Diastastis Recti - why didn't anyone tell me? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 04-13-2009, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I feel so frustrated and like an idiot that I am now almost full term with our third and just now am realizing that this is not just something that is normal that everyone deals with! I remember being pregnant with #1 and noticing that my abs were completely separated and thought it was weird but remembered hearing that it could happen and wasn't a big deal. I thought they went back together after birth but never really looked into it or knew there were specific things I could do to fix them and more importantly, help me out in future pgs. Well, the last pregnancy and this one have been so painful with excruciating back and pelvic pain. I just thought I was weaker or older or was dealing with the aftereffects of a high school back injury. But from reading on this board, I'm figuring out that it's most likely due to DR that was never addressed and getting worse each time. Does this sound right? Before my first pg, I had pretty tight, strong '4-pack' abs and I'm a petite person...I wonder if that makes it worse or more likely to be a problem? Why don't drs. warn you about this and check moms after birth to help them heal this?

Anyway, what I'm hoping some of you professionals can help me with is sorting through the contradicting info that I'm finding on this. So I have a few questions if you don't mind...I'd really appreciate any help or direction!

-I'm 35 weeks right now... is there anything I can do now to help with DR?

-After birth, I'm hearing conflicting things about wearing a band or ace bandage around the abdomen to help with getting things back in place, avoiding the 'guts falling out' feeling (had that bad with the others), as well as healing DR. Using the ace bandage sounds nice...What are your thoughts?

-What are some things I can do after birth to fix this or is it too late? Exercises? Like I said, I'm seeing conflicting things when I look online so I'm confused on what to do/avoid. BTW, it's pretty unlikely that I'll be able to go for physical therapy or pay anyone to help me with this so I'm mainly looking for things I can do on my own, if there are any.

Thank you so much for any help!!

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#2 of 7 Old 04-13-2009, 12:34 PM
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There's not much you can do at this point in pregnancy. Wearing support will help.

After the birth, being wrapped up will help mostly just so you don't feel like your insides are falling out.

Physical therapy is recommended. There are specific exercises (NOT crunches) that can be taught to help it slowly come back together. Elizabeth Noble has a book out on Exercise for the Childbearing Year with specific exercises for correcting it. Helped me get mine back together after the twin birth. I now only have a 1 inch separation at 20 mo postpartum. I do wish I'd had a professional to check that I was doing the exercises correctly, but what I've done has worked.

Hope this helps!

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#3 of 7 Old 04-13-2009, 01:56 PM
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I agree that getting Elizabeth Nobel's "Exercise for the Childbearing Year" book will help you. I would follow Elizabeth Nobel's advice.

Definitely there are exercises, I was taught them when I took my childbirth education training. I think that one visit with a Physical therapist to give you instructions for your particular body would be helpful.

In general after birth some women love the feeling of wearing a belly band. Look into the book, and a belly band.

Sadly OB's are not helpful in these types of issues.
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#4 of 7 Old 04-13-2009, 03:39 PM
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Try the "Tupler Technique"... it's specifically focused on the diastasis recti and the post partum book (Lose the Mummy Tummy) has a lot of good information despite the fairly miserable title. It has a short exercise program (that can be done with babe/toddler in the same space) as well as general life information like how to protect your abs while using a baby carrier, lifting an older child, getting a babe into/out of a car seat, proper toileting position, etc. I think my local library has a copy so you might be able to find it locally without purchasing it.

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#5 of 7 Old 04-14-2009, 10:06 PM
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oh man I feel for ya! it wasn't until THIS pregnancy (and my experience as a doula) that I realized I had been dealing with DR and symphysis Pubic dusfunction!!!

I have spent 9 years and 3 pregnancies in pain b/c of this! I am sooo irritated that after all the OBs and doctors I visited about my back pain nobody ever said a word... just handed me a prescription for pain relievers. UGH!

I feel for ya!

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#6 of 7 Old 04-14-2009, 10:16 PM
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Ditto what everyone above said, especially the Tupler book. I wanted to mention that I saw a physical therapist for some other postpartum ills (yay for prolapse - NOT), and she was able to help me fix my diastasis as well. I have had a really really good experience with PTs and think they're generally good for what ails you in terms of musculoskeletal problems. Your MW/OB may be able to recommend one who specializes in postpartum stuff - it's worth it.

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#7 of 7 Old 04-15-2009, 10:41 AM
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ditto what everyone else said.

I had pt for mine after my twins and the big thing I remember is trying to "pull your belly button towards your spine" as much as possible

I have DR this pg and will be getting PT for it pp. If there's any way you could get PT I'd do it. Its so so so worth it

mum to Christopher (6/98) Elizabeth (2/05) twins Aaron and Dominic (7/10/06) and new baby Eden (4-18-09)
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