Stomach muscles still not back together - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 12-14-2003, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I gave birth over 8 months ago. I didn't gain much weight and had no trouble losing the weight. However, my stomach muscles above my naval are still not back together. In fact they feel like they are the same distance apart as they were right after the birth. When I lay on my back and put my chin to my chest, there is quite a large gap in the muscles. I was doing crunches, sit ups, but wasn't seeing any results. Does anyone have any suggestions? I feel like this problem is contributing to my back problems. I really want to reconnect these muscles. Please help.

Lauren
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#2 of 10 Old 12-14-2003, 10:58 PM
 
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After I had my dd, I got the (don't laugh) Cindy Crawford After Baby work out and the trainer suggested doing sit ups with your arms crossed over your middle, with your hands kind of grasping your sides....to help push them together as you lift. Hope thats clear. Anyways, you could try it .....BUT from what I understand, some women just DONT get back together...I didn't.
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#3 of 10 Old 12-14-2003, 11:17 PM
 
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It has been seven long years since I last gave birth--and my stomach muscles are still split! They actually split with my first pregnancy and never went back, although they got much worse after I got pregnant with my daughter Samantha.

I actually spoke to a few different doctors about this. The first was my chiropractor--he said that unfortunately this sometimes does happen (split muscles) and sometimes they will grow back together. If they don't do it in the first year or so, then they are probably in a permanent state of being split. He said (and so did the plastic surgeon I also spoke with) that doing too many sit ups and stomach work outs could actually make the problem worse--creating two separate "strong" splits. This is what I did with mine, as I would very hard to try to get them to grow back together by doing stomach work out tapes.

I am now just living with it like this. It is a bummer because it makes my back weaker, and I have to be careful how I twist my stomach because it gives me that weird "pulled" muscle feeling quite often. I told my husband that when I turn 40 I want a tummy tuck (they could repair the split muscles then)--but I won't be holding my breath for that one!
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#4 of 10 Old 12-15-2003, 07:16 PM
 
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Mine didn't go back either. The good news is that with exercise and weight loss they did regain their spring. It's kinda cool to show off my "talent" to friends of being able to lie on my back, tense those muscles, and put my hand down deep inside. lol! (Gently of course)

I talked to my doctor about this and they said that technically it's considered a hernia, but insurance won't fix it unless my organs start to bulge out. Nice.

Darshani

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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#5 of 10 Old 12-16-2003, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh no. It sounds like mine won't go back either. And I have such a bad back. There are days that I have to wear a brace or else I can't lift my son. Yikes I'd be in real trouble if my organs start protruding as we don't have any medical insurance. Well I am still hoping someone will post some amazing secret as to how to fix these muscles. I am now afraid to resume my crunches as now I wonder if I made the problem worse.

Sigh, I suppose I can try to look on the bright side...... I don't have any stretch marks. I don't know which would be worse though.

Lauren
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#6 of 10 Old 12-16-2003, 03:15 PM
 
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Yeah, in the same boat here! Mine haven't gone completely back together (BTW, it's the ligament that connects the two side of the muscle that splits and not the muscle itself), but they have come closer together with exercise! The split is not nearly as noticable now and I have been very careful to cross a tea towel or my arms accross my abdomen while doing crunches. If you're not supporting your sides while doing crunches, this can acutally make the diastis worse . Anyhow, I am 16 months () pp and things are definately better than they were at 8 mos pp! There is hope mama!

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
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#7 of 10 Old 12-27-2003, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Pumpkinhead- what do you mean crossing a tea towel across your abdomen? I am ready to start crunches again and need some advice. Since you have had some success, I want to know exactly what you are doing. How many crunches a day? Do you just do crunches facing forward? I was doing some forward, then some to the left and some to the right.

Any help would be much appreciated.

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#8 of 10 Old 12-27-2003, 09:36 PM
 
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I have that too and it's so...bleh! 1,000 crunches a week for 6 months didn't touch mine the first time so I gave up trying and when baby #2 came I just accepted my fate as a split-tummy weirdo.
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#9 of 10 Old 12-28-2003, 09:11 PM
 
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LaurenS,

I started out doing 25-50 a day he first week (just forward facing initially and then doing the sides as well after a week or so) and then increased it by 25 every two to three days until I was up to 200-300 a day. Just be sure to stretch thouroughly before and after you do them and take it slow. I overdid it one day and was in major agony for the next week! (perhaps I'm just a weakling tho ).

I wrapped the tea towel around my back and criss-crossed accross my abdomen, and held the two ends at my sides, applying gentle pressure (under the criss-cross) when I did the actual crunch, instead of putting my arms behind my head or reaching for my knees. Now, I just wrap my arms accross my stomach when I need to, but the two sides of the split muscle are closer together now, so often, I don't even do that.

Anyhow, good luck Mama and I HTH! If you have any other questions, ask away. I hope I was clear and understandable!

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
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#10 of 10 Old 12-28-2003, 09:59 PM
 
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Here's the page with the postpartum exercises I did. After that, over the summer, I did regular old crunches. Lots of them. I can't say that I have a beautiful abdomen, because I haven't kept it up. But I did reknit my split.

Worth doing as your baby will get quite heavy!

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
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