Diastasis Recti - How to restore your postpartum belly

Updated: Sep 18, 2020

A For Apothecary have teamed up with the amazing folks at Orchard Clinic to bring about a series on managing and restoring your postpartum body. Losing that post-baby belly is one of the hardest after childbirth. We invited Orchard Clinic to share about Diastasis Recti and ways we can take to reduce that post belly pooch.


Love,

Jingyi

Founder, A For Apothecary




Pregnancy and childbirth carry extensive changes into our lives. What differences have you noticed in your body?


Muscular changes through childbirth

We often think that our body has fully recovered when areas such as our perineum and C-section heal, or when symptoms such as hair loss and vaginal bleeding clear up. However, the stress and stretch of pregnancy travel much deeper into our body than we may realize. Two areas that significantly weaken after childbirth are our Core and the Pelvic floor.



The Core

The core is the centre that stabilizes and mobilizes our bodily movements. Commonly misunderstood to include only our abdominal muscles, the core is actually a host of the many different muscle groups across our torso, pelvis, and hips. Its composition can be simplified as all the muscles of our midsection (including the front, back and sides). 


Importance of the Core

Core stability refers to our ability to control the force we produce. Why is it important to have a stable core? Studies have evidenced its strong relationship to injury prevention, particularly in the spine and lower extremities. It also profoundly improves postnatal women’s core muscle strength and restores any lumbopelvic instability and pain that may have been induced by pregnancy. Having a stable core would help:


  • Improve Strength and Endurance

  • Promote Postural Stability

  • Prevent Back Pain and Injury

  • Prevent Pelvic Floor Disorders

  • Regain Pre-pregnancy Tummy


The Core and Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA) 

Diastasis Recti Abdominis occurs when the left and right abdominal muscles separate to form a gap larger than 2.7cm, forming an appearance of a bulging belly. A common postnatal condition caused primarily by uterus expansion, it is closely linked with a weakened core and can lead to more severe conditions in the long run. 



The Pelvic Floor

The Pelvic Floor (PF) is a group of deep  muscles in the floor/ base of our pelvis (the bottom of your torso).


Importance of the Pelvic Floor Muscles (PFM)

Most of us are aware that childbirth directly traumatizes our pelvic floor muscles and disrupts our fascia support. Especially if you have had a vaginal and forceps delivery, PFM strength is likely to reduce more significantly. Weakness in the PFM often leads to Incontinence and like the core, weakness in PFM can drive other body parts to overcompensate and become overly-strained. A well-toned pelvic floor will help:


  • Prevent Incontinence and Diastasis Recti

  • Prevent Pelvic Organ Prolapse

  • Improve Intimate Satisfaction 

  • Better Core Stability

  • Promote Postpartum Recovery


The Pelvic Floor and Incontinence

Stress incontinence refers to an involuntary leakage of urine which can become more pronounced through actions such as coughing, sneezing or jumping. Postpartum females are especially vulnerable to this condition given the stress of pregnancy and childbirth.



HIFEM Technology 

One way technology has assisted with fast and effective postpartum recovery is through the use of HIFEM Technology to enable supramaximal muscle contractions and positively influence human tissue. This effectively reconstructs and re-educates muscles at a physically-impossible level, forming greater muscle memory for long lasting results.