Bump to Beyond

Can’t shift your baby belly? What is Diastasis Recti and what does it mean for you?

“Help me get rid of my baby belly” is one of the first things ladies will ask me when thinking about exercising no matter how long it’s been since they had children. But what do we mean by the term 'baby belly?' If you’re reading this, are pregnant and thinking, what the heck is that? Or have had a baby and thinking about how you still can’t seem to shift that pesky odd shaped tummy bulge still lurking months after having a baby (despite trying to exercise and frantically doing sit-ups like they’re going out of fashion) then take a few minutes for some time out and read on… We all know that our tummies get bigger during pregnancy and we gain weight. Whilst many wish to regain their pre-pregnancy figure after they have recovered postnatally, there is a big difference between wanting to shift the so-called “baby weight” (that you may see start to gradually reduce either by itself or after resuming exercise) and the “bulging belly” seemingly not changing after a sustained period of eating well and exercising postnatally. To help you understand what may be happening, it is important to understand a little more about Diastasis Recti. Diastasis Recti - So what is it? Now, I am not going to try and blind you with science, so put in the simplest way, Diastasis Recti is defined by the NHS as being when: “the two muscles that run down the middle of your stomach separate during pregnancy.” By looking, the separation may be visible to you during the latter stages of pregnancy as a bulge near the vertical midline of your tummy when you stand or kneel on all fours or you may feel a gap above, below or to either side of tummy button when laying on your back. Sara Haley known for her expertise in pre and postnatal fitness provides a great pregnancy self-check video for Diastasis Recti via the following link: Try watching this video on www.youtube.com, or enable JavaScript if it is disabled in your browser. So, my muscles are being separated!? Sounds serious…What do I do now? Let me reassure you that separation of the stomach muscles is totally normal! Whilst you are pregnant your tummy muscles need to stretch to allow for your growing baby. As your abdomen gets bigger all the connective tissues and skin is stretched and the said separation occurs. Yet, whilst the condition is normal, it is important to seek appropriate guidance about how to use your abdominal muscles during pregnancy and postnatally in order to help and not hinder you. Weak Muscles The key point is this – when your muscles are stretched they weaken and applying the wrong type of pressure to a weakened muscle will do more harm than good. For a lot of women, the solution to Diastasis Recti may actually be simple – it may disappear as naturally as it occurred during your gradual postnatal recovery. For some women, however, this separation…

Continue Reading

Benefits of exercise after birth

The benefits of exercise after birth: Enhance your well-being, stabilise mood swings Lift low mood Boosting your energy levels Speed up recovery, improve muscle tone and control Lose the excess baby weight and improve your fitness levels Improve your confidence and body image Meeting other new mums in a friendly relaxed environment Share

Continue Reading

Benefits of exercising during pregnancy

There are many benefits to remaining active or starting exercising during pregnancy. The main ones are: * Maintaining or improving fitness and stamina * Preparing your body for the physical task of labour and delivery * Balancing mood and improving body image * Reducing back and joint pain, constipation and swelling * Keeping pregnancy weight gain to a minimum * Maintaining routines and confidence so postnatal exercise is easier * Meeting other mums-to-be in a friendly relaxed environment   Share

Continue Reading