The Mummy Tummy: Getting Over Diastasis Recti
Motherhood has its charms, the smile of the baby, the way it wraps its fingers around your hand, but along with it, it brings an introduction to lot of new terms. Diastasis recti or DRA is one of them.
DRA Diastasis recti is a fairly common condition of pregnancy and postpartum. In medical terms, it is when the right and left halves of Rectus Abdominis muscle spread apart at the body's midline fascia, the linea alba. Or simply the gap between your left and right belly muscles has increased.
How to get that Elusive Flat Tummy again
Most of the new mommies want to hit the gym and start the crunches as soon as possible. And herein lies the problem. As far as DRA is concerned, doing the conventional stomach exercises like sit-ups and crunches is going to worsen the problem. These will actually lead to increase in the gap between the stomach muscles.
Basically avoid anything that makes your belly “cone” and puts extra, unnecessary pressure on your already protruding tummy. You need to do exercise that encourage the two bands of muscles to come together again and build abdominal strength.
The Right Exercises
The most common exercises recommended for DRA are:
Core contraction –The most important exercise is to build your core. Sit down comfortably and place both hands on your stomach. Slowly breathe in and contract the abdominal muscles, pulling them straight back towards the spine. Hold the position for 30 seconds, while maintaining controlled breathing. Start with 5 rounds and slowly increase them as per your comfort.
Head lift – for this lie down and bend your knees at 90° angle, feet flat, slowly lift the head and take your chin toward your chest. Try and contract your stomach muscles toward floor. Hold this position for two seconds; lower your head to starting position for 2 seconds. Do 5 rounds initially and gradually increase them.
Standing push-up – Stand at an arm's-length distance from the wall. With feet together place hands flat against the wall and contract your abdominal muscles toward the spine, lean body towards the wall, with elbows bent downward close to body, pull abdominal muscles in further, with controlled breathing. Relax as you push back to starting position.
Squat against the wall –Stand with back against the wall, slowly get your body to a seated position so knees are bent at a 90° angle, contract your abs toward spine as you raise body back to standing position.
Enjoy your new journey as a mom and follow a healthy lifestyle. Catch up on the much needed sleep and do the right exercises. The Flat tummy will follow.
An engineer, MBA graduate and a full time mom, Priyanka wears many hats. She has been a part of a tech startup. An avid reader and foodie, follow her and her crazy ideas on Facebook and Instagram @priyankatlwr
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