Healing the post baby belly gap!
Will my stomach ever be the same after pregnancy?
One pregnancy? Two? Three? Ummmm...try SIX!
Don't even think for one minute that because you had children you will never have a flat belly again! I am here to prove you wrong and steer you in the right direction!
A woman watching her stomach go out and in as much as I have can really cause some vulnerability. Not only did I have to work hard to loose that baby weight, but now I have to fix my.... Diastasis Recti???
What is diastasis recti (abdominal separation)?
Pregnancy causes a huge number of changes on your body. Supporting the growth of a baby may cause the amount of pressure in your abdominal area to increase, which can cause the connective tissue between the left and right sides of your rectus abdominus (called the linea alba) to become separated, particularly during the later stages of pregnancy.
The first time I learned how to find my abdominal separation, I was taken back in astonishment when I discovered I could fit my entire fist into my 'split stomach'!
This picture is from Your Post Baby Body.com. This sight has some GREAT exercises for healing that gap. The vacuums are my absolute favorite. I do them ever time I exit the shower and actually stand in front of a mirror and watch closely to make sure I'm doing them correctly!
I went out and in and out and in and out and....well, you get the idea, but it wasn't until after baby number 6, that I started the healing exercises. I did an online search and found YouTube to be extremely helpful. All in all, it took about 6 months to feel comfortable and about 3 years to see my abs again. Sounds like a long time but when you add up how long my muscles stretched out, I really should give them the patience and time they deserve!
|This is pregnancy #4. I still had 2 more children to go after this!!!|
|This is after baby number #6. I was super excited that I needed a belt to hold my jeans up. Trim Healthy Mama helped me loose the baby weight. My diastisis recti was the next to tackle!|
|Present day!! My 6th baby is now 3 1/2 years old!|
Sit-ups are NOT the answer. (This exercise will actually make it worse.) It's certainly not about starving yourself. Abs are made in the kitchen. It's true. But hey...let's not kid ourselves. They are made in the gym, too! LOL! You'll be surprised to find out that I did not heal my gap with plain 'ole sit-ups. I healed it with squats, deadlifts, lunges and VACUUMS! Once the gap showed some healing I added plank work!
Save your money and workout at home with Cathe!
Here is Heidi Powell (A very fit mother of 4) explaining how to close the gap!
Now, don't confuse diastasis recti (aka Pooch) with the dreaded stretched skin. That is where I have to tell you to stop buying creams because that will....always....be.....there! But, loosing belly fat, toning your muscles with weight lifting and eating a diet full of protein and greens will help your stretched skin look it's absolute best!
For me, it's about feeling confident. I have an image in my head of how I want to be. I refuse to accept the thought that because I've had babies I shouldn't be able to have abs! Plus, I know how dangerous belly fat can be for a middle-aged woman. Closing the recti gap is so important for a strong core and healthy back.
Check list for 'closing the gap'
- If you have weight to loose, I highly recommend THM
- Start a workout routine that includes weight lifting. They sell dumbbells at Walmart. Throw some in your cart the next time you go grocery shopping!
- Choose some daily exercises that are specifically designed to close the abdominal separation
- STOP doing sit-ups
- Have some patience. This is a very long process and it will take...yes...years! But you're one step closer to having a healthy belly, strong back and more confident you!