When I visited my midwife six weeks after having my third baby, she told me that I had diastasis recti (abnormal abdominal separation) and referred me to a Physical Therapist.
According to Healthline, diastasis recti can lead to:
- jeopardized trunk stability and mobility
- back pain
- pelvic pain
- damage to posture
- pelvic floor dysfunction
- hernia, in extreme cases
I had two other kids at home and a newborn to take care of. How was I going to find time to see a Physical Therapist? I used to have really strong abs before I had kids. I could handle this on my own—that’s what I thought, anyway.
For the next few months, I went on YouTube and searched for workouts that targeted Diastasis Recti. I worked on my abs off and on for months, but the Mommy Pooch would not go away.
During this time, I also started having mild symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction (urinary leakage) and learned that childbirth can be a cause of that.
According to Healthline, symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include:
- urinary issues, such as the urge to urinate or painful urination
- constipation or bowel straining
- lower back pain
- pain in the pelvic region, genitals, or rectum
- discomfort during sexual intercourse for women
- pressure in the pelvic region or rectum
- muscle spasms in the pelvis
In February, I finally started seeing a Physical Therapist for diastasis recti and mild pelvic floor dysfunction. From day one, I could tell that the hands-on manipulation and customized exercises were helping to heal my abs. After two visits, I did not have anymore issues with urinary leakage. (The pelvic exam and exercises were a little awkward, but they were worth it!) After a couple of weeks, I could tell that my jelly-like abdomen was starting to revert to the solid muscle that it once had been. It is now easier to perform normal daily activities and I hope to be able to do some more intense workouts in the near future!
Have you ever been treated by a Physical Therapist?