Has it been hard for you to "snap back" like the women on IG? Give yourself some slack! You just birthed an ENTIRE being. Embrace every new battle scar and love wound you find.
You have been stretched, loosened and put back together in ways unimaginable. Your body is amazing and beautiful. But, as one who loves to get active and yearned to shape up; I completely understand your frustration.
After I gave birth I would be in physical pain with the simplest of stretches, which led to emotional pain. On top of that my doctor informed me that I had a mild common case of Diastasis Recti.
"The partial or complete separation of the rectus abdominis, or “six-pack” muscles, which meet at the midline of your stomach. Diastasis recti is very common during and following pregnancy. This is because the uterus stretches the muscles in the abdomen to accommodate your growing baby."
Essentially every pregnant parent goes through some form of diastasis recti as the body makes room for your bundle of joy. So how do you combat this without breaking the bank?
In many cases some may look to physical therapists or surgery. And, yes, diastasis recti can heal on its own over time. But, in my case I wanted to take this challenge head on. I increased my core training, specifically focusing on my transverse abdominis (TVA) muscle that can bring all those stretched muscles back together.
Active & Everyday Engaging
I began my new routine by being more aware of what I eat. What I consume is just as important as what I do. Although I still indulge in the occasional cookie, doughnut, and milkshake, my partner and I began cooking balanced nutritional meals for the week for work to deter us from bad eating decisions.
On top of conscious eating I began to consciously engage my core even when walking around the house. Actively engaging my core helped me in the long run when I began to increase my workouts where I would need that core strength to avoid unnecessary strain on other parts of my body.
For those who may not know, "engaging the core" means to tighten the muscles in the abdominal area and accompanying areas that support your spine. This action will make you feel secure and stable during everyday errands. The more you consciously engage your core that more you will begin to unconsciously engage your core.
Once I was assured that my core and hip alignment was stable (I will discuss this in another blog) I began to increase my workouts. I went back and forth between cardio and a variety of core workouts/ stretches including planks, cat/cow, mountain climbers, standing knee to elbow taps and more to begin.
But, throughout my diastasis recti journey I learned to listen to my body. So listen to yours. Your body will tell you when enough is enough or when you can push more. Don't be scared to get active, but also keep track of what movements and activities you are doing that result in how your body feels.
Comment below if you have any questions or share your story! Stay tuned for the next post!