How to test yourself for Diastasis Recti
Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Put one hand on your belly, with your fingers at the midline of your navel. Press your fingertips down gently, and bring your head (shoulders stay on the ground) up into a mini crunch-like position. Feel for the sides of your rectus abdominis muscles, and see if and how far they are separated.
Separation is commonly discussed in terms of finger width. For instance, two or three (or more) fingers separation might indicate diastasis recti. One finger separation is normal and three or more finger separation might require surgery.
In case there is no Diastasis Recti, new mothers can start shedding their postpartum weight by strengthening the core muscles first. For the first 4 weeks, there has to be a focus on the muscles of the core that get weakened during pregnancy.
The following exercises can be done postpartum:
- Modified plank
- Side plank
- Superman (alternating arm and leg)
- Reverse crunches
The mentioned exercises are used to strenghten the core but are supposed to be done along with other forms of exercises like circuit and cardio workout. It is important to strengthen your core during pregnancy, which is possible under supervision of a physiotherapist.
Plan a postpartum workout with your baby
New moms can also do the workout with their little ones so that they don’t have to leave the baby alone for the workout. They can try:
- Baby overhead press
- Walking lunges
- Squats with the baby in hands
- Peek-a-boo pushups
- Bench press with baby