My abs are separated, contemplating divorce.

photo 4

My abs are separated, contemplating divorce.


Baby + baby pooch left over at 5 weeks PP

Baby + baby pooch left over at 5 weeks PP

I can stick 3 fingers in my belly in the space between the left and right sides of my abdominal muscles. It’s the most unnatural natural part of pregnancy and the post partum side effects. They call this diastasis recti and it is the bane of my existence. The latin word “diastasis” means separation. Hence separation of the rectus abdominus. Why does this happen? During pregnancy the abdominals start to separate to accomodate the growing uterus. The connective tissue known as linea alba which joins the left and right side, starts to stretch and thin. This is a necessary process to make room for the expansion of the uterus, but body size, size of baby, and positioning of baby are all factors that can create distastisis. There’s no universal studies or research on whether having strong vs. weak abs pre pregnancy, a short vs. long torso, or core work performed during pregnancy make the difference in the degree of DR. The curious part of me wants to delve into this and conduct a study so you ladies with DR email me and let’s see if we can’t solvesthis condition. I might not get around to finishing the study until 2017 but I’ll try.


What am I doing about my bad case of DR? Besides posting my postpartum belly with loose skin and stretchphoto 3, v2 marks on social media, I’m trying to retrain my core muscles to work again. It’s tiresome, frustrating at times, and requires mundane and focused energy. Those of you who have been following my journey have asked that I share what exercises and routine I am doing to correct my diastasis. To be honest the first couple of weeks it was a bit of a crapshoot. I have a pelvic floor specialist I see in San Diego who is awesome and very knowledgable in women’s pelvic health. I recently made a trip out to see her to be assessed as to how my DR was, the strength of my kegals, the function of my pelvic floor muscles, and to make sure organs weren’t falling out of me. (prolapse true story). She does external and internal exams while I perform exercises. She was very impressed with my kegals (only took me 18 months to perfect those), my perineal healing (TMI), and my core activation. I ran 13 minutes the following day because I was confident and excited after my appointment. The next day I couldn’t turn over in bed, shift weight from one leg to the other, or lift my baby without pain. What the hell? Setback #1 of 37 to come in my postpartum return. Baffled, dejected, and scared I returned to Flagstaff. I saw our team of docs at Hypo2 and Dr. Gregg helped calm down the inflammation in my pelvis, hips, and low back. I used a post partum belly support belt to stabilize my pelvis by putting pressure over my hip bones. I had a suspicion my abs and lack of strength were to blame. Visually they are a mess and physically in a coma. Sometimes you feel lost when injured or in a pain cycle because you don’t know if the exercises you’re given are helping or hurting. If they are the right ones, are you performing them correctly? It’s the worst feeling in the world to feel as if you have no control over your body’s muscle functioning. Post partum healing requires a timeline that no doctor can prescribe universally to all women. Each of our bodies are different so one gal might have intact abs 3 weeks PP while another it takes 5 months to restore her core. At the time I saw my lady in San Diego I was 5 weeks PP and was doing transverse abdominus bracing, bracing with heel slides, and bracing with marching. It seemed appropriate for where I was but based on my symptoms after running it was not enough.  I needed a solution and a plan now. I drove down to Phoenix last week to see Dr. John Ball who has been my doctor for the past 6 years. I left Hudson with Ben for the longest stretch of time since he was born. Party time? The reality of mom trips are not as awesome as they sound: I drove 2 1/2 hours nervous for my condition, in a bit of pain, had to pump breastmilk every 3 hours either in a patient room or my car, and got coffee after pumping sessions to stay awake the whole day without a nap. I was rewarded with feelings of inadequacy in perfoming 5 second holds on all my core work. I spent 90 minutes perfecting 3 exercises that JB prescribed I do twice a day, everyday. My butt burned, abs and obliques shook like crazy, and I sweated all over the gym mats. It was embarrassing and a little humbling but I left the office with a plan and the will to execute 5

So here it is for those needing help correcting DR. Before I explain my routine let me reiterate what I’ve learned about DR. Looks aside, you can have diastatis recti that never fully closes but still have functioning core muscles if they are activated and stabilizing correctly. Basically you can have a gap in your stomach but if you have no back pain, pelvis or SI joint issues, and no incontinence most likely everything is in working order. Let’s look at this as nature’s way of giving some women a permanent “love handle” down the middle of our belly. I stress this to convey that the focus shouldn’t be on repairing ourselves aesthetically but functionally.  The following exercises are performed twice a day with focus and attention to detail. They take me 30-35 minutes. The first few days I did them, I woke up sore so I knew I was activating muscles that had been dead for a long time. The difference between this routine and your traditional “core” routine is that these natural movements and restoratives poses work to engage the core muscles in a dynamic fashion as opposed to in isolation (which u see in crunches).

