Diastasis Rectified

My journey to heal postpartum diastasis recti


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Mutu System Week 4: Photos and a Review

Mutu System Week 4 Results

The “mummy tummy” diastasis recti with transverse not engaged and then engaged

Mutu System Week 4 Results

Transverse not engaged on left, engaged on right

Although I’ve been doing this for more than four weeks, this past week was when I graduated to the Week 4 curriculum with Mutu System by Wendy Powell. This means I was doing Mutu Intensive Workout No.1 four times and Core Phase 1 seven times this week.

I’m finally feeling like I see some results and actually feel different! I’m so glad I’m taking photos because, man, I was really pooched out on Week 1! I’m not seeing a difference since last week with TVA engaged, but I definitely see and feel a difference with it not engaged. My insides feel more tightly packed, if that makes sense.

How have I been liking Mutu?

  • I love that the daily workouts do not require sound. This is GENIUS. I live in a 1 bedroom loft, so there are no interior walls and any sound is game to wake the baby.
  • I haven’t purchased any special equipment yet, which has been lovely. This is what I’ve needed:
    • Pillow or rolled up blanket instead of half bolster
    • Big exercise or kids soccer ball for ball slams and squeezing exercises
    • My therabands from prenatal physical therapy (you’d need to buy those if you don’t already have some)
  • In the videos, Wendy doesn’t do everything perfectly and I also smile with her when she wobbles (because I’m usually wobbling with her).
  • I still can’t do normal push-ups, so I have been doing wall push-ups. This prevents me from getting my heart rate up as high as the HIIT (high intensity interval training) intends.
  • Wendy, who is adorable and so likable, uses a plus sign instead of the word “and” in all of her materials. I don’t know if this is a cultural thing or what, but the grammarian/librophile in me gets pretty distracted by it because I read it in my head as “plus” not “and”Nitpicking, yes, but I can’t be the only one!

I’ve been eating clean, cleaner than I had originally intended, due to my son’s doctor taking me off of gluten and dairy. Good thing I got rid of the chocolate chip habit before she broke that news! 

I have a lot more hope about actually healing the diastasis recti at this point. I’ve been told by so many people that it’s impossible and to just give up. I really hate that the medical community has been taught that line and I wish OBs had more knowledge about biomechanics and alignment. In the mean time maybe this blog will find someone frustrated with their “mummy tummy” out there and give them some hope!

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Sit Bones, Tucking, Intraabdominal Pressure, and the Postpartum Pooch

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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.

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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.