Friday, May 27, 2011

My Mummy Tummy

Please don't let the title of this post confuse you. I do not think I'm fat. Quite the opposite really. I currently weigh eight pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm probably in the best shape of my life. So why does my stomach still look like this?

Answer? Diastatis Recti. This is when the outermost abdominal muscles separate, causing a protruding belly and belly button, as well as back pain.

My chiropractor described it to me like this: there is a line all the way down the middle of my stomach where the muscles have separated. No matter how many crunches or ab exercises I do, the muscles won't just "go back together." My mummy tummy will remain FOREVER. Or not. I just have to do a very specific set of exercises and wear a special splint, and after some time, the muscles will eventually form back together, and I'll feel like a new woman. At least that's the goal.

After Denver was born, my midwife told me that I had diastasis recti. She said I would need to do some physical therapy and probably wear the splint. A combination of pride and ignorance made me pretty much ignore the advice. "I'm a hard worker," I thought. "I'll just work really hard, eat healthy foods, do some exercises, and this tummy will eventually go away." It turns out I was doing more harm than good. As I did more crunches, the separation actually grew. As the rest of my body shrank, my stomach was getting bigger! ARGG!!

So I have conceded defeat, and now I am willing to admit I need help. I will be following the Tupler Technique, which is a four step program to heal diastasis recti:

  1. Tupler Technique® Exercises (Elevator, Contracting & Headlifts)
  2. Splinting with the Diastasis Rehab Splint™
  3. Using your abdominals correctly with activities of daily living
  4. Getting up and down correctly

I have ordered the splint, and it should arrive in the mail any day now. I will be wearing it 24/7. I will also be doing her exercises five times a day (at least that's the goal).

I will update pictures of my belly every once in a while so that you can keep up with my progress. My goal is that by the end of the summer, I will no longer have the diastasis, which will hopefully help with some of my aches and pains.

Here we go...

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