Thank you for all the sweet comments about my journey with healing my diastasis recti. I still have a small gap to close. I see small improvements in my core which makes me pleased that these past 13-14 weeks of doing core reconditioning exercises has helped. My general core strength also feels better. This makes me more determined to heal it! You can too!
How do I get rid of my mummy tummy?!
I have been getting more and more comments and emails about how women didn’t even know they had it. To be honest, most women who have given birth don’t even know they have it. Scary. Again, I hope it becomes more talked about so women from all over don’t fear it and realize they can get a strong tummy again. It’s important to keep in mind that most women can close their belly gap by doing gentle exercises like the few that I have mentioned before.
I keep learning more and more about this mummy tummy (diastasis recti or DR) and it’s so interesting to me.
Things that I focus on is the bulging tummy. To be honest, it isn’t pleasant to see your belly looking like there is a football inside it moving around. It freaked me out when I first noticed it around 4-5 weeks post partum. I must say that football look has greatly reduced!!
Can I do to planks and pushups to help heal my mummy tummy?
This is a question I receive a lot.
Planks? I feel starting off doing side planks are safe (start off with supported side planks and work your way up). When your gap gets smaller and midsection feels stronger you can give frontal planks a try and see how you do. It needs to be done mindfully. You could try doing mini planks where legs are bent at first, which I am starting to do a few times.
Pushups? I do pushups on the wall when I remember. I haven’t tried doing regular pushups yet to see how I do. I am nervous. Another exercise that needs to be done mindfully. Again, start at the basics and work your way up to full blown pushups when your gap is smaller.
Basically, when you think about doing an exercise you want to see if a bulge in the middle of your tummy elevates. You need to focus on your midsection while you are doing any exercise to see if it is safe or not. Depending on how deep or wide your gap is will determine what exercise moves are good or not.
Another question I receive is “what if I am pregnant–how can I prevent DR?” Great question! I hope to dig deeper into it to share more tips, but basically a great time to start core strengthening is before you are pregnant. If you already are pregnant, add in some core reconditioning exercises to start keeping your inner core muscles strong.
There are other things to keep in mind when you are trying to get rid of your mummy tummy.
Other factors to keep in mind when dealing with diastasis:
- Avoid any exercise that will cause your abdominal wall to bulge out upon exertion until your gap is closed.
- Think about using your transverse in EVERYTHING YOU DO. From standing, to sitting, to walking. (I am not perfect at this, but I am trying my best–it’s hard to remember this when I get busy)
- Poor diet. Make sure you are eating a diet focused on mostly real foods. Eating a well-balance diet will help shave some pounds off around the belly.
- Being mindful how much you are eating. Are you overeating? Or are you under eating? Both can contribute to your journey to heal.
- Make sure you are eating your healthy fats like I mentioned in the video. (I love my healthy fats and consume them at every meal)
- Watch your stress levels. High stress levels can cause extra belly fat. Remember to see more of your belly again besides having DR you need to lose the fat that sits on top.
- Get up and down correctly from a back-lying position. Always turn to your side and use your arms to get you up. ( I always do this)
- Don’t strain. It can make matters worse. Try to avoid or limit lifting anything too heavy at first.
- Avoid being constipated. What? How does this deal with DR? It can put pressure on your belly when constipated. Make sure to keep up with taking magnesium and using the squatty potty to help with proper alignment.
Basically you need to think about (bring your attention to) bringing your belly button toward your spine with everything you do. From little things like when you sneeze, cough, laugh, pick up your baby, get up and down and exercise. Trust me, I know it is hard. I am not perfect at doing this. But I try! I don’t always remember to have belly button towards spine but each day I do my best to bring my attention to it. I do extra belly breaths if I feel I sat improperly or coughed hard.
It’s scary because you don’t want to make the separation larger when you can’t hold your belly button to the spine when doing an activity. That’s a sign that you shouldn’t be doing that activity because you’re probably forcefully pushing forward. Once your gap gets smaller you will be able to start to do more things.
It can be hard. I know it has been for me. Healing my DR definitely takes time and staying positive that it will heal.
Again, for me, this is a work in progress. A journey. It has made me more mindful of my daily movements. That is all I can ask of you.
I hope this post has encouraged you and shed light on what is really going on with your body after being pregnant. It can be a scary thing at first. I was scared when I first tested myself. But I promise together we will overcome the mummy tummy and have strong abs again.
