MKK: My Diastasis Recti Abdominus/DRA and Healing Journey

What brought me to PT?  After the birth of my second child I could tell I wasn’t healing/recovering the same way as I had after the birth of my first child.  Something felt off and I was having a hard time putting my finger on exactly what was different.  Of course, I had adjusted to not having the body I had before kids, so that wasn’t the issue.  My biggest issue was probably that I still looked pregnant, but it wasn’t the baby weight that I was affecting my shape but rather my muscles.  The area right above my belly button was actually the part of my stomach that stuck out the most, and it wasn’t fat but felt odd.  So I began my internet research and pretty quickly came to the conclusion that I had diastasis recti, or a split in my abdominal muscles. Apparently, this is extremely common for women who have had more than one pregnancy.  It took time after the birth of my first child to accept that my body had changed dramatically, but I came to not only accept my body but embrace it.  This dramatic change to my core was a jarring reality.  I am not someone who is likely to jump on the latest diet fad so I did what I thought was best and spoke to my midwife.  She confirmed my suspicions; I did in fact have a diastasis, but she offered no guidance, no “what to do now” solution.  So I turned to my PCP who again confirmed my diastasis, who said surgery was my only option so I should speak to a plastic surgeon.  I made an appointment with a plastic surgeon who told me that the surgery was extremely costly unless I had a hernia, and that it was likely I would LOSE my bellybutton as a result of the surgery! That’s right LOSE my bellybutton, picture a stomach without a bellybutton!

At this point I was feeling lost, and frustrated.  So I tried yoga; I thought I will be able to exercise and maybe the instructors will have some advice about how to adjust the poses so I can still practice.  Not one of the instructors at the chain yoga studio had even heard of Diastasis and had even less of an idea of how to help me practice safely with a comprised core.  Finally a wise yoga instructor I knew asked me why I was even attempting to take yoga classes when my core wasn’t fully functional.  So I stopped attending the classes and felt resolved to a future where my core was shot and the only solution was a cost prohibitive surgery and the loss of my bellybutton.  But one night I was up late researching in one last desperate attempt to find an alternative and that was when I found Becki and Embody Physiotherapy.   

Embody PT Note: We are happy that MKK found Embody PT , and that she is being so generous in sharing her story, one that is far too common.  We will be posting additional journalling about her progress and how and what she is doing now to care for herself as she writes them. Stay tuned! 

MKK's postpartum recovery story IS common; it is important to know and understand the changes that occur during pregnancy, and to understand the healing and recovery that we undergo...6 weeks post partum is not a magic number!  Please contact us if you have questions, concerns, or problems finding assitance for you as you care for family AS WELL as YOURSELF!