“My core just isn’t the same.”
“My back always hurts.”
“I now leak pee with running and jumping.”
All of these are common statements from women who have an actual core injury postpartum. While many of us know that our core takes a hit during pregnancy, many of us are not told and do not know that our abs can actually be injured and the name of the injury is Diastasis Recti.
What is Diastasis Recti?
A Diastasis Recti is where the connective tissue between the 2 sides of your Rectus Abdominis – (6 pack muscles) has separated at the midline, creating a gap in the midline of your belly abdomen anywhere from the pubic bone to the base of the rib cage. Where one would normally feel tension in this area during a crunch or sit-up, there is a gap.
As a result of the stretching of this centerline connective tissue – your abdominal organs no longer have the support they need from the front and they pop out – hence the pooch/ mummy tummy. A functional core is needed to keep your organs, pelvic floor and organs supported. Without that we are prone to a Diastasis Recti, prolapse, leaking, and back pain. Your OB, GYN or a PT can test you for it. You can also check yourself. Here is a video where I demonstrate how to check yourself.
Our health care providers don’t always check for a diastasis: it is normal to have some separation postpartum, but for about 30% of women it does not resolve on its own. If you have a diastasis recti
What causes Diastasis Recti?
It is not totally known but the leading theory is that an imbalance in the pressure system of your abdominal cavity causes the connective tissue (linea alba) running down your centerline from the base of your rib cage to your pubic symphysis (bone) to overstretch and the muscles known as the Rectus Abdominis (6 pack) to separate. Once they separate, you are left with a gap in the centerline of your abs.
Your body is designed to withstand loads but if you have a lot of tension in your abdominals, muscles that are over toned, muscles that are under used, and extra pressure exerted from non-optimal breathing patterns, then your body cannot withstand those loads.
These occurrences can happen from faulty breathing patterns, imbalanced muscles, and repetitive movement patterns that are not balanced. So treatment for diastasis recti needs to be multifaceted and the emphasis needs to be on core function.
How can I heal? Can core workouts help?
Many women do a ton traditional core workouts but STILL see no results in their core and many find their core getting worse! Contrary to what many fitness outlets might tell you: simply doing traditional core workouts is just not enough and most certainly – a ton of traditional core workouts like sit ups can make it worse!
Sit ups, crunches, and planks will not fix the issue because these are spot treatments of the core. With proper core training, you teach your core to do its job, to manage load, movement, weight and endurance. With traditional core exercising- we are teaching our core to perform a move. These are not the same thing at all. Many of my clients are high level athletes, they are toned and fit and still they have a core injury. So when you are considering treatment, I want to remind you not to focus on how your core looks but how it works. Healing a diastasis recti is all about getting your core to work appropriately and to function – you should be aiming for good core training and not simply compromise with core exercising.
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"RYC is hands down THE most effective postpartum recovery program I have done, and I have tried them ALL. The focus is on teaching your body how to move/breathe properly while you're on the mat and on balancing and rebuilding your pelvic floor and the rest of your core, so you DON'T have to obsess about your breathe and movement for the rest of the day (unlike other alignment based programs out there)! It's slow and safe, and the cues are spot on to ensure you are doing the moves correctly, but don't let that fool you, it is incredibly challenging! This program has made me stronger than I have ever been with years of exercise and weight training, even stronger than pre-babies."Shaked , USA
"Restore Your Core is a kick-ass wake up call! Even if you think you're super strong there is so much to be gained and learned from Lauren's program.RYC meets you where you are; and where you are may surprise you, which is awesome. Get ready to truly understand how your body is functioning, learn the tools to fix it, and be part of an amazingly supportive community that Lauren has built and is actively a part of."Shayne , Canada
"I know... Function over looks, I figured Mother's Day was a good day to re-measure. When I first started measuring I was 32.5 at belly button. I now measure waist and hips, but today, my belly button was 28.5"! So awesome! The Restore Your Core program is working for me!Ashley , USA
"Just started RYC Core/Flow 3 yesterday. I'm starting to notice that the longer I do RYC, the more aligned I become. Had a whole day of barely feeling my prolapse :). Lauren, I'm pretty sure this is my answer - Alignment actually works!"Brenda , USA
"Recently purchased Restore Your Core and can't express enough how much I love it! In just a couple of days, I am feeling and seeing changes. I have been a Yoga teacher for 13 years. ...Lauren Ohayon's program is infusing my personal practice with the missing pieces for my body."Cathy , USA
"I seriously have been working on this for 3 years and your program and advice has been the only avenue that has helped me to achieve this! I've tried mutu, have seen tons of PT's to help me strengthen my core and i just couldn't make progress.Thank you!!!"Lauren , USA
"Before RYC I used to think that, when you have a diastasis recti, you are doomed to do very few boring exercises, that you have to close your gap, and that you should avoid lifting weights and doing cool stuff. None of this is true: RYC has taught me to move my body correctly in every movement I do, and I can finally practice different sports knowing the variations that will not put my core at risk, plus I can lift my heavy children without feeling pain!Elisa, UK