My Journey After Pregnancy – – Dealing with Diastasis Recti

I haven’t written for awhile and there is a perfectly good reason. First of all I started taking two classes at the same time for my MBA which has consumed so much of my time I have barely had a social life. Secondly, I found out I would be losing my full time job next year because they were closing the facility. Needless to say it has been pretty stressful around here. So there is a brief summary of why I have been doing.

This is going to be a relatively long post, but I assure you that if you bear with me you will have a better understanding of what I have been dealing with post-pregnancy and maybe even be able to diagnose yourself with it and get help!

To make somewhat of a long story short I will let you watch my explanation of the condition in a video I posted to my YouTube channel. Essentially I have Diastasis Recti which is a separation of the abdominal walls. I noticed it during pregnancy long about 20 weeks and researched the topic so much that by the time I had Roman I knew I was going to have to fight it. I read that I had actually made my condition worse during my pregnancy particularly during the first trimester while I was working out (if you are a mom to be make SURE you read about how you can make it worse). In August of 2014 I finally realized I couldn’t do it by myself, researching the internet. I enlisted the help of a local Physiotherapist who specializes in women’s health she changed my entire concept of what was actually going on in there.

Basically what happens with Diastasis is that the transverse abs weaken during pregnancy and pull apart, post pregnancy they are very weak and usually don’t go back to normal without some intense rehab. About 90% of women actually suffer from this but don’t even realize it. You can test for it, there are numerous resources out there so that you can learn the proper way to see if you have it. If you have a lot of belly fat you should still be able to tell if you have it. Because I’m very lean mine is very very obvious when I show people what I’m talking about.


Here is a picture of Diastasis from the MutuSystem website. It shows you how it works. My Physiotherapist explained that the reason my pooch was so pronounced by lunch was because the rectus and transverse act as a corset and my transverse weren’t doing their part, allowing my innards, for lack of a better word, kind of come spilling out between the open space around my belly button.

By strengthening the transverse walls you can close this gap but it does not guarantee you won’t still see a pooch. I’m proud to say that I have closed my gap A LOT but I do still have a little pooch. My husband says I am crazy but I have been very passionate about this topic and trying my hardest to to do all that I can, therefore I will have no regrets.

I looked at it like this, I have done the best I can to heal my Diastasis and as long as my body is healing I feel confident about my progress whether I have a pooch or not! Roman is worth every inch of extra bulge!

So here is some more good news, not only have I reduced my gap but I have also lost 8lbs since I had Roman. I am actually BACK TO MY HIGH SCHOOL weight?!! I haven’t weighed 125lbs since my senior year. I have been hovering around 133 since college. I have done 2 rounds of Chalene Extreme and I am absolutely loving the strength gains that I have received. The first round I added Turbofire with it, the second round I added T25. Please see my before and after post HERE. I have a lot to say about before and after photos. I have included them here explaining the areas I want you to look at. The one on the left is my before taken in May would which have been give or take a couple months after pregnancy. The one on the right was taken about a week ago give or take 8 1/2 months after pregnancy. Notice the difference in the area around my belly button. I have lost a lot of my pooch and my stomach is much more taut, but some still remains when I am not flexed.

In this picture I am testing my gap, it is kind of difficult to see what I’m talking about but in the area near the arrows you can see how deep my belly button is settled in the first one. You can also see how the rectus abs start to come back together again in the second picture. It doesn’t appear to be a very noticeable difference I’m sure, but there is one trust me! The gap used to be close to three fingers wide and now it’s half of that about one and half and some days just one! That’s probably about as good as I will get it. But you can bet your ass I will keep trying.

If you are a new mom like I am it is very important to get your Diastasis healed or at least reduced because after baby number two and so forth it will get harder and harder to fix.

In the videos below I have included some of the exercises that my therapist worked with me on. I will never be able to do supine ab work ever again but there are ways around that.

https://youtube.googleapis.com/v/NoW9YGe-H0w&source=uds

That’s really all I have. It is my story thus far dealing with something that most people didn’t even realize existed. I share my story to help others and to make people more aware of this issue. I ask you to share this post with other moms so that they can look into whether or not they have it or for moms to be so that they can be aware of how to keep Diastasis from getting worse. 
I’m always available if you have questions, but the important thing is to research it. The information is out there!! Pleas let me know if you need anything. 
Carpe the Hell Out of Your Diem —
Laci Jane

Comments
  1. Heather
    Heather says:

    Oh my gosh! This is exactly what I have and now a small umbilical hernia. Your post has been so helpful! I am a runner and workout a lot. Fitness is very important to me. I am certain I have been doing some things that I thought would strengthen my abs that I think have only made my ab separation worse. I’ve had two kids and a c-section the second time. I look forward to watching your videos and learning what not to do. Thanks so much!

    Reply
  2. Monica
    Monica says:

    Thank you for sharing! I don’t feel like I was educated enough about diastasis recti, and post-pregnancy, I’m pretty certain I made it worse. When I raised the issue with my doctor, she shrugged and said that nothing short of surgery would fix it. Your results obviously demonstrate that certain exercises DO make a difference. I have a similar build/physique, so this gives me some hope! Any recommendations for finding a qualified physiotherapist? Also, when you realized that you had the condition during pregnancy, did you completely stop ab/core workouts? I am pregnant with baby #2 and would like to avoid making my condition worse (because the gap didn’t close after my son who is now 1.5 yrs). I would also like to strengthen the muscles (if possible) during the remainder of my pregnancy. A side note- my son is also named Roman. Great name!

    Reply
    • fitnessfashionista0101
      fitnessfashionista0101 says:

      Hi Monica!

      So sorry you are going through this also but I know how it feels. I just kept probing until I got answers. I would do some Google research in your area, call your gyno and ask if they have one they recommend, ask your primary care, and don’t be afraid to call around asking if anyone has experience in the area. Ugh I still remember when I started to figure it all out. I thought I was doomed and I cried for several hours. I did stop doing core work on my back which is not recommended and can make it even worse after pregnancy if you’re not simultaneously treating it. I am working my transverse abs harder than ever right now because I just so happen to be pregnant too, haven’t announced it officially on the blog just on social media. Have you had a chance to check out my youtube channel in it’s entirety? I have some clips of a few exercises I have done. Also be sure to find me on Facebook because I will be posting new exercises. Cannot believe your son is also a Roman, that’s awesome!!
      https://www.youtube.com/user/lacijane1306

      Reply
  3. mel
    mel says:

    hi! I stumbled onto your post. I had twins 4.5 years ago and have a pretty severe Diastasis Recti Abdominis issue. I see you noted which videos you used to get in shape, I am more interested in what specific abdominal exercises you think did the trick. I am a petite person and have always weighed around 110-115, I’m not interested in losing weight, but mending the gap. I’ve been do abdominal work for a few weeks now, but I’m having a hard time feeling any burn in that area, which makes me feel like I’m not targeting the muscles correctly.

    You’ve done a great job, you look great!

    Reply

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