Has anyone closed a large diastasis after more than a year postpartum - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 02-20-2011, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering if anyone successfully closed a diastasis that was 4 fingers width after being more than a year postpartum.  If so what did you do to close it?  I have been doing that Tupler technique and it hasn't really helped me at all.  I have read about befitmom (Helene Byrne) and I was wondering if that was better or are the exercises all the same.  Thanks for any info!!! 

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#2 of 22 Old 02-28-2011, 08:03 AM
 
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I just wanted to respond with the little knowledge I have on the subject. I was able to close a 4 finger-width diastasis using the Tupler technique. Granted, I did this within a few months PP, but from everything I've read about it you can use it to close any diastasis no matter how old.

 

I'm not sure if Helene Byrne's technique is different than the Tupler technique. For me, reading about how to do the techniques wasn't enough and I wasn't getting results (I had a small, picture-less handout given to me by my midwife). I needed pictures and more instruction, so I bought the book "Lose Your Mummy Tummy". Then, the exercises made more sense and I was able to finally make some progress.

 

Good luck!!!


Jen - 29, part-time LDRP RN and Birth Consultant. DH - 33. Married since 2006. brokenheart.gif 3/09. DD 2010.  Expecting a surprise new one in May 2014!

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#3 of 22 Old 03-04-2011, 06:56 AM
 
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did you try wearing the belly splint full time for a while?  It really seems to make a difference for me when I do...


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#4 of 22 Old 03-08-2011, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I do have Tupler's book.  I did the exercises for awhile without splinting and nothing happened.  Then I started splinting and it went down from 4 fingers to 3 fingers, but that is all and it has been awhile.  I don't know what I am doing wrong to it isn't closing all the way. 

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#5 of 22 Old 03-08-2011, 10:26 AM
 
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do you splint all day or only during exercises?  Also, I have a hard time remembering not to do things that will pull it back open... like sitting up, slouching, etc.  Mine was 2-3 fingers, but is down to one finger width, but I think I keep pulling it open during the day when I'm not splinting, yk?

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#6 of 22 Old 03-08-2011, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wear the splint all day, but not when I'm sleeping.  Perhaps it is moves that I do during the day.  I have a hard time remembering to hold my stomach in whenever I do anything.  Is that what you do?  I know to avoid the jackknive but I didn't think any others moves would set me back.

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#7 of 22 Old 03-09-2011, 06:06 PM
 
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No, I just try to be conscious of it... like holding my belly in? I wear mine at night but not during the day... I should wear it during the day, though...

Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise idea.gif  (1/06), Oliver Matthew  blahblah.gif (7/07) and Avery Michael fly-by-nursing1.gif(3/10)

 

dizzy.gif Wading slowly and nervously into this homeschooling thing.

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#8 of 22 Old 03-12-2011, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info.  maybe thats my problem is that don't wear it at night.  So I will do that and hold it in more

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#9 of 22 Old 04-16-2011, 02:49 PM
 
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There's a video by Lindsay Brin called Bootcamp 2.  She addresses d.r. and has all the exercises in that video that I paid a ton to learn with a physical therapist.  

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#10 of 22 Old 04-17-2011, 07:04 PM
 
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I never heard of this before this week. I was reading about someone who did TTapp and had the same problem and it closed. Just sharing the info and perhaps you can do a search on Ttapp?:)

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#11 of 22 Old 05-23-2012, 07:47 AM
 
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What is a belly splint?

 

 

I have a "diastasis" on the left side of my abdomen, which goes over to the middle of my right side. I had twins (6 pounds each) on March 22, 2011. I'm not sure if the surgeon using 8 very strong stitches caused my diastasis, but it's been a problem ever since the babies were born c-section that day. I have had a CT scan in December 2011 and the doctor said that it's a "diastasis", not a hernia since there are no torn tissues. He said,"Exercise, any kind will do...no surgery needed since there's no tearing. Good luck!" I can only find "diastasis recti" when I search. I was lucky to find this page by typing "-recti" when I Googled for diastasis.

