Pregnancy is an adventurous experience whose joy is crowned by delivering a healthy baby. The journey to ensuring that your little one is well-fed never stops but what lingers among most women is how to get their sexy back. While trying every possible thing from an intense workout to dieting, the baby belly never goes away. Those who are courageous to speak out will tend to relate your drooping belly with another baby on board despite you not being expectant. How then should one deal with the stubborn baby pooch and does it ever go away?
Abdominal separation or diastasis recti is a persistent problem that affects at least 2/3 of pregnant women. It is associated with partial or complete separation of the six-pack muscles. This separation occurs when the connective tissues that stretch out to accommodate a growing fetus fail to retract back to their initial size and instead lose their elasticity. Women who carry multiple pregnancies, are older than 35, have weak muscle tone, deliver a baby with high birth weight, and have had repeated pregnancies are at higher risk of this condition. Genetics play a part.
Identify abdominal muscle separation through the following steps:
- Lie on your back in a comfortable position. Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor
- Place one hand on the midline of your core with your fingers flat on your midline
- Place your other hand under your head and neck for support. Lift your head slowly and begin adding pressure through the pads of your fingers
- With no diastasis recti, there is the sensation of a toned wall. If space is felt, or your fingers sink into your core, you likely have diastasis recti
- Repeat the procedure for the areas directly above your belly button down to the pubis to determine whether the diastasis recti is isolated or in your core as a whole
Besides the identification exercise, symptoms such as difficulty in lifting objects, having an abdominal bulge, lower back pain, urine incontinence, poor posture, and difficulty with everyday activities due to lack of core functions should warrant one to take the right management measures.
The uterus is estimated to go back to its original size after 6-8 weeks. Depending on the type of delivery you had will determine when you can begin to do exercise to help close the gap. Please consult your health practitioner for advice. Further, note that the wrong exercise routine will worsen the condition. Therefore, activities that strain your abdominal muscles like crunches and sit-ups should be avoided. More information on the do’s and don’ts highlighted in the below images.
Do these simple exercises consistently at the comfort of your home to create the desired results. Remember to love the body you are in and to be patient with yourself.