Healing Mom: My Diastasis Recti Story

Happy New Year dear momma friend! Did you enter this fresh new year with a goal or goals in mind? I do have a goal this year, but nothing extravagant or impossible to attain. In fact, my goal is pretty simple: be myself and take care of myself. It sounds a little self-centered doesn't it? But let me explain . . .

For the first half of my goal, I've been inspired by the MOPS theme this year: "Be you bravely". I'm learning to just be myself and reach for my dreams bravely--this blog is a direct result of learning to be myself bravely! I've always dreamed of writing and blogging . . . but I've always been too scared to try. Consider me scared no longer!

{Note: this post contains affiliate links--it's how this SAHM is able to contribute to our household finances! If you make a purchase from one of my links, I'll receive a small commission at no added cost to you! Win-win!.}

For the second half of my goal, I've learned that is it ok to take care of myself. It's ok to set aside some time to take care of me. I can't always be giving to everyone around me if I am empty. I am quick to take care of everyone else and make sure they are taking care of themselves (regular Dr visits, healthy diets, doling out multi-vitamins and probiotics, etc.), but I rarely take a moment to care for myself. So 2015 will be a year of focusing on my health and well-being; of learning to care for myself so I can better care for everyone I love.

One component of that will be taking the time to strengthen my core and heal my diastasis recti.

What on earth is a diastasis recti? I'm glad you asked! Very simply put, a diastasis recti is a gap in the stomach muscles that should be holding everything in, thus causing everything to fall out! Lovely right? This gap in your muscles is what gives you the post-partum "mummy tummy" that just won't go away. It is also the cause of a weak pelvic floor (read: leaks) and lower back pain. For more detailed information, check out this Diastasis Recti 101 infographic from MuTu System.

After Gator's birth, I waited until I felt great and jumped right into an intense work out routine (probably not my best move). I worked hard and sweat a lot. I focused on the ab work for weeks. My results? I lost some weight, but in the tummy toning department, I got nothing. zip. nada. I quickly got discouraged and eventually life got busy and I gave up. Come to find out, all that hard work I was doing was actually doing more damage to my core. Oops . . .

Here's the deal, all the crunches and ab work in the world won't heal a diastasis recti, they only make it worse.  Fantastic. I wish I would have known that! In order to heal a diastsis recti, you must focus on healing and strengthening your core. Unfortunately, there isn't an overnight fix . . . healing always takes time.

I've decided to commit to taking the time and making the effort to strengthen my core and hopefully heal my diastasis recti. I can't be the momma I want to be when I'm stuck on a heating pad because my lower back is in pain due to my weak core. It's time to focus a little on me.

I am nearing 11 months postpartum and I have a diastasis recti gap of 3-4 fingers. My core is weak and my posture has always been . . . bad. It's time to change that. But before we go any further, I want to say a word about motivations as we enter the new year with our goals . . .

Dear momma friend, if you are entering this new year with goals that include such things as losing weight, toning your body, flattening your tummy, eating healthy, etc. in order to find happiness, fulfillment, contentment, and joy after you've accomplished the goal, you won't find it there.  Let me first say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with these goals or similar goals--we are to steward the bodies the Lord has given us and healthy living is a part of that--but accomplishing these goals will not fulfill you and it will not heal the wounds of the heart.

If you struggle keeping a healthy body image now, you will still struggle when you've attained your goal. If you struggle with the comparison game now, you will still struggle when you've attained your goal. If you are not comfortable in your own skin now, you will still be uncomfortable when you've attained your goal. The grass will not be greener on the other side if you have not dealt with the heart of the matter. You can shape, tone, and heal the outer woman, but you will find yourself in the same pattern if you have not taken the time to shape, tone, and heal the heart. Happiness and contentment begin in the now, not in the later.

If your motivation in these goals is to find happiness, contentment, joy, and fulfillment tomorrow, I would encourage you to bring that before the Lord. Ask Him to show you why you are seeking fulfillment in these ways . . . and ask Him to heal those scars and/or teach you a new way of thinking. We should work to be healthy and fit, but we should work towards that because it will allow us to do the work the Lord has called us to, not because we think we will finally be happy and content tomorrow.

And now back to healing a diastasis recti! While it is possible to find information and exercises online for healing a diastasis recti, I need structure to follow. I need a little instruction and a timetable. I need a plan!

After a lot of research, I realized I didn't really want to follow a system that required wearing a binder around the abdomen nearly around the clock . . . it just doesn't sound appealing. I also know that the bulk of the problem lies in the fact that my core is weak and my posture is awful as a result--this needs to be corrected if I am to heal my diastasis. After some more research, I finally settled on the MuTu System designed by Wendy Powell.

The factors that drew me to the MuTu System:

  • No stomach binding
  • The 12-week program doesn't seem as overwhelming as other programs & systems
  • MuTu focuses on healing the cause (weak core & poor posture), not just the symptom (diastasis recti)
  • Fitting 20-30 minutes in a day to follow to workouts and exercises is manageable for me
  • Cost: while the system was a bit of an investment, I feel it is very fair for what the program offers and what I received. Especially when you consider the cost of fuel and gym membership or a personal trainer to guide me through this.

So, *deep breath* I have started the MuTu 12 week system today. It's time to focus on me, strengthen my core, and become a stronger momma. I know I am not the only momma in this position, so I am going to share my journey with you. I'll post an update each week (Thursdays will be the goal, but you know how life goes!) to let you know what I think of MuTu, if I'm noticing a difference, and I'll post a progress photo. This way, you'll be able to see if the MuTu system actually works and I'll also have a little accountability!

Welcome to Week Zero! I've purchased the online program, and started it today. By first impressions, I really, really like it! I will write a more detailed post after the conclusion of my first week of the MuTu System when I've had more experience with the program. For now, here are my "before" pictures, you can see my diastasis recti or "mummy tummy" in all its glory!

Ready to heal your diastasis recti and wondering if the MuTu System really works? Follow my journey as I work to reclaim my core and heal my diastasis recti using the MuTu System!

See you next week!

Read the next post in this series here

{Note: this post contains affiliate links--it's how this SAHM is able to contribute to our household finances! If you make a purchase from one of my links, I'll receive a small commission at no added cost to you! Win-win! Read my full disclosure policy here.}

Post shared with Missional Women, A Mamas Story, Cornerstone Confessions, A Little R & R, The Deliberate Mom