Wendy Powell

Nutrition for Healing Diastasis Recti

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Nutrition for healing diastasis recti means: great postpartum nutrition, hydration and rebuilding collagen. Collagen is the stuff that binds together at the front of your abdomen. It’s where all the abdominal muscles meet (or not in the case of a diastasis). If the collagen doesn’t heal or regenerate, then the gap can’t close.

Guest post from Jessica Drummond, MPT, CCN, CHC. The very fabulous Jessica Drummond was a guest Instructor at the MUTUVation Houston workshop way back in October 2014. Her session blew everyone away with new knowledge and insights on hormone health and healing through nutrition.

Jessica Drummond, MPT, CCN, CHC

Collagen nutrition for healing diastasis recti – animal or vegetarian?

We always get questions on whether or not humans need to eat animal gelatin or collagen directly. How does nutrition for healing diastasis recti rebuild our collagen postpartum? It seems odd that if oxen and cattle and other large animals can rebuild their own collagen by eating plants, why can’t humans?

The answer is that humans can, it’s just not as efficient. If you’re a new mom, who is vegetarian or vegan, and you’re recovering well, feeling great, and eating a healthy plant-based diet that’s high in protein from nuts, seeds, beans, and sprouted grains, I don’t recommend that you change anything.

Cattle and oxen are herbivores. Humans are omnivores. So we can rebuild collagen (for our overstretched abdominals, and strained or torn pelvic floors) more efficiently from animal proteins. Especially those from the skin, cartilage, and bones of other animals (aka gelatin.) We have the capacity to rebuild from either plant or animal sources, it’s just a matter of efficiency.

So, if you’re a healthy vegetarian or vegan, and you’re working to recover your abdomen and pelvic floor postpartum, then nutrition for healing diastasis recti should include lots of plant protein. Take great care of your digestion so that you can best absorb the protein that you’re eating, and get plenty of vitamin C.

On the other hand, if you’re struggling to recover your abdomen or pelvic floor, you would like to eat to optimize your healing, and you don’t mind eating animal products, eating gelatin is a great way to recover faster!

Recommendations for postpartum healing through nutrition

Specific foods and supplements that can support the healing of your abdomen and pelvic floor after delivery.

  1. Drink bone broth or use it in soups or for cooking grains. Bone broth is the absolute best food source for rebuilding collagen. Bone broth contains the gelatin, glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid that are necessary to build collagen. Here’s a great recipe for bone broth that you can make in a slow cooker.
  2. Supplement with gelatin. The three best brands that provide the highest-quality collagen and gelatin powders from pasture-raised cows are BulletproofVitalProteins, and Great Lakes. You can add these supplements to your protein smoothies, or those that don’t easily dissolve in cold liquids can be used to make Paleo gelatin desserts.
  3. Not keen on bone broth? Finally, if you don’t have time to make bone broth, or you just can’t stomach it, Designs for Health has just released a new product, called PurePaleo. It’s a protein powder made from a high-quality source of hydrolyzed beef.

I hope that clears up the gelatin and collagen confusion! Start a delicious pot of bone broth brewing on your stove (or in your slow cooker), and enjoy the nourishment.

About Jessica

Jessica Drummond, MPT, CCN, CHC, Founder and CEO of The Integrative Pelvic Health Institute. Passionate about caring for and empowering women who struggle with women’s health conditions such as endometriosis, PCOS, bladder pain, low libido, hormonal imbalances, weight gain, period pain, painful sex, and post-surgical, orthopedic, or pregnancy related pelvic conditions. She is equally passionate about educating and supporting clinicians in confidently and safely using integrative tools to treat chronic pelvic pain, bowel and bladder, and other women’s health issues. Decades of experience as a women’s and pelvic physical therapist plus owning a private women’s health clinical nutrition and coaching practice gives her a unique perspective on the integrative, conservative options for pelvic pain management. Jessica was educated at the University of Virginia, Emory University, The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and Duke Integrative Medicine.

Jessica is among the many medical experts in Women’s Pelvic Health from around the world who endorse and approve the MUTU System program.

Life-Changing Results for Moms

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    Approved as safe + effective in Clinical trials
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    Evidence based solution for fat loss, diastasis recti + pelvic floor
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    Stream Pre + Postpartum workouts on-demand from any device
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    Inclusive, expert-led support community
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    Track your step by step progress in the MUTU Hub

45 comments

JenMay 6, 2015

Are collagen and gelatin supplements safe to take while pregnant and/or breastfeeding?


JenMay 6, 2015

Are collagen and gelatin supplements safe to take while pregnant and/or breastfeeding?


Heather EffectsMarch 19, 2015

what about hair skin and nail vitians or jello?


Heather EffectsMarch 19, 2015

what about hair skin and nail vitians or jello?


Alison RobertsJanuary 24, 2015

Which is better? A collagen or gelatin supplement?


