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Diastasis Recti - You have a hole in your stomach!

How to check for the muscle separation
serina ruggeri

After pregnancy, the body doesn't go right back into what it used to look like right away. It takes a few months for organs, skin, tissue and joints to go back to their original formation. Not everyone is so lucky, though. One of the most common struggles of weight loss after pregnancy are the development of a strong core. A lot of the time woman will accept that they have a little extra skin around the belly considering that it is something that comes along with pregnancy. While this may be common, there is a condition called Diastasis Recti, the separation of the abdominal muscles and connective tissue. A lot of woman don't even know that they have it!

Who can get Diastasis Recti?

Before the age of three, everyone is born with their abdominal muscles separate. It isn't until our nervous system is fully developed that they come together. It doesn't always mean that they stay together though. It is most common among pregnant woman because during the later stages of pregnancy, the ab muscles separate to make way for the expanding uterus.

How do I know if I have it?

Most of the time you will hear about Diastasis Recti from friends, online forums or woman who have had it so it isn't widely talked about within the healthcare field. A simple test will determine if you have this or not. Lie on your back, legs straight and arms to sides. Lift chin towards the ceiling and with two fingers, lightly press on your stomach just below your navel. If you feel a hollow opening and can fit two or three fingers, you have D.R. If you do not feel a hollow opening, you are in the clear.

Is it reversible?

Ladies, prepare to be amazed: It is reversible! Depending on how severe the separation, it may take longer but it can be corrected. A month after birth, it is encouraged to do a few light abdominal exercises to help ease those muscle back into formation. Do not dive back into any abdominal exercise because that can do more harm than good. Instead, follow these simple yet highly effective exercises to help strengthen and close the diastasis recti. For example, using your transverse correctly (constantly 'sucking it in'). When picking up children, heavy equipment or simple getting out of your chair or off the the floor, you must keep your abdominals tight by pulling them in. This helps strengthen the core little by little. Another helping and effective tool is the FITsplint. This is a postnatal body wrap that is strictly for diastasi recti and to be worn in conjunction with mild to light core strengthening exercises. This wraps help push your abs together and keep them there.

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