Postnatal Wellness: Diastasis Recti

I posted this earlier on my FB page, but I feel that it needs the attention everywhere. Postnatal care is SO important, but most new moms don’t know where to even begin. The number of women who have never heard of diastasis recti is shocking. And what is even scarier is: the number of people (men can have DR too!) who DO know about DR and just sweep it aside is growing.

Peeing while you workout is not a badge of honor folks. It’s a sign that something serious can be going on inside of you.

What is diastasis recti? DR is abdominal separation. It most often occurs during pregnancy.

What are the effects of DR? The rectus abdominus (your outermost muscles) support the back and organs. When they separate, the connective tissue then becomes the support system for your back and organs. Thin connective tissue, unlike thick muscles, is far from a good support system for the back and organs. Effects of DR are most commonly back pain and displacement of your organs which causes gastrointestinal disturbances such as bloating and constipation. The displacement of organs will also cause poor posture. Umbilical hernia is another effect, and diastasis may also cause pelvic floor problems such as incontinence and prolapses.

diastasis_recti_illustration3Which means: Letting DR go un-rehabbed can be extremely harmful.

Not sure if you have DR? This piece from Girls Gone Strong (found here) is a great way to self-check. Still not sure? Reach out to an area physio/physical therapist who can help. They can check you, evaluate your separation if you have any, and they can also work with you on breathing exercises and moves that will begin the process of repairing.

At VanSpice Fitness, pre and postnatal training is my specialty. If you can’t find a PT in your area to help you out and you want guidance on checking, or if you find you do have DR and are looking for ways to properly repair it, please contact me at vanspicefit@gmail.com.

You can also get a better understanding of DR from Mama Lion Strong (found here) with Jennifer’s blog post on the Healthy Habits Happy Moms blog page.

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