There’s no real “yes” or “no” answer to the question: “Can I give myself abdominal separation after birth?”, but in today’s article, I’m hoping to educate you a little bit more about what abdominal separation is, and how certain movements, and indeed general habits of several new mums can actually cause abdominal separation or make it worse.
If this is the first time you’ve heard about Diastasis Recti (the technical term for abdominal separation), click here to educate yourself more about the condition.
It’s important to point out that the abdominals don’t separate in every pregnancy, and please also note that there are many causes of abdominal distension (in both genders). Click here to read more about the top causes of abdominal separation. It’s rather enlightening.
As a new mum, I’m here to inform you that there’s one movement you’re doing which can either:
a) cause abdominal separation, or
b) make abdominal separation worse if it’s already present.
Were you aware that sit ups aren’t safe during the postnatal period? I wrote an article relating to this recently. Read it by clicking here. If you’re doing sit ups in an effort to tone your abdominals as a new mum, please stop immediately. They aren’t suitable for postnatal women, so cease them NOW. You have been warned.
I’d now like you to think about how you get out of bed. It’s the middle of the night, you shake yourself awake, you move out of bed as quickly as you can and tend to your baby’s needs.
Be honest with me here. How do you get yourself out of bed? More than likely, you shift yourself up into a seated position via a sit up-type action. Am I right?
If you do so, can I suggest you change this habit, because:
a) it’s not safe for your weakened post-birth abdominals, and
b) it’ll makes things worse if you have a diastasis of the abdominals already present.
How should you get out of bed correctly to avoid putting pressure on the abdominals?
Try this procedure here. Starting from lying on your back:
- Bend your legs
- Keep your knees together
- Engage your core/pelvic floor muscles
- Roll onto your side using your arms and core and keeping your knees narrow
- Place your hands under your shoulders and walk yourself up via your side
- Swing your legs over the side of your bed
- Engage your core/pelvic floor
- Push up to a standing position
Practise this procedure whenever you get out of bed and when you get back into bed to go to sleep, following it in reverse ie don’t lie back from a seated position either, because it’s like doing a sit up in reverse, isn’t it?
If your baby is not a good sleeper, think of how many times your baby wakes up in the night, and then cast your mind over the number of incidences where you sit up out of bed to go and tend to them? It’s likely to be several, isn’t it?
Being a new mum requires you to perform actions relating to caring for your baby at speed. At Mummies and Buggies and Your Pelvic Matters, I demonstrate the dangers of doing movements out of habit, and the consequences of performing them long-term on your pelvic floor, back, weakened abdominals and posture. If you’d like to book yourself a space and learn more about what’s safe and what’s not, see www.clairemockridge.com for more info.
See you again soon.