It’s not uncommon for women to dislike their appearance after pregnancy. Weight gain is likely, and the breasts may not be as perky. These are cosmetic issues that can be resolved. However, diastasis recti are cosmetic and cause medical problems.
What is Diastasis Recti?
The uterus grows during pregnancy and can encroach on the abdomen. As a result, the two bands of muscle that meet at the stomach are separated. The ensuing condition is known as diastasis recti or DR. It’s difficult understanding post partum stomach. No one wants to deal with loose muscles and skin. Those who are 35 and over are more susceptible to the condition as well as women who deliver multiples. Some women must have surgery, while exercise fixes the problem for others.
Medical Problems Associated With Diastasis Recti
No one wants to have medical issues while enjoying a new baby. However, this condition causes low back pain, pelvic pain, and incontinence. Experts say the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles work together. For example, DR may cause fecal incontinence and sexual dysfunction. The loss of core strength affects a woman’s balance and the ability to lift. Many patients develop umbilical hernias.
What to Avoid
Straining is a no-no. For instance, straining during a bowel movement causes strain on the connective tissue. Women should eat a high-fiber diet to avoid this complication. Exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, and planks can cause more separation. That’s why women hire a trainer with some medical knowledge.
Surgery for DR
There’s much debate about who needs surgery for DR. Many doctors suggest wearing a belly binder and physical therapy. Meanwhile, other doctors say women can’t recover until they have surgery. The surgery is similar to a tummy tuck, so many insurance companies won’t cover it. However, the doctor can convince the insurer to pay. They explain how DR causes pain and other medical conditions.
What To Expect From Surgery
Doctors say women should wait a year before having surgery. They want the body to heal, and the woman should be finished breastfeeding. The surgery lasts about three hours, but the recovery time is a little longer. Patients wear a binder and have drains for a couple of weeks. The area will be swollen for about six weeks.
The Physical Therapy Approach
Here’s what therapists do for women who don’t have surgery. Exercises are designed to strengthen the linea alba or the mid-line of the abdomen. A physical therapy program consists of exercises like pelvic tilts and heel slides. The woman lies flat on the floor with the knees bent. Next, bend the pelvis up gently and hold for ten seconds. Heel slides are done by laying on the floor with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Alternate stretching each leg in front of you without raising the heel off the floor. In the alternative, many women say pilates movements helped with DR.
The Belly Binder
Don’t be surprised if the doctor wants you to get a binder or girdle. It’s not the same thing as a waist trainer and is made of lighter material. The binder helps to hold the tummy muscles together so they can heal. DR has resolved for some women simply by wearing the girdle. Ask your doctor for a recommendation of a device to purchase.
There are several approaches to healing the stomach. Try the girdle and physical therapy if surgery is not an option. Women should be happy and loving life with the new baby. Start working on the problem by talking to your doctor.