 

I have been wearing my aunt's hernia belts, but they are painful since I need the support underneath, not all up and down. Her belts (elastic with boning) are rubbing/chafing me on the top and I have to close them and shove them downwards since my bulge is on the bottom, right above my thighs. My mom is trying to help me find the right belt. She's calling around, but nobody knows what we're talking about.

 

The twins are my 3rd and 4th children, so my muscles are pretty worn out down there. Births in 1997, 2000, and 2011.

 

Thanks for any info anyone can give me! :)
 

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#12 of 22 Old 05-30-2012, 12:44 PM
 
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My system for closing diastasis shares one important step with Tuppler, we both agree that building strength, a lot of it, in the Transverse Abdominis, or TvA is step one.

But we diverge from there. I believe that is it vital to then progress to exercises that train the muscle to function properly as a stabilizer, so that when the external abdominal muscles (the Rectus Abdominis and the External Obliques) are functioning as prime movers (like in a crunch) that the abdomen does not bulge outward during exertion, which opens the mid line and prevents the abdomen from re-flattening after pregnancy. All of these postnatal rehab exercises should use lower spine flexion, not upper spine flexion.

Muscle specificity theory basically states that what you practice is what you get. So you need to train the TvA both in isolation and as part of the kinectic chain to which it belongs. Tuppler misses this basic principle.

I do not agree that wearing an external support devise for long periods of time is a good idea. In fitness our mantra is "build a girdle, don't wear a girdle." When you wear an external support garment, then your core musculature does not activate, because the support devise is doing the work. All external support devises cause muscle atrophy to some degree. This can clearly be seen when a cast is removed.

For a wide diastasis like your, I recommend that you add manual splinting, with the hands, to assist your TvA, especially as you learn how to do the basic moves.

You should be able to close your mid line at least partially, (the mid line is always wider after a first pregnancy) and certainly, you can flatten your abdomen, narrow your waist, and develop functional core strength and stability in your torso.

Helene Byrne,

BeFit-Mom
 

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#13 of 22 Old 10-17-2013, 04:47 AM
 
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dear Helene Byrne (BeFit-Mom), i have 4cm wide diastasis that i got to know from the recent ultrasound report. i have delivered my second child 2 years before. but i did not not do any exercises except wearing an abdominal binder during day time. but now only, after 2 years, i have started doing mild exercises like "modified crunches, leg extention, pelvic tilt" with the help of a physio-therapist.. also i wear an abdominal binder all the time. will i be able to do close my diastasis? pls anyone answer me.

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#14 of 22 Old 10-21-2013, 05:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Mine has gotten better.  I had been doing the Tupler exercises and wearing a splint all the time.  I looked great right after I took the splint off but after an hour it would be a big belly again.  Thats when I posted this message b/c I was sick of the splint.  Actually when you look at photos on Tuplers website you can tell alot of them had just been wearing splints.  I wonder what they look like after a few hours....   I tried wearing it 24 hours a day but that didn't work either. So I stopped wearing the splint and worked on doing the exercises alone.  My belly actually got smaller.  I did get the Befit Mom book online since my library didn't have it.  My stomach definitely isn't perfect (1-2 fingers), but much better than it used to be.  I need to work harder b/c I have slacked off on the exercises. I do know that I tried a personal trainer who said she could fix my diastasis and she made it worse.  She had me lifting my legs up which is a big no no.  I tried a physical therapist who didn't even know what I was talking about, so I would be careful that your therapist actually knows there stuff. 

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#15 of 22 Old 10-21-2013, 05:55 AM
 
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dear bureshsf, thank you so much for the reply. i would like to talk more about it. can we join together in facebook? mine is same as the above name. pls send friend request to me and i will add you there in facebook or else give me your face book full name. thanks again. which exercises do you think actually will work? i am doing "modified crunches" with towel assistance but only once a day as per they show in internet. here is the site for that...http://www.pregnancy-info.net/separated_muscles.html. hope to meet you in facebook. do add me there in your facebook friendlist. take care.

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#16 of 22 Old 10-21-2013, 01:00 PM
 
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Wearing a binder PREVENTS proper activation of the Transverse Abdominis during movement and can prevent closure of the mid line.

