Mummy tummy, peeing your pants and your “stomach feeling weird” is no laughing matter, it’s serious. For those of you out there who are ignoring that voice nudging you that something is wrong LISTEN UP! I have pushed out three almost 9lb babies and I am a pretty hard core athlete so I like to train hard but I have been through this. One of our Members, Jeanette had an incredible transformation rehabilitating her very large 4 finger diastasis (4 of my fingers are more like 5+ for a normal person). Her story is amazing and inspiring.
4+ Finger Diastasis Success Story
Moms come to us and all they want to do is “get back in shape”. Six weeks is the green light from the doctor and I have to pull them back hard and educate them about going easy to recover smarter. Many of these women don’t want to hear it because all they want to do is train hard and get back their “pre baby body”. It is my job to educate them. Post Natal Assessments are now strongly recommended at Fit4Females because unfortunately many of us women don’t know or want to admit that we have a diastatis recti or pelvic floor dysfunction. I have assessed women after they have been cleared by a doctor who said they were “fine” and found a significant diastasis. You have to be your own advocate. Both issues are common after child birth but not normal. To those of you saying “well I had a c-section so that doesn’t affect me”, you are not exempt. Don’t just live with it or accept it, do something about it.
Breaking the Diastasis Bad News
I remember the day clearly. Jeanette was happy in class doing core work and I noticed some struggle and weakness. I walked over to ask if I could assess her for a diastasis. I knew she was in for some pretty bad news and what I was going to find was not going to be good. During my assessment all I could think was “she is going to feel so discouraged when I tell her that she has a 4+ finger diastisis with poor tension”. To all of the Fitness Professionals out there who are afraid to be honest for fear of losing business, never be afraid to assess and refer out when needed. It is your duty and because of that, they will come back to you. Referring a client with a serious Diastasis or Pelvic Floor dysfunction should always be your first priority.
Like many Moms, Jeanette was too embarrassed to take a photo of her tummy exposed. This is the photo that Jeanette found that looked most like hers post partum.
Here is Jeanette’s story. What an inspiration!
Jeanette Van Wely, Diastasis Recti
“My journey with F4F started in July 2012, I had a 5 month old daughter and was looking for a place to work out with my baby and meet some new people. After several months I looked firmer and better than ever, and I felt amazing too!
In 2013 I became pregnant again and was determined to keep going to class. Mid plank I realized my core failed and I was unable to hold myself up, I left that class in tears. That was the last class I attended as I found out shortly after that I was pregnant with twins and that I would need to be careful.
In November of 2013 I had my twins, a boy and a girl, born full term, and I was officially on the count down for my 6 week check up so that I could once again go to Stroller classes and it so happened that it would also be the start of a new year. Can you say new years resolution? I went to my check up, and all was good, even my concerns about my “weird looking and feeling stomach” was waved off, my doctor told me “in time it will go back to normal.” So I started back and F4F and signed up for a Boot Camp class at a Community Center, I worked hard to prove to myself that I could do it, but soon I looked like I was 5 months pregnant again, and even worse I was having all sorts of other issues, like peeing my pants, back pain and general stomach pains.
Diagnosing the Diastasis
Trina came up to me in Stroller class while I was doing core work, and gave me a modification and asked if she could speak to me after class. After class that day Trina checked me for a diastasis, and informed me that I had a 4 finger separation, this crushed me, but with Trina’s help I started seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist.
After months of doing my assigned exercises and wearing a splint, I was able to start seeing a postnatal physiotherapist, now after a year I am down to a 1 and 1/2 finger gap, and all my other symptoms have gone away as well. With clearance for exercise, I started at F4F and realized just how much I missed classes and Trina’s inspirational attitude. Healing my Diastasis is an ongoing process, and along the way I have learned many new things about core health, and have gotten frustrated once or twice with my process. My advice to any mom is if you think you have a diastasis or you have no idea what diastasis means, please ask Trina when you start class, you’ll be glad you did!” – Jeanette
Most times, my post natal Moms don’t want to hear what I am telling them about slow and steady. Once they accept the reality and realize this can be helped they are on board. I am proud to be amongst one of the only Fitness Professionals and Bellies Inc. Trainers in Hamilton that specializes in recognizing, assessing, helping with rehab and referring out to a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. We have had tons of success helping clients and Jeanette is one of the strongest Members in our class because her core control, awareness and strength is proof that rehab works. It was not an easy road and she is still doing modifications that we give her but she is a champ and has healed her diastasis on an incredible level. Ladies there is hope, you just have to come to terms, get an assessment and start rehabbing your way to the best tummy there is.
I wrote two great articles to help. It’s Not Ok to Pee Your Pants and Why do I still have a Mummy Tummy. Book a Post Natal Assessment with Fit4Females or contact us and we can refer you to a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. Stay posted for our next Mummy Tummy Tune Up Workshop. We are here to help!
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