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  • Sitti Warns Moms to Check for Diastasis Recti Before Working Out After Childbirth

    The term diastasis recti literally translates to "separation of the abdominals."
    by Rachel Perez .
Sitti Warns Moms to Check for Diastasis Recti Before Working Out After Childbirth
PHOTO BY @bossagurl/Instagram
  • Reclaiming your body after pregnancy and childbirth, even while breastfeeding can be a challenge. After giving birth in November 2018, Sitti Navarro Ramirez took up running to cope with postpartum depression (PPD). She recently returned to another fitness routine, Pilates, because "the exercises are perfect for engaging one's core," and the breathing techniques help her singing. That was when the singer was surprised to learn she has diastasis recti.

    The term diastasis recti literally translates to "separation of the abdominals." It happens when the left and right ab muscles separate as they stretch to accommodate an expanding baby bump during pregnancy.

    "There is now a gap between the two," Sitti explained.

    Sitti learned she has diastasis recti during her Pilates sessions.
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    "This means my core is not able to function as effectively as it should because I am not fully supported in the middle," she added. Her trainer added that diastasis recti is why many moms still have a weak core years after childbirth.

    Sitti is not the only one who has opened up about having diastasis recti. U.S.-based Filipino actress Michelle Madrigal revealed in February 2018, about fours months after giving birth to her daughter Anika, that she had it as well.

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    Refrain from running, push-ups, and planks if you have diastasis recti

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    Running and doing planks help strengthen the core, but for someone with diastasis recti, these exercises put pressure on the ab muscles to separate even more.
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    The Bossanova Queen learned she has to stop running. "I have to refrain from running, push-ups, and planks since they put more pressure on my core muscles to separate," Sitti explained.

    The exercises mentioned help strengthen the core, but for a woman who as diastasis recti, these workouts will widen the gap between the abdominals. Sitti now plans to focus on doing exercises that bring her core muscles together first

    "You might be doing your body more harm than good if you just plunge head on back to your old fitness routines," Sitti warned other moms.
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    The mom of two also recommended to moms to perform a diastasis recti check first before engaging in any fitness routine. "You might be doing your body more harm than good if you just plunge head on back to your old fitness routines," Sitti added.

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    Many moms have diastasis recti but don't know it

    Prenatal and postnatal fitness specialist and mom of two Mindy Lagdameo explains how diastasis recti can happen. "The bigger the bump or the more you gain weight, then the more the muscles get stretched." Unfortunately, there's no predicting if you'll have diastasis recti or not. If you had it during your first pregnancy, Lagdameo said it is likely you will experience it in the succeeding ones.

    Many of Sitti's followers asked her if she had any symptoms of diastasis recti. She said she felt no signs except for experiencing lower back pain more frequently. "I thought it was because wala lang talaga akong exercise of puyat lagi," she added.

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    Sitti didn't experience ay symptoms of diastasis recti except for lower back pain, which she attributed to lack of lack of sleep and exercises.
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    The only constant sign of diastasis recti is the mommy pouch that doesn't go away even if you try to 'suck it in.' But having more frequent lower back pain may be due to a weak core and may indicate diastasis recti, according to Lagdameo. Other signs may include bad or incorrect posture, incontinence, always or easily feeling bloated, and digestions problems such as constipation.

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    While there are instructional videos on the web on how to check if you have diastasis recti, it's best to have a doctor or a professional prenatal or postnatal wellness expert to examine how big of a gap you have, if any, in your abdominal muscles.

    Diastasis recti is not preventable, but you can learn how to manage the gap and get rid of the postpartum pouch here.

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