How Do New Mums Get Rid Of Belly Bulge?

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What Every New Mum Should Know About Postpartum Diastasis Recti

Becoming a mother is an extraordinary journey filled with immense joy and wonder, yet it also brings about changes to the body that might not be as commonly discussed. One such condition that many new mothers encounter is Diastasis Recti. Understanding this postpartum concern is crucial for every new mom as it helps them better prepare and manage this condition after giving birth.

What is Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis Recti, or abdominal separation, is a condition characterised by the partial or complete separation of the abdominal muscles, specifically the rectus abdominis (or more commonly known as the six-pack muscles), which causes a bulge or “pooch” in the belly area. This condition is fairly prevalent, impacting around 60% of women either during or after their pregnancy. It particularly affects those who have given birth to multiple children, are over the age of 35, or are expecting twins, triplets or more.

What Causes Diastasis Recti?

Diastasis Recti occurs when the outermost abdominal muscles, on both the left and right sides, become partially or entirely separated. This occurrence is common in pregnancy, where the abdomen expands to accommodate the growing baby.

As a result, the thin tissue band connecting the left and right abdomen (known as linea alba) becomes overly stretched and fails to bounce back after delivery, leading to a gap between the muscles.

This separation can persist postpartum, affecting both the core strength and appearance of the abdomen. If you notice that your stomach protrudes more than it did before pregnancy, particularly above the belly button, there’s a chance that your abdominal muscles might have become separated.

How Does Diastasis Recti Feel Like?

Some of the common signs postpartum Diastasis Recti include:

  • A noticeable bulge or “pooch” appearing just above or below the belly button
  • Softness or jelly-like feeling around your belly button
  • Coning or doming when you contract your ab muscles
  • Difficulty in lifting objects, walking or completing everyday tasks
  • Pain during sex
  • Pelvic or hip discomfort
  • Lower back pain
  • Poor posture
  • Leakage of urine while sneezing or coughing
  • Constipation
  • A sense of weakness in the abdominal muscles

How Do I Determine If I Have Diastasis Recti?

Here’s a simple self-test to help you determine if you have Diastasis Recti:

  1. Lie down on your back with your knees bent and place your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Gently lift your head and shoulders off the ground, as if performing a mini crunch, and support your head with one hand.
  3. While in this position, feel for a gap or a noticeable indentation between the abdominal muscles, right above your belly button.

It is best to consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor may use tools such as a calliper or an ultrasound to get an accurate measurement of the gap.

How Is Diastasis Recti Treated?

Recovering from Diastasis Recti typically involves a multifaceted approach focused on gradual rehabilitation and strengthening of the abdominal muscles.

Engaging in targeted exercises specifically designed to strengthen the deep abdominal muscles, such as pelvis tilts, and transverse abdominis muscle activations, can help in the recovery process. These exercises focus on improving core stability, closing the gap between separated muscles and supporting the connective tissue. Most people mistake traditional sit-ups or crunches to be core exercises, but these exercises can worsen Diastasis Recti and should be avoided.

Additionally, certain lifestyle modifications like avoiding heavy weights, lifting objects correctly and avoiding movements that strain the abdomen, can aid in preventing further separation.

Here at Radium, we advocate Emsculpt Neo to help in the treatment of Diastasis Recti. This non-invasive medical treatment combines radiofrequency technology with high-intensity focused electromagnetic (HIFEM) energy to target both fat reduction and muscle strengthening simultaneously.

Emsculpt Neo has shown efficacy in addressing Diastasis Recti by stimulating muscle contractions, enhancing muscle tone, and promoting abdominal muscle strengthening. Consult with one of our medical doctors at Radium for a tailored evaluation and a thorough treatment strategy designed for postpartum fitness.

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