Top 3 questions asked
1. Is it too late to heal after the first 6-8 weeks postpartum (and/or post-surgery), especially many years later?
No, it's never too late to heal. It may take longer if you've had the condition for a long time and it has not been addressed. But it's often difficult to address these issues so quickly due to the demands of parenting, outside employment, and lack of support or information as to how to heal. We need another word that refers to post-pregnancy/birth but that is not just the very short period of 6-8 weeks.
2. I was told that surgery is my only option. Is it possible for me to heal naturally?
Each individual is different so there is not one set answer for everyone. Were you told to address your core? Did you seek a second and even third opinion that included professionals in other fields besides surgery that address core rehabilitation such as women's health/pelvic floor physical therapists and corrective exercise specialists (like myself)?
3. Can I get diastasis recti if I've never been pregnant?
Yes, both men and women can have diastasis recti.
The major reason diastasis occurs is because of a distended belly, almost always due to poor core function. The abdominal muscle connective tissues stretch and weaken at the midline or linea alba. The left and right sides of the abs look and feel separated.
Some causes of DR besides pregnancy are:
- Weak core due to shallow breathing and lack of exercise.
- Weak core that has been stretched due to excess belly fat.
- Too tight “fitness” core: over-exercise combined with “sucking in” the belly and holding the breath. This can also be due to coping with trauma/stress/numbing out.
Our bellies are designed to expand and contract with our BREATH in order to function properly!