Alison RobertsJanuary 24, 2015

Which is better? A collagen or gelatin supplement?


Jessica DrummondJanuary 22, 2015

Start with a few months for healing, and then continue as you would like to maintain resilience for strength or to prep for another baby.


Amy WongNovember 19, 2014

I would also like to know about the dosage of gelatin for DR healing. Thanks

Jessica DrummondJanuary 22, 2015

There are no specific dosages studied in this population. I recommend using the dosage recommended by each supplement company on the packaging. (See #2 above for high quality brands.)


Amy WongNovember 19, 2014

I would also like to know about the dosage of gelatin for DR healing. Thanks

Jessica DrummondJanuary 22, 2015

There are no specific dosages studied in this population. I recommend using the dosage recommended by each supplement company on the packaging. (See #2 above for high quality brands.)


Sophie ObaidNovember 17, 2014

What about Fish Collagen? I found Neocell fish collagen in Amazon and would like to try it, will it help with my DR? I tried many times making bone broth but will cook it for only one or two hours maximum, and after all I can’t accept its taste.

Jessica DrummondJanuary 22, 2015

I have never tried fish collagen, or seen any studies on it. But, if it’s made from the fish bones it’s likely to be fine. Just be sure that it’s not contaminated with heavy metals.


Sophie ObaidNovember 17, 2014

What about Fish Collagen? I found Neocell fish collagen in Amazon and would like to try it, will it help with my DR? I tried many times making bone broth but will cook it for only one or two hours maximum, and after all I can’t accept its taste.

Jessica DrummondJanuary 22, 2015

I have never tried fish collagen, or seen any studies on it. But, if it’s made from the fish bones it’s likely to be fine. Just be sure that it’s not contaminated with heavy metals.


teresaNovember 14, 2014

This broth is nothing more than making a simple beef broth from bones correct?

Jessica DrummondJanuary 22, 2015

Yes… just old fashioned broth!

teresaNovember 14, 2014

Also how much needs to be consumed? Is this just until the DR heals or for the rest of life? Excited to try this out!


teresaNovember 14, 2014

This broth is nothing more than making a simple beef broth from bones correct?

Jessica DrummondJanuary 22, 2015

Yes… just old fashioned broth!

teresaNovember 14, 2014

Also how much needs to be consumed? Is this just until the DR heals or for the rest of life? Excited to try this out!

Jessica DrummondJanuary 22, 2015

Start with a few months for healing, and then continue as you would like to maintain resilience for strength or to prep for another baby.


EricaNovember 13, 2014

Sandra, I’m thrilled to hear about your progress. I am also a vegetarian who eats a great diet full of plant based proteins, but I haven’t made the progress that I would like. I am 1 1/2 years postpartum. I would also like to know the specifics about what kind of gelatin you are taking. Thanks so much!


yasmeenNovember 13, 2014

Brilliant article a customer just told us about you guys keep up the good work


yasmeenNovember 13, 2014

Brilliant article a customer just told us about you guys keep up the good work


SandraNovember 12, 2014

Hi Dionna- I am not a medical expert, but am a coach and personal trainer full time, so I have quite a bit of experience within this realm (also why I believe in MuTu so much). In my experience the gelatin can help even three years post partum. I have two children 7 and 3 and both were 10+ pounds on my tiny frame. Those pregnancies did a lot of damage that I have spent years trying to repair. I have been a pescatarian for the last 25 years and though I eat a strong diet, I really never got the results that I would expect from my core. I had to take a workout hiatus for about two months to help a family member but I started taking the gelatin daily and within two weeks started to notice a difference- in my hair, skin, sleep, nails And the depth of my broken transverse. So without any workouts- and just using the gelatin I noticed a difference. Now that I am back to working out and also using the gelatin I most definitely notice a difference. And it really hasn’t even been that long. I have avoided the use of gelatin for all the same reasons that I am a vegetarian in the first place, but as Wendy notes in her post here, there really isn’t denying that if your body needs it you will feel a difference. That’s certainly the case for me.
Just as a note- the smell is very off putting for me. The only way I can get it in is by mixing it with Nuun electrolyte tabs. That masks the smell and taste completely for me.
Good luck!!


hollyNovember 12, 2014

Sandra, That’s an inspiring story. I’m 4 years postpartum and am also a vegetarian. Can you share more detail on what kind of gelatin you’re taking (what brand?) and what are the electrolyte tabs? How do you take it?

thanks!


AutumnNovember 12, 2014

MSM is a clean vegan source of collagen. Just make sure to purchase a good brand and take with vitamin C (such as Camu Camu powder) to aid in its absorption.


AutumnNovember 12, 2014

MSM is a clean vegan source of collagen. Just make sure to purchase a good brand and take with vitamin C (such as Camu Camu powder) to aid in its absorption.


