I have ben paleo for a little over 2 months. I am happy with the results and the weight loss is great (back to my pre-pregnancy weight 128), but I am looking for optimal health and balanced lifestyle. I do not exercise very much because I have severe abdominal separation after my 2nd pregnancy. I am 5'4 with a short waist and the baby was 9 lbs. I looked like I had twins in there. I need to have surgery to repair the muscles and currently do not have the money to pay for it and insurance will not cover it. I got a hernia as a result of the separation and have been on disability since the baby was born. He is now 7 months old. My 2nd child is 2. The paleo diet has made me feel great and my hernia symptoms are gone, but I am afraid to exercise because of the separation. I walk a lot about 4 miles a day, I do light cleaning around the house and carry around the kids, but I am looking for optimal health and still feel weak with out exercise. Can anyone recommend some light exercises I can do to strengthen my body?
To repair diastasis recti after pregnancy, you need to start by building a lot of strength back into your deepest abdominal muscle, your Transverse Abdominis, or TvA. When contracted, the TvA compresses the abdomen. (The TvA does not move bone.) Then after this muscle has regained adequate strength, you need to do specialized postnatal rehab exercises that train the muscle to function properly as a stabilizer. If your mid line is very wide, more than 3 finger-widths, you can also add manual splinting of your mid line with your hands to assist your TvA. In the mean time, do not perform ANY abdominal exercises that lift/flex the upper body off the floor or against the force of gravity, as these moves will make the condition worse. No crunches, oblique pulses, roll-ups, roll-downs, most Pilates mat work, and yoga moves like “boat pose.” All women with diastasis should use the “log roll” technique when rising from the floor, or getting out of bed to protect their mid lines. BeFit-Mom
I have abdominal separation from surgery. I do modified push-ups, modified pull-ups ('cause I'm just starting on these things), modified planks, and wall-squats, which help a LOT. I also do belly-dancing (which I did after my kids were born, too -- they loved the motion when I danced while carrying them). All of these help strengthen the core, without requiring either a gym membership (and the ensuing time), or demanding a lot of tension on the abdominal muscles.
Diastasis recti is no fun!
This should be helpful: http://www.maternalfitness.com/
Recommended to me by a mom who had twins.
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