GIF animation: NPR
Focus on: the Mommy Tummy
Healing diastasis recti (DR), the separation of the abdominal muscles which often occurs after pregnancy
I joined pre-natal work out classes during both of my pregnancies and under professional guidance, we did modified sit ups and core strengthening exercises up until the week before my deliveries.
Both coaches and my doctor educated me on the dangers of ab separation and reassured me that I did not have it both before and after my pregnancies. However, ever since I had Avery, I have been experiencing lower back pain, which I never had before pregnancy. As I slowly got back into a better eating and fitness routine a year and a half after having my 2nd, I became frustrated at how working on my core did not alleviate the problem, but also no matter my efforts, my “mommy pouch” just sags and hangs there in between the abyss of my ribs and hips.
I know many other moms, very fit moms that have this issue. Recently, I ran across an NPR article that talks about an exercise that if done daily for only 10 minutes a day, the situation could be rectified within a month.
I immediately started following the breathing exercise and shared this article with my sister and my best friend, whom I know both have the same issue as I do. Even though none of us were diagnosed with Diastasis Recti, I was able to fit about 4 fingers in between the top part of my ribs. My older sister and my other friend, exactly 4 fingers.
It’s been two weeks since I started doing this breathing exercise whenever I remember as I find it very hard to do it for 10 minutes straight. The gap between my ribs have closed to just two finger widths apart, which is the norm. My lower back pain is now almost non existent and I’m not sure if anyone else will ever notice the difference but I feel like I look like I have more of a waist for the 1st time since having Ryan almost 2.5 years ago and my saggy “mommy pouch” only appears when I’m doing a plank. Not sure if there is a medical solution against gravity!