I found out after my second pregnancy that I had something called Recti Diastasis. Or Recti Split. This is a condition most often found after pregnancy where your rectus abdomins muscle does not mend back together after pregnancy. You can find more information on it here. Most women do not know they have it and often try over and over again with rigorous ab exercises and crunches to try and loose that “mommy” tummy they have. Doing these exercises actually makes the condition worse.
I had about a 3 finger split after my second child. I was on the way to repairing it when I got pregnant with my third baby and now have been at a 4-5 finger split since then. This is one of the reasons why I do not love my body. It has been a really hard journey trying to accept it as I get asked quite often if I am pregnant or when is the due date. And even more so now after the loss of Eden. It is like a stab in the heart each time and my self confidence gets crushed a little more.
There are a few things that I can do to help mend my muscles together. The hardest thing is it takes time and a lot of effort. My mom helped me to purchase a splint last summer, that’s the first thing. The splint helps to keep your muscles together and to keep you aware to “activate your core” or “suck it in”, in other words. I am to wear the splint all. the. time. Day and night and only to take it off to wash it or have a shower or bath. It hurts people! It’s extremely uncomfortable and being a mom of 3 little ones running around all day it is such a pain! But guess what, all good things take the biggest effort don’t they. I have never really followed through with any kind of exercise program other than organized sports in high school. But I am hoping to blog my journey into closing this gap in case others are suffering from the same thing and to keep me accountable.
There are also specific target exercises that are tummy safe. I am to do some of these 3-4 times a day! UGH shoot me now! I am also not allowed to do any other form of exercise while trying to mend the muscles back. This includes running. I have been craving to start running again, of course right! haha.
I am going to be starting either the DVD from BeFit-Mom or joining an online community through Fit2B.I haven’t decided just yet. It could take up to 18 weeks depending on my commitment and the level of split I have which is on the larger side. If you are unsure if you might have recti split there is a quick and easy test you can take right at home. You can find instructions here. Skip to about 1:15 for the test. She also has information on it at the beginning.
I am super embarrassed to post this picture but just so I can see later and you can see what it looks like to have a split.
I am a size XL because of it. I am hoping by the summer I will be back down to a medium. So do you have recti diastasis? If you do or if you have been or are down this journey in mending the muscle I would love for some advice and would love for you to journey with me!