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14 Responses to “All About Diastasis Recti. The Low Down!”

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  1. RE: no attempts at abdominal exercise of any kind

    Diastasis recti can be rehabbed with proper exercise.

    Women with diastasis can and in fact should do basic abdominal compression exercises to strengthen the deepest abdominal muscle, the Transverse Abdominis, or TvA, as soon as possible after delivery.

    After the TvA developed adequate strength, then women should start on specialized postpartum abdominal exercises that train the TvA to function as a stabilizer.

  2. Twinpossible

    Well put…Thank you for adding your obvious vast experience, on this topic, and also your help in provide further comfort to those, who feel surgery is the only way!

    xoxo Shelly

  3. I agree with Helen, that it is not necessarily correct to advise ‘no abdominal exercise’. In fact, learning to engage & strengthen the TVA & pelvic floor muscles is *essential* in closing a diastasis & regaining strength, tone & stability. Binding can be useful for relieving discomfort in extreme cases (4 fingers or more) but should be sued for this only & not as a substitute for strengthening your core muscles. Otherwise as soon as you take it off – all the stabilization goes with it! Diastasis recti is the most commented-on topic on my website & I get queries from all over the world – it’s an area where there is so much misinformation & confusion, so well done for writing all about it & your experiences!

  4. Twinpossible

    I mean no core work during the first 6 weeks postpartum, and after 12 weeks of pregnancy, in the way of crunches, and hard core strength training, of the abs. I personally did crunches on the yoga ball and noticed a ‘Bulge’, later to be discovered as a diastasis, at only 16 wks., and at THAT time, I just assumed it was something funky from pregnancy, baby parts, lol..something. I was clueless!

    I was not large in the belly at all then, so no reason to have developed such a diastasis at that point. That is why I wish I had personally avoided ALL ab exercises, and played it safe, and had I known the possibility, I would have. I thought I was helping myself keep fit, and ended up creating a diastasis, that wasn’t there prior. BUT there is a difference between good and bad exercise, and I was doing the latter. Most preggos don’t know about it. Regular crunches are actually bad in general. They have to be modified! (How ever told us that?)

    I got angry at myself over creating the diastasis, I believe all on my own, that is why I say, better to forgo, so you can avoid the pain and worry I went through, which was terrible. (Though that is just from exercise, diastasis can be formed from a large belly, or even a hard labor.) I just knew I hadn’t had it prior.) That is just to be 100% safe, it isn’t from physical exertion.

    There are many deemed ‘safe’ ab exercises, but I never did any ab work in my other pregnancies and never had a diastasis, so to ME, it’s not telling people not to, but to take caution, and use their own discretion, or my experience, if they choose to. I agree with you fully! And workin the abs, helps with back pain during pregnancy, and helps w/ delivery they say, so I guess I’m more talking about moms more prone to diastasis…Multiple mommies, and moms of many. It’s just my own story and how I feel, only because of it. Working the right parts of the abs during pregnancy…THAT is the way to play it safe, but crunches? Big fat no-no. Not the traditional way anyhow.

    I appreciate your comment, and yes, it does need to be discussed more. If I had known what that bulge was, I NEVER would have continued exercises, that I was doing, for weeks longer, until around 21 wks, when I finally looked it up, as it got freakier looking, and there it was…DIASTASIS. I was devestated and thought I needed surgery, for sure, so it really put a damper on my joy, imagining the aftermath, but women need to have hope, and a lot of it.

    Thank God there are options, aside from that, and I’ll spread the word forever there, and you keep on doing the same my friend! You’re one smart chickedy!

    xoxo Shelly

  5. Bronwyn

    Hi
    We are trying for our 3rd little precious bundle right now but I had bad muscle separation with my 2nd pregnancy (I have a picture of me the night before I gave birth)…
    I had never heard of this condition before the midwife saw and told me about it at one of my check-ups ….
    Is there anything I should do or know about for my 3rd pregnancy?
    Thanks and look forward to hearing from you soon
    Bronwyn

  6. Twinpossible

    Hello there sweetie.

    First off, DON’T OVER-READ AND PANIC YOURSELF! I wish I had found out the way you did, and asked for help from a positive source, then diagnosed myself by looking online and freaking myself completely OUT! Some people enjoy posting war stories and scaring others, and I say..DO NOT GOOGLE, it makes you lose your noodle!

    2nd… A belly binder, is a mother’s BEST friend. Any time in life, other then while pregnant of course, a belly binder is appropriate for any woman with a diastasis, and I’ll betya binding would work for a man to, I just wouldn’t know what brand, but for woman, I stand by the Squeem, but any garment you use that helps push the abdominals back where they should be, and help take pressure off the area, while performing daily tasks, even just sleeping, to re-train the area, is invaluable.

