Castle Personal Training is a Corstorphine, Edinburgh based company who specialise in weightloss/toning and Pre and Post Natal exercise.
I still get a lot of emails from women asking me how long it will take to fix their stomach separation. I’ve written about Diastasis Recti a lot, just go through the old blogs, but keep getting asked to be more specific so here we go;
The answer depends on several things such as;
How much separation you have. A 5cm gap takes a little longer to sort than a 2.5cm gap does.
How long ago you gave birth. Because of the way maternity pay works in the UK moms tend to come to me at one of two stages. Soon after they’ve given birth or 2+ years after giving birth. Separation is easier to fix within the first few months after giving birth but even years later it can be fixed. I currently have a client who has had Diastasis Recti for 23 years and we’re closing that gap every week!
What your exercise routine was like before and during your pregnancy. If you did the right exercises pre-natal you’re more likely to have good core muscle activation post-natal and that makes life a bit easier later on.
Whether you’re doing the right exercises or not. By working the correct muscles, back, obliques, glutes etc. and making sure you’re breathing correctly rather than focussing on “direct-core” exercises, such as leg raises and crunches, you’ll get results faster.
The right exercise.
The effort you put in. This is the single most important thing. It sounds obvious really but a lot of people seem to miss this one. The “New mom package” that we do comes with a 7 minute home routine. All the ladies that religiously do the home routine 4-5 times per week in addition to the PT sessions see results much faster than ladies who don’t.
On HealthyPostNatalBody.com we get emails from people saying their core is much stronger after 20 days but the Diastasis Recti gap will take a little bit longer to close completely for most people.
Let’s look at some real numbers.
As a rule; Say you have been relatively active during your pregnancy and you have 2.5-3cm of separation 6 weeks post-partum. If you start a sensible routine, do 10 minutes per day 3-4 times per week and 2 strength sessions targetting the right muscles, you can get that sorted within 12-14 weeks.
This does not mean you’ll have a rock-hard stomach after 14 weeks, but your separation will no longer be an issue.
A while ago I had a client that came to me soon after giving birth, bought some Personal Training sessions but then didn’t do the home routine, cancelled loads of sessions, and after 3 months found their 4cm separation had “only” gone down to 2cm. Now this is obviously still quite a drop but their separation could have been down to within normal levels (8mm and less).
On the other end of the spectrum; I just had an email from a client who came to us for a program 4 weeks ago. She gave birth to her 3rd over 2 years ago. She was in good shape, other than having very little core activation and her separation which was still 3cm.
She has been doing a 30minute session twice a day 4-5 times per week, training like an athlete, and found that her 3cm was down to 1.2 after just 3 weeks.
Recently I temporarily took over a client from another Personal Trainer to fix her DR and she did 2 sessions a week for 2 months + a 10 minute home routine 3x per week and she is now happily training with her old PT as her separation is fixed and her core is good to go for full on training again.
It can be done, it all depends on what YOU put into it.
Almost all of my clients on the “new mom package” find that they have no Diastasis Recti anymore, their posture has improved and they are significantly stronger and more toned after their 24 sessions. They can then go about their merry way and can do whatever they want.
I hope this helps but, as always, feel free to send me an email if you do think of a question that you’d like an answer to.
Here’s an exciting update for those not in Edinburgh.
I have launched healthypostnatalbody.com An online resource full of exercises and circuits to help you heal your Diastasis Recti, improve your posture and help heal, and prevent, back and neck pain. We also have 2 forums, one for expert post-natal exercise advice and a forum where members can support eachother and share practical tips. And, the best news, it’s only $10 a month after a free 30 day trial.
You can sign up here.
Credit “Moms into fitness” for the great image of the Diastasis Recti.