5 Things to Consider When Self-Check for Diastasis Recti
The earliest I like to check for diastasis recti is 6 weeks postpartum. Then, I check every 4-8 weeks afterward. It is truly not necessary to check every week or every two weeks. Constant checking will continue to aggravate diastasis recti and have you doing mini crunches all the damn time. Less frequent checking allows you to trust in your body and the plan. The more you move functionally and allow your body to heal itself without incessantly needing to make sure it’s approximating, the better both your body and mind will be. Progress will be observed as the foundation is established and building blocks are added, and the little things start to add up. The immediate postpartum period is a year. Give yourself grace to heal from the inside out.
When you DO self-check for diastasis recti, please keep these 5 things in mind:
- We observe width and depth of abdominal separation.
- Tissue integrity is just as important as width and depth.
- Measurement is subjective.
- The separation is considered approximated or healed when it is two fingers or less, but more importantly—in our opinion—the system is functional. (Two fingers just above umbilicus and less as you move toward pubic symphysis or xiphoid.)
- We observe diastasis recti in the standard testing position AND also in BIRTHFIT Basics movements and poses. Different movements and poses ask different things of our bodies.
We live in a culture of instant fixes. Healing takes time. As a reminder, babies are also born with diastasis recti. Their diastasis recti begins to approximate as they utilize their diaphragm more to create that stability breath (task-specific intra-abdominal pressure), become more comfortable with tummy time, and begin to contralaterally stabilize (think opposite knee or hip and elbow or shoulder). This approximation usually starts somewhere around 4 to 5 months for babies and takes time (think months). So, give yourself time and grace. Have confidence in knowing that you’ve approximated diastasis recti at least once before in your life. Trust your body and your plan.
If you are an athlete, coach, or practitioner curious about learning, stay tuned as the BIRTHFIT Education will be available again in January 2021. Sign up HERE for our newsletter.
Lindsey Mathews, BIRTHFIT CEO & Founder@BIRTHFIT @Lindsey_K_Mathews
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