The Mummy Tummy –
Giving birth to a child is a great experience and one that can change your entire life altogether.
But the postpartum can be very stressful, as it comes with added responsibilities and numerous sleepless nights.
Most new moms suffers from common postpartum symptoms, and one of the most dreaded physical problem nearly one third of new moms go through is “Diastasis-Recti”.
Sadly enough many of them do not know that what they are suffering through, is a medical condition which is reversible if properly taken care of.
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What is Diastasis-Recti Abdominis?
In simple terms – If you are still being asked by your neighbours and friends that are you carrying a baby even if you have already given birth months before, then probably you are suffering with ‘Diastasis-Recti’.
This the rounded, protruding belly “pooch” that you are caring post delivering, because gap between left and right abdominal muscles did not shrink as it should do naturally after you give birth.
Diastasis-Recti, also referred to as ‘Divarication of the Recti’, DRA or ‘Rectus divarication’, is the widening of the gap between the 2 sections of the Rectus Abdominis (or 6 pack) abdominal muscle. The split occurs at the Linea Alba (connective tissue at body’s middle line).
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE DIASTASIS-RECTI?
In most pregnancies a little widening is pretty common and quite common. Most women see their line close to less than 2 finger widths spontaneously, but for many the tissue remains too wide, causing problems this occurs in about nearly 30% of all pregnancies.
– ABODOMINAL SEPARATION TEST
It is pretty easy to self-test for diastasis-recti –
- Lie on floor and bend your knees, and keep your feet flat on the floor
- Keep your left hand below your head and the other hand on your abdomen, with your fingertips across your middle line-parallel with your waistline at the level of your belly button.
- Gently press your fingertips into your abdomen, keep your abs relaxed
- Gently lift your upper body off the floor into a ‘crunch’
- Move your fingertips back and forth across your midline, feeling for the right and left sides of your rectus abdominis muscle. Test for separation at, above and below your belly button.
Note – Remember to exhale out while you lift your upper body.
DIFFERENT VARIATIONS OF DIASTASIS-RECTI?
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT?
Unfortunately it is not as easy to use some natural remedies to correct your diastasis-recti. Though there are simple specialized exercise which can heal small separation, but if your separation is bigger then you should consider taking professional help and sometimes you might need a physical therapist or even surgery.
Do not worry, very few only need to get surgery and most can correct their diastasis by following programs created by DRA experts and not just follow random youtube program.
We recommend you should try The Mutu System, a 12 Week Focused program, that addresses Diastasis as well as other postpartum pelvic issues.
DIASTASIS: WHAT TO AVOID?
It is easy to get misguided when it comes to exercises, especially during your pregnancy you should be extra careful. It is being proven that core strengthening exercise like crunches and sit-ups are a strict no if you want protect your abdominal separation.
Crunches, sit-ups, oblique (twists) combined with crunches; anything that ‘jack-knifes’ the body, by pivoting at the hip and placing strain on the abdominals – such as straight leg lifts or holds from lying on your back and similar Pilates moves, should be avoided.
Doing a standard crunch or sit-up is generally not recommended for postpartum women, especially when we know a diastasis-recti or DRA is present. This is because the way a crunch is generally performed has the effect of severely increasing intra abdominal pressure, pushing your organs outwards against or through the gap, and downwards onto the pelvic floor – directions you really don’t want your organs forcefully heading. (Source)
Researcher from Harvard, suggests that the traditional way of building core strength with exercises like sit-ups and crunches are hard on the back and not effective anyway (Harvard Health agrees).
Should you use a splint, belly binder, or abdominal wrap to bring a diastasis together?
Postpartum abdominal binding has been traditional practice in many parts of the world for generations.
Postpartum belly binding has been a traditional practice in almost every part of the world, and it is still being done. Supporting the abdomen during and immediately after pregnancy is certainly helpful in some cases if use correctly, it also creates awareness of the abs and gives some lower back support.
However, wrapping a splint is not going to simply put your abs together also if you believe you can simply wrap it tight enough so that your sides will heal and stay there then it is not the case. Don’t use a wrap or splint as a substitute for actually engaging the right muscles… otherwise you’re going to wearing that splint for a very long time.
Remember the diastasis is caused by excess loading and pressure within the abdominal and pelvic ‘canister’. A pressure that your body can’t withstand as it should. Wrapping it up in itself won’t fix it, it will just squidge your abdominal mass in a different direction (think of a tube of toothpaste squeezed in the middle…) You need to correct alignment and re-engage an entire SYSTEM of muscles and fascia to put your tummy back where you want it for the long term.
Introducing – The MuTu System
MuTu System is for women who want their bodies to look, feel and function better after having a baby. Even if it’s a long time since having a baby. They want a core and a pelvic floor that work, that feel right and that do their job. It’s for women who want to lose weight after childbirth and keep it off. It’s the definitive, medically endorsed Mummy Tummy Workout System, created by postpartum fitness expert, Wendy Powell.
An international best-selling, industry acclaimed, award winning, holistic, realistic and supportive exercise and recovery program for Moms that truly works.
A proven, truly effective, tried and tested solution for ‘mummy tummy’, diastasis-recti, pelvic floor weakness and core that isn’t as functional or strong as you’d like it to be.
Is it too late to reduce my diastasis?
If you think it is too late to start repair your diastasis, then worry not, engaging your core abdominis muscle and learning to re-align and strengthen your core and pelvis can be done at any stage of postpartum and will improve the gap. Do not try to repair it on your own, instead get expert help like The Mutu System.