Today I wanted to share about the 5 steps I needed to take to truly heal my diastasis recti. I’m not going to share a technical “how to,” as that’s best left to the experts. But I feel as though these 5 steps are just as valuable!
My History with Diastasis Recti
If you’ve been following along for awhile, you know that I have been struggling with a diastasis recti (gap in my abs) since my first daughter Eleanor was born.
To catch up, you can read about my experiences in these posts:
Or, feel free to skip ahead ;)
I was pretty clueless and didn’t take the necessary steps to heal between my pregnancies (hindsight is 20/20), so I experienced more back pain and other issues while pregnant with Everly.
After my second pregnancy, I had a four finger wide, very deep split in my abdominal muscles. I enrolled in Total Control shortly after the birth of my second daughter, and while I saw short-term improvements, I still found myself with a sizable diastasis one year postpartum. At that point, I knew that I had one option left: physical therapy – and I was going to seize it!
5 Steps to Healing My Diastasis Recti
I knew I would be in good hands with a physical therapist, but before I could truly resolve the lingering issues with my diastasis, I had to overcome these five steps.
If you’re struggling with a troublesome diastasis, I hope these get you started on a path to better health:
1. Recognizing that there was a problem
The first step in getting help for my diastasis was to recognize that there was a problem. While many women have a diastasis postpartum and they are very common, that does not mean that they are normal. Ignoring the problem could lead to a lifetime of lower back pain and pelvic floor issues.
2. Deciding I was worth it
There’s no sugarcoating it – healthcare isn’t cheap. I knew that pursuing physical therapy was going to be expensive for our family. It’s easy to opt out of things that we feel aren’t “urgent,” but like I said above, after recognizing the risks of not healing my body, I knew I owed it to myself to heal my core.
Ask yourself if you would pay for this service if your child needed it. If the answer is “yes,” then you deserve it too. Did I cringe with every bill from the hospital? Yes. Do I regret it? Absolutely not.
3. Advocating for myself
I think there are VERY few OB’s who make physical therapy referrals for moms to heal their diastasis unless it’s specifically requested. I knew that I would need to advocate for myself to my doctor. I stressed about it in the weeks leading up to my appointment, but in the end it was a very simple, straight-forward conversation. She was happy to help!
4. Prioritizing my treatment
Gosh, this one was hard. Finding time for my PT appointments was more difficult than I anticipated. Jeff was as accommodating as possible with his schedule, but many of my appointments had to be scheduled and rescheduled… and rescheduled.
One rule was that I never just canceled – I always had to have another appointment on the books, so I didn’t just totally fall off!
5. Having patience with my body
We’re all trained to want quick fixes, but in most cases, that’s not the way life works. Physical therapy is no different. My therapist celebrated the small gains and helped me understand that each and every week was getting me closer to my goal.
I truly hope these tips help a fellow mama who isn’t sure what to do next! If you have any questions, feel free to email me and I’ll do my best to answer or point you in the right direction :)