What Diastasis Recti is and How to Deal with It
Becoming a mother is one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges of womanhood. Yes, your child will test you. They will take most of your time, and they can be selfish about it. However, they can also mold you into a more wonderful human. One thing about motherhood, however, that you can do without is your post-baby pooch. The technical term is diastasis recti, and although the main drawback is a bulging belly, it can have other complications. Diastasis recti repair can save you from all of that trouble and help you regain a confident postpartum body.
What Causes Diastasis Recti
A strange phenomenon that new mothers experience is continuing to have a bulging belly. As a result, they can look like they are still pregnant. Some mothers can shrug this off and power through. Others, however, can feel some insecurity about it. That postpartum protruding tummy is because of diastasis recti, which is a normal outcome for being brave enough to carry and give birth to a child.
It is no surprise that you experience a lot of hormonal changes during pregnancy. Some of these hormonal effects thin out the connective tissue around your abdominal area. This outcome will prepare them for the stretch that they will experience once your baby bump starts growing. After giving birth, your hormones should return to pre-pregnancy levels. However, in many cases, about two-thirds of pregnant women, to be specific, the stretch that the connective tissues experienced may be so much that they fail to return to normal. As a result, a gap that runs vertically across your abdominal muscles is present. Moreover, the pushing pressures you exert during delivery can contribute to this condition.
How to Know if You Have Diastasis Recti
The most apparent effect is the separation between your abdominal muscles. You can check by lying on your back and slightly lifting your head and shoulders as if you were doing a mini-crunch. This movement will activate your abdominal muscles and make the gap more apparent. You can feel the separation by running your fingertips with some gentle pressure along your midline above and below your belly button. If the width of the space is like the width of two fingertips, then your diastasis recti is mild. However, some women can have up to a four-finger gap.
What to Do if You Have Diastasis Recti
Your abdominal muscles will be sensitive during the few weeks after giving birth. This period is the ideal time for you to take a break from strenuous activities so you can let your connective tissues heal and return to normal. Diastasis recti can also weaken the surrounding areas such as your lower back and pelvic area. You may even feel some pain in those areas. Thus, your postpartum body is more prone to injury, which is even more reason to take it easy after giving birth. Consult your doctor to know if you are already okay to resume being active.
How to Treat Diastasis Recti
Ideally, your connective tissues and abdominal muscles should repair themselves, but you can also help. There are non-surgical diastasis recti repair programs you can follow to re-strengthen your abdominal area. These programs would comprise pregnancy-safe exercises that you can do at home, or with a trainer or physical therapist that specializes in postpartum care.
Seeing your child grow is one of the best rewards you can get for enduring through childbirth and the nine months of pregnancy. However, you can reward yourself by opting for diastasis recti repair so you can enjoy your life as a mother to the fullest.