We're happy to share these diastasis recti safe tips + exercises from pre and post-natal Nutrition & Fitness Expert, Adele Cavaliere.
I bet you are eager to get your pre-baby body back?! Your body has many ways of surprising you — and pregnancy can give you the most surprises of all! Weight gain, back pain, sore breasts, and skin color changes are all par for the nine-month course. So is a fairly harmless condition called diastasis recti.
Diastasis recti is a separation of the rectus abdominal muscles in the midline, more commonly known as your “abs.” Your abs are made up of two parallel bands of muscles on the left and right sides of your torso. They run in the center of your abdomen from the bottom of your ribcage down to your pubic bone. These muscles are joined to each other by a strip of tissue called the linea alba. As with all postpartum decisions about your body, consult with your doctor about when your body may be ready for an exercise regime. When your doctor clears you and you feel ready, get right to work.
Here are a few safe exercises; (can be performed at-home) which can help focus on your important abdominal muscles. Make sure that when you do these moves, you focus and move slowly—keeping the mind body connection. In other words, don’t just go through the moves. You’ll notice that breathing is a KEY component to all of these movements: Deep inhales, and exhale when you activate the muscles. Now when it comes to traditional training, consider wearing a Belly Bandit. It has worked WONDERS for me. Not only will a postpartum girdle support your core while lifting, but more importantly, it will act as a cue/reminder to activate and draw in with your core while lifting. Otherwise, we are naturally prone to distending our bellies during heavy lifting, only worsening our diastasis recti.
And remember, crunches are the farthest thing from what you should be doing! If you have diastasis recti, crunches will not only fail to improve it, but can actually make it worse.
Some women’s ab muscles go back to normal after the baby is born, and some do not…mine never have, and chances are yours haven’t either—which is why you are here. The good news is that the diastasis caused by pregnancy can be corrected with exercises and stretches designed to optimize deep core muscular function. So ladies, don’t worry—your body wants to function right, and it will!
To get more of Adele's tips on pregnancy and postpartum fitness and nutrition, follow her on Instagram.