We all want a strong core right! Normally after birth we experience some weakness due to your body stretching and changing to accommodate your growing baby.
I work along side Women’s Health Physiotherapists and recently hosted a ‘Super Core’ session with the same Physio I visited after the birth of my first child. So if you couldn’t make our Super Core Class (or perhaps you live no where near Cairns), I have put together a summary of the key points you need to help you safely rebuild a strong core.
The low down on Abdominal Separation or ‘Diastasis’
Most new Mums have no idea what this is or if they have a diastasis after their pregnancy. It is when the facia tissue, between your rectus abdominals (the 6 pack ones) thins and stretches, causing a gap down the middle of your tummy. It is very common. Everyone to Elite athletes to Couch Potatoes can experience it.
Some signs that you may have this is a bulging line outwards from your tummy when you get out of bed, back pain/issues or even weak pelvic floor.
Great news tho! It is really simple to test and you can do it yourself at home right now. Will only take a minute. What this video to find out how.
How to check if you have abdominal Separation & choosing your core workout level VIDEO LINK
What can we do to help repair this gap?
- Early intervention is key
Ask your midwife, OB or Doctor to check your tummy. Even while you are still at hospital after child birth. The best part here is, if it is detected you may get free physio appointments through the hospital.
Your separation can still be checked at any time, so book in with your local Women’s Health Physio before kicking off your fitness journey.
- Roll out of bed
When you get up out of bed or off the floor, practice rolling to your side, then pushing yourself up with your hands to sit up. Sitting straight up is essentially doing a full ‘sit up’ and can put further stress on your diastasis
- Active your T-zone
Imagine you are tightening the muscles across your lower abdominals, from hip to hip (this is the top of the T), then draw UP from your pelvic floor. Zip from the bottom to the top (creating the vertical line of the T). This is a gentle contraction where you are trying to relax all other abdominal & bottom muscles from assisting.
- Posture Perfect
How you exercise when at a class or the gym, it is easy to think about great technique for that short period of time. But what you are doing the rest of the 23 hours of the day is really the function strength that you need. So, whenever you pick up your child, bend over to change their nappy or putting toys away, you need to brace your core/Tzone and use good technique that will support your core.
- Move with Care
Choose exercise classes or trainers who are qualified postnatal fitness instructors and know the in’s & out’s of your anatomy. There are so many great exercises to rebuild your core, but sit ups and crunches are ‘no go’ zone. Also avoid heavy lifting or strenuous work (not always easy if you are raising a toddler along side your new born) but try to make little adjustments or ask for help.
If you are a Cairns local, then make sure you join our upcoming Kangatraining Classes where we will safely guide you through a fun & energising class WITH your baby or click here to find a class near you.
If you have any more questions about your Mummy Tummy, please drop me a message on facebook or Instagram
Founder of Nurtured Fitness & Postnatal Fitness Expert