Diastasis recti abdominis (DRA) is a very common experience that not enough people talk about.
A tiny human will be growing inside of your belly and in order to prepare for the growth the uterus or womb stretches and expands in order to make room for them. This also causes the abdominal muscles to stretch apart as well.
The abdominal muscles spread apart at the midline where they typically meet. This results in a small gap between your six pack muscles. Generally, as the uterus shrinks back to the size it was prepregnancy, the abdominal muscles slowly move back into their proper position. In rare cases the gap remains and may require surgery to correct.
The great news is that with a little time, proper care, and patience the diastasis recti can be fixed. The sooner you begin your postpartum body care the sooner and better it will be. This article covers how to fix DRA after birth but if by chance you’re still carrying there are precautions you can take to help as well.
- Postpartum Belly Binder Belts: Postpartum belly binders might seem like a new thing but the tradition of postpartum belly wrapping is actually an ancient technique used by many cultures. Traditionally a cloth of some sort was used to wrap the belly but you can find more modern versions such as the Misty Phases Belly Binder. A postpartum belly belt will provide essential support but it also helps hold your organs, muscles, and tissues exactly where they need to be in order to correct diastasis recti.
- Postpartum Workouts: You’re bound to be exhausted after carrying a child for months and then going through the delivery process. However, as soon as you can begin a postpartum workout routine on a regular basis you should. The exercises target the abdominal region, as well as other areas. Your abs will need some core strength training and toning up. Even if you only exercise every other day, it will help immensely.
- Target Belly Fat: Make sure you work on the visceral and the subcutaneous fats that affect the belly. Visceral fat isn’t seen or noticed as it surrounds the internal organs. Subcutaneous fat is what forms under the skin leaving little dots of cellulite. Try to keep from eating more calories than your body will burn otherwise those calories will be stored in your fat storage for later use. Add some fat burning exercises to trim up any excess fat trying to stick around.
How Soon To Start Postpartum Belly Binding
If you had a vaginal birth you can most likely begin belly binding right after. There is the rare occasion that you may have to wait a few days before you start. When you get your postnatal check talk to your doctor to be sure your body is ready for it.
In the event that you had a c-section you’ll need a few weeks before you can begin postpartum belly binding. This is because the incision needs to be healed completely and stay dry. Some women who’ve had a c-section need a couple of months so be patient and make sure to get the go ahead from your doctor first.
It is extremely important that you wear the belly binder tight enough but not so tight that it cuts off circulation or causes extreme discomfort. You also want to be sure you wear it every day for a couple of months for the best results. Avoid sleeping in your postpartum belly binder.
Just remember, your body spent nine months stretching itself out in order to prepare. You will not see results overnight but if you keep at it you’ll notice obvious results within a couple of months. Pay close attention to your body and any signs it gives you. Within a few months you’ll not even notice that you had diastasis recti by sight.