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I had my baby 5mo ago...and thought I had an umbilical hernia...went for a surgical consult...ended up having diastasis recti--basically my stomach muscles separated and aren't going back...<br>
Anyone else dealing with this? Any good advice on how to get my muscles back together without surgery?<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I got this with my first baby 6.5 years ago. Mine never went back but that's okay. It's no biggie. My biggest issue is if I put on any extra weight it all hangs out there in my belly area. But if I keep myself in reasonable shape it's not a problem at all. There are exercises but they never worked for me. Something about doing sit ups with pressure on your belly or something like that. I can't remember now. Oh and I had another baby after the first one with the muscle damage and I did not have any complications relating to that, either. Just in case you plant to have more babies.
 

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I've spent more time researching this than I care to admit <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> You can try stomach vacuums at first, do them for about 6 weeks (just google it, you'll find more than I'll type in here). After that you can do crunches with JUST your shoulders above the ground but wrap a towel around your waist and pull on it to squeeze your abs together as your abdomen contracts. Finally, after you get things starting to work properly with the vacuums try something like callanetics which is INCREDIBLE for your natural internal girdle which is going to be what keeps you from popping out all over the place. It's a lot of work, but I have no intention of either having a bulgy belly, or having muscle repair to my abdomen because of the limitations afterward... I'm too sporty <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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The "maternal fitness" program (look for the book called "lose the Mummy Tummy"...horrible title, but good program) is designed to address this exact condition!<br><br>
You can see the book at <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325&tag=motheringhud-20&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FLose-Mummy-Tummy-Julie-Tupler%2Fdp%2F0738209813" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/Lose-Mummy-Tum.../dp/0738209813</a> but there are lots of interviews with the author (Julie Tupler) that you can find on the web and she usually discusses a few of the basic techniques.<br><br>
There was a thread in the mdc fitness area about a year ago, maybe a year and a half ago? Maybe search for "tupler technique" to pull it up?<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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One of the midwives I saw for followup after #2 suggested this, starting the day after the birth:<br><br>
Lying on your back in bed, do a gentle crunch, lifting upper body off teh bed. While you do this, cross your arms across your belly and pull the ab muscles together (ie reach to the left abs with your right hand, right abs with left hand, pull gently towards each other while doing crunch.<br>
Repeat 10-ish times, try to do several times a day.<br><br>
I did them in bed before I got up, before I fell asleep, and when I was napping...<br><br>
At my 6-week checkup, she was very surprised (pleasantly) to see that the gap between them was gone....
 
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