Diastasis Recti (or separation of the abdominal muscles) is making its way into mainstream fitness conversation.
And that’s a good thing.
However this awareness has been accompanied by misinformation and confusion about what it actually is and how to manage it.
This can cause anxiety and set us some unrealistic expectations.
Google ‘exercises to heal a diastasis’ and you’ll find multiple lists of ‘Do & Don’t Do’ exercises.
Some sources will even tell you how to PREVENT a diastasis… without any evidence yet that this is even possible.
At your conventional postnatal fitness class you’ll be given ‘core exercises’ for your abs and pelvic floor – heel slides…bird dogs… clamshells…breathing exercises…
And these exercises MAY be beneficial but first we need to understand what diastasis recti is.
We also need to have a proper understanding of what ‘core’ really is and how to effectively engage it.
And because a dysfunctional diastasis is a symptom of a more complex issue, these exercises won’t be the only factor involved in restoring core function.
Although it presents as an abdominal issue, there are MANY other factors linked to ‘healing’. And because there are multiple factors involved, what is considered ‘healed’ will look different for everybody.
The terms ‘healed’, ‘fixed’ and ‘resolved’ pertain to the level of function that is available under a particular demand. So ‘function’ itself describes something that is unique to an individual.
We need to do a little work to understand our own considerations, rather than relying on a one dimensional ‘fix’ that we are often presented with.
Nutrition, hydration, genetics, breathing, alignment, past history, pregnancy, birthing, what your individual goals are, how you move throughout the day, and other factors all contribute to what we considered ‘healed’ to be.
And many of these factors are not even within our control.
In most cases diastasis recti returns to a functional level within the first two months postpartum. However if you are, or think you might be affected by diastasis recti dysfunction, speak to your healthcare provider and ask for a referral to see a specialist known as a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist.
You can refer yourself to these specially trained physiotherapists in private practice also.
Work with a pre and postnatal coach who understands what diastasis is and knows how to help you based on your individual needs.
Maggie helps women to continue to exercise during pregnancy and to make a strong sustainable return to sport and fitness postpartum. Read more about pre and postnatal strength training here.
Join us at one of our free Pre and Postnatal Exercise Q & A Sessions.
Please get in contact to find out more.