Diastasis recti? What is that?
When I was pregnant with my first baby, my midwife mentioned it in passing and I didn't really think much of it. I should have looked it up or asked more questions but I was too overwhelmed already... All my midwife told me about it was that I should roll out of bed instead of sit up straight. I didn't really understand what she was trying to tell me but as the pregnancy progressed, I started rolling out of bed instead of sitting up straight.
But by then the damage had been done.
What is a diastasis recti?
A diastasis recti is a separation of your abdominal muscles...specifically your transverse abdominis which is the muscle underneath your abs that acts like a corset to your gut. The transverse abdominis wraps around your stomach and connects to your spine. It is the muscle that holds you all together. The transverse abdominis naturally separates during pregnancy but it is supposed to heal back together. However, if you do the wrong movements with your core during pregnancy, it can aggravate it and open it more, making it harder for your body to heal. This is what I had done...I had done sit-ups, crunches, and other exercises that I thought would be good for my stomach during the beginning of my pregnancy but were actually the very worst things I could have done! If only I had known!
My diastasis recti after my second baby was very deep and about 3 fingers wide.
When you have a diastasis recti, it also generally results in a weak pelvic floor. So the two issues generally travel together because the transverse abdominis works with the pelvic floor and the diaphragm like a vacuum...and a weak transverse abdominis means that it isn't functioning the way it is supposed to to help your pelvic floor.
Want a flatter stomach?
When you have a diastasis recti, you may also feel like you can never lose enough weight to get rid of the belly bulge...well, it isn't all weight that is a problem. The key is strengthening and healing your natural corset so that it will hold you in!
When you are pregnant you naturally have a diastasis recti...but if you do things to aggravate it and open it more, then it doesn't always heal back together after you have had your baby. This is what I had done...I had done sit-ups, crunches, and other exercises that I thought would be good for my stomach during the beginning of my pregnancy but were actually the very worst things I could have done! If only I had known!
How I began healing my diastasis recti
My first step to healing my diastasis recti was doing the tummy safe exercises on Fit2b. I learned that not all exercises were safe or even profitable for strengthening my ab muscles and healing my diastasis recti. The beauty of Fit2b was that I didn't have to know all the exercises to avoid, I could just focus on doing the exercises she taught correctly since every single one of her fitness videos is safe for people with diastasis recti! During the exercises, she also taught me better ways to move my body throughout the day to protect my diastasis and help it have a chance to heal.
It was life-changing. My view towards how exercise was supposed to feel and my view towards my post-partum body changed 180 degrees. I learned more about how my body should move during exercise and in my daily life than I had ever learned from any other exercise program.