Tuppler, a nurse by training, not a fitness pro, does not include any exercises which train the TvA to function properly as a stabilizer along with other muscles along its kinetic chain. This is key not only for diastasis rehab, but for restoration of functional core strength and stability.

All external support devises inhibit muscle activation to some extent. This can be clearly seen when a cast is taken off, and the muscle underneath has atrophied.

My rehab system for diastasis has great success with all women, even those who are years postpartum.

In the mean time, do not do any ab exercise that lifts/rolls the upper body off the floor, or against the force of gravity.

Google my screen name for more info.

BeFit-Mom

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#17 of 22 Old 10-30-2013, 06:19 AM
 
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FYI, what helped me the most in the past year was doing tons and tons of planks (well, and lots of running - I trained for a marathon this year), but my diastasis was already down, quite a bit, but my belly still stuck out funny like I was pregnant.  That's when I started doing the Jillian Michaels' 6-week-six-pack video.  I wouldn't recommend doing it if your diastasis is really large, still, but it includes a LOT of planking (along with other abs work) and it really pulled my belly back in where it should go.

 

Just my two cents. :)  


Jenna ~ mommy to Sophia Elise idea.gif  (1/06), Oliver Matthew  blahblah.gif (7/07) and Avery Michael fly-by-nursing1.gif(3/10)

 

dizzy.gif Wading slowly and nervously into this homeschooling thing.

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#18 of 22 Old 10-30-2013, 07:50 AM
 
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dear Helene Byrne (BeFit-Mom), i wanted to buy your dvd for fixing my diastasis problem. pls tell me how to contact you for asking some queries. i have also sent email to you on your email id given in your site. pls check and reply back. thank you.

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#19 of 22 Old 10-30-2013, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thats good to know about the planks.  It sounds like I am a the point where it would help.  I will look for Jillian Michael's video.  How long did you do the planks for?

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#20 of 22 Old 10-30-2013, 11:12 AM
 
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Contact me thru my WS as links are not allowed on this forum.

Helene, BeFit-Mom

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#21 of 22 Old 10-30-2013, 11:21 AM
 
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Planks create what in fitness what is know as "abdominal bracing." You need to have an adequate amount of strength in the Transverse Abdominis to do correctly.

After pregnancy, planks can be more difficult then they look and should not be done as a first rehab exercise for diastasis recti.

Many pp women with DR have little to no ability to contract the Transverse Abdominis, or TvA, our body's internal "girdle."

During exercises in the quadruped position, the TvA must also contend with the force of gravity. If this muscle lacks adequate functional strength, then the abdomen will drop downward, placing tensile forces on the already lax mid line connective tissue, exacerbating diastasis.

Planks are also an isometric exercise. Isometric exercises ONLY build strength in the body position which you to them in (muscle specificity theory).

So while planks certainly have an important place in core conditioning, they are not the ideal pp ab rehab exericse.

Women with diastasis should always avoid ALL abdominal exercises that lift/roll the upper body off the floor, or against the force on gravity as these types of exercises will worsen the condition.

Most standard ab workouts are not appropriate for postpartum rehab.

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#22 of 22 Old 01-19-2014, 03:59 PM
 
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Be careful with planks - they are more advanced and require good core strength in the pelvic floor and transverse abdominus.  I would recommend consulting a physiotherapist who specializes in postpartum rehab.   The exercises (especially the ones that target transverse abdominus) should be taught with supervision in order to ensure the correct muscles are targeted.  Avoid sit ups or anything that makes the split widen.  I was told that 18 months is the window for healing.  

 

Abdominal binders are sold in many drugstores.  Just ask for the binders with velcro closure that are used for abdominal or hernia surgery.  Try them on to make sure they are comfortable.  And do sleep with them.  That's where I went wrong I think.  My floppy tummy was stretching things again when I lay on my side to sleep.

 

A good way to target the TA muscle is to start with a kegal, and then try to use lower ab muscles to pull your belly buttton inwards and upwards.  Put your hands on your hipbones, and you should try to get your hip bones to move closer together (or the 'feeling' that they are moving closer together). 

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