Diastasis Rectified

My journey to heal postpartum diastasis recti

It’s Been Dark Under This Rock, or an Update FAQ

10 Comments

Inside my study cave.

Inside my study cave.

Is there life out there? I wouldn’t know because I’ve been buried under the massive boulder of intense studying for the last six months. I could probably braid my leg hair at this point and fashion it into small animals that I could sell downtown with all the other weirdo stuff that gets peddled. Is there really that big of a market for personalized rice?

So, my Restorative Exercise Specialist certification week is in 14 DAYS and I could not be more simultaneously giddy and terrified. This has been consuming so many of my life cycles for months and months in my relentless path to body wellness and I can’t believe it’s all coming to a head so soon. I expect my dreams to get exponentially weirder and more Katy Bowman-filled than they already are.

I suspect you are wondering a few things about me and my big old diastasis like: Any progress or what, Emily?

Here are all the questions I could think of. Please let me know in the comments if you have more!

Is your DR getting better?

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Yes! I feel way more “right” in my clothing now, even if it does still fluctuate. The gap seems to be about a full finger smaller, but as I’ve discussed before finger measurement (or “palpation” as it’s called in the research) has not been shown to be the most accurate. You can also still have a decent gap and be stable in your core, so that measurement isn’t an end-all be-all.

It’s noticeably less deep, though, and I feel more secure in my own core. I can’t tell you what a psychological boost this is. I feel like I have been waiting every day for almost two years to feel this way. So, there is hope ladies! And gents – let’s not forget you because guys get diastasis recti at the same incidence rate as women.

Why is your DR getting better?

Ummm because I’ve changed everything about my life. Hah! Okay maybe not everything, but it sure feels like it sometimes. Things like:

  • Only wearing 100% flat, flexible shoes
  • Trying to drop my ribs down all the time which is REALLY HARD and I have to remind myself every five seconds which is annoying.
  • Doing a bunch of the Restorative Exercise movements I need for my certification, but patently avoiding some of the stretches I need the most (psoas, buddy, I’m looking at you). I signed up for the RE-based Alignment Beach classes, too, which might be another option if you’re not into Mutu or you’re looking for something more technical.
  • Walking, though not in the “right” way most of the time. See next bullet point.
  • Carrying my kid in my arm whenever possible without deforming my body with leaning or sticking a hip out (this one is so hard)
  • Hanging on all the playground monkey bars, to my husband’s chagrin, and on our pull up bar at home. I once
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    This is me writing this post right now. The transformation is pretty thorough, right? Photo cred: Chris Lott

    spontaneously started scaling a chain link fence at the playground and he just quietly ducked away so as not to be associated with the wild monkey woman.

  • Minimizing sitting on chairs and couches where my body becomes more passive and out of alignment. Except for maybe right now. Oops.
  • Squatting whenever I can, like in everyday life when getting down to the floor. Related awesome study about getting up and down from the floor and lifespan.
  • Elevating my feet when I’m on the toilet (see: Squatty Potty) so I don’t have too much downward pressure on my pelvic floor when I have to go

Have you had any setbacks?

Oh yes. I decided that I was strong enough to do pull ups because finally for the first time in my life I could get my chin above the bar. It was a big ego boost and the consequent enthusiasm drove me to keep doing it. Doing a pull up, as I found out, requires ample shoulder girdle strength and flexibility as well as arm strength. So my arms got strong lugging that baby around, but then my shoulders got ridiculously tight. This put tremendous burden on my ab muscles to try to keep my innards in place and that has been the most progress-reversing thing I’ve done. I think I could actually feel the tissue ripping apart again but that could have just been my overactive imagination.

Also, trying to do full planks did not work out in my favor. There is so much to be said for really carefully listening to your body before the ego sets in. I guess my previous exercise-intense lifestyle has set me on a default mode of wanting to feel like what I’m doing is intense. Injuring tissue is indeed intense, but not really what I was going for ultimately.

Are you still into Mutu or what?

Yes! It’s a fabulous turn-key recovery program, especially for those who are in a place where they really just need to be told what to do.

You know how Carl Sagan said that if you want to make an apple pie from scratch you must first invent the universe? So going to get certified in Restorative Exercise because you have a DR would be inventing the universe and just making the dang pie would be Mutu.

Wendy seems to be absolutely lovely and cares so much for the community of women struggling with these disorders. I think she actually just certified as a Restorative Exercise Specialist, too (but don’t quote me on that). If you’re looking for a specialized diastasis recti/pelvic floor disorder recovery program that is holistic, driven by research (for the most part, at least), and includes tons of support and community then Mutu is an excellent option.

That being said, even being faithful to the Mutu program would not guarantee healing if you’re not at a place yet to do all those dadgummed lifestyle changes. Even then I wager you’d see progress, though.

Have you been getting sleep?

Assuredly not. My craziest study time has been 2am on the bathroom floor when I had insomnia and was like “well, the kid will be up in 2.5 hours anyway.”

Did you accidentally get all your hair chopped off?

My chopped hair and that little dude I lug around to all the places

I did! Let this be your lesson to never go to the closest hair place taking walk ins because the stars aligned so that your husband is home AND your son just went down for a nap.

Okay, much more info to share once I get back from Certification Week. Wish me luck!

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Author: diastasisrectified

I am charting my progress as I recover from a diastasis recti and get back to an active lifestyle.

10 thoughts on “It’s Been Dark Under This Rock, or an Update FAQ

  1. Happy to see the update:) Good luck in certification week!

  2. So great to hear an update. Would you mind explaining why you can’t stretch your psoas? Im thinking of like warrior pose with your back knee down and pressing forward to get that front hip stretch. Or laying on the bed with one leg hanging down and the other pulled in. Is it a matter of whether or not you are able to keep the core stable in these poses?

    • Hi Jenny! Thanks 🙂 I’m sorry I was not clear on that point – I just meant that I seriously hate doing the psoas stretch. I think I hold my tension there and doing it makes me want to claw out an eyeball. To my knowledge it’s not unsafe or bad for DR in any way. I do the warrior type version you’re talking about mostly. It’s a good one!

  3. Excited to hear about certification week! I signed up a few weeks ago for the RE certification and I’m nervous and thrilled. Like you, I found Katy through MuTu and was so fascinated. 😊 good luck!!

  4. Good luck with the certification. You will make a great RE specialist. You know what I’d have loved to see..a before and after picture of the DR…nothing like that for a confidence boost!!

  5. Can you tell me what shoes you recommend please? Thanks!

  6. What shoes do you recommend please? Thanks!

    • I have a *very* wide foot, so shoes are tough for me. I wear Vivobarefoot (vivobarefoot.com) and Camper’s barefoot line (they have a yearly sale right before the holidays, fyi). Tbh, I’ve never found a shoe truly wide enough but those come close. TheDrifterLeather on Etsy will handmake shoes to your foot shape, which is nice! I have a pair of patent Tieks that I use for special occasions. They are way too narrow, but at least they’re flat. I also have a pair of Minnetonka knee high fringe boots that I love, but that are also too narrow in the toes (anybody want to buy some lightly used size 7 boots?). 😉 Hope that helps!

  7. Hi Emily! I’m a guy with a pretty small diastasis recti, but would like to close it. I’m thinking about getting the Mutu system, but do you think it would be worth it for me, considering what a small diastasis I have? If not, where could I go for information on how to close my diastasis? Thanks very much 🙂

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