As most of the Physionorth community know I gave birth to a little (big) boy; Carter Harrison Goldsack on the 25th March 2011. Carter was either shy or very comfortable and arrived 11 days late. He was born a very healthy 8 pound 14 ounces or 4.02kg and 55cm long. It was a big surprise for me that he was so big (looks like he is going to take after his father in the height department). He is a very healthy, alert and happy little boy and a delight for the family. I look forward to introducing him to you all next time we’re in the clinic.
As I’ve just given birth, I thought it would be an appropriate time to touch on Rectus Abdominus Diastasis. The Rectus Abdominus or RA is our ‘6 pack’ muscle. When a women is pregnant, she gets separation of this muscle as her tummy expands to accommodate the baby. This separation remains after the birth (however will be reduced) and stomach strengthening is required to regain torso strength and decrease the diastasis size.
To test how big your diastasis is you lie on your back, pop your fingers in the middle of your tummy, above your belly button, and lift your head off the ground. The number of fingers you can fit in the gap between your muscles is how wide your diastasis is. A normal gap is less than three fingers wide.
You should start strengthening your RA, and your core from 6 weeks post birth. Previous to this time, you should be very cautious with any lifting as you will still have the hormone relaxin in your system which causes joint laxity. You should commence your pelvic floor exercises straight after birth and continue these with your core exercises.
The best way to get on track with your exercises is to come in and visit one of the therapists. They can give you an individualised program that you can continue at home or integrate into your gym routine. They can also ensure that you are contracting your pelvic floor correctly and you have the right technique for your core and RA exercises. For more information contact the clinic on 47240768.