Diastasis Rectified

My journey to heal postpartum diastasis recti


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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.

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Mourning the loss of my heels

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A fundamental benefit of the Mutu program is that you aren’t required to wear an approximating diastasis splint (side note: it’s die-ASS-sta-sis, not die-ah-STAY-sis as I once thought). Anyway, this is a good thing because you have to wear the splint 24/7 with the Tupler (pronounced Tuh-pler, not Too-pler) technique except for when you shower.

In exchange for not being corseted by the splint, we must try to decrease your intra-abdominal pressure. Or, we need to stop pooching our bellies out and scrunching up our lower spine because it’s stretching out our abdominus recti. Tucking the rear under and sucking in to try to pretend you don’t have a pooch will likewise do you no favors.

In order to decrease the intra-abdominal pressure you must:

  1. Get rid of all of your heels, even the slightest heel. Ladies, this means I had to get rid of my beloved Frye boots that I wore almost every day during pregnancy. Any lift at all will pitch your whole body forward and you’ll have to tuck-and-suck to be upright (heels also flare your butt up, creating a sexier/more baboon-like look). I bought two pairs of Tieks and one pair of Uggs (pictured) and I literally wear no other shoes. More closet space!
  2. Walk totally upright with your weight in your heels. I feel this most when walking up inclines with a stroller (hello, life in San Francisco!).
  3. Stop jackknifing when getting up.  This is the toughest for me because I always used to rely on the abs to bring me up. I kind of saw it as an extra strengthening exercise. No longer.
  4. Squat when doing all lifting. This one was not bad when the baby was 10-15 pounds but now I find it really difficult not to compromise other muscles when lugging around the man baby.

There are other things but the basic premise is body awareness and creating an environment that is conducive to healing the connective tissue. I say that with a little hesitation because most doctors say that healing the connective tissue between the muscle bellies is impossible and you have to get surgery, so I consider this all one big experiment.

*Note: I am in no way affiliated with Mutu and have not signed up for their referral program because I am not far enough into the program to endorse it. My only motivation for writing these posts is to find some solidarity and help me stay committed to the program!