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Note from the editor: Today’s Post is brought to you by Beth Learn of Fit2B Studio. She specializes in helping women heal from diastasis recti through at home exercises. 

Whether you have a three day old baby or a 30 year old, gone and out of the house, it’s not too early (or too late) for you to start reclaiming your core! If you think you need to wait 6 weeks to be cleared for exercise after having your baby, think again. Yes, you need to rest REST rest after delivery and – if you define exercise as an hour of intense sweatiness followed by 15 minutes of strenuous sit ups and crunches – then you actually should wait LONGER than 6 weeks for that level of craziness. However, many women are unaware that certain, simple moves should start as early as 3 days after vaginal birth and 10 days after surgical births to speed healing of diastasis recti (DR) and any pelvic floor trauma.

Even if you have a diastasis recti, you can still do many safe moves to help reclaim your whole body after giving birth. Don’t wait to start moving!
Photo Credit: Fit2B Studio

As the founder of Fit2B Studio, an online fitness site that specializes in diastasis-aware fitness, I have the usual disclaimers all over the place about consulting your doctor before beginning my exercise program. Those are mandatory, but over the past 3 years of doing specific research on the core cannister, and talking to physical therapists, alignment experts, and other fellow exercise scientists, I’ve unearthed 3 tidbits of movement wisdom that are crucial for the newest new mommy’s speedy recovery. These EASY activities will help you remaster your core strength after its marathon job of pregnancy and labor, and you can do all of them with your baby right there with you.

1. Check your belly for a DR abdominal separation and determine how deep and wide it is. This study {click} found that every postpartum woman still had one 3 months after delivery, but the traditional statistic I keep hearing is that 98% of all women who have EVER been pregnant will have a residual diastasis recti. If your belly makes a tent-shape when you try to sit up or you can sink your hand into your navel, you likely have one. The other 2% are attributed to good connective tissue genetics and healthy alignment. The more you are connected to your core and what is happening inside of it, the faster you can fix it. Watch Fit2B Studio’s video filmed with The Tummy Team’s core rehabilitation expert, Kelly Dean, on how to check your tummy here.

2. Pay attention to your alignment. As a mother myself, I nursed my own two for a total of 60 months, so remember those 11-15 hours/day of feeding times. The more you can prop yourself up into good alignment, the more aligned your muscles will be to properly heal faster. One easy alignment queue to work on is staying off your tailbone. When you are sitting up, try to connect your “sits” bones to your seat rather than letting your hip bowl rock back to rest on your tail. I know you might want to scoop your belly to hide that pooch, but – believe it or not – that just worsens your posture and slows the healing and strengthening process. Pressure is the real culprit behind diastasis recti, and your alignment can increase or decrease that pressure. Learn more about alignment and how to turn on your core correctly in Fit2B’s Start Here section.

3. Walk! Walk! Walk! Having checked hundreds of bellies for DR myself, whenever I feel one that isn’t very separated, I ask her what she did or currently does for exercise. “Not much,” is always the answer, but then… “Well, I walked a lot.” The ones with the least amount of separation are the ones who weren’t doing crazy crunch-filled workout routines (mine are so NOT crazy and contain NO crunches) and who simply walked. Did you know that walking naturally flexes and stretches the pelvic floor muscles? Did you know that walking utilizes just about every muscle in the body while encouraging healthy digestion and hormonal function by the massage of movement? This easy, upright motion is so good for your core and entire body! Start slowly after giving birth, but try to walk every day – a little or a lot – every minute counts. Let those arms swing, stand up straight, and breathe some fresh air!

If you have never heard about DR until now, you will be so excited to learn how easy it is to close it with just some time and gentle core moves. I’ve created a section of TummySafe routines that are so gentle, basic and healing that any mom at any stage of pregnancy and recovery can do them. You don’t have to settle for a poochy mummy tummy, a chronically sore lower back, and abs that live in separate zip codes. And you don’t have to wait 6 weeks (and if it’s already been 6 years, it’s not too late!) to do something about it. Your body was designed to heal between pregnancies, not fall apart!

I’d love to show you more over at Fit2B Studio and also hear from you about your core, so I’ll be answering comments below. Did anyone tell you about diastasis? What have you been doing to try to get your core in shape again? Has it worked for you?

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6 Comments

  1. Six weeks! That’s just as ridiculous as being told to wait 8 weeks to, ahem, be husband and wife again. I created opportunities to excericse and stay aligned. We have a three level house so I purposely kept needed things on each level to force me to climb stairs. Wearing my son in a Moby forced me to move up and down with my back properly aligned and gave me the opportunity to do squats. I did a simple 8-10 ab crunches on my bed before getting up in the morning. Easy stuff like that won’t disrupt the healing process but allows you to get your muscles working and your body realigned.

    Reply

  2. Is there anything that you should do or should not do if you have DR and are already pregnant (13 wk w/#5) to prevent it from getting worse? Do you recommend those belly band supports? Anyone in particular? TIA

    Reply

    • I must say I am disappointed with the whole “I’d love to show you more over at Fit2B Studio and also hear from you about your core, so I’LL BE ANSWERING COMMENTS BELOW.” -I did however find the answers I was looking for and more from your website now I’m just hesitant to join. Do questions get answered over there?

      Reply

    • Christina,

      I apologize! I will get in touch with Beth and have her contact you.

      Faith

      Reply

  3. [...] Myth: Wait 6 weeks to exercise? Three things to do just 3 days after birth! [...]

    Reply

  4. Thank you for sharing this information, I had no idea what was going on right in my own body.

    Reply

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