fitness

-

The Postpartum “Problem” No One Ever Talks About, But Should

The Postpartum “Problem” No One Ever Talks About, But Should

SWEAT sweat.com

The Postpartum “Problem” No One Ever Talks About, But Should
The Postpartum “Problem” No One Ever Talks About, But Should

It’s common to hear a mom say she wants to get her pre-baby body back and before you know it, she’s full-force into a fitness regime that her body might not have been exactly ready for. This article is not to deter women from wanting to get healthy and active after baby arrives, but as a Post-Natal Fitness Specialist it’s important to spread the word about taking the right steps to do so. If you’re a mama, then you need to read on!

 

The "Mommy Pooch"

The “Mommy Pooch”

 

Have you or your mommy friends ever complained about “still looking pregnant” or having that “pooch that won’t go away” after your beautiful baby has been brought into the world? Well the “mummy tummy” could likely be a result of a condition called Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA), also known as ‘abdominal separation’.

Without taking a deep dive into the science and medical side of DRA, I should say that it’s a condition that is a postpartum issue that no one ever talks about, but should! Sure, you can get the green light from your doctor at the 6-week mark and head straight for your boot camp or crossfit class, but the truth is, a million crunches and burpees are not going to make that “mommy pooch” disappear. I’m not kidding!

You’re wondering why, right? DRA is defined as a gap in between your right and left abdominal wall muscles that can result in a rounded, protruding belly "pooch." Yes, that’s the pooch I’m talking about.

 

Why Does Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA) Happen?

Why Does Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA) Happen?


Let’s just start with blaming it on the hormones and our expanding uterus to make room for our little bundle of joy. As pregnancy progresses, the connective tissue called the linea alba thins out in response to a mother's change in hormone levels in order to accommodate our enlarging uterus.
Following the birth of our baby, our hormones start to return to pre-pregnancy levels and the condition of the linea alba improves, but however this is not always the case.

Often elasticity is lost and the tissues have already become so stretched during pregnancy. As a result, they are unable to go back into position. DRA is typically characterized by the inability to create the necessary tension in the linea alba during recruitment of the deep stabilization muscles in your core. In other words, not activating your abdominals properly during exercise.

 

How Do You Fix DRA?

How Do You Fix DRA?

Before stepping foot into the gym, you should always get a detailed assessment from a pelvic floor physiotherapist. Do not skip this step! They are experts who can help you treat your DRA and restore your core through proper breathing techniques, postural adjustments and functional exercises. So, even when your doctor gives you the green light, make sure you also see a pelvic floor physiotherapist too!

Many mothers skip this step and end up doing more harm than good to their bodies. For example, crunches are a big ‘DRA no-no’ and they could make things worse. There are so many risks associated with DRA including back pain, pelvic pain, urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Thank goodness, there is starting to be more and more talk about the importance of pelvic health.

I’ve only skimmed the surface here when it comes to this postpartum “problem” of diastasis recti and as much as I would like to get more into the whole topic of pelvic floor health, I will save it for another article. 

If you’re a mama and struggling with flattening your tummy, remember that it might not be extra baby weight or that burger you had for lunch, it could very well be diastasis recti abdominis so make sure to consult with your healthcare professional if you have any concerns!

 

Pelvic floor health
Sweat has no liability with respect to any Contributor Submissions, including but not limited to copyright infringement or violations of intellectual property law.
<# for (var i = 0; i < comments.length; i++) { var s = comments[i]; #>

<#= s.user.username #><#= moment(s.created_at * 1000).fromNow() #>

<#= s.html_body #> <# if (s.images) { #>

<# } #>
Reply Like Unlike
<# if (s.replied_comments_count) { #> <# for (var j = 0; j < s.replied_comments.length; j++) { var c = s.replied_comments[j]; var lastComment = s.replied_comments[s.replied_comments.length - 1]; #>

<#= c.user.username #><#= moment(c.created_at * 1000).fromNow() #>

<#= c.html_body #> <# if (c.images) { #>

<# } #>
Reply Like Unlike
<# } #> <# if (s.replied_comments_count > 3) { #> Show more replies <# } #> <# } #>
<# } #>
<# for (var i = 0; i < comments.length; i++) { var s = comments[i]; #>

<#= s.user.username #><#= moment(s.created_at * 1000).fromNow() #>

<#= s.html_body #> <# if (s.images) { #>

<# } #>
Reply Like Unlike
<# } #>

Leave a comment...
Sort by: