Back at it again with an update on the gap in my stomach…aka diastatis recti. I realize this info does not pertain to everyone but I am putting my journey out there regardless because a. not a lot of women know about this and b. the messages I have received in regards to this condition are motivation in and of themselves. (Thank you!)
I had my follow up appointment with my physical therapist and the good news is my DR (going to use this acronym instead of typing diastatis recti every single time) has closed to one finger width. Very, very pleased about that. But…I have been wearing a binder around my waist to sort of keep things together and as a reminder to use that part of the body. Once the binder is off in a couple of weeks we will truly see the progress I have made.
In all fairness what I have been focusing on more than anything since my first PT appointment has been my breathing. And by that I simply mean the following:
Consciously exhaling all the time.
Sounds easy, right? Like something I should have already been doing. I thought the same thing until I realized how much I hold my breath. And I know I am not the only one. Some things to focus on… Exhale when:
- you pick up your child and put down your child
- go up and down stairs
- get in and out of the car
- go to the bathroom (this is a big one – that last place a person should hold their breath is while on the potty)
- begin to exhale when you feel a sneeze or cough coming on (really takes the pressure off)
- in general when picking up something, putting down something or getting into or out of sitting/laying positions
As simple as these things sound women who have carried babies lose sight of these because we go months without using our diaphragms properly. (You know, since there is a human being in the way and all.) And honestly, no matter man or woman, pregnancy or not, we all have a tendency to hold our breath when we should be exhaling. Especially during activities such as sports.
Obviously I am no doctor, or physical therapist, but simply focusing on how I breath the last few weeks has improved my core strength ten fold. I now feel confident enough to run again, which my PT agreed I am ready for.
This guidance has been a gift like no other. I hope anyone out there with a DR (no matter how big or small, or how long its been since you had a child) knows that there is help available. Your gap can in fact reduce and you can get back to feeling less pain and more confidence in your core. We should love our cores, they are our center, what keeps us standing. If we don’t take care of them how can they take care of us?
Thanks again to all the ladies who have messaged me! You have no idea how much fulfillment those conversations give me.