By claire, Mar 20 2017 10:08AM
Have you had a baby and been diagnosed with a divarication? For those who are unsure what this is; it is where the rectus abdominal muscles have separated during pregnancy and haven't knitted back together again afterwards - leading to a 'pooched' stomach. I just want to clarify this a little more for you an actual divarication is when the abdominal muscles are greater than two fingers apart when checked.
If you would like to see how to check your abdominal I have a YouTube video here that will show you: https://youtu.be/aiQsDLkm1YE
Now as a fitness professional who specialises in the postnatal area, this is one of the many problems new mums present to me when I meet them - and not necessarily in just the early stages post birth I also work with lots of mums who's little ones are a few years old and older still! And one of the first things I say to them 'don't mind the gap'
I'll explain why, it is still unsure completely why some people experience a divarication where others don't - but it is 100% known that all pregnant ladies muscles separate to accommodate the growing baby! That said, there are things you can do during pregnancy to insure that the gap doesn't get too big or worsen the situation like dropping your knees to the side and roll onto your
Side when you go to sit up out of bed or from the floor etc. Plus many other tips I give my pregnant mums.
Coming back to the gap though, it's always best to have the abdominal wall check post birth by a professional. One that can check the integrity of the muscles around it and can work with you heal the gap through exercise and nutrition. This is something we cover fully through our postnatal rehab workshop and in our postnatal 360 online course too.
If the muscles are strong around the gap, and you don't experience any back pain or discomfort then you might be able to reduce the gap a little but how do you know it was fully knitted to start with?...... they might have been slightly apart to begin with and you've come back to your natural resting point. What you can learn though is correct posture, how to reconnect through movement, breathing, how what you eat can help it to heal, and all of these combined with the right professional can strengthen your core once more and lead to a less 'pooched' abdominal region.
Take a look at our online course 'postnatal 360' or our rehab workshop if you would like more in-depth information on how to help heal, strengthen and reduce your gap. Or maybe a 1:1 session would be your preference where we can work together towards your goals?
Remember though don't mind the gap, it's all about the integrity of the muscles. If you are experiencing back pain and a lack of strength in the core the chances are you need some help in this area, if it is feeling strong and is less than 2 fingers then by following some simple guidelines you are already on your way to recovery.
To learn more take a look at my YouTube channel where we discuss DRA and more.