After giving birth to your gorgeous bundle of joy your tummy looks flat, but it pooches out in the middle if you do any strenuous work, sit ups or planks.
Perhaps your tummy doesn’t look flat , it’s a little (or a lot) saggy just standing and you have even more of a poochy tummy when any crunches are involved. No matter how many sit ups and abs exercises you are doing, it just won’t budge. In fact it’s always covered up now anyway because you don’t like it.
Whatever you call it, baby belly, poochy tummy, mummy tummy, it’s because of something called Diastasis Recti.
While our female body is perfectly designed to grow a baby and to give birth, recover and do it again, (our body is simply AMAZING), after all that stretching it’s hardly a surprise when things don’t spring back into place again.
Diastasis Recti is a very common but little known result of pregnancy and the main cause of mummy tummy. During pregnancy the entire abdominal wall expands, stretching the muscles and connective tissue. This can force the left and right sides of the stomach muscles to spread apart, as they are designed to, leaving a ‘tummy gap’ known as Diastasis Recti.
Returning too soon to crunches, planks, sit ups and other stomach straining exercises won’t heal the underlying cause of mummy tummy. You need to give that tummy gap a chance to heal. By exercising inappropriately too soon it hinders your abdominal recovery, not allowing your muscles to return to their former strength, shape and positioning.
Not everyone will suffer from mummy tummy but the wider the gap, the weaker your core will be. Your lower back, pelvic floor and surrounding muscles will be taking the strain and you may find problems in these areas too.
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