July is diastasis recti awareness month, so I figured it only follows that I dedicate a week here at Mom Gets Moxie to this very important topic. Diastasis Recti (DR) has become somewhat of a hot button issue in the mom community these days. You hear a lot of things about DR and lots of “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts”. Unfortunately, thought the internet is a wealth of information, not all of the information you receive is accurate, as is the case with much that is out there about DR.
Healing a diastasis is about more than “closing the gap”. While that was the prevailing theory several years ago, science has shifted and proven that there is more to it than that. This week, I’ll be discussing some ways you can address your diastasis through fitness, but before that I want to lay some groundwork about your mindset surrounding diastasis recti.
1. Having DR doesn’t mean you are broken
Every woman who carries her baby to full term has a diastasis. Period. How that DR heals postpartum is different for every woman and many of the factors for healing are out of our control since we can’t control genetics. There are some movements/exercises/activities that may not be best when trying to manage a diastasis, but none of these is going to set you back forever. Our bodies are incredibly resilient. Women’s bodies were built for birth and have an incredible ability to adapt and change as needed. If your DR didn’t heal completely in the first weeks and months postpartum, you’ve probably adapted your movements accordingly. But, with a little knowledge and empowerment, you can improve your DR right from your home.
2. It’s not about the gap
The “finger gap” doesn’t really matter. It’s all about the tension you can generate in that area and how well you can manage pressure. And you know the only way to generate tension? To load the system. So, everything you hear about not doing certain types of core work is incredibly misleading. You need to start out slowly and learn to build that tension as you go, but avoiding core work altogether is completely counterintuitive to healing a diastasis.
3. Surgery isn’t your only option
Many women, when they realize that have a DR that isn’t healing the way they’d like, automatically go for a tummy tuck. And, while this helps aesthetically, root problems like core instability, back pain, and mindset about your new body will not improve. While you’ve solved the outward problem, the internal problem still remains. I’m not saying there isn’t a time and place for tummy tucks – there is. I just want you to know that you have options to help your DR heal. I’d say exhaust those before you look into surgery.
Diastasis Recti is severely misunderstood by a lot of moms – let’s change that! Let’s remove the fear and angst around DR and move forward in knowledge and empowerment!
Stay tuned this week for some great core workouts to help you start healing your diastasis recti!