  1. Bird dogs: 4 x 5 sec, 3 x 5 sec, 2 x 5 sec, 1 x 5 sec. On hands and knees with neutral spine, brace your stomach, locking in your lat and pushing the heel away from body raise opposite arm and leg and hold. Come back to midline still bracing and back out again.
  2. Side plank: 4 x 5 sec, 3 x 5 sec, 2 x 5 sec, 1 x 5 sec. Top leg in front of foot (see photo), Lock in your lat on the arm that is holding you up and push up being sure to keep a nice straight line with your 2
  3. Mc Gill Crunch:  4 x 5 sec, 3 x 5 sec, 2 x 5 sec, 1 x 5 sec. Lie on your back, one leg bent, the other straight. Place hands underneath back. Keeping the same pressure on your hands: brace abs, create a double chin, and lift from the mid back, not letting your head pull you forward.

photo 1

Any questions??? Just kidding as I’m sure there are many. I am fortunate that with running being my job I have access to great doctors as often as I need. I highly recommend you find someone with the knowledge to help restore your core if that’s what you’re dealing with. If it’s mainly looks you’re concerned with, just own those stretch marks, loose skin, and “baby” pooch and “keepitreal” along with me in “journeywithsteph.” Just remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, so healing and restoring strength to your core will take time, patience, and consistency.


Would love to hear from you guys on your experience with DR.


Dream Big!



  • Jennifer St Jean

    12.11.2015 at 17:53 Reply

    Steph, I’ve had 2 c-sections & more recently a hysterectomy where the had to go in through the midline above & in my belly button. Nothing great on the internet about healing. I’m for helping you with your study. Yoga has probably helped my core strength the most doing the exercises shown. I still have DR and have confirmed no prolapse. It will be 3 years this match since my hysterectomy & my girls are 8 & 12. It has been a long road. Cosmetic surgery was mentioned but since I am not in danger of prolapse I view it as one of my battle scars. Hard to handle the loose saggy skin that will never be right when I think back to my 6 pack but I have 2 beautiful healthy girls. Best to you on your journey. Thanks for being so honest & open. Great to know I am not alone in this journey.

  • Kira Testin

    12.11.2015 at 18:37 Reply

    Hi Steph- Thanks for keeping it real and being so open. I carried twin boys that were 6 weeks early and still huge according to premie standards. 6lb 3oz and 5lb 11oz. I have a DR that is 3 fingers in length as well. It has been 11 years since they were born and I still consider myself a work in progress. I met with a surgeon about having it repaired and the potential for chronic pain was not worth it to me. I have embraced my saggy, stretchy skin and know that the result was worth it. I would be happy to be a part of your study. Best of luck to you and thanks again for keepin it real!

    • Laurel Fooks

      23.03.2016 at 16:20 Reply

      I had mine repaired surgically and don’t remember being warned of chronic pain. I’m curious what you were told? Thanks 🙂

      • Paige Hawks

        08.04.2016 at 19:34 Reply

        Hi Laurel,

        What type of surgery did you have? Was it a tummy tuck? I have a pretty significant DR and am curious of options. I saw a hernia specialist bc there was concern that my DR had caused a hernia. He made it sound like a tummy tuck was the only option. Just curious. Thanks!

  • Karey Payne

    12.11.2015 at 19:20 Reply

    Thank you so much for bringing more attention to this issue! I love that you are facilitating open and honest conversations about what happens to women’s bodies during and after pregnancy. In my own research I’ve come across a very knowledgeable Biomechanist who specializes in DR and pelvic floor health. Her name is Katy Bowman and her blog is Katy Says. She’s got a book on DR coming out later this winter but in the meantime if you want more information check out her site. She has very well researched posts!

