Breath Work is the foundation of recovering the core. Learning how to breathe well and release tension in the abdomen and pelvic floor will allow the muscles to relax and function to their full potential.
Start with this simple exercise to learn how to gently relax and contract the pelvic floor.
This breathing pattern allows the pelvic floor to relax and contract. If excessive tension or pressure is being held in the pelvic floor it can lead to dysfunctions like leaking upon exertion or effort.
Allowing the pelvic floor to fully relax and contact will bring support to the internal organs.
Eventually, you will move from laying on the floor to a seated position and finally standing. A good goal is to spend about 5 minutes a day working on your breath.
Soon muscle memory will take over and you will not have to think about it anymore!
Reaching, extending, walking and running are a daily activity as a mother. You might be thinking “oh I’m definitely not a runner”, but I bet you have to quickly chase down your toddler who is darting between cars or falling off the playground multiple times a day.
Dead Bugs can help support the core through various movements like this. When walking or running postpartum our opposite arm and leg work together to generate the movement.
Dead bugs help to strengthen this movement pattern before you begin running or performing high-intensity exercise.
Throughout a full-term pregnancy, the abdominal muscles go through so much. They are stretched as the belly grows and the pelvic floor muscles are working much harder to support the additional weight and pressure from a pregnant belly.
Returning to static exercises can be especially challenging on the pelvic floor.
A side-laying hip lift is a great supported position to strengthen the core and glute muscles and allows you to practice inhaling and exhaling while holding a less challenging plank position.
It is extremely important to be able to draw in a full inhale and exhale while holding a static movement.
A kneeling squat is a gentle exercise to begin working body weight squats and pairing breath with movement. Adding breath to movement can feel a little overwhelming at first but choosing gentle exercises like this can make it much easier to understand.
Starting with a kneeling squat instead of a full body weight squat gives your pelvic food the opportunity to continue healing and gently begin to move with a load before adding the additional pressure and weight from a full air squat.
A kneeling squat also allows for the opportunity to really feel how the quad and hamstring muscles both assist during the exercise.
Specific exercises like these can help to restore and close the gap of the diastasis recti.
There is a multitude of reasons to heal the core properly postpartum but one of the biggest reasons many women want to heal their diastasis recti postpartum is so they can return to daily movements without pain or pelvic floor dysfunction like leaking or pelvic pain.
When’s The Best Time To Start?
Early postpartum is the absolute best time to start diastasis rehabilitation exercises because the pelvic floor is extremely vulnerable after giving birth.
Starting at this time can avoid potential injuries and setbacks. But if you are years postpartum don’t worry!
It is never too late to start rehabilitating the pelvic floor. You are never too far postpartum to heal your postpartum body!
With so much conflicting information out there I hope that these four diastasis recti-safe exercises brought you some clarity! Try them out and let us know what you think!!
Breanna Naccarato is an entrepreneur, a mother of two, and owner of Loved Momma Fitness. Sadly in the spring of 2021, she lost her second daughter at birth and has since transitioned her business from working directly with pregnant and postpartum mothers into bringing more awareness to stillbirth and sharing her knowledge of pelvic floor health and exercise through different outlets. She loves the outdoors and camping with her family in their Adventure Van. Sharing her adventures, joys, and pain with others in hopes to also allow them to find their voice and the words to boldly share their own lives is something that she is very passionate about.