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Diastasis recti - experiences please

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#1 Hummingbird82

Posted 20 May 2018 - 12:44 PM


I had a c section two weeks ago and we had a gorgeous DD who is seven years younger than her brother who was also born by c section.

The physio at the hospital told me I had diastasis recti and needed to see a physio. She said it was five fingers wide. I went and saw a physio yesterday and he said it was pretty bad and seven fingers wide. He got me started on some exercises.

Has anyone had a similar gap and had success with physio? What sort of time frame am I looking at to close the gap to say two fingers? I love playing tennis and have read that tennis is one of the worst sports to play with DR.

Should I look at any other options to try and reduce my diastasis recti? Any experiences others have had would be awesome - especially with what worked and what didn't. Thank you!

#2 AdelTwins

Posted 20 May 2018 - 01:12 PM

I've had a four and five finger (whole hand) separation.

Did nothing special, just a few occasional exercises the physio gave me. Got back to one finger the first time and *I think* I'm back to one finger again 9 months post c section.

If I cared more I'm sure I could have sped up the process. Was too busy enjoying my babies.

#3 Soontobegran

Posted 20 May 2018 - 01:35 PM

It can heal however there are many that will have a residual gap no matter how much you exercise and if this brings many symptoms for you there may be a need for surgical intervention in the future.
A 7 finger gap sounds a lot and rarely seen unless the person feeling it has very tiny hands.
I would just follow your exercise plan and let it take time. Many women will wear a tubi grip type of thing when they start sport again as it gives a feeling of support.

Good luck.

#4 Fossy

Posted 20 May 2018 - 01:39 PM

A fairly normal part of having babies, I wouldn’t stress too much.  My biggest gap was 7 fingers, I wore SRC recovery shorts straight after birth for several months which were great.  

I was advised to do clinical Pilates, physio, hydro, ($$$!) but like PP I wasn’t bothered enough to do it.  My friend who’s a women’s physio told me 99% of people don’t need any more than minor intervention but some people try to cash in on it.  My youngest is almost 1, and I still have a small gap, which nothing can fix, but no issues, I can do various exercises and sports with no issues.

Get the shorts if you’re super worried, otherwise just enjoy your newborn. Congrats!

#5 Hummingbird82

Posted 20 May 2018 - 05:29 PM

Thank you - your experiences and thoughts are very reassuring. The physio in the hospital made out that I urgently needed to see a physio and worried me quite a lot! If she hadn't said anything I would never have known. I'll keep with the exercises (hopefully I'll remember) the physio gave me and give it time :-)

#6 Lou-bags

Posted 20 May 2018 - 07:06 PM

I’m 20mo post birth of my second and my gap has gotten larger again, presumably from lugging hmmm 23kg 4.5yo and 13kg 20mo around. I can actually feel how weak the muscles are when I have to scoop the 4yo of the ground when he’s having a tantrum but won’t budge. Such a bad idea!

I’ve booked in to see the physio as soon as my studies are finished (5weeks-argh!) to get on top of it. I’m sick of looking 5mo pregnant half the time 😥

My physio says that for most people the bulk of the natural healing occurs in the first 2 months and after that it’s more down to doing the right exercises to strengthen the deep core muscles, and not doing the wrong things (like pick heavy children up in awkward ways...).

Good luck with your healing OP.

#7 Elsom

Posted 20 May 2018 - 10:21 PM

I had a huge first baby at 5.26kg and I then had twins at 3.4kg and 3.76kg.  I'm very fit, with an athletic build and I ended up with about a 5-finger separation.  Nothing I did or could do would make a difference, I was playing some kind of sport or running or going to the gym almost every day.  I saw several physios and was persistent with the exercises, but to no avail.  I think it had a lot to do with the way I was lifting and carrying my babies to tell you the truth (like pushing my belly and hip out as leverage to sit my babies on).  Also, I've been told by many that having strong abs before babies makes it worse.

After my twins, I looked like I had a little preggie belly 100% of the time and got sick of people asking me when I was due!

I ended up having my abdominals surgically repaired (in Thailand because it was a third of the price).  My twins were about 4 1/2 yo by then and I'd tried everything.  Best thing I ever did - all fixed.  

I guess the best advice would be is to give it time.  Diastasis recti doesn't just fix itself overnight and takes a lot of time and perseverance.

#8 Hummingbird82

Posted 21 May 2018 - 09:49 AM

Good luck with finishing your studies Lou-bags and the physio to follow. That was actually another thing the physio said in the hospital - no lifting anything more than 4kg. Our DD was born 4.3kg so how does that work? Obviously I'm going to carry her etc! I hope you have some success. The physio made out that if I didn't do anything I'd be in a world of trouble. Scared the crap out of me!

#9 Hummingbird82

Posted 21 May 2018 - 09:50 AM

Thanks for sharing your experience Elsom. Wow - you certainly carry big babies! I'm so glad you got it all sorted in the end. It sounds like you gave everything a really good try and surgery was the best option in the end. I'm glad it was a success :-)

#10 DaLittleEd

Posted 21 May 2018 - 03:04 PM

I had a 5 finger separation (I could get my whole hand in there). I did some exercises a few times a day for a few months. It has mostly healed, down to about 1-2 finger gap. I have some residual core strength issues so will be starting Pilates when the budget allows.

 Lou-bags, on 20 May 2018 - 07:06 PM, said:

I’ve booked in to see the physio as soon as my studies are finished (5weeks-argh!) to get on top of it.

Off-topic - good luck Lou-bags! You are on the home stretch. I hope it goes as smoothly as possible.

#11 Lou-bags

Posted 21 May 2018 - 03:57 PM

Thank you both- I’m frantic but confident(ish) 😂

#12 nomes32

Posted 21 May 2018 - 05:29 PM

I have had a 5-6 finger separation after my third and have a brilliant physio. You need to be really careful what kind of exercises you are doing because it can actually make it worse. She got me straight into some SRC shorts and said really what you're trying to do is trick your muscles into coming back together. Many kinds of exercises will actually cause them to pull further apart and strengthen them in that bad position!
I was amazed at how they did come back. Last time I saw her it was down to about 2-2.5 fingers. Has made a huge difference to my posture, back pain and the shape of my tummy!

#13 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 24 May 2018 - 06:51 PM

I have a severe DR and managed to get my gap from 20cm the whole way down, to 10cm above, 11cm At belly button, 7cm below.

Im having surgery to repair this some time this year.
I had an ultrasound yesterday to assess the damage (7mo postpartum with my 4th bub, DR started 8yrs ago with my first)

#14 Mrs Who?

Posted 24 May 2018 - 07:53 PM

I have had amazing success using a program from pregnancyexercise.co.nz
Highly recommended.

#15 Kattikat

Posted 24 May 2018 - 08:27 PM

Maternity recovery shorts and youtube Pilates!

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