    Until you are officially pregnant (Which congrats on going for #3, that is VERY exciting! I hope it happens really fast for you guys! Keep me posted! TTC expert here, if you ever want to chat), you might want to think about buying a binder to try and draw the area together before the pregnancy, though don’t postpone baby making, of course. If you were to get preggo next month, than that would be awesome, and it’ll never be too late, you just start when you are finished, is all. Also, you can do some simple diastasis exercises, (They are out there…i have posted some, and when I’m well will post more), and take care in the things that you do every day….lifting heavy objects, coughing hard, exercising improperly, getting out of bed quickly, and with fast, frontal, exersion, which most women rarely think about, until this occurs. Just start to become more aware of your abdominals in general. It becomes easy over time, believe me.

    You may have had the separation since your 1st child, or it might have happened with your second…there’s really no way to know for sure, when it began, unless you are certain of when you realized it. I had no clue what it was myself, just thought it was quite funny looking, and shruged it off awhile…BIG mistake, because I improperly abused my abs without any knowledge, early on in my twin pregnancy, and caused my own diastasis, so you don’t have to be a mom of multiples, be very large, etc. to get it. Some women don’t even get it in pregnancy, but get it during a difficult labor and pushing stage, which I HIGHLY recommend Red Raspberry Leaf tea in the last couple months of pregnancy. Only two times I used it, were the quickest easiest labors for me, with the least amount of effort, meaning pushes, and that would include the twins, so I’m all for it, just not earlier then like 34 weeks or so. My 1st two labors were long & hellish. Surprised my abs didn’t split then, but it’s individual. Just don’t freak yourself, just manage the problem now that you know that you have it.

    Don’t stress. Your gap may get slightly larger after another baby, or it may stay the same, either way, you will be able to get yourself back, if you have no time now to begin re-training your abs, it is OK. Don’t freak thinking it’s hopless, or you need surgery…there’s A LOT to be hopeful for, so hang in there, and good luck TTC. Write at my email addy anytime to chat more.

    God bless & Happy New Year!

    Shelly

  7. Haley

    Hi, I recently had a CT of my stomach to determine if I had ab separation or a hernia. The CT confirmed the dr.’s first thought of an extremely large separation (10-12 fingers). I’m 28 and had twins in May, and I still look several months pregnant 🙁 I see a plastic surgeon tomorrow for a consultation. Any thoughts? Advice? I realize that I might want to wait until I’m 100% sure I’m done having children, but will any excersize help?

  8. Twinpossible

    Hi honey. If you only look a few months pregnant you say? I’d say there is much to hope for despite the gap. You only had your twins in May which is NOT very long ago when you think about it. To you yes, but in general NO.

    You can consult with the PS, but don’t rush into the surgery. Take what he tells you but remember this, they ARE in it for the money. A good surgeon who doesn’t need the money or business so much will tell it like it is. I once wanted my nose fixed and went to a guy who told me it was the hardest job he’d ever have to perform, and would be very expensive, and did I ever have my nose broken? Looked at me like I was freakish. I left in TEARS. I never thought it was THAT bad.

    Years later after never having touched my nose I went to see two other doctors who didn’t advertise all over and were high in their reputations. Both told me it would be simple and whomever told me I had this horrific and impossibly hard to fix nose was a liar and good thing I didn’t go through with it. I’d only need a small tip revision. I’ve never gotten surgery but had I rushed in, I may have gotten botched who knows? Not trying to scare you just get facts and if he’s asking for money like NOW and pressuring..walk away! If he’s a good guy then like I said get his prices, ask about success stories, recovery, what kind of scar you will have. I was researching this before I had my twins expecting to need a repair and a tummy tuck. There are doctors who do not do a hip to hip incision but can do it like a LAP. Less scaring, or through an old Csection scar if you had one.

    So yes..there is hope. I do have some exercises on my You Tube channel. You can find them also on my website under videos in the menu bar. I plan on making more shortly. As you know life is hectic. Take caution with your stomach for now. If you are working it out, lay off, you could do more damage then good with regular crunches. You have to modify them as shown in my videos. Also BIND UP. You didn’t mention if you ever had but it seems like you weren’t sure until recently. You should buy a binder. Any one is better then nothing, and wear it as much as you can. I’d say for 3 months I wore mine while sleeping, mornings, likely about 12 maybe 14 hours per day. I was determined to avoid surgery. I couldn’t afford it but as well my husband knows it’s better then hearing me complain for a lifetime.

