Following delivery and the "all clear" from the OBGYN, most women are looking to get back into a fitness routine to lose the baby weight, especially along their midsection or tummy.
Unfortunately, when getting cleared from the doctor there isn't much information or guidelines on returning to an exercise routine. A quick google search can tell you to stay away from traditional crunches, sit-up's, intense abdominal exercise machines, double leg raises, or planking exercises. But did you know there are also daily activities that could be making your diastasis recti worse or even prevent you or delay your healing???
1. You may already be doing exercises to heal your Diastasis recti, but if you continue to sit with poor posture, it could take longer to heal or close the gap. When you sit with a nice long posture (imagine a string pulling you up from the top of your head), you can engage the deep core muscles better and therefore strengthen them in a functional position, which is what you ultimately want!
2. Bearing down when using the bathroom causes an increase in abdominal pressure. An increase in pressure pushes out on your stomach and can cause an even greater separation. Try your best to relax everything, especially your pelvic floor, when using the ladies room. Try to elevate your feet - a small step stool will do the trick, to open the pelvic canal. Once you are relaxed and the pelvic canal is open, peristalsis (aka involuntary contractions) of the intestinal track will do the job for you, no pushing necessary!
3. A HUGE component of healing diastasis recti for the long term is improving your posture. Not just when you're sitting, but with other functional movements such as when holding and carrying your baby. Leaning back once again causes increase outward pressure on those weak abdominal muscles which could make the separation worse.
4. While wearing a baby has it's benefits (hello two free hands!), it could increase the separation of the rectus abdominis. Additional strain and work on already weakened muscles can also create or worsen common problems associated with a diastasis such as low back pain and pelvic floor issues.
5. If you have diastasis recti and you are reading this article, than you have done your fair share of internet searches for what exercises to do and you know that sit-ups or crunches are a big NO! So then why replicate it when getting out of bed?? Leading with your head and upper torso to get out of bed, mimics the same crunching motion you are supposed to be avoiding! Do yourself a favor and roll over to your side and then proceed to get up.
Want to know more about how to heal your diastasis recti? Schedule an appointment today. Help is just a click or phone call away!
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