This mom is a GREAT example of what can happen when you proactively take care of the 4 weakness issues within the first few months postpartum. The fascia responds best to splinting and corrective exercise within the first several months post (this doesn't mean it won't respond later..it just will be slower or the fascia may not respond, only the muscles will)
This mom had a c-section with her twins. She has 2 older children. She had a very large diastasis. She measured 5 1/4" at the belly button, 5 below and 4 above. Fascia was very lax. We started ReCORE at 4 weeks post with her OBGYN permission. She started using the FITsplint as well and was very consistent with wearing it (8 hrs a day and while sleeping for 6 weeks. I do not recommend 24/7). After ReCORE, she was closed above the belly button, 2 1/2" at the belly button and closed below! The fascia was much tighter.
*Sometimes I see clients diastasis improve, but only because the muscles just engage closer together, which means they have functional diastasis (this is the goal if fascia doesn't respond). The ones that I train immediately postpartum I see the fascia respond well.
This moms fascia actually tightened up from a 5 to closed on top and bottom and just over 2 around the belly button!
My goal with ReCORE is for moms to:
1)Close the separation until the tissue doesn't respond (shorten any more)
2)Get the inner core unit activated and coordinated with pelvic floor, TVA and breathing3)Teach proper form/alignment
4)Progressively strengthen the inner and outer core (improve INNER CORE STRENGTH TEST)
5)Understand how/when to move on to other core exercise with CORE EXERCISE GUIDELINES
Before ReCORE and FITsplint™
4, 5.25, 5 - Fingerwidth Separation
37.5", 38" -Waist measurements
|Before ReCORE, 4 weeks post c-section, stomach relaxed|
AFTER ReCORE and FITsplint™
Closed, 2.5, Closed - Fingerwidth Separation33.5", 34.5" -Waist measurements
|After ReCORE and FITsplint, 10 weeks post c-section, stomach relaxed|
P.S. -I stress for women to relax the belly when taking every picture.
In Her Words:
"After I had my twins (boys #3 & 4) I was extremely stretched out. The babies were over 12 pounds together and to top it off I had an emergency C-section. I was very bothered by the way my stomach was still sticking out after a month, but even more than that, my back hurt all the time. I had been wearing an abdominal binder since delivery, but it wasn't helping. I found Celeste through a friend who also has twins and got started on the ReCORE program at 4 weeks post partum. At my first consultation I was so separated and weak that I couldn't feel anything when I tried to engage my abs and I could fit my whole fist between the muscles. I wore the FITsplint all the time and fit sets of the exercises in between feedings and within a few days I could feel things starting to wake up. I saw results almost immediately and that kept me motivated to keep it up. Just having defined sets of exercise made it seem doable, even with the constant care needed by colicky twins. After finishing the program, my abs are closing up very well and my back doesn't ache all the time, even when I have to hold my two little chunky babies a lot. I'm so excited to get back to my routine and know that I have the knowledge I'll need to keep getting stronger instead of doing exercises that could make things worse. I recommend ReCORE to all my friends who are pregnant or have lingering separation." - Bethany, TN
I wish I could shout from the rooftops how important it is to address Diastasis Recti fairly soon after delivery, preferably within 6 months post. Waiting a year to see what happens or to be done breastfeeding is not recommended. Even with small separations (fascia is vulnerable to stretching further postpartum).Women don't have to do it all in 6 weeks. Women can take it at a slower pace. Progress is progress. However getting the inner core activated, strong and stable before returning to typical exercise is just as important. It will greatly reduce the chance of moms dealing with low back pain/injuries, stress fractures, hip instability, stress incontinence etc. The fascia wants to heal. Give it the best environment with splinting and corrective/progressive exercise like ReCORE before going back to typical exercise. Your body will thank you.
See mombodfitness.com for more resources, Celeste's BIO and info on ReCORE & FITsplint