Diastasis recovery and postpartum care (Month One)
TRANSITIONS: THE FIRST MONTH AS A FAMILY OFF SIX
Things I have learned so far:
I miss sleeping longer than 3 hours at a time. When I am able to sleep longer than three hours at a time again, I will never again take it for granted.
I love looking down and seeing my lower legs taper down from the knee into two very distinct ankles. Now I can wear socks with my tennis shoes and tie them. Yay!
I don’t need a waist line for the next 60 years. 😊 This is my predicted lifespan of course.
Toddler boys are amazing protectors of little sisters.
Organization and planning are essential to living your life in two hour time blocks between feedings.
Listening to my husband’s content sleep driven snoring while I sit uncomfortably awake for many hours during the night feeding the girls is starting to become less upsetting to me. Ok, that is not true, I secretly want him to stay awake.
Ok, so that’s the short list. When I think about the changes to my life from before the boys were born to now thewith me! 😠😴 list is huge. Perhaps the biggest changes are time allocation and priorities. Gone for now are the days of long runs or bike rides, instead it’s a short movement session in the garage or front yard or a walk with the kids. But, what is so amazing is that is ok. it’s even more than ok, it’s really great because my life is fuller and more complete with four little lives in it.
The month has flown by. The girls are more alert and interactive. They’ve shown significant weight gain so we are able to keep them up and play during the day. The boys can’t get enough of them! I’m so proud of them. They shower them in kisses and talk to them about their world. it is so great to watch.
We have only made it to the woods for a walk one time because the girls’ stroller is not built for trails. So, our walks have been confined to the neighborhood. Right now we are training to ride the balance bikes on our walk.
My movement sessions are short and still confined to basic patterns and short movement flows.
Two twin pregnancies has taken a toll on my abdominal wall. I have a significant diastasis recti. I cannot safely tolerate complex patterns outside of the sagittal or front to back, plane. One of the most important things is breathing. You must use a purposeful exhale on all parts with exertion. This is key to minimizing intra-abdominal pressure. Check out this blog for why this is important for healing diastasis. I start physical therapy and soft tissue work this week to restore balance to my body. It is still possible to get a good workout while avoiding unsafe positions. I have found creating a flow or a rhythm by linking patterns together produces the best workout. Here are a few simple movement patterns I have chosen:
TRX squat to row
TRX staggered stance push up
ViPR tilt with squat
ViPR Squat with lunge tilt
ViPR squat with a vertical lift
Gliding disc abduction and adduction
Gliding disc hip extension
Mobility is also very important. I have the great advantage of using my True Stretch leverage my stretches. The thoracic spine and hips are two key areas for me that require mobilization.
I am thrilled that my function is well, I do not have any symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction and I am so grateful to be moving and active every day. But, if I were to be completely, totally honest, I must say that I am very anxious about the amount of trauma my abdominal wall has suffered.
Knowing that diastasis is a result of excessive pressure on the absominal wall, my goal is to restore balance to my body to reduce the amount of pressure. I am staying focused on the big picture and consider the process of recovery.
Another component of minimizing pressure against the abdominal wall is proper gut function. I described my recovery interventions including diet and supplements in my last post. Since then I have experienced some intolerance symptoms which may be the result of the hormonal shifts after pregnancy. So, I removed nuts, seeds, all dairy and eggs from my diet for two months to see if the symptoms improve. I did this with great trepidation as I am nursing and I don’t want to risk creating a deficiency. However, from my studies I know if I have an intolerance or sensitivity to a food, the inflammatory response it is creating is for riskier than a deficiency. I have an excellent methylated prenatal multivitamin supplement. I consume non dairy calcium rich foods such as bone broth, dark leafy greens and fish with bones (salmon and sardines). Many of the nutrients, such as choline found in egg yolk, I receive from organ meat and grass fed beef. So, I am not worried about deficiency. It is however, a challenge to find recipes that are nut, grain and dairy free. aside from the obvious veggies, starch and protein, here are some simple recipes I have tried so far:
i could also use egg substitutions for baking. Egg substitutions work gray because I have a lot of excellent coconut flour recipes. Each of the following substitutes for one egg:
1 Tbsp ground flx meal mixed with 3 Tbsp water
1/4 cup mashed banana
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp gelatin dissolved in 3 Tbsp water
1/4 cup ripe plantain or 1/3 cup green plantain (puréed)
1/4 cup coconut oil, red palm oil, tallow or butter
So, for now my world is about feeding babies, loving on two toddler boys, studying where I can and recovering “normal”.