Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Diastasis Recti

How to Prevent & Recover from Diastasis Recti During & After Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a tough nine months, but even when it's relatively routine and easy, it's still bound
to wreak havoc on your body. Although many women will bring their babies to term without any major complications, most new mothers report experiencing one or more bodily changes lasting longer than the average recovery period.
One of the most common and under-discussed post-pregnancy symptoms women experience is diastasis recti. This is the separation of the abdominal muscles in a way that the midline is left vulnerable and exposed. This separation is required in order to allow the baby to grow, but also results in a more prominent pooch after pregnancy, persistent lower back pain and some degree of urinary incontinence.

A good majority of women see their diastasis recti improve naturally once their hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels, however, about a third of all women who have delivered simply don't spring back and the gap remains.

The best treatment for diastasis recti is prevention. Working on your ab strength before pregnancy and engaging in appropriate abdominal exercises throughout your term will allow you to recover faster. However, if it’s too late for prevention, there are still plenty of things you can do.

While many fitness magazines have recommended ab exercises to correct this condition, crunches, sit ups and planks can make abdominal separation even more severe. Using force to push the belly outward, for example during a sit-up, when lifting heavy objects, or when in the bathroom, can actually make this matter much worse. Even standing up suddenly from a lying position can be detrimental for someone with ab separation. Instead of focusing on traditional ab workouts geared toward pre-pregnancy abs, you'll benefit from engaging in gentle movements that use your breath to guide you. You’ll recognize a quality at-home workout programs designed for new moms because it pays close attention to avoid traditional ab exercises in favor of smaller, more deliberate movements.

While your abs are in recovery, practice sensible movements all around, such as rolling over on your side and propping yourself on your elbows when getting out of bed. Additionally, using a brace to protect your abdomen during this time will keep your vulnerable abdominal parts protected and support your lower back. However, be mindful that wearing a brace will not result in automatic abdominal repair. Simply telling the muscles where you'd like them by holding them in place will unfortunately not cause them to grow back together.
For that, you'll need to engage in appropriate diastasis recti exercises, designed to repair post-pregnancy muscles. Once the connective tissues are healed, engaging in deep core exercises with yoga or pilates can improve this situation even further. Using your finger or a soft measuring tape, measure how far apart your abdominal muscles are today and whether or not they are improving with time and exercise.

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