And one thing to keep in mind is that the key to flat abs comes from having a strong transverse abdominis, the inner abdominal muscle. Having strong transverse abdominal muscle will help prevent your belly to bulge. Don’t just focus on training your obliques or rectus abdominis.
You need to make the commitment to yourself and realize healing DR takes time. The journey will be slow. You won’t see fast results which takes even more determination and will power to keep going. Because, if you stick with doing safe core exercises, squat and go to bathroom properly, reduce stress, eat clean with a focus on real foods, workout smarter, make sure you have good posture (this one is hard for me) and have a positive mindset you will heal your diastasis. You are doing everything right.
I am realizing to achieve a closed gap I need to aim for correct alignment and function of the whole core. Really the entire process starts with the mind. You need to visualize yourself healing (this is what I am starting to do more of and it has been helping). See yourself standing with proper alignment. Squatting more in your day to day life instead of bending over! See yourself with a strong core. Staying positive about it all helps so much with the healing. Especially on those days when you feel like your separation isn’t getting any better. I have those days. I really have to dig deep and believe my separation is getting smaller.
Thanks for reading and for the support. I am staying hopeful that my ab gap will be closed soon. You should too! Believe in yourself and smile when you tell yourself you are healing. Let me know how your healing is going!
I hope this has inspired you to go out and live your best life.
Hey Lori! So glad that things are headed in the right direction for you. I don’t have DR but I have suffered from pelvic instability for almost two years- it is a long and tedious process to strengthen the core. Abdominal bracing has changed my life – it’s a lot of work as you mention to always be conscious of engaging your core and sucking the belly button to the spine but it is so so so important. Good luck 🙂
Thanks Kate! Yes it is so important!! Thinking of you with your journey, hugs!
Okay… so I haven’t looked this up on wiki or anything, but I’m surprised I never heard about this before – though a LOT of mothers have this. Should I be worried? If it’s really bad, should I go see someone???
Just check yourself and see how deep or wide your gap is and start from there. You don’t need to be worried, as you can fix it. It takes time to close it but it can be done.
Sounds like you’re headed in the right direction! I just got done with 4 months of physical therapy for this and other pelvic issues. Wanted to let you know that my PT said a realistic goal is to have a 1-2 finger gap in the end. Apparently even the best exercises and most mindful posture can’t completely erase the awesome fact that you carried a baby inside you for 9 months 😉 Thought I’d let you know, so you’re not disappointed if it never closes like it was pre-baby!
thank you Therese, that is what I am starting to realize that I might not close it completely, good to know that is okay! thanks!
Thank you for this info 🙂 I just realized I have this (16+ months post partum), like many others didn’t even know it was a thing. Anyways I appreciate your workout videos and thought I’d share a plant I found that is helpful for healing connective tissue; Gotu Kola. I am taking it in tincture form (2 dropper fulls 3x daily). It has no contraindications in breastfeeding. Good luck with your healing process and again thank you for your positive energy 🙂
Jess glad you found my site and enjoying the workouts yay! And thanks for the tip about Gotu Kola, I will have to look into it.
I’m working on closing my DR after three kids. I’m the same as you, small build but had a huge tummy every time and three 8 pound boys in 4 yrs. That’s the hard part going back n getting pregnant again lol some Ppl are just more inclined to get DR and every time I checked after delivery there it was again at a huge finger width. I’m now down to a 2.5 width so getting there. And no more babies for me!
Spelling mistake lol 7 finger width after birth
Awesome job girl, keep going you will get it closer. And congrats on all the little ones 😉
Thanks so much for sharing your journey and for all the great info. I had a really strong core before I got pregnant, worked out through out my pregnancy and am pretty sure that at almost 10 months postpartum I’m still dealing with a little DR. It’s been frustrating to not be able to get rid of that little bulging area of my stomach. And it has been hard to find information on how to correct it, so I was so excited when I stumbled across your site. I have also been frustrated because it seems like all workouts have so many exercises that I know have not been and are not beneficial to closing the gap. Anyhow, I’m off to put your advice into practice! Thanks again!
Rachel I am so glad you found me 🙂 and yes there are a lot of workouts out there that say they are good for postpartum but they aren’t. If you have any questions let me know .