SherNovember 12, 2014

Does taking a collagen supplement help?

Jessica DrummondJanuary 22, 2015

Yes… the recommendations in #2 are all collagen supplements.


SherNovember 12, 2014

Does taking a collagen supplement help?

Jessica DrummondJanuary 22, 2015

Yes… the recommendations in #2 are all collagen supplements.


DionnaNovember 12, 2014

Would this be helpful for someone with a separation 3 years postpartum? I have struggled so long and I’m considering surgery now. I also have a hernia at my belly button area. I don’t know if there is any natural ways I can correct this at this point but I am willing to try something if someone has had success this far out. Thank so much!

Jessica DrummondNovember 12, 2014

Hi Dionna, Yes… with appropriate exercise and good nutrition, you can make a big difference even several years postpartum.

SandraNovember 12, 2014

Hi Dionna- I am not a medical expert, but am a coach and personal trainer full time, so I have quite a bit of experience within this realm (also why I believe in MuTu so much). In my experience the gelatin can help even three years post partum. I have two children 7 and 3 and both were 10+ pounds on my tiny frame. Those pregnancies did a lot of damage that I have spent years trying to repair. I have been a pescatarian for the last 25 years and though I eat a strong diet, I really never got the results that I would expect from my core. I had to take a workout hiatus for about two months to help a family member but I started taking the gelatin daily and within two weeks started to notice a difference- in my hair, skin, sleep, nails And the depth of my broken transverse. So without any workouts- and just using the gelatin I noticed a difference. Now that I am back to working out and also using the gelatin I most definitely notice a difference. And it really hasn’t even been that long. I have avoided the use of gelatin for all the same reasons that I am a vegetarian in the first place, but as Wendy notes in her post here, there really isn’t denying that if your body needs it you will feel a difference. That’s certainly the case for me.
Just as a note- the smell is very off putting for me. The only way I can get it in is by mixing it with Nuun electrolyte tabs. That masks the smell and taste completely for me.
Good luck!!


DionnaNovember 12, 2014

Would this be helpful for someone with a separation 3 years postpartum? I have struggled so long and I’m considering surgery now. I also have a hernia at my belly button area. I don’t know if there is any natural ways I can correct this at this point but I am willing to try something if someone has had success this far out. Thank so much!

Jessica DrummondNovember 12, 2014

Hi Dionna, Yes… with appropriate exercise and good nutrition, you can make a big difference even several years postpartum.

SandraNovember 12, 2014

Hi Dionna- I am not a medical expert, but am a coach and personal trainer full time, so I have quite a bit of experience within this realm (also why I believe in MuTu so much). In my experience the gelatin can help even three years post partum. I have two children 7 and 3 and both were 10+ pounds on my tiny frame. Those pregnancies did a lot of damage that I have spent years trying to repair. I have been a pescatarian for the last 25 years and though I eat a strong diet, I really never got the results that I would expect from my core. I had to take a workout hiatus for about two months to help a family member but I started taking the gelatin daily and within two weeks started to notice a difference- in my hair, skin, sleep, nails And the depth of my broken transverse. So without any workouts- and just using the gelatin I noticed a difference. Now that I am back to working out and also using the gelatin I most definitely notice a difference. And it really hasn’t even been that long. I have avoided the use of gelatin for all the same reasons that I am a vegetarian in the first place, but as Wendy notes in her post here, there really isn’t denying that if your body needs it you will feel a difference. That’s certainly the case for me.
Just as a note- the smell is very off putting for me. The only way I can get it in is by mixing it with Nuun electrolyte tabs. That masks the smell and taste completely for me.
Good luck!!

hollyNovember 12, 2014

Sandra, That’s an inspiring story. I’m 4 years postpartum and am also a vegetarian. Can you share more detail on what kind of gelatin you’re taking (what brand?) and what are the electrolyte tabs? How do you take it?

thanks!

EricaNovember 13, 2014

Sandra, I’m thrilled to hear about your progress. I am also a vegetarian who eats a great diet full of plant based proteins, but I haven’t made the progress that I would like. I am 1 1/2 years postpartum. I would also like to know the specifics about what kind of gelatin you are taking. Thanks so much!


VindyNovember 11, 2014

Short and sweet!

LindyFebruary 2, 2015

About to buy some collagen/gelatin supplement but not sure where to buy from and how each product is different from the other?- is the new ‘PurePaleo’ product from Designs for health enough or do I also get any one of the collagen supplements from Great Lakes/VitalProteins/BulletProof? Thanks.


VindyNovember 11, 2014

Short and sweet!

LindyFebruary 2, 2015

About to buy some collagen/gelatin supplement but not sure where to buy from and how each product is different from the other?- is the new ‘PurePaleo’ product from Designs for health enough or do I also get any one of the collagen supplements from Great Lakes/VitalProteins/BulletProof? Thanks.


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