Along with my new diastasis recti friend Jamie at Belly After Baby, I have gone through some rough patches lately.
Let’s review the life changes this process has brought so far:
- Never sitting on sofas, the mattress, chairs, or anything that would displace the intraabdominal pressure. I mainly sit on the floor on my sit bones (those two bottom points pictured above).
- Getting rid of all of my heeled shoes, even the slightest ones.
- Walking with weight in my heels, totally upright (which looks a little bit like a soldier and is hard with a stroller!)
- Squatting instead of bending and lifting
- Not torquing or twisting
- Avoiding front carrying whenever possible.
- Putting a bolster under my knees at night (if sleeping on back) or in between them (if sleeping on side)
- Giving up my favorite exercises until I have strength again
- NOT TUCKING MY BUTT. Muscle memory is for real, peeps. I learned to tuck my butt in lifting classes at the gym (grr) and it has been absurdly difficult to stop.
The list could go on. Needless to say, this takes serious commitment! It is easy to get discouraged.
I have been spending a lot of time on the Aligned and Well blog, trying to understand the role alignment plays in my diastasis.
Takeaway: alignment is everything. I gently pressed on my belly today just to feel the force that intraabdominal pressure is putting on my midline and WOW, it is powerful! No wonder the muscles can’t keep it together. Only by taking away the pressure I’ve been loading these muscles down with will I be able to regain and keep a strong, flat core.
One of the things Katy over at Aligned and Well said in her first Alignment Snack shoulder class (screenshot below) was that it’s a great idea to move your body in ways that aren’t as familiar. For example, if you normally cross one arm over the other in a stretch, then do the opposite. Get your body out of its routine. She even advises gradually weaning yourself off a pillow, for example, in order to increase mobility.
I’m starting to wonder if I had a small diastasis before pregnancy and didn’t know it, or at least poor alignment and a weak TVA. Then, wearing (chunky! sensible!) heels during pregnancy and doing literally thousands and thousands of weighted reps with my butt tucked probably took me over the edge. Let this be your fair warning, oh ye adorably fit pregnant person!
I am going to be starting the Mutu interval training this week, as last week I still was doming in the easiest of exercises and I even missed a couple days. I hope I will see more progress by next week after trying the “Week 2” Mutu routine this week.
We can do this, ladies! We’ve certainly met with much more difficult challenges before, even if they weren’t so easily visible to the outside world.