Every year out of the 100’s of women whom I personal assess their postbirth Diastasis Recti (DR), the average DR after a first pregnancy is just 2-3 fingers wide, often shallow, and approx 6-8cm in length with good tension.
With expert guidance, this size of DR usually heals fast and especially when following Birth2FitMum.
A note to add here, though, is that 100% of women who I assess need to regain better postnatal core strength and function.
Based on my experience (20 years), a large and significant separation is not that common, and, especially after a first pregnancy. We also need to remember that according to studies, only 5% of women require surgery.
But if you have a large DR, what are your exercise options to try and promote healing? And can you prevent possible expensive surgery?
With a significant separation and one with minimal tension (shown in the above video), the first goal should be to be able to contract the core muscles correctly, secondary to this to try and generate tension and then learn how to function throughout the day with a more intrinsic core system.
For my clients who have a large DR, their exercises and how to contract their core muscles differ slightly from the norm.
In this short video, you can see how the exercises differ and that the core activation and focus varies. The One arm press and bridge are performed with manual support from my clients hands and the slides with a towel. I will show this in more detail in the next blog.
A little info about my client:
Client has just recently had her third baby. Her two previous births were vaginal, this one a C-section. All babies have been big with her lucky last weighing it at 10lb 9oz (4.8kg)! She managed to heal her DR to 3 fingers wide and good tension with B2FM after her second baby.
In cases like this, tension needs to go beyond the linea alba. With significant connective tissue laxity in almost the entire abdominal wall, my client requires more tension throughout the whole abdomen, not just the linea alba. ⠀
So, for instance, we are assisting her core integrity physically. By drawing her separation closer together with a towel and or her or my hands. This helps to perform the exercises with a more intact core system and create a little more tension.
When a Diastasis is large and deep, we also need to ensure several other stratergies are in place to see if healing can take place.
Nutrition is a significant factor, and I have many clients seeing faster and amazing results by taking Collagen supplements (I’m not sponsored by any products just in case you are wondering). This one here is one that my clients have used. Ensuring that you are eating enough protein to promote cellular repair also aids healing of a deep DR.
Posture: Continually slumping throughout the day doesn’t help heal a DR but with a core that is not actively supportive we need to address other techniques to manage and encourage healing. For women with a large gap support from exercise wear duing the day can help improve posture. I also advise to try amd minimize how often you hold or carry young toddlers.
Daily Activities: Its important to take what you have learnt in the sessions and via our programs and use the technique stratagies throughout the day especially when lifting children, babies, washing baskets etc. The more you can conciously be aware of generating more tension and supporting your core system, the more you will benefit.
I would suggest if you have a wide DR like this, then it is best to see an expert personal trainer frequently to ensure you stay on track. Our Birth2FitMum program still works exceptionally very well with a large DR, but its good to keep in check with someone personally, especially during the first 6-8 weeks. Or of course, you can book in a Skype session with me for a personal assessment me when you have joined B2FM.
In this blog series we will continue to follow my client over the next 3-6 months. You can sign up here to receive our newsletter so you don’t miss out on hopefully her progress!