Diastasis recti and fitness

The biggest struggle I currently have is that I so badly want to work out, and work out hard but I can’t.  My body isn’t able to workout to my mind’s expectations at the moment and hasn’t been for well over a year now.  Since being pregnant with Elizabeth and gaining 43 lbs (40% of my pre-pregnancy body weight, ouch) my ab muscles separated and didn’t get back together.  I unsuccessfully fought my doctors to get a referral to physical therapy because I knew my body wasn’t where it was supposed to be.

When I became pregnant again, at 6 months postpartum, I knew I had to do something to prevent it from becoming even worse of an issue, so I pressed harder with trying to get a referral, but kept running into a brick wall.  Luckily I visited my primary doctor who I had never met before (yay military) solely for the attempt to get a physical therapy referral.  My doctor was such a champ.  She examined me, constantly letting me know that she wasn’t 100% sure how severe or abnormal my diastasis recit was, what a physical therapist would do, or if they could do anything during a pregnancy, but because she wasn’t sure she gave me the referral.  That is how it should be handled.

Unfortunately the doctors and midwives before her told me, “there’s nothing a physical therapist can do for you while you’re pregnant.  They’ll work with you because they want the money, but they can’t actually help you until you’re postpartum again.”  And one midwife even had the balls to say, “this is why you don’t have kids so close in age.”  Yet, I was only 12 weeks pregnant and hadn’t gained any weight yet, so it was definitely a postpartum issue, not a pregnancy issue.  Witch.

Anyway, until I learned better in physical therapy I jogged, I did beachbody’s cize workouts, I did random other fitness workouts, but I avoided planks, crunches, and other movements that would cause stress on the abdominal area.  I didn’t realize that I was causing harm with those workouts and doing everyday things such as sitting up from slouching on my sofa, or getting Elizabeth from her crib.  Going to physical therapy was the best thing I could have done.  I had an amazing physical therapist named Kira who taught me a bunch of workouts to do in order to help strengthen my abdominal wall during pregnancy.  Not only were these moves going to help prevent the issue from getting worse, but postpartum they will actually help my muscles heal back to how they should be.  I learned how to move confidently without causing harm to myself.

It has taken a long while for me to begin this new workout regimen, but I am so excited to finally get going.  After I have this baby and heal I plan to get my core back into tip top shape so I can get into the best physical shape of my life.  I’m sick of being weak.  I don’t want my “small size” to hold me back any longer, and I may be in what might possibly be the worst physical shape I’ve ever been in, but that only gives me more drive to get into the best shape I’ll ever be in.

Kick butt fitness friends, and really, please start pitying me, being 32 weeks pregnant with a 12 month old and a husband gone for a month absolutely sucks.


Author: Katrina

My name is Katrina and I’m married to the love of my life, William, who is a first lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. Together we have the most precious little girls, Elizabeth Lorraine and Alodia Claire. I'm so glad you're here!

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