I have a diastasis and it’s OK!
I have had two sets of twins. My first set was born via C-Section and my second set was a vaginal delivery. With both sets I had a very large diastasis following the birth of the babies. After my first set, I did not have my diastasis assessed until the boys were almost three years old. My doctor did not check for diastasis or pelvic floor dysfunction at the six week check up. He simply said, “do a lot of crunches and core work.” Hmmmm…that is the exact opposite of what a woman needs to properly reintegrate her core.
After my first twin pregnancy, I sought help for an overtly tight pelvic floor from a women’s health PT. She assessed my pelvic floor internally and found that it was very weak. I had a very deep 3-4 finger wide diastasis from just below my umbilicus to 4 inches above. I had been doing all of my functional exercises for my hips and thoracic spine. But, I had a few things missing…reintegrating my pelvic floor and core through deep releases, proper breathing and proper sequencing. I also was not focusing on a diet that centered around rebuilding my connective tissue through targeted, healing nutrition. I was very lean and looked great but I did not have optimal function!
Now, fast forward almost four years and another twin pregnancy. The girls will be three in December. My water broke four weeks early with the girls and I had to be induced over two days. I delivered two babies in one day with very little tearing. During my pregnancy I followed the principles I learned through my coursework at Burrell Education along with my training through GIFT at the Gray Institute. I also regularly directly stimulated my pelvic floor using the pelvicore ball. I made sure to eat plenty of collagen rich foods and steered clear of inflammatory or gut irritating ingredients. Despite all of this, I still had a ten finger wide diastasis. It stretched from sternum to pubis with varying depths along the way. So, while I stayed in the hospital, I started working on light pelvic floor contractions and small amounts of resisted internal and external hip rotation. I talk about my nutrition strategy for recovery here: Two sets of twins: Recovery and a return to ‘normal’.
I diligently stuck to my nutrition strategy and loading program and today I have a very functional diastasis. Most days it is about 1-2 fingers wide and not very deep. I am not as lean as I once was. But, in all ways…I am most definitely healthier! I have a much better hormonal balance, great endurance and resilience. I have no incontinence or pelvic pain. I attribute this all to my education and I am excited to share some strategies with you!!
My take home message for this post is to stick to your plan. Focus on health first and everything will fall into place!!
I am going to be posting many prenatal videos and photos of my twin pregnancy. I will include movement strategies to help keep your hips healthy during your pregnancy and maintain a strong connection to your pelvic floor.
Here are a couple very rough, not edited (I promise to improve my video skills…please bear with me 🙂 video from one of my morning mobility drills before my bike ride.
In this second video, I use two different strategies to load my hips and thoracic spine. I bravely revealed my tummy to show what a functional diastasis looks like. In the second video, you can see some doming through my abdominal wall when I reach both hands overhead. It is not consistent with each rep showing that depending on the load and breathing strategy…you will achieve a different contraction.
I am looking forward to sharing this powerful and exciting message with you all!!