Tuesday, December 28, 2010

5 Things to Know about "Mummy Tummy" or Diastasis Recti

Diastasis recti, is the separation of normally joined abdominal muscles-- frequently as a result of pregnancy. Diastasis occurs with approximately 1/3 of women who have had a baby. This is frequently what technically leads to lower back pain during pregnancy. (As your belly gets bigger, the abdominal muscles separate and your lower back no longer has its muscular support fram.) It is not necessarily painful, and does not usually require surgery to repair. You can tell if you have this condition if when you try to do a sit up a ridge forms in the middle of your belly from the sternum to the belly button. Diastasis Recti is also the cause of that lovely tummy "pooge" (as my children call it) that many women have after giving birth. Although it is not painful, neither is it desirable to have. Here are 5 things to know about diastasis recti:
1. This condition is why you would want to start with abdominal exercises after birth. There are two easy exercises that you can do to help with diastasis recti. The first is to suck your stomach in slowly as if you were holding your stomach in to look nice in a swimsuit or to fit in a pair of jeans. The movements should not be rapid, but you should control them slowly. You can do this while sitting or laying down. You can also do modified crunches with a towel wrapped snugly around your torso. Both of these will encourage the abdominal muscles back together.
2. It is important not to do just any abdominal exercises as this could make the problem worse instead of better. When considering what exercises to do, it is best to go to a professional trainer that has experience with diastasis recti. If you can't afford a trainer consider a video specifically designed for post partum recovery.
3. If diastasis recti isn't corrected after the first pregnancy, the separation becomes larger and harder to fix after subsequent pregnancies.
4. Diastasis is largely genetic. However, research shows that strengthening your core before and during pregnancy can help significantly in minimizing the effects of diastasis recti.
5. Diastasis should not be ignored. In addition to the general lower back discomfort, it can be associated with complications such as hernia. Furthermore, diastasis left untreated can cause permanent damage to your core.
So after you've had the baby, make a point to get an examination to see if you have diastasis. While you're at home with baby, you can do floor time together, or even do an exercise video with your baby. . .but make sure you take care of the diastasis before it becomes a permanent problem.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How soon can you start working out after delivering a baby?

Exercise can help you regain your shape, but how soon can you start working out after delivering a baby? And what are the best postpartum exercises? Most importantly, how long will it take to get your pre-pregnancy body back?
One of the main factors in determining how soon you can regain your shape postpartum is how healthy you were during your pregnancy. Many people are astounded when Hollywood stars lose 60 pounds in the few short months after having their babies. By most people's standards, this is exceptionally fast. By Hollywood standards, this is normal. If you've ever wondered why the Hollywood stars manage to lose their baby weight so quickly, it's because they exercised before and during their pregnancies. Plus, they're pretty conscious about what they eat. Of course, it also doesn't hurt that they can afford nannies to watch their children while they exercise and personal trainers to get them to the gym seven days a week for two hours each and every day (sometimes even longer) Even though, most of them wear a girdle to help them recover without discomfort, and to look great since the beginning of their recovery time.
For us mere regular people who have to deal with families, jobs or the responsibilities of being a stay at home mom and new children, postpartum weight loss may not be so easy. While you might not have enjoyed dragging yourself to the gym throughout your pregnancy, you'll be happy that you did once you start trying to exercise after the pregnancy.
If you were fit during your pregnancy, you should start to see results sooner with your postnatal exercises. However, getting your body back to "normal" can take anywhere from three months (that would be the Hollywood stars) to nine months (that would be pretty much everyone else). For that in-between-time, you may want to use a support girdle to help your body heal and give the appearance of a flatter tummy. If you are breastfeeding, you have to consume more calories to make sure your milk is full of healthy nutrients for your baby.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Advice for Post-Pregnancy

So you've had your baby and now it's time to do crunches to get your abs back in shape again Right?

Well, actually no. Fitness and exercise after pregnancy is a lot more complicated than that. In fact, exercises like crunches may actually do more harm than good in the initial postpartum period.

Delay abdominal reconditioning until 4 to 6 weeks postpartum. Avoid lifting and carrying heavy objects.

Wear your Bellefit girdle or corset to help you recover faster and be comfortable during this time.
If you develop a cough and/or sneezing from allergies or a respiratory illness in the few months after a Cesarean delivery, you will be protected if you wear your Bellefit Corset; it will give you the compression you need to provide support for your scar and to help ease discomfort.