Well, I’ve been sort of avoiding writing about this topic because I kept debating whether I should post pictures of my current belly. I decided what the heck, I might as well! I’m completely envious of all those mothers whose belly buttons never popped out or never have experienced this dreaded “diatasis recti” I have not been able to get rid of. To my belly’s defense however, I have not really put in the focus or work to get rid of it. It is possible to get rid of it and I’ve been motivated to write this post in order to challenge myself and perhaps challenge other mothers that may be wanting to correct this separation as well.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Diastasis recti is a separation between the left and right side of the rectus abdominis muscle. This muscle covers the front surface of the belly area. This condition is generally not harmful in any way, however some cases could be so severe that they require surgery to correct.
There are ways to check if you have diastasis recti. I know that overtime my separation has closed up a little and because I do exercise pretty regularly this has also helped, but I can still fit one to two fingers in there, especially in my belly button area. There is absolutely nothing supporting my belly button or holding it in place. You can visit this link for ways to check if you suffer from diastasis recti: http://www.befitmom.com/diastasis_recti.html
Not correcting diastasis recti either through the proper exercises or surgery and cause the following according to diastasisrectirehab.com: The outermost muscles (rectus abdominis) support your back and organs. When they separate, the connective tissue then becomes your support system for your back and organs. Thin connective tissue, unlike thick muscles, is not a good support system for your back and organs. So it makes sense that the side effects from this ineffective support by the connective tissue would be back pain and displacement of your organs causing gastrointestinal disturbances such as bloating and constipation. This displacement of your organs will also cause poor posture. The lack of support of your belly button will cause your belly button to become an outie. This is known as an umbilical hernia. A diastasis may also cause pelvic floor problems such as incontinence and prolapses.
In my case the condition isn’t too bad but definitely bad enough for me to feel embarrassed and a little apprehensive about wearing a bikini, although I have worn one post pregnancy as in the posted picture. It looks a lot better in the picture than it currently really is, the picture was taken about two years ago. What is worse though is when I’m full after a big meal, because my belly button is still a little herniated and due to this condition still pops out a bit. Also the skin right in that area is a little loose and has very slight stretch marks.
The good news for me is that I’ve decided to close up the gap with the proper exercises and get into the best shape of my life. I’ve ignored my core for some time now and it’s obvious that doing so has caused other injuries on my body such as bursitis and tendonitis as the body will compensate by putting pressure in other parts of the body when the core is weak. My core has been weak for way too long and it’s time to strengthen it the right way.
I went on the befitmom website and will be purchasing their dvd to correct my diastasis recti. Many have sworn by this DVD, so we will see what it does for me. It states that these exercises are effective even years post-partum. Jaxson is already 5 years old. It’s been a long time with this current belly! I am hopeful and will keep you all posted with the “after” pictures. I will post the results by December 25, 2014 as I couldn’t think of a better gift to myself than being fit, strong and healthy from the core!