I had a lot of problems during my postpartum recovery. I felt weak and my body was having trouble healing.
I was so excited for the arrival of my little one, and when he finally came, I was so miserable I could barely enjoy him.
It's only recently (nearly 3 years later) that I finally figured out why I was having so many issues with my body.
I Kept Getting the Brush Off
It's called Diastasis Recti, and apparently, it's really common postpartum. This completely baffles me because neither my midwife or my doctor had any real information for me on this.
After my first baby I knew something was wrong with my stomach because I had a three-inch gap between my abs. I could feel my "guts" underneath. My midwife kinda brushed it off and simply stated it was normal and not to worry about it.
During my pregnancy with my second baby, I could feel it stretching worse in the last couple months. I had an OB-gyn at that time, and when I brought it up with her, her solution was that I could have a C-section and she could fix it with surgery. (Ha! Uhh... Thanks, but no thanks.) I had resolved to just live with it.
The physical Issues of Diastasis Recti
I lost all of my baby weight in the first couple of weeks postpartum, but instead of my pretty sleek tummy, I was left with a stretched out flabby sack that just felt so strange to me.
I had to wear an abdominal support girdle for weeks just to sit up out of bed on my own.
I had been so strong before having a baby, but after my core muscles just didn't work anymore. I couldn't carry as much as I could before, I had somehow just became weaker.
I didn't know that my mommy tummy was causing other physical issues. Things like peeing every time I sneeze, and constant back pain.
I thought this was all just apart of my life now. I had no idea I didn't have to live with my new "normal."
The Diastasis Recti Test
To test if you have diastasis Recti you should check out this video and see if you have the same problem. It could very well be the reason you are having so many problems with your postpartum recovery. I have a pretty severe gap, but slowly working on fixing it.
How to treat your Diastasis Recti?
A lot of doctors will tell you the only way to treat Diastasis Recti is with surgery. This isn't true.
I honestly believe that they just don't know that there are other options out there. My OB-gyn was a great and understanding doctor.
But doctors don't know everything. I had to explain to my doctors the benefits of delayed cord clamping, as she hadn't heard of that either. This sounds crazy to me, but I get it, they have so much information to learn constantly, that it's difficult to keep up with everything.
The good news is you can treat your diastasis recti with specific exercises, but it's a bit tricky.
You can't just start doing sit-ups or other core exercises. These exercises can surprisingly make a bad situation worse. This article explains in detail why these can be so detrimental to your healing process.
But, there are specific exercises you CAN do that can help the problem. Here are a few exercises that you do:
These are exercises from the MUTU program which is an awesome program designed to help you heal your abdominal muscles after having a baby.
If you're wondering if you have diastasis recti you should take the test. Knowing what you're dealing with will help you to solve the problem quicker, and more effectively. Getting you back to your stronger self in no time!