    Taking caution with certain activities you once never thought about…getting out of bed, sneezing, coughing, doing Pilates, bending backwards, crunching upwards, all will help you mend and not keep it open nor widen. It will take some time but with that and binding, you may be able to avoid the surgery altogether. I can’t promise it, but I have gotten many stories from people who have thanked me because they were headed down that route.

    Also..IF you are considering more children..WAIT! You could get that repair and it happen all over again, I hate to say it. Again, I researched it for myself. They can split after being put back together even through surgery, which is why most all forums I read and info. says wait until you are DONE to consider the surgery, but you can still get his advice and talk. Also talk to your husband, see what you guys think the future may hold.

    If I were 28 and unsure, I’d bind, avoid certain activities that may strain the muscles further, and do some of the exercises. It certainly will help reduce it greatly, and after you have kids if you are still not satisfied..you can go for it. I’m all about being happy with yourself, but I’m all about saving money and pain to, if possible.

    GL and keep me posted!

    xoxo Shelly

  9. Charlene

    Is there ever a time where it is to late to correct diastasis recti? I am 5 years post partum. I noticed the tear after my 6 week rest period from the c-section. Doc said it would clear up and continue excercise. When that failed I seeked a military physical therapist that gave me ALL the wrong excercises and made a 2cm gap a 7cm. Is it to late to fix this mummy tummy that looks like a 4 month prego tummy??

  10. padma

    Hi,
    I had my second c section 6 weeks back and I found a soft bulge in naval in 5 th week post c section … i think it is disaster recti…. can I start ab exercises now and what exercises shall I start with .?

  11. Twinpossible

    I would definitely wait until you ask your doctor. You should be seeing him or her any day now. (BTW congrats on your baby.) You can do light exercise. A little cardio, walking is always good with the spring now here, but I would hold off on the weights, especiqally anything more than 2 or 3 lbs. and the abdominal exercises until after your postpartum appt., especially having had a c-section, and I would wear a binder during your exercise, which will also help the gap close and eventually make the bulge to go away.

    It does sound like a DR to me. You can have the doctor confirm this, but I do have videos on You Tube that you can see how to check for it so you know, though again it does sound like it, and also I have some exercise videos JUST for DR, which help heal while building up the transverse abdominals which is very important. Once you close this gap, which will mean taking it easy with belly binding and targeted abdominal exercises ONLY that are DR friendly, you can go back to your old routine again. I am more careful now, even though my DR is closed, because it was nothing I had ever heard of or knew could even happen before. But I have put my abs to the test, and I’m OK now. Just take caution and do look on my channels and/or search for specific SAFE DR exercises. Thanks for writing & good luck :).

    FYI- Do not read too much about the subject online. There is so much info. that scared me saying that I would definitely need surgery with diastasis recti, and for me and SO many people I have sold Squeems to, this was NOT the case. It is not a hopeless situation. GL xoxo

    Shelly

  12. Annia

    I’m so glad I’ve found you… I had twins 2 months ago and I’m left with a tummy that looks like 3 months pregnant. My back is sore and I feel like there’s so much weight on my belly. I can also see my intestines move on the top of my belly and they also make strange sounds. It’s disgusting.
    At the hospital they told me it’s totally normal (that’s when I had my c-section when I asked why I can see my intestines move) and that it will go away. NOBODY mentioned DR to me and I had to find out by googling. I did my own diagnosis. My gap is 4 fingers long so I guess around 5-6cm. I am so so depressed over my belly because I never had any fat on my body, I used to have no visible tummy and although ALL the pregnancy weight was gone by week 3, the belly is still the same since week 4. I’ve bought a belly band and wear it most of the time and I’ve only just started doing the exercises. Is there hope?? Are 6cm a severe case? I’m not sure if I also have a hernia.. how do I check? I don’t want to see a doctor, I’m too annoyed nobody warned me, I think they only want to get rid of us the moment we deliver… Please help me, I’m so so depressed…
    thank you so much your website is so helpful x

  13. nickie

    Hey there 🙂 I love your site/story and am glad I found you! I didn’t know where to ask this, but I’ll be ordering the squeem vest from you site here soon and am just trying to make sure I get the right size according to the sizing chart I’d be a 3x.. I’m a 1x in shirts am about 5’4″ and small framed. I’m not obese just have a large tummy due to all my pregnancies and weight gain focused around my middle.. Lesser elsewhere. My waist measures 42″ around. Just wondering which size to order. Thanks so much! Sorry if I posted in the wrong spot 🙂

  14. nickie

    Also forgot to mention I have severe diastisis

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