K.L. asks from Austin, TX on January 26, 2008
Advice on Split Abs After Cesarean
Hi there. I have a huge gap right down the middle of my rectus abdominus. We had an emergency c-section 11 months ago, so I didn't get back to exercising quickly! In fact, I am just now getting back in the gym this week. The gap is so wide in my abs that I can easily put a couple fingers in between the two muscles where the linea alba usually holds it together. Does anyone know if it would be unwise to do ab work at this point or would it actually benefit it? I can do core work just fine, but I don't have full ab capability- I need to use my elbows to sit up, etc. Any input would be great!
2 moms found this helpful
D.F. answers from Dallas on January 29, 2008
A.P. answers from Austin on January 27, 2008
I had the same thing after my c-section and had to have an abdominal incision repair (that included a mesh patch) to sew my abs back together again. You should see a dr.
H.F. answers from Austin on January 27, 2008
Hey, K.! Funny that this was the first question I saw. I was going to just call you and tell you this, but figured some others might be interested in the answer (and I myself needed to look it up to start getting rid of my own pooch sometime soon!) The pregnancy bodywork class I took this fall had some specific prescriptions for fixing diastasis recti - here's the info on abdominal exercises:
*Before* doing regular curl-ups or other abdominal exercises, you need to fix the separation. Doing regular curl-ups before the split in the muscles is repaired can actually make them separate further.
1. lie on your back on the floor with knees bent and feet on the floor.
2. do a pelvic tilt (flatten the curve in your lower back by posteriorly tilting pelvis - like the pilates "neutral spine")
3. cross your hands over the abdomen and grab the lateral borders of the rectus abdominus.
4. while breathing out, slowly raise your head while pulling your hands together.
5. stop before the abdomen starts to bulge.
6. inhale while returning slowly to start position.
Should be repeated daily, up to 50 repetitions, in sets of 10, until the separation is closed.
Hope that helps!
1 mom found this helpful
D.W. answers from Dallas on January 29, 2008
I still have that gap, and it has been 3 years since my last C-section. I was actually beginning to think I had a ventral hernia!!! 11 months post-op should be plenty long enough to begin exercising. I would check with your doctor to see if the gap needs to be repaired. I have actually been considering a tummy tuck and thought they could put mesh down the center to fix this problem. Best to see a doctor.
S.P. answers from Houston on January 29, 2008
It is common for women that have had a child to have separated abdominal muscles. Since your son is 11 months old, it should be safe to do ab excercises by now. Those muscles may be weak, because you haven't worked on them. They should get stronger once you work them.
You may want to consult a doctor to make sure that you do not have a hernia, before you start working out. Also, if you ever consider cosmetic surgery, the Abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) procedure consists of sewing the separated abdominal muscles back together in addition to the removal of the extra skin.
I am not a physician, but I do have medical knowledge. Hope this helps.
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L.B. answers from San Antonio on February 01, 2008
Try pilates, but go easy.....
If you're really worried about it, call your ob/gyn.
A.S. answers from Dallas on January 29, 2008
I have given birth to 6 kids, 3 of which were c-sections. Mine do the same thing, and in my case no amount of sit ups will ever make them go back. I'll require surgery, which is an option for me because I'm done with childbearing. However, if you are not done, surgery is not an option.
It won't hurt to do the exercises, but don't be suprised if it doesn't work. It happens sometimes.
C.G. answers from Dallas on January 29, 2008
I think if I was you I would ask your doctor to maybe do skin grafts to encouragae the skin the over lay. Plastic surgeon should know and because it is so critical, your insurance should take care of it.
H.S. answers from Houston on January 29, 2008
I have that same issue which is pretty common, although I hadn't heard of it before it happened to me. I'm still looking for all the answers, but I do know you can exacerbate the problem by doing certain ab exercises. Anything that makes a "ridge" come up is not good to do. Does that make sense? I think there is some healing that comes with smart toning, but I also think sometimes (if bad enough- probably not us) it requires surgery - keep asking your doctor or anyone at the gym until someone finally really seems to know about safe exercises. careful though, some trainers know little about this but give advice anyway. Common sense will go a long way, obviously anything that hurts or makes it worse isn't helping. sorry not more helpful.
E.G. answers from Houston on March 09, 2008
I would see your doctor about this...as said here it was your pregnancy that caused the vertical split of the abdominal muscles. But you say you had emergency c-sec? Is your incision vertical instead of horizontal at the bikini like? You may be able to correct that with surgery if it give you trouble.