My Story of Diastasis and Postpartum Recovery
Hey mamas! Today I’m hoping on here to tell you about one of the little issues I’ve been dealing with in my postpartum recovery since Evy was born back in March: Diastasis. But first, let me give you a little background on my fitness journey:
Safe to say Josh and I did not set ourselves up for fitness success when I was pregnant with our son. It was my first pregnancy and I had no idea how HUNGRY I would be ALL THE TIME!! I had a hankering for spicy foods and we had a Taco Bell right around the corner. Not good. Not only that, but we both won a free meal at Zaxby’s each week for a year and had also been gifted Pasta Passes at Olive Garden by my mother in law. Delicious? Quite. Healthy? No.
After I had David, I barely recognized myself and was not proud of how I was eating and putting off exercising. Several months later, Josh and I started learning more about how the foods we eat affect our bodies and we decided to really really reduce the amount of sugar we ate along with introducing some other healthy eating habits. I also made working out a few days a week part of my regular routine and by the time we got preggers with baby #2, I was honestly in the best shape of my life! Here’s a picture of me first learning how to power clean (I had just found out I was pregnant with Evy girl about 4 days earlier).
I was super proud of how far I’d come and extremely determined to keep it up during my second pregnancy. Since I had been exercising regularly for a while before we became pregnant and wasn’t necessarily starting anything new, it was relatively easy to keep up the routine, with a few adjustments.
After Evy was born, I was super eager to get back into hitting the gym. I figured that since I had maintained a lot of the same workouts I had done before getting pregnant, that jumping back into them after delivery would be easy.
I was wrong.
Of course, one of my main focuses was trying to get a “flat” tummy. When I would try to do a sit up, I saw a long triangle of flesh pop up down the center of my abdomen where my abs had spread apart. And when I felt the area with my fingers, it felt like there was a hole right through my abdomen! When I would try to perform push-ups, I felt extreme pressure on my pelvic floor and lower back. I had thought that these workouts were only things that I had to avoid when I was pregnant and that as soon as baby was out, I’d be able to pick them back up again.
I had no idea why I was seeing that weird triangle pop up in my abdomen whenever I would try to use my core. When I read up on it, I learned that the issue I was facing was called diastasis.
I was actually really surprised that no one had taught me about diastasis or warned me that this was actually extremely common for postpartum mommies. At first, I thought that all I needed to do to fix the issue was just more core exercises, but I had no idea that I could actually make the issue worse by doing the wrong exercises! I wanted to build my core strength but had to do a lot of searching in order to figure out what exercises my body could handle without injuring myself.
That’s why I’m so excited that Natalie Hodson and Dr. Monique Middlekauff created their program Abs, Core, & Pelvic Floor!
It’s a 30 day program designed by personal trainer Natalie Hodson and Dr. Monique Middlekauff- a specialist in pelvic floor dysfunction, specifically to help women address diastasis recti, pelvic floor issues, and incontinence! While this is perfect for postpartum mamas, any woman who feels like she carries an extra pooch around on her tummy can benefit from the extremely educational program, without even having to leave home.
In the program, Natalie Hodson and Dr. Monique Middlekauff take the time to educate mamas on why and how diastasis happens and how to heal from it. In addition to the printable program, you can also access videos that help you understand the exercises they talk about and how to engage each muscle. SO helpful for me to be able to see it done before I try!
Seriously, if you’re struggling with incontinence, diastasis, or any type of pelvic floor issues, Abs, Core, & Pelvic Floor is a must! You put the work in by carrying your babies, now take the time to educate yourself on how your body has changed and how your workout routine needs to change to accommodate your body.