diastasis recti: Q&A with someone who knows more than i do.

Over the last few weeks since I first posted about my diastasis recti, a lot of questions have come up about this DR/Ab Rehab stuff.  But I am far from an expert in any of this (other than how to cause and then rock a flabby core), so I emailed Kelley Suggs from Lithe Wellness Solutions, and she was kind enough to answer our questions!

Q:  I know it's important to start protecting your core during pregnancy to prevent a diastasis recti from showing up in the first place.  How do you do the exercises while pregnant?

A: You can do all of the exercises through the 2nd trimester, when you shouldn't lay on your back anymore. Then you modify by putting a ball behind your back and laying at an incline, taking breaks when necessary and paying close attention to your body. Pregnancy is not a time to push your fitness level by any means, just maintain, and the same is true with the abdominal wall. In the third trimester, there isn't much need to go past exercise number 3.

Q:  Besides doing the exercises, is there anything to keep in mind to protect your core during day-to-day activity, both during pregnancy and after?

A: Getting out of bed the right way is very important during pregnancy. Do not jack knife up to a sitting position, but raise your knees and then let them drop to the side, rolling you over if you are on your back. Then drop your feet off of the bed and use your arms to push yourself up. That can really, really help with round ligament pain. Squatting to pick things up instead of bending over. Consciously using your core muscles instead of just bending over. Sitting with good posture and keeping your core engaged keeps it strong and healthy. Core strength is use it or lose it. That is the biggest thing people should know (as in all strength!).

Q:  As for the exercises themselves, are there any common mistakes people make when doing them on their own?

A:  The biggest mistake people make is RUSHING. Slow and controlled are so important in these simple exercises. Muscle memory is a big part of the program and you create that with slow, controlled movements.
Q: What level of improvement do you typically see in women doing these exercises? What is realistic to hope for, obviously taking into consideration that everyone is different? A: Taking into consideration that everyone is different, including dedication levels, most women with single pregnancies (one at a time, not multiples) with out any tearing or hernias should see a complete and full recovery of their separation. Moms of multiples may have a smaller likelihood of complete recovery and older moms, such as those who have gone through menopause have a smaller chance of complete recovery. Q: Once you're through the exercises, if the DR is improved or fully healed, should you keep doing them daily? Should you still take the same precautions with exercise/daily activities? A: Once the DR is healed/recovered, you CAN continue to do the program daily, but you are free to move on to whatever you would like to do. If you notice a small separation starting, go back to the beginning and work on the foundation exercises, 1 and 2 slowly and with control. No precautions necessary, besides good self care.

Q: What should moms know about DR if they don't have it themselves? Any risk factors or ways to prevent it? Should they be doing the exercises through pregnancy? A: Risk factors-the older you are during pregnancy, the greater your likelihood of developing it. I would encourage everyone to do and modify the exercises during pregnancy because it makes successive (2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc) pregnancies SO much more comfortable. The strain on your back is so much less when the front of your core can support the growing weight that is pulling you forward. So much great info from her! If you have any other questions about diastasis recti in general, or the Ab Rehab program specifically, let me know and I can address them in an upcoming post!
Check out all the posts in this series!

*I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the DVD for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

1 comment :

todd said...

can men experience DR? What events might trigger it for them? Would the same program be expected to produce results for them?