  • Beth Goucher

    13.11.2015 at 01:05 Reply

    I’ve been so excited about you posting this blog…. I’ve had bad DR for both babies and now number three on the way. The second baby boy was 10lb 1ounce and soooo long he didn’t uncurl for weeks. I’m 5’4” and average 125lbs so I was big!!! I’ve been following you on IG for a while and for your slight frame you had a pretty big boy too. My opinion has always been baby size? So I’m pretty interested in what you find out. At the back of my mind I wonder what stAte my abs will be left in with another big boy on the way…..people don’t believe me when I say I could lose my hand in my abs after #2!
    Thanks so much for sharing your journey 👍👏

    • Sarah W.

      23.03.2016 at 19:03 Reply

      I totally believe you about loosing your hand in your stomach, because I can do the same thing! Two 9 pound babies within 4 years both delivered by c-section have given me very bad DR and hernias.

  • Jaclyn disibio

    13.11.2015 at 10:18 Reply

    Hi! I would love to be part of your study. I am a mom of triplets and a singleton girl. I currently am dealing with a DR and seeing a PT for it. It has helped a lot with my low back pain and herniated disk. I would love to learn more. Thanks!

  • Laura Fulks

    13.11.2015 at 21:30 Reply

    This was super helpful to me! After the birth of my second baby I had major ab separation but felt strong and had no joint or back pain. My core felt strong but I thought for sure something was wrong because there was still a 2 finger gap and pooch. Now I’m 19 weeks pregnant with #3 and already I feel like my abs/core are just gone. 🙂 what would be so helpful to me would be a video of you going through your DR exercises so during my postpartum recovery I could just watch and follow along. 🙂 thanks and good luck!!! You are inspiring!

  • Helene Byrne, BeFit-Mom

    16.11.2015 at 12:40 Reply

    Please take a look at the diastasis recti page of my web site. Bird dog, because it places the mi line against the force of gravity is not a good initial rehab move for diastasis, and neither is the McGill crunch, or any other type of “crunch” or exercise that flexes the upper spine off the floor or against the force of gravity.
    Step one in diastasis rehab is to build a foundation on strength back into your transverse abdominis (TvA), with moves like abdominal compressions (Belly Lacing) and abdominal compressions with pelvic tilt (Belly Scooping).
    Then after the TvA has regained an adequate foundation of strength, you should progress to exercises that train the muscle to function properly as a stablizer.
    Find out more at:

    • Julie Johnson

      01.04.2016 at 19:39 Reply

      I was thinking the same thing, was curious if anyone would say anything. My PT advised against those types of exercises and instead said to focus on the TVA. Every body is different tho 🙂

  • Jen Perkins

    04.12.2015 at 12:06 Reply

    Thank you for being so frank and honest regarding the issues of DR after pregnancy. I am a mom to 3 wonderful kids, 11, 9, 6. I competed in cross country and track and field at the US Naval Academy and was very anxious to get back to running following my pregnancies. I had no issues with my 11 year old. However, after I had my 9 year old I had an umbilical hernia and a DR that was 4 finger widths, easy. The hernia was repaired when he was 2 years old because I was having consistent back pain. The DR only closed to about 3 fingers. I became pregnant several months later with our daughter and thankfully the hernia repair held. It took me awhile to get back into running consistently and intelligently, but I did do it. I still have a 3 finger width separation and I focus a lot on my posture and maintaining my core with planking. In my experience, most people gave me lists of things I couldn’t do, but not much of what I could. Trial and error was my main method, but I believe you can be a successful runner with a bit of “separation anxiety.” In early November at the Pensacola Marathon I set a PR of 3:14.56 and was the 1st Overall Female. As absolutely incredible as that sensation was, what blew me away was my two boys were holding the finisher’s tape and my daughter presented me with the finisher’s medal as I crossed the line. I would love to be apart of your study, so many women are affected by this and are given such lousy advice on how to combat the issue. Thank you for letting others learn from your willingness to share!

  • Kristen D

    31.12.2015 at 11:54 Reply

    Would love to hear an update on your DR! I recently discovered I have a 2.5 finger DR and my youngest is 15mths old. I’m starting PT to try and close the gap and strengthen my core. I hope it isn’t too late for me.

