Over the last couple of weeks at Buggyfit in Wantage, we’ve had really interesting conversations about Diastasis Recti, otherwise known as abdominal separation.
Abdominal separation is a natural part of pregnancy but it affects women in the post-natal period in many different ways. Sometimes the abs will “come back together” on their own, sometimes it takes many months (or years) and specialist treatment.
I really don’t want to alarm you but if your abs are separated there are other implications for the body:
- your core is weakened and is not supporting your spine or pelvis
- your breathing is affected
- the alignment of the pelvis and posture is unbalanced
- the pelvic floor is likely to be weakened
The basic functions of your body have been affected by the abs expanding to accommodate your baby and your body is still healing itself.
So what if you went running/to an Insanity session/bootcamp or started doing a random YouTube fitness session? What if you did jumping, running, crunches and planks? Are you helping to heal your body or are you causing more damage?
Believe me, I understand! As a new mum and a fitness instructor, I was desperate to get exercising and to “bounce back” as everyone said I would! However I’ve followed my specialist training guidelines and I’ve seen exercise as rehab… as well as changing my body shape. I’ve exercised sensibly, doing specific evidence based post-natal workouts and I’m glad to say that I’m back teaching Zumba 6 months after having Lucy… without wetting myself!
At your next Buggyfit session, why not ask me to test your separation for you - it takes less than 20 seconds. Or, ask your midwife or GP to check it for you next time you’re in to see them.
So what can be done to “fix” an abdominal separation? You need to work your pelvic floor muscles first, get your “core” muscles activating properly, and shorten your six-pack muscle. All of the exercises we do at Buggyfit are with this in mind.
Find out more about joining us at Buggyfit here and please do get in touch if you’d like advice on regaining your pre-pregnancy strength and fitness safely.