Best way to heal diastasis recti postpartum
Diastasis recti (diastasis of the rectus abdominis) is a condition that often affects most women after delivery.
It results from the outstretching of the linea alba (the fascia at the center of the rectus abdominis) due to enlargement in the abdominal regions to accommodate fetal growth. It is the separation of the rectus abdominis muscle which is commonly known as the “six-pack muscles.”
It’s that baby pooch that refuses to go away even after your baby (and pregnancy weight) does. Pregnancy causes the underlying connective tissues of the abdomen to stretch and enlarge, this makes the rectus abdominis pull apart and separate.
It can be frustrating to have a post-baby pooch after your baby is out and you keep getting that look of “when did she get pregnant again”. Methods of healing diastasis recti include;
Using exercise to heal diastasis recti can be a little tricky because there are certain exercises that could worsen it. An example is an abdominal crunch.
Keep away from any exercise that strains your midline or makes your tummy to bulge, examples of such exercise are sit-ups, backbends, and planks.
Abstain from heavy lifting and exercises that require you to twist your spine or pull your abdominal wall against gravity.
The right exercises for diastasis recti are exercises that make you pull your abdominal muscles in. To heal diastasis recti with exercise, it is important to do exercises that build your core and pelvic muscles.
Core compression involves squeezing your core to draw your belly button in and upward to your spine, exhaling forcefully at the same time.
Core compression is done by sitting upright while bending your knees to a 90-degree position.
Lengthen your spine and make sure your ribs do not push forward. Bring your hands to your stomach and breathe. Let out a tiny forceful breath as you simultaneously squeeze your abs and pelvic into your spine.
Your belly will flatten towards your spine as you breathe out. Exhale slowly. Repeat the procedure slowly in a controlled pulse rhythm and make sure to breathe out anytime you work your core.
Triceps kickbacks – Hold a light dumbbell in each hand. Keep your feet hip-wide with your knees slightly bent.
Keep hips at a slightly forward position, keep elbows back to make your hands be at your waist. That will be your starting position, now place your palms to face each other and straighten your arm behind you while you exhale forcefully.
Pull your belly button in and up toward your spine. Bend your elbow and return to the starting position. Continue for 20reps and two sets.
Belly breathing – Lie on your back, take a deep breath and allow your chest and belly to completely inflate. Slowly and forcefully exhale while you draw in your abdominal wall.
Postpartum exercise programs
Some exercise programs have been specifically designed to help Moms heal diastasis recti.
These exercise programs are to ensure that diastasis recti rehabilitating exercises are carried out properly. They include;
The Mutu System is a medically recommended program that heals diastasis recti by strengthening your core and pelvic floor and makes you shed excess weight.
Tuppler technique– this technique is a research-based exercise program that effectively heals weakened underlying connective tissues making them stronger and shallow until they completely come together.
Dia method involves modified exercise that helps you get your pre-baby belly back.
Surgery can be used to heal severe diastasis recti, especially for women who don’t plan to get pregnant again. This involves stitching back together the abdominal muscles along the midline.
Going about with a post-pooch can be really frustrating. But now that you have it and you plan to do something about it.
You should find these exercises programs really helpful. Meanwhile, look after yourself by eating healthy to prevent weight gain, and be kind to yourself. And try to be patient as healing, unfortunately, does not happen overnight.