From my own experience, and from listening to hundreds of mums, I know that problems we have with our body after having children can’t be deemed purely physical. The impact is emotional too – when our body doesn’t function as it should, we can feel frustrated and let down, and our confidence can be sapped.
Diastasis recti is one of the conditions that has this double impact. It’s common, it takes time and effort to solve, and it is a major hurdle to overcome as we piece ourselves physically and mentally back together after giving birth.
So, what is diastasis recti?
Diastasis recti is the separation of the rectus abdominis (or 6 pack) abdominal muscle, as the linea alba (mid-line connective tissue) is stretched and weakened at the front of the abdomen. It occurs as a result of excessive intra-abdominal pressure and is common in the later stages of pregnancy.
The ‘gap’ narrows naturally in the days and weeks following childbirth, but often doesn’t come back together completely on its own, resulting in instability and weakness of the core and a ‘pooch’ stomach or ‘mummy tummy’. You can read more about Diastasis Recti here.
It can always be improved. To repair it, it’s essential that you do the right exercises and make the right alignment adjustments for diastasis recti that take into account the way your body has been compromised. You need to work gradually on improving alignment and strengthening your core – that’s your whole mid-section, not just the pelvic floor, or abs, in isolation.
How does diastasis affect women emotionally?
Knowing that your body isn’t in great working order makes you feel crappy. Whether the symptom is wee leakage, back ache, or a still-pregnant-looking tummy, you know that something is wrong and you can feel like you have a monumental uphill climb to make it right again.
Which, after all that bloomin’ effort of growing a baby and pushing it out, feels like a kick in the teeth, quite frankly.
Perhaps a reassuring fact is that most mums have stood in your shoes and felt as you feel. Here are a few comments from the MuTu Mamas about the moment they realised they had diastasis recti:
“I had to go through a grieving process, reaccepting my new body as I work to heal it.”
“I was grossed out too by the thought of my insides moving about too freely”
“I was relieved that this was a condition and that I wasn’t just “fat”!!”
“I felt really glad to know there was a reason why I couldn’t lose my 3 months prego look.”
“I probably cried off and on for several weeks.”
“I was scared when I felt the separation.”
I’m guessing that most mums who have experienced diastasis recti will recognise these feelings – I really want mums everywhere to know that these emotions are normal. One of the biggest problems for many mums is that they feel that they have to continue with ‘business as normal’ after the bodily explosion that is childbirth… and that owning up to feelings of sadness about the physical repercussions is in some way indulgent or selfish.
It isn’t. Shout your feelings from the hilltops! and then take a deep breath and get to work on sorting your body out – regaining strength, function and the flat tummy you can’t believe you’ll ever have again.
To give you a boost, here’s what my MuTu ladies say about the moment they discovered that there was a way to heal their diastasis recti:
“Finding out it is an identified condition which can be treated was a relief.”
“I am so excited that Wendy has developed such a great program to do something about it.”
“It’s amazing that our body just need a little love and attention and you see it starts healing.”
“I had no idea that it was repairable. I tried a few things until I came across MuTu. There was a shining light for me! I immediately ordered the 12-week program and was on a mission.”
“It’s amazing how you can recover once you have the correct information. Wendy is a genius!”
Your body is not invincible. Sometimes it falls… It didn’t let you down on purpose – and it will do its best to recover if you help it. Be inspired by the ladies that have suffered diastasis recti and healed it – and now have a body that works properly and looks great. and their body confidence is well and truly back!