There is so much information out there about diastasis recti!
I have learned over the years that the language we use when educating is so important. The words you use can either help or make things seem even more overwhelming when dealing with this area of women’s health.
I have a gift to be able to break things down for the women I work with and make things very simple when educating about diastasis recti, probably because I was once a very overwhelmed mom desperately searching for my own answers.
I try and be the person I wish I had when trying to navigate my journey to healing. I never want any woman to feel the way I did when I first discovered I had a diastasis. It was a very scary thing for me especially since I had never even heard this term before and all of the sudden I had it.
Most importantly I want women to walk away feeling empowered and that they are heading in the right direction with healing their bodies. Making sure they have a very clear understanding of what is going on with them.
Filling their tool belts with tons of resources so that they feel like they have a handle on their personal situation. This should never be a scary thing!
Here are the top 5 things I want all women to know about diastasis recti. Things I wish I had known!
1. It’s an amazing thing your body does so that baby can grow
It is actually a really beautiful thing if you stop and think about it. Your body is so smart that your ab muscles separate from the midpoint so that your baby can grow…WOW!
I remember when I first discovered I had a diastasis recti and could fit almost four fingers between my ab muscles. I was so overwhelmed when I started to do some research – there was so much information out there and I wasn’t sure where to even start.
Knowing what I know now about this topic I realize that there is some very scary language often used when talking about this topic. Reading articles that said things, like ripping and tearing of the ab muscles, left me feeling very anxious and worried. There is almost never any ripping or tearing of the muscles when we are referring to a diastasis recti. This is not and should never be a scary thing, this is actually a very beautiful thing your body does to allow baby to grow. Remember as a woman you were designed to carry life and your body knows exactly what it’s doing.
2. It’s a really fancy word that means something very simple
I get asked a lot how diastasis recti is pronounced and moms always want to make sure they are saying it right. I get that you want to pronounce it right, but what I really want is for you to understand with it means. Diastasis refers to separation and recti refers to the rectus abdominis muscles also known as the six pack muscles. Basically, it’s a really fancy term that’s hard to pronounce and when you break it down it simply means separation of the ab muscles.
Pronounce – di-as-te-sis
3. 100% of women get some form of DR during the 3rd trimester
This is another reason I truly believe that all women should be getting this education during pregnancy and even before. Knowledge is power, and with a few simple tools you can be more aware and be more in control of YOUR body during pregnancy and beyond.
One of the first things I started to read about when doing some research on diastasis is the doming that often happens during pregnancy and beyond. This is a sign that the pressure in your core is not being handled as it should be due to the intra-abdominal pressure. Baby is growing so we can expect this pressure but how can we protect it? You are literally working against your core when the doming happens and this is what we want to avoid. This is one of the many reasons we are told during pregnancy to roll to our side and then get up. This is something I also recommended doing after delivery during the healing process. I look back and remember my belly doming from everything such as simple everyday activities like getting out of the bathtub to being at the gym working out. It never crossed my mind that that wasn’t a good thing. I recall thinking it was strange, but because no one had ever educated me on this area of my own health and body I had no idea what it really was. Had someone given me the education of how to be in control of my core I could have avoided suffering from many of my symptoms for so many years.
4. Rehabbing your core and pelvic floor after baby is vital
Your core and pelvic floor are like any other muscle in the body. Your core goes through a lot just simply carrying a baby. We would never stretch any other muscle in our body to the max or have an injury and just wait six weeks for it to heal on its own. No way! We would go to physical therapy and we would rehab that weak or injured muscle, and then we would slowly get back to normal activity. A rehab program such as MUTU and Women’s health PT should be part of the journey after having a baby. No matter how perfect or traumatic your pregnancy and labor was, vaginal or cesarean, big baby or small baby, tearing or no tearing and everything in between. Rehabbing your core should be a vital piece to the puzzle for recovery for ALL women! You shouldn’t suffer from symptoms due to a weak core and pelvic floor such as leaking, lower back pain and painful sex. This is not what motherhood should feel like, ever!
5. Surgery should be the last option for healing a diastasis recti
In my opinion, surgery to correct or fix a diastasis recti should be very last on the list. Not only does surgery have risks of its own, but sewing two weak muscles together does nothing to strengthen them. I support the women I work with 100% and will support their decision to have a tummy tuck but I will also be the one to encourage them to ask a lot of questions and to do their research first. I will also educate them on the fact that they will still need to rehab those weak muscles before and after surgery. There is no quick fix for anything in life. There is absolutely a time and a place for surgery, but it doesn’t have to be the only answer and in my world never the first!
The journey into motherhood and the postpartum stage will look different for every woman and every body. The important thing is that you are empowered with education and resources so that you always feel like you are in complete control of whatever is going on. Diastasis recti is something all women deal with and I feel it’s important for you to know these things and what your amazing body went through to grow and delivery a human. You are amazing, always remember that!
Do you have diastasis recti?
Are you wondering if you have diastasis recti? Head over to our sister site MUTU System for more information on how to test yourself for diastasis recti.