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GUEST WRITER BIO: Beth O’Donnell is a military wife and stay at home mom. She is a prior service member who only stayed in shape because she had to. Now she actually enjoys it and no longer says hateful things while she runs. She now lives a lifestyle of clean eating and regular exercise and plans to keep it that way. Since she has gotten a taste of the fitness Koolaid, she has decided to go back to school to become a personal trainer to help women become their very best. She also vows to quit using Dr. Google.
Diastasis Recti: the ugly words that no woman post pregnancy wants to hear, especially those who are anxious to begin getting back in shape. Diastasis Recti is the separation of your abdominal muscles which untreated, can lead to hernias. (More info HERE.)
After I had my son in 2011, my doctor indicated to me that I had diastasis recti, but I blew it off. I was in the military and had no choice but to hurry back into shape. Shortly after receiving the go ahead from my doctor (who, looking back, really should not have given it to me), I quickly got back into running, pushups, and situps/crunches (huge no-no!). I noticed that I had a ridiculous amount of lower back pain and a funky belly bulge but chalked it up to post pregnancy body changes. I figured it would just work itself out. Then I got pregnant again just before my son’s first birthday.
At one of my first doctor appointments, the doctor made a remark on how bad my diastasis recti was and that it was only going to get worse (total fail on my part!). After I had my daughter, I was extremely worried, and in denial, about having it. I did not ask my doctor how bad it was, because I did not want to know. So right before my six week checkup, I started working out on my own. I was doing crunches, sit-ups, twists, you name it! After about a week or so, I was hurting. It was not the “good” pain you feel when you are working out, it was the “I seriously just busted something up” hurt. Although it killed me to stop working out so hard, I knew I had to take diastasis recti seriously.
So, I Dr. Googled it. I found a youtube video which thoroughly explained how to test yourself for it (Please do not follow my footsteps, ask your doctor first!). I also found out that the exercises I was doing were absolutely terrible for the condition and was only worsening it! The good news is, there are exercises that can be done to help heal your abdominals! So, I googled those too. As much as it pained me, I took it easy and did these exercises every day religiously.
At 12 weeks postpartum, I checked myself and to my surprise, my abs were back to a two finger gap! I have been working out pretty hardcore the last few weeks (thanks to Anna Reed!) and as I wrote this, I checked again and I am down to a one finger gap above, at, and below my belly button.
Do you or have you ever had Diastasis Recti? What are some ways you strengthened your stomach muscles as a result?
Disclaimer: All information presented during this event is purely personal opinion and shared for educational purposes only. The information contained herein is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your physician before beginning any exercise, weight-loss, or nutrition program. Please note, My Life: A Work in Progress does not necessarily endorse any opinions presented by guest writers during this event. Not all exercise or nutrition programs are suitable for everyone.