I recently learned that I have something called Diastasis Recti. It’s a separation of the abdominal wall, and it’s incredibly common for anyone who has had a baby. In fact, anyone who has ever had a baby has experienced diastasis recti, during their pregnancy. Just, for some, that abdominal separation never closes back up postpartum. My youngest will be three in less than two weeks, and I’ve only recently learned that I have it!
Coming upon the whole diagnosis of Diastasis recti did not come easily for me. It actually went completely unnoticed for over two years before it made its grand announcement. One morning, I went to pick my son up out of his crib and experienced a fast, ripping sensation right down my left abdominal wall straight from my belly button to my pelvic bone. The pain subsided, but I was left with a small umbilical hernia and tenderness in my abdominal wall that has yet to heal. It totally freaked me out, and I went to a few doctors after that, but it was my OB/GYN that finally shed light on the matter.
(To clarify, that incident with my son did not cause the diastasis, but rather, the diastasis (or weakness in my abdominal wall) caused the ripping and the ensuing hernia.)
If you are curious whether you too have diastasis recti, this video here will show you how to check!
In my opinion, the sooner you know, the better. Had I ever known of this abdominal separation in the first place, I would have taken immediate measures to properly strengthen my core, and I would likely have avoided the whole hernia debacle that I am in right now! To take this further, I may have also been able to avoid my back injury .
Different treatment plans
Initially, my doctor told me that the abdominal wall will not likely come back after such a long time, but after researching, I now know that it can be done and done quite well! I love my doctor, but if yours tells you something similar, don’t take that as your final answer! Do the research first!If your doctor tells you that diastasis recti can't be healed, they're wrong! Be proactive! Do the research! Help your body heal! Click To Tweet
There are programs out there that I have not tried myself but I know come highly recommended: MuTu System and The Tummy Team are among the top of the list. For me, I did not choose either of these due to financial constraints, but if I could have, I would have gone with the Tummy Team. I was not even a member of their program, yet they were very quick and thorough to answer specific questions I had about my own physical condition. If someone is willing to go that extra mile before I’m a member, I feel confident they would have taken good care of me both during and after!
My Self-treatment plan
If you’re like me, and you need to consider other, cheaper options elsewhere, there’s no need to worry! Your abdominal separation still can be healed without a pre-designed program! Just be sure you are diligent with your research as you choose what is right for you!
New Pinterest Board
To help kick things off for the both of us, I have created a new Pinterest Board called “Healing Diastasis Recti“. Some of these pins I have already looked at and tried and some of them I have yet to. As you look at this board, use your own discretion. The Rule of Thumb is: If anything hurts, STOP! You are trying to heal your body, not injure it further. Also, if any of these exercises cause your abdominal area to dome as you do them, stop immediately, and choose something else!
The Current Healing Routine
First, let me say that I am very much at the beginning of this healing journey with diastasis recti. I’ve weeded out improper exercises, but I am also still learning! I’m pretty sure I’ll be working through each of the pins on this board, but for now, I’ve selected three.
So, here’s the program I’ve created for myself: On my “A” days, I do this video in the morning…
…and I follow this challenge at night. (If you do this challenge, be sure to visit their webpage first! There’s a brief video there that explains each of the moves!)
On my “B” days, I still follow the above challenge by night but the pin below by day:
I highly recommend you read this pin, especially if you are planning to adopt it as part of your healing plan! Here, one remedy is given for our diastasis recti woes. Allow the belly to fully expand as you inhale and pull your belly button toward your spine as you exhale. From here, hold this position while doing a series of tiny breaths, pulling the stomach back a little further with each exhale. Leah Keller, the woman behind this exercise, indicates that this can be done from a cross-legged position, on your knees, standing with knees slightly bent, on all fours, or on your side in the fetal position.
I first start on my back, which was not mentioned, but I find it helps me trigger my muscles! (Is it just me, or do these muscles not “go” sometimes?!) Each position she mentioned is done for about two minutes, and let me tell you, it is hard! I am equally blown away by both how much concentration this takes, and my currently limited stamina. The results cannot be denied, though, and I am highly encouraged.
The final piece to healing my body comes by way of a homeopathic remedy that I discovered through Joette Calabrese. If you guys are at all interested in homeopathy, you have got to visit her site! Her information is thorough and easy to understand, and Joette is very quick to respond to any questions. She also offers classes and consultations, but for now, I am sticking with the particular remedy I have researched through her site.
So what remedy have I chosen for myself? Lycopodium clavatum 200C taken just once, every other day. I am extraordinarily new to the scene of homeopathy, and while I have big plans to pursue this further, I strongly advise that you visit Joette’s site before you choose this same remedy for yourself!
At this point, I am about two weeks into my healing journey. I’ll be honest and tell you that, when I started, I started scared. My abdomen was extremely tender, and I was very worried. It had thinned so much, I was on the cusp of a second, more serious herniation. Let’s just say when I left my OB/GYN two weeks ago, I started these exercises immediately!
So, what about results?
Week 0: I presented with extreme tenderness and episodes of an electrical type pain that shot all the way down to my pelvic bone. I couldn’t have the kids sit in my lap without discomfort, and I was often awoken in the middle of the night with pain and discomfort. I also had whole days where a burning sensation ran down the entire left side of my abdominal wall
Week 2: So, that burning I mentioned has been gone for a while, and when I checked today, my tenderness is nearly gone too! The hernia itself appears unchanged. While it is good that it did not get bigger, I was hoping to see a reduction in size. All in all, the fact that the tenderness is subsiding is huge (and my kids can sit in my lap for a longer period of time without discomfort or pain!). Oh, also, I’m no longer waking up at night! It’s all progress, and I’ll take it!
Wrapping it Up
Well, that’s my healing journey so far! An update will come, but in the meantime, I would love to hear about your own experiences!
What have you tried to heal yourself? Have you seen any progress? Or, are you like me, and you’re newly discovering that you have diastasis recti?
For me, so many light bulbs went off when I discovered I had it! (I just knew my ailments were connected!) Leave me a note in the comments and tell me where this journey has taken you!
Note: If you have diastasis recti, it is imperative that you do not do the same abdominal routine you once may have: crunches, planks, oblique twists, sit-ups…all of these are a big fat N-O right now. If you’re going to try a self-healing approach like I have chosen to do, make sure you do the homework first and find reputable people to guide you! As with everything else, there are many misleading “programs” and videos out there, so make sure you find the right ones!