  • Erin

    19.01.2016 at 14:39 Reply

    I am a former collegiate runner turned IM racer turned marathoner and mom to 3 kiddos. After my first son was born, my dr diagnosed me with an umbilical hernia and DR. He said it would probably get worse with each pregnancy. It did. By the time I’d had my 3rd son, I had a 4 finger gap, a lot of lower back pain, constant SI joint issues and times when my intestines would pop through the hernia. Not good!! I had seen a PT in an attempt to close the gap but 20 months after my 3rd son was born, the best I could get it to was 3.5 finger gap. After a routine check up, my dr really recommended getting the hernia fixed as I was at risk for having my intestines pop through and not being able to push them back in, thus needing emergency surgery! So off to the general surgeon I went and he said I’d need my DR fixed as well as the hernia. Fixing just the hernia would be like slapping a bandaid on something – it wouldn’t totally fix the problem. So I went under the knife and was cut from sternum to pelvic bone along the midline – the scar was pretty gnarly for a while!! He sewed up my DR and then placed mesh to fix the hernia. Having had 3 c-sections before and a really high pain tolerance, I figured this would be no big deal. I woke from surgery feeling like I’d done 1 million sit-ups. I had 3 drains in me and walked all hunched over like an old lady for weeks! That said, I’m so glad I did it!! I have no more lower back pain, no more SI flare ups and I actually have a core again! I do have to be cautious with the kind of core exercises I do but I love that I can run and not feel like my insides are falling out. I’ve managed to get my marathon PR down to a 3:09 which at 36 and as a full time stay at home to 3 kids, I’m pretty proud of that accomplishment!
    So keep working on your DR but if you do need to get it surgically repaired, there’s no shame in that. I ran a half marathon just 12 weeks post surgery and managed to squeak out a 1:29 which isn’t too shabby!
    Best wishes in Oregon!

  • Kim

    21.03.2016 at 09:07 Reply

    Thanks for all of this!! I’m five years PP with just a two finger gap but a really annoying amount of incontinence that no specialist has been able to solve. I’ve been told to stop running, or get used to it. Two doctors have told me I have not prolapse, but I’m certain I do, however minor. I’m adding these into my routine, but wanted to add somethings that have helped quite a bit. One was that I took some time off from running to focus on strength training and the other was Barre. I know, I know. But I really helped me feel my core and work on controlling smaller muscles and movements as well as holding my pelvis in a better position. I had a Barre instructor with a great deal of yoga background and also had a strong understanding of muscles (ie, none of this getting a dancer’s body from doing a zillion tiny leg lefts…). Again, thanks!

  • Carrie Harper

    22.03.2016 at 18:44 Reply

    I’m glad to help with your Diastasis Recti! Give me a call or send me a note ; I am a personal trainer who had a severe case and now I help others heal. I feel you!

  • Chloe Pozar

    22.03.2016 at 19:55 Reply

    Hello Stephanie, I just read about you on a facebook post by I am TOTALY certian I have seen you around Flag. Like most people in Flag i am runner but just recreationly. Before my 4th baby I was feeling super about my abs,after ahh not so much. I have a 4 finger DR canyon between my abs. Yoga helped me focus on my muscle structure. Now that baby is 14 months and loves the gym daycare I feel like I’ve got more freedom to test out other excersizes. If you want to compare canyons I work out in the same building as you.

  • Brittany Arcand

    23.03.2016 at 05:14 Reply

    The first pic of this blog post looks just like me. I have a three finger gap and after 3 kids, was pretty sure I was stuck with it! I look like I am pregnant, but obviously, I’m not. This post gives me hope! I am going to do a bit more research and try and stick to a plan. Uhg. So frustrating. This topic was NEVER mentioned to me by ANY medical professional and I found out about it my accident and am trying to deal with it on my own. I am up for anything you need in the way of research or feedback! Good luck with trials and we will be following and praying for you!

  • Sarah Friedberg

    23.03.2016 at 06:45 Reply

    It is refreshing to see people talking about DR. I am 5’8 with a very long torso and have had two C sections. I grow gigantic babies- first was 10 lbs, 11 oz and the second was evicted early and still was 8 lbs, 14 oz. I was always in great shape pre babies and my abs were one of my better features- nice and thin and flat and defined. After my first, I lots the baby weight quickly but could not figure out why I still looked 3/4 months pregnant in the tummy area. Nobody told me about DR. I got a personal trainer and they had me do crunches, planks, etc- all things that actually made the DR worse. Once I figured out it was DR and saw an AMAZING pelvic floor / women’s health PT ( and after 1-2 months of daily abdomen/ pelvic floor exercises I saw amazing results. Then I got pregnant again and I am back to square one! Thank you for bringing this issue to the public eye.

