Castle Personal Training is a Corstorphine, Edinburgh based company who specialise in weightloss/toning and Pre and Post Natal exercise.
I seem to be getting more and more emails from concerned mums who gave birth a while ago and find that their separation is not healing by itsself.
This is where I get a little bit exasparated with the crappy NHS advice, other shitty services are available, which states “The separation between your stomach muscles will usually go back to normal by the time your baby is eight weeks old”. Although technically this might be correct it really is hokum for most women and completely fails to address a real problem.
For all you ladies who are still struggling with separation years after giving birth, it really isn’t unusual and can be fixed.
The NHS advice is well intentioned as a way to reassure mums-to-be and new mums but I can’t help but feel that it’s just part of the terrible physical postnatal care mums get in the UK (And judging by the amount of emails I get from the US and Canada, it’s pretty bad everywhere).
I have written about this before but am more than happy to do so again; Your muscles need strengthening up after pregnancy to go back into place properly and to eliminate any future problems. Your body does not bounce back! And it drives me nuts that the NHS tells you it does because it makes many women feel like there is something wrong with them when they still have issues years later.
For your body to heal properly you need to do 2 things; nurture it with food and exercise and give it rest when required. This is a completely normal and natural thing to do but we seem to have moved away from it, especially post-natal, and I can already hear loads of mums shouting at the screen that they “haven’t had any rest in ages” and “what do you know, you stupid man!”
As one of my clients said; “Angelina can piss right off, I haven’t slept for 3 days”
So if we just expect it to bounce back we’re already saying that the exercise part doesn’t matter. And when you remove the exercise bit then some ladies, mainly younger women who have just given birth to their first child, might find their tummy goes back to looking like it used to but most ladies end up having problems. And we all know that looks can be deceiving; just because the tummy looks similar to how it used to, that doesn’t mean it is.
I’m not saying you should exercise for an hour a day 4-5 times per week, a quick 7 minute routine 3-4 times per week is more than enough after about week 5-6. And that 7 minute home routine can actually be quite relaxing as well, so this can give you the chance to clear your mind and slow right down for a while. All my post natal clients do a home routine and almost all of them love it because they treat it as their time.
So in short; yes your Diastasis will heal naturally, it just won’t really heal all by itself and you need to help it along a little bit.
Here’s an exciting update; From January 2019 we’re launching healthypostnatalbody.com A big online resource full of exercises and circuits to help you heal your Diastsis 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.
So what should I do to take care? How can I help my body bounce back? My abdomen hurts badly at times. My daughters are 4 and 2 years old. I haven’t slept properly since ages. Please help.
Your abdomen definitely shouldn’t still be hurting, I would recommend seeking medical advice for that.
With regards to DR; here are some tips I wrote about before that might help.
I always start with getting people to breathe properly. There’s a link to a Youtube clip in the blog below that will show you how to breathe during exercise. This should be done during all exercises, not just core specific stuff.
The exercises like this still apply for guys as well as for women when it comes to DR.
Finally, as mentioned in one of the blogs above;
Focus on the posture muscles, Glutes, back, rear delts etc. and your obliques.
So do things like;
Barbell or DB Bent over row
Glute bridges (both legs or single leg)
Squats (with good form and core activation)
Side planks etc.
Loads of Youtube clips online on how to do those exercises properly; I like to use Scott Herman’s Youtube channel as his clips are full of good form exercises.
Crunches; front planks etc. until you feel your core is engaging properly.
Hope this helps, any questions just give me a shout, I’m always happy to help.