So you’ve tried so hard to get rid of your post-baby pouch, you’ve done intense abs exercises, changed your diet, changed personal trainers and even done liposuction but your bulge looks healthily tough. Maybe… just maybe you did all these without much of positive results and have tried all tips and trends whatsoever, only to see your own frustration in the mirror.
The Problem Might Just be You…
- You Started With Too Much: Although, women (previously active ones) are able to return to exercising a few days after giving birth, doing too much or doing intense abdominal exercises can cause further complications. During pregnancy, the ligaments holding the pelvic bones and muscles together, including the abdominal muscles, loosens and these requires gentle and targeted exercise that aids recovery and muscles strengthening. Once, a postpartum woman start abdominal exercises hastily and intensely, she can have urinary incontinence (unable to control urine leakage) and cause her pelvic organ to prolapse (slip downward). And for child birth through C-Section, exercising too soon and intensely can cause endometritis (uterine infection).
- You Have Diastasis Recti
- You Have The Wrong Binder: During your postpartum recovery phase, the use of a binder makes your exercises much more effective as it provide support and act as a splint for your weakened abdominal muscles. Individuals with Diastasis Recti of 2 fingers separation and above, are advised to use a binder. If your binder does not provide ease of compression and support to improve your postnatal posture, if the materials are not breathable and does not have double pull to bring the left and right abdominal muscle closer together, if the binder does not provide support for your weak Pelvic organs; then it’s the wrong one. Because of the pressure placed on the midsection area by the binder, the upper and lower region following the binder is also pressured, hence making your already weak Pelvic floor weaker. Getting a binder that supports the pelvic region is quite important.
- Your Posture Is Wrong: As a way to compensate for a weak Pelvic floor and TVA (transverse abdominal) muscles, your body assumes a posture that accommodates your daily routine since they are unable to cope with your body or external weight, and because your core muscles are weak, your rounded shoulder and sunken chest doesn’t do justice to that smart look you crave so much. If your back is overly ached and your tailbone tucked underneath, your pelvis alignment is poor and the result is a weakened TVA (important muscles for a flatter tummy) due to increased pressure on both your rectus abdominal muscles and pelvic floor. The right binder will help improve your posture and reduce your back pain.
- You Chose The Wrong Trainer: if your personal trainer is not certified in Postpartum Fitness or is inexperienced in dealing with Diastasis Recti repair, you will only do more harm to your condition. It is not the intensity of the exercise that matters but doing the right exercise. Healing your diastasis is not a 2 weeks job, it is a slow and progressive process that requires a balance in exercise (50%) and nutrition (50%); so ensure you choose your guider carefully.
- Your Diet Sucks: this is one aspect of your healing phase that should not be compromised. Eating the right food that are rich in protein and collagen stimulating nutrients will help improve your recovery pace, and provide the needed nutrients and strength for your weakened muscles. If these nutrients are in short supply and your carbs intake remains robust then your recovery will crawl and your fat weight will not get any lesser. See The Answer To Your Loose Skin!
Do It Right!
- Consult with your doctor to get a “go ahead” to exercise.
- Start slowly, don’t over do it.
- Increase your baby roller pace, jog around the block and indulge in a 30minute exercise of moderate intensity about 2 -3 days a week for a start.
- Eat and drink right.
- Assume a proper posture, ensure you brace your core, keep your chest up and try to keep a mental note to tuck your tummy and groin in while you stand or sit. Be Your New Model!
- Lift lightly, and ease into it progressively or you might over stretch your core muscles.
- Be sure you are ready; try jumping 20 times on a full bladder, if you don’t feel your organs bounce, or feel discomfort or urine leakage, then it’s a “game on”.
- Get enough rest, it will do your healing process a lot of good, and
- Pay a listening ear to your body (but not out of laziness).
Visit “Your Diastasis Clinic” (a closed group) on Facebook to join the community of postpartum women that are working on healing their Diastasis Recti. Workout programs and diet advice are made available on the group.