Here are some common questions and answers…
Working with Me
Q: Do you provide core and/or postpartum rehab plans long distance in other states in the US?
A: I do work with women long distance and locally. Long distance/online, I offer personal core rehab sessions via zoom. I design the programs/homework based on each individual’s needs after an assessment session. Then we progress the program in ongoing sessions/homework/assessments. (See rates page.)
Q: I am in South Africa, do you have online classes and/or workshops?
A: I offer live online individual training sessions anywhere in the world where there is internet access. I don’t have any online workshops yet but I’m working on it and hope to have them available in the near future, by spring/summer of 2019.
Q: Can diastasis recti be healed without surgery?
A: Yes, surgery is not the only option though many women are commonly told that it is. It does depend on the condition of the DR (factors include width and depth of the separation, strength and health of the linea alba connective tissue and deep core muscles). But Holistic Core Rehabilitation (includes core breathwork, corrective exercise, proper food, healthy lifestyle) is a natural course of recovery to consider. It’s important to consult with a core rehab professional like myself (women’s pelvic floor physical therapist or corrective exercise specialist) before deciding on surgery because many medical professionals (ob/gyn’s included) aren’t familiar with natural solutions and core rehabilitation and will automatically default to only surgery.
I offer a free 15 min consultation to decide whether to work together. You can choose either a customized core rehab program or a free-standing 30 or 60 min consultation/guidance session with tips and instruction to start your individual recovery. (See rates page for more info.)
Q: Is DR something only pregnancy causes?
A: Not at all though multiple births with no real core prenatal prep or postpartum core rehab can contribute greatly. It can be due to weak core, trauma/accidents, umbilical hernia at birth, too much excess belly fat to name most reasons. Even children and men can have it. The classic pop belly of older men is an example. Their cores are not holding together. Our healthy core has a natural corset built into the muscles.
Q: So, mothers who delivered naturally/vaginally could have DR? I had no idea; the internet has painted it as a side effect of c-sections only.
A: Much misinformation out there, unfortunately. For various reasons, anyone including women who aren’t mothers as well as men can get it. It’s a universal core dysfunction.
Q: How can I tell if I have DR or not?
A: Check out my website at morgyndanae.com for a free ebook on how to self test for DR or the video clip series of 6 on Instagram where I demo checking for DR.
Q: It is the same DR check for curvy women? I have a bit of more belly.
A: It is the same. It’s about the depth of the separation, feeling down into the muscle separation, if you have that. Just make sure to inhale and gently press in on the exhale. This can also happen to non-pregnant women (and men) if there’s not enough core strength and so much weight that it creates too much intra-abdominal pressure. Also over-training in fitness and too much sucking in/tensing. Pregnant women can develop it and it can cause problems if too extreme and not enough core strength and prenatal preparation.
Q: How soon after giving birth can a mom test for DR?
A: DR may heal on its own by 6 weeks-3 months postpartum but you can check yourself even one week postpartum to monitor your progress and bring loving attention to your recovering belly. It’s important to pay attention to common symptoms listed under my highlight tab “diastasis recti”.
Q: Would you consider this DR core rehab to be semi-permanent? Another way of not going under the knife. Unfortunately, I’ve struggled with this my whole life.
A: It can definitely be an alternative to surgery depending on the condition of the DR. In extreme cases or if you’ve been told by your caregiver or a plastic surgeon that surgery is the only answer, it’s best to consult with a core rehabilitation specialist like me or a pelvic floor/women’s health physical therapist first to see if surgery seems necessary (many other medical professionals aren’t familiar with natural options so may suggest only surgery). With that said, recovery can be permanent with the proper tools and habits. Even though it’s been long-term for you, you may be able to turn it around and change it. Each case is different.
Q: At what point in DR recovery can you return to do crunches, etc? Mine is now at 1 finger (was at 2.5) with bulging, but I have some fat on my stomach I would like to work on.
A: (See my Highlight tab “Diastasis Recti” for exercises to avoid with DR.) One finger width is great progress, especially if the separation isn’t deep. Crunches only when the DR is healed with no doming. (I don’t recommend crunches in general though but that’s another conversation.) I hear you about the tummy fat but can you see the difference between a DR bulge/dome/pooch and some fat? It’s more of a poof. Silly word but just trying to describe.
Q: Could this be fixed 5 years after giving birth?
A: Yes, it can definitely be possible no matter how many years after but each person is different.
General postpartum recovery/rehabilitation
Q: Does it matter how far along for “postpartum”?
A: Each person and situation is different, but it’s definitely not too late to heal as much as possible. I feel very passionate about this and seek to reach mothers who are many years “postpartum”, including women whose children are now adults.
Q: Do you have any advice on babywearing for women who have any of the conditions of your expertise psoas, diastasis recti after caesarean, etc.? Any tips?
A: Babywearing is so important and at the same time, all baby holding is physically demanding. I encourage all women to actively seek healing to avoid further injury and regain their health, especially if it’s painful to handle your baby. When dealing with these issues, especially as your baby gets heavier, be aware of your body mechanics and taking breaks as often as you need to.
It’s always essential to practice proper breath awareness (inhale to fill belly instead of shallow chest breathing) and core engagement (exhale to activate “natural corset” muscles=waist cinches in and hip bones come together at the bellybutton) is essential.
This is specialized core exercise that takes regular practice but over time, makes a huge difference. It also encourages safe posture which keeps both you and your baby safe.
Q: Why is COLLAGEN important in core rehabilitation?
A: Collagen is essential for tissue healing and makes a great difference in core rehabilitation/diastasis recti/c-section recovery/scar tissue healing and abdominal surgery recovery in general. It also helps with digestion, muscle mass, and metabolism. I highly recommend it to all of my clients.
Q: Can these postpartum symptoms continue to be a problem even years after birth? I’ve had 3 children and after my last I’ve retained the belly pooch and a chronic backache.
A: Yes, it definitely can. You’re not alone. Many women think they can’t heal past early postpartum but that’s not at all true. But specialized core rehab with a corrective exercise specialist/fitness trainer or women’s health and/or pelvic floor physical therapist might be very helpful.
Q: Would your free ebook for c-section recovery apply for new mothers only? Or c-section mamas in general?
A: All c-section mamas, no matter how many years after birth! You can get it at my website at morgyndanae.com
Q: I hold all of my stress in my stomach and have started belly breathing every morning. Any tips/resources?
A: It’s a great practice to be conscious throughout the day and continue that practice so that healthy breathing patterns become natural to you. Just taking a moment to center here and there can make a huge difference and really be nourishing and healing to the belly. It calms the nervous system and the mind.
I offer private sessions and a workshop for belly self-care called “Love Your Belly”. Unwinding the Belly by Allison Post is a great book. Jason Stephenson on YouTube has some great free guided meditation/breathwork videos.