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Old Jul 9th, 2017, 05:17 AM   1
Perplexed
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Abdominal Muscle Separation / Diastasis Recti


I know this is not a popular topic but I'll try anyway. Anyone currently have diastasis recti and planning to have more children in the future?

I currently have a 3 finger separation... my mom also had it, and she eventually had a surgery to repair it. Hers was probably more than 3 fingers, though. If I'm not mistaken hers had caused an umbilical hernia.

To be honest, I'm embarrassed to say this, but the first time I discovered I had the separation, I had been in a plastic surgeon's office. I just didn't understand why my belly was so huge and every part of my body shrinks except for it. It bloats so easily and my posture is constantly tipped forward. I wanted to see if abdominal liposuction would help... the surgeon said that the problem isn't fat. My BMI is 26... an average woman my size wouldn't have a belly this big. Apparently urinary incontinence has also been linked with this condition, which I have. I've been on medication for it and it seems to have made it worse...

It's been really hard to accept this as a part of my body. I've been looking for people to talk to but it gets brushed off as a normal part of life. I wish I'd known about it beforehand. I mean, I did know my mother had it and I kept trying to work out and keep my core strong but it completely slipped my mind in recent. Sometimes preparing for something is half the battle. I hate looking at myself in the mirror. Some people say don't have the surgery if it's not a medical necessity. But it's just so easy for someone that isn't in that situation to have that opinion? I get asked if I'm pregnant ALL the time. I've asked physio therapists if there's anything that could help close up the gap... they tend to tell me to "just lose weight" and it's very upsetting. I have not been able to lose weight lately and it probably wouldn't have bothered me if my gut wasn't hanging the way it does. I am an active person, and exercise is a normal part of my life. I do reduce my workouts when I come up to specific busy parts of my semester, but hopefully I'll be done with that soon and won't have to reduce in the future.

I've seen several plastic surgeons to get an opinion about the muscle repair. I don't know what other drs are specialized in this? But I also know I am not interested in any keyhole surgery for the repair as I am aware (due to reading and friend's mom's experience) of the limitations of such a procedure.

Has anyone had their babies even after finding out that they had diastasis recti of 3 fingers or more? Would it automatically worsen? Can it cause an umbilical hernia? Would one have considerably more back-pain in pregnancy if one has diastasis recti?

Surgeons tend to recommend that you finish your families before having the surgery... but since we have no plans about when our family will be complete and don't feel ready to make that decision, does that mean I would only get rid of this gut in 10 years when I am in my 40s?? I don't feel okay with that. The surgeons I saw said that they could use dissolvable sutures for muscle repair in case of future pregnancies (since they do ask if your family is complete)... but could I have even 1 more baby and my muscles would separate and I would look the same way I do now with my guts hanging? It also isn't worth it to have a surgery only to have all of the benefits erased in 3 years time... I was also worried that if I had the surgery with excessive skin reduction along with the repair, that my abdomen wouldn't be able to stretch to accommodate a future pregnancy...this is still a fear of mine but one of the surgeons said she had the surgery after she had completed her family, but then had a surprise pregnancy several years later and had to have a cosmetic touch up because she had some excess skin again.

I know people are critical of plastic surgery. I honestly never cared about plastic surgery. But whenever I think too deeply about my situation my eyes start tearing up. I have been a fit and active person my entire life and just don't understand how this happened and why this happened. I loosened the reins on what to eat during pregnancies but it was due to the fact that I was extremely strict with my diet whole adult life. I am not strict now and will never be that strict again because I'm sick of it.

Sorry that this topic is long, but I just feel so alone. I don't know anyone that is going through the same thing. Please tell me I'm not alone?



 
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Old Jul 9th, 2017, 20:31 PM   2
jessmke
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If you go on YouTube there are tons of videos on exercises you can do to repair diastasis recti. But for right now, stop all the traditional core training you've been doing as they only worsen the gap. A two finger gap or less is considered normal so I am a bit surprised that a surgeon would consider you a surgical candidate for only having a 3 finger gap. My sister could fit a fist in her gap after she had twins and she repaired it back to normal with physio and doing the core exercises that allowed the connective tissue to heal properly which will allow the gap to close. Check out Lindsay Brin on YouTube, I think her channel is called Mom's Into Fitness, she has lots of info on diastasis recti and good workouts for closing the gap.



