Will you try something with me?
Hold out your left hand in front of you.
Now straighten your fingers and hold them up, while squeezing them gently together.
Take the pointer finger from your right hand and place it alongside the other four fingers you are holding up. Five finger widths right?
That my friends, is how far apart my rectus abdominus muscles are separated from this wonderful thing we call pregnancy and childbirth. Scary thing is, you might have it too.
I had no idea I had Diastasis Recti “DR” (but I did know that I still looked 5 months pregnant) until about 18 months after the birth of my second son and about 6 months into a gruelling “get back in shape” program via a local bootcamp class. I had had great post-natal care (well, minus the fact that I wasn’t checked for DR) and I had lost the baby weight and then some, and was feeling fit and strong. One of the trainers had commented on my great progress, with the exception of my rounded belly and suggested I cut out sugar and dairy – “maybe it was bloating or my diet?”
Yah….. that didn’t help….and damn did I miss cheese!!
Then one day, someone at class innocently asked me…. ‘When are you due?” <insert loud gasp here>. Little did I know that the harder I worked at class to rectify the problem with my rectii, I was actually doing more damage, making my belly even rounder, and needed to stop – PRONTO. Was this a free pass to NOT have to do any core work for the rest of my life? Hellz no, but I certainly needed to learn to do the RIGHT core work.
So – think you might have DR? Get checked by a physio, doctor or post-natal fitness specialist like Kim Vopni – Fitness Doula . I was thoroughly assessed by Kim recently and was very impressed at her level of pelvic floor knowledge from “leakage issues” to “DR” (yes, ladies – you know what I mean about leakage). After the assessment, Kim set me up on a gentle program designed to re-train my core, from the very basics (core breathing), to engaging my transverse abdominus, to releasing surrounding muscles that can affect core function. With her encouraging words and wellness plan I hope to see improvements in about 6 months – such great news to hear for someone who thought her only option was an invasive corrective surgery! Stay tuned!
by Christine Nielsen – mom of two, NOT pregnant with a third – its the DR, and partner in mom inc. MOVEMENT