We all know that nothing can really prepare us for Motherhood. No amount of books or blogs or advice from friends and family can really ready us for the massive undertaking of caring for other humans. But there’s another element to motherhood that is rarely discussed to the degree that it should be, and that is what we do to our bodies when we carry and deliver a child (or in my case, CHILDREN).
According to WebMD, 2/3 of women who gestate a child experience diastis recti, or abdominal separation. Having children close in age, being over 35, or carrying multiples will put you at greater risk of having this.
If you carried, you have done some serious damage to your body. And the tricky part is, your doctor isn’t talking to you about this.
For most of us, we go in for our six week post-delivery checkup and we are told we can resume “normal” activity. I chuckle to myself when I write this because there is nothing “normal” about life after you’ve delivered a baby.
If you carried, you may be feeling like there is just something not right about the way your midsection feels and looks. And that is true. The good news is, there is help there for you. You don’t have to just accept that this is your new normal. Girl, your abs need some help. And I’m not just talking about taking a Pilates class or eating less sugar.
Yes, those things will help you. But you know what will help you even more? Physical therapy. Because if you carried, you have suffered trauma. And when we suffer trauma, we typically seek treatment for it. But no one told you that you can and should seek help for what your poor body has just been through.
So, let me tell you about my situation. It has been almost 4.5 years since I delivered my last set of twins (Yes, I had two sets of twins!). I had c-sections for both my sets, so I never gave any thought to birth trauma. I mean I had planned c-sections! I never had a contraction or went into labor. But my c-section scar still feels numb. After 4.5 YEARS! I decided that I had to consider this further. This did not seem normal.
So I tried physical therapy and I learned so much! I learned that a c-section is major surgery that has a significant effect on your body long term. I learned that just the act of carrying a child is not something that you just “bounce back” from. I learned that we must retrain our ab muscles and change the way we stand a sit and exercise to repair the damage we have done.
In many ways, I felt like I was at a spa. And many of the movements the therapist did felt like part massage and part deluxe yoga class where someone else does the stretching for you. It was bliss. And then the therapist got out her Graston hook and worked on my c-section scar. I know that sounds like a horror movie, but I swear to you it felt like the closest thing to heaven I have felt in a long time. That scar tissue needs to be worked on! I swear I would go to her every day if I could.
If you carried, I want you to get some help too. I want you to call your insurance carrier and get it approved.
If you carried, treat your body like you would if any other major injury had happened to you. I want you to feel better.