The pains of child-birth ushers in the joys of motherhood and sadly the ugliness of the belly area for many. Your belly has failed to return to its original state before pregnancy/child-birth. There are now visibly loose skin/flabs around your belly button area and worse, a bulge. You are now wondering why that is and if you can return to your sexy self again. You join a gym or get a trainer assuming its post baby weight. 4 weeks in, you’re making gains, lost inches everywhere but your belly isn’t responding. You are puzzled by this, so is your trainer. Your trainer revises your workout program to see if the results will be favorable by your next assessment. You on the other hand has lost some faith in your trainer and are now secretly doing ab workouts found on YouTube and Instagram. Another 4 weeks is here, lost inches everywhere but kept the belly bulge and loose skin. Frustration now sets in and hope vanishes.
What if I tell you that I know exactly what you are going through and how to fix it? What if I tell you that you are not battling this situation alone? What if I tell you that I can support you through every step of the journey as we work together to heal you?
I know the problem
…this is a case of abdominal muscle separation which occurs during pregnancy bulge. As the baby grows, it pushes against the linea alba (a sheath of tissues that joins the left and right abdominal muscle together) causing it to thin out and split. Once the linea alba splits, a gap is then formed between the two abdominal muscles which tends to widen as the bulge increases.
The problem with this condition is that the content of your stomach and the organs within are no longer held in place by your transverse abdominal muscles (deep abdominal muscle that straps your internal organs in place and supports the spine) and they tend to poke through the gap causing you discomfort and pain like delivery wasn’t painful enough. This affects a lot of things, starting from your body posture, activities of daily living, sleep and get-up posture. Another sad thing about this is though the gap closes up after childbirth in some people, about 30% of mothers experience this condition and worse still, the higher the number of pregnancies, the wider the gap if left untreated.
How do you know if you have Diastasis Recti?
To eliminate all doubts and misconceptions, a self-diagnosis will be best.
Step 1 – Lay down on a flat surface with your chest facing upward, tuck your feet under your knees at a 45° angle and place one hand below your head for a little support.
Step 2 – With the other hand, make sure your finger(s) is turned such that your knuckles are facing your pelvic region.
Step 3 – Lightly raise your head such that your chin touches your chest only when taking a measurement from a particular site
Step 4 – Place your finger(s);
Site 1: 1 – 2 inches above your navel
Site 2: On your navel
Site 3: 1 – 2 in below your navel
Step 5 – If a gap is noticed(then you have Diastasis Recti) between the left and right abdominal muscle, fill the gap with your finger until you feel the muscles tighten around your fingers
Note the finger gaps for each site, which should reduce around site 1 and 3. Once you know the finger separation size then we can go to work on closing that gap.
1000 crunches/sit-ups will not help you
Now that we are sure you have diastasis recti, be rest assured that your case is not that of just a belly binder/waist trainer, multiple crunches, 100 jumping Jacks, sit-ups, planks and all that. It’s not a case of your gym instructor intensifying your routines to slay that stubborn pouch, and I promise leaving your waist trainer on all day will do you no good either, actually it will do you more harm than good.
What you want to achieve is to close up the gap and not widen it. Your sit-ups and crunches and “yadiyadi” will only create a wider gap as the content of your stomach will keep pushing through the gap under the pressure of your workout creating an ugly pouch-like appearance that is just in everyone’s face.
Worse case is during your next pregnancy, your gap will increase and the chance of closing it will drastically slim down if you don’t fix it now.
Solution – We can help you
Of course I didn’t go through all this just to leave you with a sad face. Yes, there are methods that work when those crunches fail. I can get you started as quick as possible.
Based on my experience dealing with postpartum women, the success stories from my sweet mummy clients and the need to provide better awareness and support, a group has been created with the sole intent of helping postpartum women repair their diastasis recti, getting back their body tone and diva selves.
It’s a closed paid group called ‘The Diastasis Clinic’ which helps you understand your body, provide professional advice on healing diastasis recti and most importantly you benefit from a support group of people who are fighting the same battle as you. I’ll be providing both nutritional advise and a weekly well-structured workout plan to help suture your gap.