In my last post I talked about how my thoughts are starting to drift to post-birth recovery. I’m hoping to avoid a c-section this time (we’ll see how that turns out) as I know a natural birth will put me back on my feet much faster, not to mention allowing me to leave hospital sooner, but however this baby decides to arrive I have no doubt that my unhealed diastasis recti from baby #1 will not have been improved by another pregnancy so repairing it with safe, targeted exercises is going to be my priority at the point that I’m ready to start exercising again.
But what is diastasis recti? In layman’s terms, it’s when the abdominal muscles part to accommodate a growing baby belly but then they don’t naturally close up afterwards, leaving a gap. This can cause problems with posture and is also the most likely cause of any persistent mummy tummy. If many months or even years after giving birth, despite all your efforts to get your fitness back and rebuild your core, you still have that soggy little pouch of flesh that you just can’t shift, you probably have gap that hasn’t repaired properly.
That was the symptom that led me to try the test shown in this video. J and I did it “just for fun” and were quite freaked out to find a 1.5cm gap! It’s a very weird thing. Shortly after that discovery I became pregnant again so I never got chance to work on any targeted exercise. But I’m ready this time. No more twists for me.
So what to do if you find yourself with a soggy, post-baby midriff? Luckily there are targeted workouts out there. The one I think I’m going to work through as this one over on the Breaking Muscle website. I really like the down-to-earth, no-nonsense articles on the site and the fact that they have a dedicated women’s fitness section, writing about every aspect of fitness and nutrition – plus the feedback in the comments below the article is very encouraging. It’s a 12-week plan (download the PDF) with specific exercises for each week to essentially rebuild your broken core and it looks like a nice mix of walking (easy enough to do and extra enjoyable when snuggling a baby in a sling!), yoga, and weight/bodyweight exercise. My kind of thing, I think.
Not long to go now…
Postscript: Have you done the check in the video and been surprised to find a gap? Let me know in the comments!