An Integrated Approach: Healing a diastasis!
Going into my pregnancy with the girls, I knew I already had a diastasis from my pregnancy with the boys. I also knew that it would get worse with two more babies swimming around in there! My goal was to stay connected to my core and pelvic floor.
I used a tool that I still use today called Pelvicore Pro. It is a functional neuromuscular reeducation tool that integrates the core and pelvic floor! An ESSENTIAL tool!!
I still remember the moment when the intern came into the hospital room after I had delivered the girls and told me that I had a “huge” diastasis and it would need to be repaired surgically. This made me so mad!! Not only was I completely hormonally overwhelmed from delivering two sets of twins but I was worried about my two baby girls down in the NICU. My first crime to “show them” was to sneak out of the recovery ward and make my way down to the NICU to hold my babies and work on getting my milk started. I did this so many times that they finally just gave me the ok to do it.
That first statement from the intern about my fate with my diastasis REALLY made me so mad! I was determined to “show them”! So, once I got the girls home from the NICU and set their nourishment protocol into action it was time to begin my rebuilding process.
This was not a smooth process! I made many mistakes along the way, misjudged my abilities, overshot my level of fitness, and had to undo compensatory patterns. Wow! What a learning process for me. Fortunately, there are a growing number of treatment options for womens health. Unfortunately, many are traditionally narrowly sighted and do not consider the breadth of possibility for recovery.
With the guidance of mentors and my training in Applied Functional Science as a GIFT Fellow at the Gray Institute, I took a nontraditional approach to retraining my core and pelvic floor! I used many tools along the way and stepped outside the box by not focusing on closing the gap. Instead, I focused on improving tensioning across my abdominal wall.
I use tools like the 3ACT Slide to train my core in upright function! They also have a mini version now too!! It is hands down the most logical tool to upregulate the pelvic floor and deep core stabilization system!
I also use ViPR Pro throughout my pregnancy and into the fourth trimester! It is an amazingly versatile tool that can be used for tilting, lifting, shifting, and beyond!
Digestion and gut health
Simply understanding the connection between the health of your microbiome and healing can have HUGE ramifications! What if you are constipated, have poor intestinal motility or are not digesting your food so you can access nutrients? That has a big impact on the amount of intra-abdominal pressure and your ability to heal and recover. These are all issues that are addressed in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition!
What about the impact of that stubborn, tight hip that does not allow your pelvis to move well on the other side which increases the amount of pressure on your abdominal wall when you push your baby up a hill in the stroller? This has a HUGE impact on our ability to reintegrate the core!
This was an ongoing hurdle for me and have many strategies that I use consistently to improve both my hip mobility, but also my strength through multiple planes of motion. If you don’t have the tools that I use yet, that’s ok! Start with regular objects around your house!
Stress and lack of sleep
What about stress!! OMG! The stress of having a new baby for some is SO massive that it affects our whole body. Did you know that psychological stress can increase the time required to heal wounds by 25% or more! There are the obvious stressors and the hidden stressors. Hidden stressors can be gut infections or hormonal imbalance. It can also come from poor or inadequate nutrition. Add sleep deprivation onto this and you have a perfect storm.
One of my biggest stress reduction tools is the water! You don’t have to be a great swimmer to enjoy the benefits of the water. The pool unloads my body, giving it more freedom of movement and compression to help with the hydration of my connective tissue. Try these combos using what I call “variable swimming” to help your whole body contribute thus training your core and pelvic floor!!
Ask for help
Many women go through this storm and don’t know that it is ok to raise their hand and ask for help! You don’t have to suffer! My goal is to let you know that it is ok to ask for help. If you feel like something is not right and you are struggling to find the answers, don’t wait!
Personally and professionally I can attest to the benefits of identifying the stressors, both known (like physical discomfort) and hidden (like an imbalance in your gut or hormonal dysregulation), and working to minimize them. At the same time, you layer in a movement routing that will reintegrate the core using breath and movement that builds connective tissue.
I am here to help you! Functional Diagnostic Nutrition is a tool that I have used to help to rebuild my health and that of many other women. I would love to be here to help you on your path too!