I recently read that weight loss was the number one concern for new Mamas. The second, and this one definitely won't surprise you, is Diastasis Recti. 'The Gap' is bothering 87% of us.
Movement practices have been shown in medical trials and thousands of real customer reviews over many years, to improve the gap or at least our discomfort with it. It works.
But I also go to great lengths to educate myself and empower others to learn more about abdominal separation.
Because really... it's not THE problem to be fixed that much of the internet would have you believe.
A few things to keep in mind:
1. Don't panic
Let's start with fear-free understanding. Diastasis recti is a perfectly normal separation of the muscles at the front of your abdomen. It occurs as your body makes room for a pregnancy. You're not broken, you didn't 'exercise wrong' necessarily, make it worse or cause it. Some people have it before pregnancy and even men can have it too!
2. It doesn't always matter
You can have a perfectly functional core and still have a gap. I'll say that again: A diastasis gap does not necessarily mean you have a weak core. It doesn't mean you can't be strong, or have a flatter tummy if that's your goal.
3. Blaming a diastasis is kinda missing the point
If your tummy appears distended, or like you're still pregnant 6 months+ after having your baby, the diastasis is a sign of an underlying issue. Binding / splinting or just pulling it together won't work. Pressure inside your abdomen and pelvic cavity, pushing out at the weaker spot (a bit like a kinky hosepipe) causes the gap to remain.
4. What "fixes" it?
The pressure is normal, and it's your core muscles' job to contain it. So fixing the kink in the hose is where we start.
Breath-work to regulate and rebalance pressure as you breathe and move. We start this by isolating the movement in easy & acessible positions to just find and connect to the process.
But it won't improve just by lying on your back and breathing. So the next stage is to practice upright, to move in different planes, and then add load or more 'work', to challenge the muscles.
Alignment is an important part of the process. Your head, chest and pelvis alignment, how you walk or stand - these are the biomechanics of that hosepipe I mentioned. The kinks are stopping your core from working efficiently.
The body works as a whole system so focusing solely on your core won't cut it either, the trick is to strengthen the entire body but also to relax and release.
The internet has an awful lot to say about diastasis... Sometimes incorrect or fear-inducing, often overwhelming or confusing.
Are you confused or worried about Diastasis Recti? Tell me what you want to know!