Diastasis Rectified

My journey to heal postpartum diastasis recti


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Mutu System Week 6 Progress Report, Putting One (Bare)Foot in Front of the Other

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First off, the folks over at Mutu made a very helpful infographic about what diastasis recti is, when it’s a problem, how to measure it, etc. There is a lot of disparate info out there about diastasis and it’s a concise and easy-to-digest summary.

Week Six

Week six does not introduce any new exercises. Wendy must know that getting halfway through the program can be a rough spot, especially if you haven’t seen the results that you want. I have been trying hard to stick to the guidelines, change my lifestyle, and do the exercises.

I can’t control, however, that my 7mo is now 21lbs and going through a very clingy stage. As much as I try not to move in ways that will undo my hard work, there are times that it’s just not feasible to protect that belly and things come poking out.

So, thanks to Wendy for talking some sense into me! It’s normal to not yet see a big or any decrease in width of diastasis recti and it’s also normal to feel like you’re spinning your wheels. So, I’m going to keep moving forward and just trust this is the best path forward. Despite feeling like I’m paddling upstream, I do think I see some progress in the right direction this week.

A note on the exercises

Just a note for those of you also doing the program, I think I may have started with a little lighter weights. The 5lb weights seemed very safe at the time (in fact, I kind of felt like a weenie buying them), but especially in the chuck-over-the-shoulder moves, I have to really focus so that I don’t compromise my back. I’m also still doing “Gecko with Attitude” as a modified plank on my knees with no weights. 

Hernia?

My doctor never checked me for a hernia, which is probably for the best because she also told me I can do all the crunches I want and that surgery is the only thing that will help and why don’t I go ahead and have a C-section with my last kid so she can repair the diastasis at the same time? So, my doctor was not a great help.

I’ve been noticing a hard bulge come and go above my belly button where my gap is largest (I carried very high), and for the first time I can see it in my photos for this week. It’s not super obvious, but you can see my belly took on a different shape this week – more squared off.

There’s not really anything I would do if I had a hernia unless it got strangulated or I felt consistent pain. For now I am just sticking with the exercises and trying to keep an eye on it. If I can reappropriate the abdominal pressure correctly, the hernia shouldn’t feel the need to poke through my connective tissue anyway. Whether it is poking through or not does seem to affect the measurement of my diastasis and my ability to do the exercises, though. For example, “Drop your heel, find your middle…no hands!” is impossible to do safely if the bulge is there.

Moving

I’m moving in two days, so we’ll be packing up my computer tomorrow. Good thing I have the exercises memorized! I will be back online next week, hopefully with some good progress to update you with!

How is MuTu going for you? I’d love to hear your updates and encouragement!

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Mutu System Week 5 Progress Report

It took me 8 days, but I did make it through doing the “intensive workout 1” four times. This week I moved onto Phase 2 core, which was at least psychologically important because I felt like I was actually progressing.

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Phase 2 Abs

This week I graduated to the next level of abdominal work. The main differences were:

  • More twists
  • More load put on the TVA (for example, in “Drop Your Knees, Find Your Middle” you can’t use your hands to brace your knees anymore
  • Bigger, meatier squats
  • The addition of a toe/shin stretch (which I don’t get much out of because I have inhumanly flexible feet)
  • Modified Bridge poses. Love this since I am having serious yoga withdrawal
  • Hip strengtheners and openers (including the same exercise the physical therapist had me doing for sacroiliac joint pain in pregnancy)

I was surprised at how different the second phase was from Core Phase 1. I was thankful for her mixing things up!

Progress

Looking at the photos, I think I see a little improvement from last week! That surprises me because:

a) I haven’t been walking, and this has not been good for my mental health with a 6 month old

b) I pushed myself too hard and it wasn’t until I had my husband feel my abs during Staggered Push-Ups that I discovered my abs were separating during them. So, back to wall push-ups!

Barefoot in Winter

We don’t really have “winter” per say here in San Francisco, but we definitely get rain and wind. I’ve been wearing my Tieks into the ground, so I have been on the lookout for a pair of winter shoes. I found this fabulous post on barefoot walking boots for winter. I love Katy Bowman and I kind of want to be her when I grow up, but I have a legit case of city fashion and most of those boots look like they were designed in a darkroom (Frye, are you listening? Chop, chop!).

Thankfully, I found two that I think I could work with tights or skinny jeans.

Nepal boots by Tom's Nepal boot, by Tom’s.

I find regular Tom’s pretty uncomfortable (especially compared to Tieks), but I’m hoping these will be a totally different story.

barefoot boot by VivoBarefootRyder by VivoBarefoot

While certainly not the sexiness that was my Frye Carmen Lace Up (love you forever, RIP), these will do when I need something waterproof. Giving up heels is tough, but think of all those bunions and joint replacements I’m hopefully avoiding!

Thanks for coming along the ride with me! Please let me know if you’re in this journey, too, so we can band together and offer each other support.