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Diastasis Recti, well-known as DR, is turning into a hot topic during and after pregnancy for a good reason. While DR is common during pregnancy, the training so far given to pregnant women has been somewhat confusing. Diastasis recti, by description, is the disjunction of the abdominal muscles during pregnancy. The connective tissue, known as the Linea Alba, widens to create more space for the baby.
While diastasis recti are not entirely avoidable and are regarded as normal for most pregnancies, there exist some things that women can do to minimize separation during prenatal and postpartum periods. If left untreated, diastasis recti cannot only cause poor body appearance after delivery, but can also result in back pain, poor posture, hip pain, and urinary incontinence.
So how is the risk of rectal diastasis minimized during postpartum and pregnancy? Here are three simple tips for preventing or repairing diastasis recti.
1. Avoid Lifting Heavy Objects During Pregnancy
Maintaining your core during pregnancy can be among the best ways to reduce the disjunction of your abs during pregnancy. However, you should avoid lifting heavy objects and workouts that cause excessive abdominal pressure. One research found that women who picked up weights more than 20 times a week during pregnancy were more likely to have a diastasis recti.
In case you have an occupation that requires you to lift a substantial amount of weight, or are carrying other children, this may not be easy to avoid. You should invest in a quality maternity belt to relax your stomach and lower back by carrying and lifting things in your daily life.
2. When You Get Up, First Activate Your Lower Abs
Sitting upright from a lying position increases abdominal pressure. The study shows that first contact with the transverse abdominal muscles and pelvic floor can lessen the deformation of rectal diastasis. If you have trouble identifying your abdominal or oblique muscles during pregnancy, try turning to one side and using the upper body to assist you in standing or sitting. This will put some pressure off your abdomen.
3. Support Your Core Well After Delivery
After giving birth and your healthcare provider tells you that it’s good to exercise. Slowly develop your core strength, starting with the pelvic floor, obliques, lower back, and transverse abs. It would be best if you also focused on the elasticity of your lower back, shoulders, and hips. This is because the tension in those muscles upsets your posture and the use of your body after delivery.
Caring for a newborn and exercising may seem daunting; however, you can exercise for a few minutes daily. You will feel an improvement in your stability, strength, balance, pelvic floor, and lower back. Some exercises for beginners are supermans, bridges, sumo squats, dead bugs, and bird dogs crunches.
If you are still wondering how to fix diastasis recti, consider enrolling in therapeutic programs. As reported by NPR, a Weill Cornell study found that 100% of the 63 women who followed the program achieved a complete abdominal resolution in less than 12 weeks. These complete online programs offer basic daily workouts and 3-4 full-body exercises every week (all not more than half an hour!) to make it accessible and easy to improve core strength and restore your overall fitness. You will feel more energetic and better in a few days and see quantifiable changes in a few weeks.
It is essential to remember that diastasis recti are regular and very popular during pregnancy; however, if you take care of your body and this health condition, you can reduce long-term risks and damages to your pelvic floor and abdomen.
In other cases, a physical therapist or pelvic floor surgery may be necessary to repair diastasis recti, so do not fear seeking professional help if you have any questions or pain related to your postpartum diastasis recti.
Finally, Diastasis Recti is a manageable condition. With the above tips, you can be able to take care of this condition without having surgery. Ensure you take a balanced diet and perform the correct exercises to prevent or repair diastasis recti. Also, avoid carrying heavyweights.