 
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Old Jul 10th, 2017, 03:16 AM   3
Perplexed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessmke View Post
If you go on YouTube there are tons of videos on exercises you can do to repair diastasis recti. But for right now, stop all the traditional core training you've been doing as they only worsen the gap. A two finger gap or less is considered normal so I am a bit surprised that a surgeon would consider you a surgical candidate for only having a 3 finger gap. My sister could fit a fist in her gap after she had twins and she repaired it back to normal with physio and doing the core exercises that allowed the connective tissue to heal properly which will allow the gap to close. Check out Lindsay Brin on YouTube, I think her channel is called Mom's Into Fitness, she has lots of info on diastasis recti and good workouts for closing the gap.
It was a plastic surgeon, as I've said I visited because I thought my abdominal bulge was purely fat. Plastic surgeons will always recommend surgery. I don't know what other kind of dr to see about the bulge, my ob previously told me to try and lose some more weight without even checking for diastasis recti. I haven't been able to lose weight or even have the bulge change in size which is why I desperately visited a plastic surgeon...



 
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Old Oct 23rd, 2017, 18:14 PM   4
hellohefalump
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I had a six INCH gap! I went to Poland and got it fixed. Much cheaper in Poland and the clinic was wonderful.

Nhs were crap.. They refused to believe me which is what made me go private.

It was the surgeon who confirmed how large my gap was.

I did it when 'baby' was 3 yrs old. I still looked eight months pregnant and my back was killing me.



 
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 16:35 PM   5
Bonnie11
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I would go and see a physio that specialises in diastasis. They will take you seriously and can show you exercises. It may also be worth asking an osteopath, again make sure they are familiar with it.
As it is a cosmetic procedure I don't know how much luck you will get out of the NHS, but there are plenty of things you can try before you resort to surgery. My friend had it badly and it took around a year of exercises and specialist care before it shows an improvement, just don't be put off by your experiences so far x



 
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Old Oct 26th, 2017, 21:47 PM   6
KatBar
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I had about a 2 finger gap after having my son (it varied tho - lower belly was about 1.5 finger width, belly button was about 2.5 finger width, and the upper stomach was about 1 finger width).
I also had an umbilical hernia, like your mum. I actually didn’t realise it was a hernia at first, and thought it was related to the muscle separation - but they’re actually two different things, and most women have muscle separation with no hernia’s. I got my hernia fixed as I also had a femoral hernia (in the groin area), and the doctors actually advised for this to be fixed before having another baby. I am definitely nervous about the mesh splitting, but so far, so good..

I went to see a physio that specialised in abdominal separation, and she gave me some safe core exercises to do. I made sure to not do any tradional core exercises that would make it worse, and also avoided heavy lifting where I could (as that adds more strain as well). I found doing reformer Pilates useful, as there were more gentle core stuff I could do that was safe - but I saw someone that knew my limitations and guided me on what I could/couldn’t do.
Regardless of all this, I never got rid of the separation completely, and according to my physio, without surgery, you never will. But at my last check up, they did say the separation was small enough they wouldn’t consider it diastasis anymore - and although I didn’t, I could safely do tradional core work again.

Now almost 29 weeks pregnant with number 2, I am pretty sure I have at least 3 fingers worth of separation at this point. I am actually going to buy a pair of scr recovery short for post partum. They are bloody expensive, but apparently if you wear them for 6-8 weeks after birth, or there abouts, they will assist/help with closing muscle separation (they also just provide good support).



 
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Old Oct 27th, 2017, 00:50 AM   7
WackyMumof2
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I've got an umbilical hernia that never repaired itself after DS3. If it doesn't sort itself out after the birth of this baby I am talking to my GP about having it surgically repaired. It doesn't hurt for the most part except for when it's about to pop out.



 
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