What is that crazy word you may be asking yourself?
Diastasis Recti (DR) is a separation or thinning of the Rectus Abdominus (your six-pack muscles) from the linea alba (tissue down the middle of the belly area). Though this most often happens during pregnancy, it can also affect men, children, and/or anyone with a belly after large abdominal weight gain and/or by doing a bajillion situps, crunches, and traditional core work.
The job of the rectus abdominus (RA) muscles is to flex (curve forward) the spine and to protect the organs and back. When the muscles of the RA have pulled away from the linea alba, the muscles become thinner and weaker. They simply can’t do the job they are meant to do.
This can cause a lot of issues you don’t want such as back pain, poor posture, pelvic floor issues, abdominal hernias, protruding belly, and so much more.
While it’s incredibly common in a post-natal woman to have a DR, it’s often not checked at postnatal appointments or even discussed. This leaves a lot of women in the dark.
*Complete side note, but super important in my opinion! – I believe that all women should be checked for diastasis before beginning any fitness training program with a coach. It’s fast, easy to do, and can save the client from a ton of further injury. I check every private client before we begin working together at her assessment, just saying. So, I know it can be easily added to a coach’s intake session.
But back to my story…
With my first birth, I knew things had changed in my core, but I just went along and did my best to ignore them. With my 2nd, (eight years later) everything changed.
Now, not only did I have a bulging tummy that never seemed to go away, but I also had a herniated belly button that stuck out funny.
However, beyond looks, the worst part was the feeling. Every time I bent forward or got on my hands and knees it felt like my organs were going to fall out my front. If I tried to lift heavy things, I just couldn’t.
And sometime I’d have strange and severe abdominal pain that would require me to lay on my back for an hour or so until gravity pulled things back into place and I could move again.
I felt fragile and broken. There was no way I could go back to teaching fitness which I’d started before I became pregnant, let alone enjoy doing it for my own health.
I was scared I would be living like this for the rest of my life.
When my youngest was two, I finally became fed up and decided to do what I do best.
And what I found was astonishing. There was a whole world out there of people that were experiencing the same thing. It wasn’t just me! And even better? I learned that there were ways to heal it!
Thus began a deep dive into everything I could learn about the core, DR, Pelvic floor, etc…
My healing began right there, on my own in my living room.
And 11 years later I’m still passionate about all of it!
While there are now far more Pelvic Floor Doctors and Physios out there, and discussions amongst women are happening, it’s still not enough. And many women are left suffering. This is unacceptable.
Understanding your own core and pelvic floor health is imperative to a happy healthy life and affects everything you do! Most women know more about how to use their cell phone than how to use their pelvic floor properly. And when the time is taken to learn proper techniques now, the possibility of surgery to correct issues later is greatly, (and I mean GREATLY) reduced.
You must begin to know your body better. Don’t allow yourself to live feeling fragile and broken. You shouldn’t have to be in pain.
On another note- don’t give in and feel like leaking while sneezing or lifting weights is normal, either. It’s not. Really. Our society is normalizing it by airing commercials of young women buying ginormous pads/diapers for leaking, but it’s not normal. You should not have to deal with that.
And you don’t have to! You can begin to heal a diastasis and/or pelvic floor issue no matter your age or how long ago you gave birth.
Isn’t that a lovely thing?
Wondering where to begin?
Come take a class, or schedule a private assessment with me!
Know that your body is safe with me. I train women how to strengthen their pelvic floor (or soften them if that’s what’s needed) and teach them breathing techniques for diastasis recovery in every barre class and/or private client session I teach.
If what you need is out of my scope, I have pelvic floor specialists that I can refer you to.
So, this is a call to all you women out there suffering and feeling fragile.
You are NOT BROKEN. You can heal your core and your pelvic floor. It will take some time and some practice. But the end result will be so worth it!! Trust me! This is coming from someone who’s been there.
My Barre classes are Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays at 9:45 am
Private sessions are available Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. With an occasional weekend appointment here and there.
Check out my website for more info or send me an email.