At my final postpartum check I explained I was having significantly more back pain than my usual herniated disc related pain and somehow felt my workouts were making me look pregnant rather than fit. My midwife had me lay on my back and felt around my abdomen and told me I have a significant separation at 2+ inches apart called Diastasis Recti. I learned this is what "mom pooch" is- abs muscles separated and literally creating a bulge of tissue between them. I was healthy and active during my pregnany, but I had no idea many of the exercises I was doing actually made me more susceptible to abdominal separation after I had the baby. The most likely cause in my situation, however, was getting pregnant after having my first baby before my abdominal muscles had time to heal and fully come back together.
Every postpartum exercise I had been doing was on the no-no list (like push, ups, burpees, planks and such) and I am re-learning how to exercise, stand, carry my babies and sit in hopes of bringing them as close as possible before the next pregnancy. I'm bummed to say the least, but this is my reality. To be honest, my most whiny inner self is just really frustrated about not being able to do what I want to do. I like to lift heavy. I like to sprint. I like throwing weight around. I've always had to be cautious with my back but in these past three years of growing and nursing babies have been such a challenge for my physical make up.
I've gained about 40lbs with both pregnancies and while I'm a few pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight, I just knew something was off with my core. Thankfully I have a dear friend who had twins and was pregnant again when they were just 8 months old. She also has Diastasis Recti and has given me hope as well as advice for maintaining healing. So, Who shares this same struggle with me? What physical therapy/exercise/stretches do you find helpful? How did you close the gap? I know the only way to permanently close it is plastic surgery but that is strictly after the last baby and frankly, at 26 years old I just want to be strong without waiting for the growing babies season of my life to be over to walk in confidence. Please share your story with me!