So back in March I had strained my stomach muscles while carrying in my daughter from the car. I had ignored my diastasis recti (DR, separation of abdominal muscles) and weakened core muscles from my pregnancies, and paid the price.
That injury set me back a lot. I couldn’t baby wear my toddler. I had difficulty cleaning my house, specifically vacuuming. I had to slow down physically which is extremely difficult for me. (Please don’t make me ask for help!)
I had started looking online for help when my care provider couldn’t offer me any answers. Here are my three favorites:
· Sarah Elis Duvall of www.coreexercisesolutions.com
She has great workout programs and free workshops with in-depth information. Her newsletters have great tips on postures and simple solutions to build up your pelvic floor and core strength.
· Beyond fit mom (beyondfitmom.com) has several blogs and workouts geared towards correcting DR. Also included is information on pelvic floor issues, because unfortunately the two can go hand in hand. If the pelvic floor is weak you need to take extra care in building that first. The site includes a 30 day diastasis recti challenge to help kickstart healing. You can find it here:
· Diastasis Recti: The Whole -Body Solution to Abdominal Weakness and Separation by Katy Bowman.
Written by a biomechanist, this book gives great insight into how the body develops DR, and how we can heal from this condition without surgery and spot treatments. By correcting our misalignments, changing how we move, and exercises specific for correcting a host of issues alongside DR (weak pelvic floor, lower back pain, hip flexor tightness, etc.).
Initially after my injury I began wearing a belly support band. It seemed to help with posture and keeping my core engaged. However, it was constantly rising, shifting around, and being generally a nuisance to wear. I wore it faithfully for a month, before relegating it to only when I was doing something strenuous like vacuuming (it’s so sad for me to type this) or days where I was picking up and holding my toddler alot. I had to ease back into my normal activities, and often I was sore afterwards.
Whenever I had over exerted myself or was just having an extra painful day, I treated myself with arnica (topically and internally) and lemongrass essential oil. Arnica is a homeopathic medicine for trauma, bruising, and swelling. Lemongrass essential oil is known for helping with inflamed tendons. I also would ice my stomach or take ibuprofen on rough days.
I have had to learn my new limits with this injury, and go slow with my recovery.
I returned to somewhat normal functionality around five months later. I can now haul my vacuum up and down the stairs without being in pain.
My gap was close to three fingers, and is now reduced to two. I think posture, belly breathing, and the belly band has been the start to healing my DR. I struggle with making exercise a priority, and am hoping to correct that.
I will be completing the 30-day challenge from Beyond Fit Mom starting September 1. I’m hoping that having a short daily regimen will help me get into a routine. I’ll keep you posted!
Are you healing postpartum? Share with us!