  • Michelle

    23.03.2016 at 10:52 Reply

    I too have been dealing with diastasis recti for the last 10 years post baby x2. It’s frustrating to not have the function of my abs for the activities that I enjoy. And it’s frustrating to look 7 months pregnant! My diastasis is 4 fingers wide at the belly button and 3 at the top and 3 at the bottom as it stretches from sternum to below the belly. I’ve tried physical therapy which did nothing. I’ve also used splints from Julie Tupler’s products. These help give support to your belly. I recommend checking out her site for lots of good information on the Tupler Technique at I have also participated in her online rehab program using her exercises, splint, and gaining support from my “belly buddies” assigned to me. It’s been VERY informative and I got a flatter, stronger belly when I did the exercises and wore the splint. It’s all about strengthening the transverse muscles. I am now however considering abdominoplasty. Good luck with your rehab!

  • Aina Pallis

    23.03.2016 at 13:42 Reply

    Dear New Mom.
    Someone should have told you exactly what happens with a pregnant body and what to expect after birth. Pregnancy and the PP afterwords is something that takes time and should not be rushed. You seem to me to be all over the place and very unpatient and stressed about your body and training instead of focusing on healing and spending time with your newborn. You should wait at least 4-6 month before you start the hardcore training and the running happens, and you want to start up again slow. It is very common for parents that have children under the age of 3 to not have the energy or the time either for things like that, most of the times your own life is on hold while you have your hand full with the home, baby and family life. You seem to be a very tough and derterment girl and if you gave your self a break I’m sure that in the end you will do just fine and do very well with it all. I wish you the best and good luck in life. Aina

  • Lorraine Scapens

    23.03.2016 at 16:32 Reply

    HI Steph congrats on #2 and its awesome that you are on the road to recovery and I wish you all the best for selection.
    I do however feel though that you are not doing the best exercises for optimal recovery. As a pre and postnatal personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist for more than 20 years performing side planks and recruiting external and internal obliques so soon after birth and with your size of DR it can actually make things much worse , the 3rd choice of exercise is also not ideal.

    I have healed DR just like yours for Athletes (Im an ex Tri Coach of NZ) so I know that you can heal.

    I know and totally understand that you are after a quick recovery but it will take time for cellular repair which is needed to reduce the depth of your separation and create more tension of your linea alba.

    Remember to that you don’t want to brace too often but to learn to exhale and engage your TA and PFM, relaxing the muscles when you inhale making sure you don’t create core muscle dysfunction.

    I am just about to write a blog on you for all our fans 🙂 All the best Lorraine

  • Anna Dawson

    23.03.2016 at 18:35 Reply

    I just had my second set of full term twins (within 2 years) and had an 8 finger width gap. I had good results with the Tupler Technique, just finding the time to stick with it and use good body mechanics is the hard part. I would be interested in being a part of your study.
    Thanks for your honesty about post baby bodies.

  • Maria

    23.03.2016 at 23:12 Reply

    Hi Steph! Thank you for sharing your experience with us moms who are in the blind spot. Many of us just kind of give up on the idea of ever becoming normal again. It is so refreshing to hear your story and that we should not give up or give in the idea that this is as far as we go.
    I had 2 C- sections and my youngest one is 9 years old. I love running and after my babies were born I pretty much forgot how to run again. I’m not a professional runner but I always had a passion for it.
    Now after so many years and many lost muscles I decided to run again. My time is awful but I’m not here to join the olimpics I just want to improve myself and see how far I can go. Having issues with my core is definitely being a stumbling block but after reading your story it has restored some hope and a drive to push harder and focus on that mid section and get it back to where is supposed to be. 😉
    Thank you again for continuing your story and for giving us hope.
    Wish you always the best and keep running with that spirit of endurance and resilience.

  • Jennifer Cahalane

    24.03.2016 at 05:27 Reply

    Hi Steph, have you heard of the Tupler Technique? I worked with this program for a while, and saw improvement (read, a lessening of separation!) in my DR. It’s a very simple method, but it takes commitment. It was developed by a nurse (Julie Tupler, RN).

    Best of luck in all your endeavors!

