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It’s time to learn more about postpartum diastasis! After all, pregnancy is an amazing time in a woman’s life. Childbirth, then, is not even mentioned! The same is true for the moments that come after that, that is, a lifetime with one of the people you love most.
However, pregnancy is also a period of many changes in the female body. It is important that patients are aware of this so that they can take better care of themselves during and after this very special moment.
With that in mind, we have prepared content on postpartum diastasis, a relatively common problem that may or may not affect women after pregnancy. Want to know more about it and find out how the treatment is done? So, stay with us!
What is abdominal diastasis?
Abdominal diastasis is a problem characterized by the removal of the muscles of the abdomen, in particular, the rectus abdominis muscle. It is located just in front of the belly, below the chest.
So that you can visualize it better, imagine the rectus abdominis muscle as a closed zipper. Diastasis would be the open zipper, with the removal of its structures. In pregnancy, this occurs due to the extra space needed for the growth of the fetus, which ends up forcing the musculature to “open”.
What is the cause of this problem?
As seen, the main cause of diastasis is the force exerted by the uterus throughout pregnancy. The growth of the organ (and the baby) means that many structures need to “go to the side” to embrace this change in the organism. One of them is musculature.
However, there are other causes for diastasis besides pregnancy. They include:
- sudden weight loss;
- absence of strengthening in the abdominal region;
- problems with posture;
- lack of physical exercise;
- Excessive physical activity without proper strengthening of the abdominal muscles.
How is he identified?
The identification of postpartum diastasis starts from the symptoms observed by the woman, especially back pain. Other signs are abdominal flaccidity or the feeling that the belly is “forward”.
However, the final diagnosis is closed with the help of a doctor or physiotherapist. He will do some physical exams, which mostly involve having you lie on your back and lean your torso as if you are going to do a sit-up while the area is examined.
What are the best exercises for diastasis?
One of the best treatments for diastasis, postpartum or not, is the practice of physical exercises. They are focused on the abdominal region and help strengthen the muscles that have “pulled away”, allowing them to come back together. Check out some practices below!
1. Lateral pruning
The plank is one of the most complete isometric exercises (that is, those where you hold the movement). However, its lateral variation also does not lose anything to the traditional one, being a great way to strengthen the abdominal muscles.
Begin the movement by lying on your side, preferably on a mat. Support your elbow on the shoulder line and lift the body, leaving the foot also supported on the floor. Hold as much as you can.
2. Abdominal infra
The abdominal needs no introduction. The infra variation is very useful for strengthening the rectus abdominis muscle, also working the lumbar muscles. To do this, lie down with your head and back on the mat, with your legs extended in a straight line.
Afterwards, just support your palms on the floor, as they will be used as support. Then raise your legs, without moving your torso or neck. You can also try the variation of bringing your knees (with your legs slightly bent) close to your chest.
3. Hypopressive abdominal
Finally, we have the hypopressive abdominal. This is a technique also known by the name of “stomach vacuum”, and it is a great ally in strengthening the entire abdomen.
You can do it lying down, sitting, on all fours or standing, with your hands resting on the wall, or leaning forward, with your hands on your knees. Choose the most comfortable mode.
Start by inhaling deeply through your nose and then exhale through your mouth. Now, she sucks her belly in as far as she can, as if she were going to lean her back. Keep moving until you need to breathe again. Do three sets daily.
Remembering that it is not recommended to do any type of physical activity after childbirth without the support of a doctor, physiotherapist or physical educator. So, be sure to seek the opinion of a professional before starting the exercises, to prevent the problem from getting worse, ok?
Are there other ways to treat postpartum diastasis?
In addition to exercising and combating a sedentary lifestyle, there are other ways to deal with the problem of postpartum diastasis. The first is follow-up with physiotherapists, who will be able to help strengthen muscles and readjust the body so that this goal is achieved.
Nutritional monitoring can also be interesting, especially to help with weight loss. Overweight is one of the factors that make it difficult to solve the problem with diastasis.
Finally, there is also surgery, proposed only for more severe cases. In it, the surgeon approximates the muscles, but this is not an intervention recommended for all women.
Is it possible to prevent postpartum diastasis?
It is not always easy to prevent this situation from developing. This will depend a lot on the characteristics of the woman and her pregnancy, but performing physical activities during pregnancy tends to reduce the incidence or severity of the problem.
So if you’re still pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, talk to your doctor about executing a workout plan focused on your abs. If you are free, include these exercises in your daily life and reduce the chances of dealing with postpartum diastasis later on.
As we can see, postpartum diastasis is an annoying problem, but it has treatment. So, don’t despair if you’re going through this, but be sure to follow up properly. Soon, you will see many results!
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Technical review: Alexandre R. Marra, researcher at the Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein (IIEP) and permanent professor at the Graduate Program in Health Sciences at the Faculdade Israelita de Ciências da Saúde Albert Einstein (FICSAE).