper education and care.
The thought of a Diastasis Recti (DR) never occurred to me (how could it, I can barely pronounce its name!) until I started researching during my maternity leave postpartum issues and through my google searching I became aware of this concept. I thought something was “off” when my stomach would bulge a bit whenever I tried to do planks or crunches. A few people told me it would take time and that I was likely fine. After 3-4 months postpartum, I had a fitness professional check my separation and sure enough it was almost 3 fingers wide. Too many, they might see this as moderate, but as a result I have learned to modify the activities that I do, including the way I breath and my posture (apparently, incredibly important factors in a strong core). It took 19 months to really seek out professional care and I am now on track. For me, the longer term impact is what I am most concerned about, impact of another pregnancy or just generally aging.
Insert Olivia ….
Brittany is correct. Women are not being taught about the importance of posture and breathing. If you watch a baby move and breathe, you will see them breathing with their diaphragm…plus their posture is great and they move correctly. We stress breath (with our chests) and this actually puts our body in a fight or flight mode, can create neck pain, and even numbness in our fingers. All the sitting we do gets us out of alignment and we end up with poor posture.
I say all of this because Diastasis Recti can not only be brought on by pregnancy, but also posture, misalignment, diets, constant sucking in of the abs, or even just letting your bellies hang out.
If you have DR, I don’t like to give a blanket answer for healing diastasis, but the two most important things any pregnant mom or new mom can do (even if you don’t have DR):
- learn to breathe correctly activating the transverse abdominal, pelvic floor, and diaphragm all at the same time; and,
- work on your posture while sitting and standing (weight in heels, butt in neutral position, ribs over pelvis, shoulders down, and head in neutral position).
If you are pregnant, this will help you have an easier pregnancy and more enjoyable labor. You will also be strengthening your inner core, which will help prevent and eliminate aches or pains. And don’t forget…help with your Diastasis! It all starts with educating ourselves.
If you’re reading this, then you’re on the right track and I encourage you to dig deeper.
If you want to dig deeper into the information provided by Olivia visit http://oliviacagle.com/diastasis/