  • Theresa Mayfield

    25.03.2016 at 09:09 Reply

    HI Steph,

    I am so happy to have found this blog!! I have had DR and a hernia and incontinence since I had my 2nd baby 9 years ago. Really it started with my first child who was 10lbs and I am 5’3″. I had no idea that there was even such a thing as DR and did things like sit ups and the like. Not a good idea because my abdominal muscles were so stretched I looked 9 months pregnant again. I was like”what the heck is going on with my body!” I started running 4 years ago and I am down to 3 fingers from 6 with my DR! I would love to be part of your study! No body prepares a new mom for what can happen to your body. Wouldn’t it be fantastic as part of your recovery that there is a group in place that counsels moms and gives some direction and people to talk to. We all have to scour the internet and put bits and pieces together. Yes this is one of my dreams. Any way I am happy to follow your work!!

  • Jane G

    25.03.2016 at 14:32 Reply

    Thank you so much. I feel good to be in the same position as an athlete. It’s not just me, it’s just life and change. And I wouldn’t miss having my family for the world. I don’t look at my stomach as much as possible as this is the best way to ignore it and forget. It’s stronger through pilates but the loose skin is there forever. I’m never wearing a bikini again, but that’s fine. A good stomach control swimsuit and I feel I look great. The worst thing was the shop assistant who dismissed my search for control pants for a smart occasion – oh you’re slim you don’t need those. Well yes, in a pair of jeans the excess flesh is zipped into control. But I needed something strong to wear under a thin, floaty skirt .

  • Shelley Guy

    25.03.2016 at 20:07 Reply

    Thank you for being so transparent. Sometimes I feel like I’m alone in this battle. During my 2nd c section my dr stitched up my abs as far as she could reach which ended up being to my belly button. 15 months post partum and I still have a DR. Before babies I was a collegiate hurdler and in the best shape ever. I think what created my diastasis was working out while pregnant and not using proper body mechanics. I started running longer mileages 3 months ago and I have seen my body go from 3 finger widths to 2 in that short amount of time. I’m hoping that if I just keep that up it would help. I tried the Tupler technique and it’s just not for me. Too time consuming and I could never keep up with it. After reading your blog I’m wondering if running alone is not going to help me heal all the way. The thing is I don’t know which exercises are safest to do.

  • Tamar Willaims

    26.03.2016 at 19:12 Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing your DR journey. My belly looks a lot like yours. I had a 5 finger separation after my third baby. I was huge and I’m short waisted so I expanded to the point many thought I was having multiples. I have been going to PT for the last year and been working hard to slowly close the gap. I have about a finger separation now and the core is finally stable. I was not athletic at all during my pregnancy and did nothing to protect my abs in anyway. PT has taught me so much about things I could have done to help prevent the severity of my DR and giving me new lifelong habits to protect my core.

    • Ben & Steph

      28.04.2016 at 18:44 Reply

      Amazing work! And sounds like you found a great PT!

  • lakeisha thompson

    27.03.2016 at 03:43 Reply

    My boyfriend Bill was diagnosed with this…we all thought he had the “typical” beer gut and just needed to lose weight, what a surprise we got to hear that this a common condition but in women. Years ago, he had surgery to sew it back up but of course over the years it has reopened again. Had a consultantion with a different dr about surgery again and the dr said that “the risk
    from surgery and complications outweigh
    vanity!” That it will just reopen again. So,
    here we r just exercising and making sure he
    eats right…maybe we will try one of ur exercises u mentioned..but at least we know its a condition and not because my man is “fat” or has a “beer gut”…its an actual.condition..thank you for sharing!

  • sabrina

    27.03.2016 at 08:43 Reply

    Thank you for your blog. I just found it and makes me feel better reading it. I have a two and a half finger separation but after my second daughter was born it was at five. Both girls were over 9 lbs and I’m 5 ft1. I also have a hernia which is getting repaired soon as it needs to be. I second any videos of you. I’m working with a physical therapist who has me doing similar exercises although she’s going a conservative route and says no running. Interesting to see the different opinions. I tried the Tupler and just couldnt keep uo. It’s good to see others voicing – no one else I know has it or says they do so hard to discuss. Thanks for sharing your progress.

