Today I am talking about how to assess yourself and clients for diastasis recti (abdominal separation). Lucy is 6 weeks postpartum with her second child and has been cleared for movement. As coaches it is our job to educate our clients as to what is going on in their bodies in the postpartum period and the WHY behind certain strategies, assessments and movement regressions.
Diastasis Recti is a natural part of pregnancy. The linea alba (midline) separates to accommodate our growing baby. It is something to be aware of (not scared of) when returning to life/ exercise postpartum.
If you have watched me coach pregnant and postpartum clients you have heard me discuss “exhale on exertion” or “blow before you go.” The reason for this is because your pelvic floor is designed to lift on the exhale. This is the fundamental reason that reestablishing proper breathing postpartum is just so important.
Conscious practice of pelvic floor lift on exhale encourages intentional use of our deep core system. This is one of the reasons Strength Training is my favorite for moms. They get repeated intentional practice in each training session which over time builds a more automatic deep core system. Which down the road results in less complaints of low back pain, hip pain and neck pain.
This is why I don’t encourage the return to running or fast paced group exercise classes in the 4th trimester, even if you “feel great”. Our bodies need time to reconnect our brains and our bodies during movement, it’s not always automatic.
If you want to watch an entire video on DR assessment, watch below!
Along with the DR Assessment there are A LOT of other items that I will look at with new moms. Posture, alignment, pelvic positioning, breathing, feet…the list goes on and on. Diastasis Recti Assessment is not the end all be all good or bad. We are looking at the body as a whole!
As always feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.