  • Molly Burkinshaw

    05.04.2016 at 18:55 Reply

    Hey! I’d love to be a part of your research. I’m a 30 year old mother of 6. I had a set of twins (combined 9.5 lbs) when I was 23, 14 months later another baby (7lbs), 17 months later another baby (8lbs), took a break for 3 years (husband was in grad school), had another baby (7.5lbs), and then 15 months later had another (6lbs). I’m currently 8 months PP. I didn’t notice much of a separation until after my 5th, but we knew we wanted them close, so I didn’t do much recuperating until after this last pregnancy. I’m 5’2 and when not pregnant or nursing I weigh around 105lbs. I played college soccer and ran a lot in the off-seasons. I come from a running family. I had some pretty nice abs once upon a time. Although I’m pretty sure my bikini wearing days ended before they ever started (!), I’d like a stronger core. I don’t have a very wide gap (1.5 fingers), but it is kind of long. I’ve tried splinting it, and doing some of the kegle exercises to strengthen my pelvic floor. I’m not sure what else to do, but to be more consistent with exercises and avoid movements that may cause a greater separation and damage. I’ve thoguht about seeing a PT to get more specific exercises that would help bring the muscles closer together. I haven’t had any hernia issues as of yet. I’m back into running, but not as fast or long as I’d like. I’ve read a lot about your training and your methods. I’m not super competitive, but would like to get PRs this year. We’re taking a break from babies for a few years, so I’d like to get a few halfs, 10Ks and 5Ks in before we start trying again. I’m not able to run while I’m pregnant because of serious hyperemisis gravidarum and SVT. Any suggestions or help in training and decreasing body fat? I’d love to start a correpsonence! Thanks

    • Ben & Steph

      28.04.2016 at 18:42 Reply

      Um, first of all congrats on being a super human human maker! I don’t have specific advice there. Sounds like you are already very strong, it just takes time.

  • Kimberly

    05.04.2016 at 20:25 Reply

    I would like to second the recommendation to check out Katy Bowman’s work and blog! I am working with a restorative exercise specialist the repair my DR. I haven’t had the stomach (ha) to test just exactly how wide mine is. Katy’s blog is fascinating and goes into the specifics of what lead to DR (it isn’t just pregnancy! it’s the wrong posture among other things; that’s why guys can get it, too!) and how to heal it. Thanks for keepin’ it real and best wishes, Stephanie!

    • Ben & Steph

      28.04.2016 at 18:36 Reply

      Thanks so much!

  • Paula

    11.04.2016 at 20:27 Reply

    I discovered this blog from the Today Show article. I am 41 and have 3 kids. They are 15, 14, and 13. I’m 5’3 and 100 pounds. My largest baby was 7 pounds 12 oz. 2 vaginal deliveries and 1 emergency c-section. I don’t remember after which pregnancy I noticed this. My gap is above and below the navel kind of diamond shaped in a way. 1 finger to 2 1/2 fingers closer to and on the navel. It’s not so noticeable standing up or laying down, but when I bend over or kneel on all fours you see the loose sagging skin. I hate it but will not pay for and risk going through a major surgery. I have been working out consistently for a year and have seen improvement in the appearance of my abs but the gap is no smaller. It did improve the depth. I think the connective tissue is stronger and firmer because my fingers don’t go down as far. I also have low body fat and i think that helps my pooch to be less noticeable. I never heard of this until recently and always wondered why my abs did this and some of my friends with 3-4 kids had great looking abs. It feels good to not be alone. I think new moms should be given more info on this potential problem and things to do and not to do. Thanks for sharing!!!! Please keep us informed with new information and tips.

    • Ben & Steph

      28.04.2016 at 18:38 Reply

      Thank you for reading, and I feel you! All the best!

  • Christina Pinedo

    12.04.2016 at 12:00 Reply

    I nearly cried when I read this post. I’ve had three enormous babies (8, 9, and 10 pounds…22″ long), which was apparently too much for my poor abs. I have a huge split…about 8 fingers wide and 11 fingers long, and I look like I’m five months pregnant all the time. I’d love to be part of your study…I need all the help I can get. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It helps to know there are other moms like me out there.

    • Ben & Steph

      28.04.2016 at 18:41 Reply

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Oomph, big babies! Please do email if you haven’t already to make sure I flag the message.

  • Brianna Carson

    04.05.2016 at 05:16 Reply

    Thank you for posting this! I found your post through pintrest. I am 18 months post my 2nd baby and still can fit 2 fingers between my abs. I could fit 3-4 fingers between after each of my 2. My daughter was pretty average at 7 pound 6 where as my son was over 9 pounds (can’t remember the ounces haha)

  • Salma

    05.05.2016 at 18:53 Reply

    May God bless you always and guide you in your journey. My prayers and best wishes to you.

  • Jessica Herrera

    19.05.2016 at 08:17 Reply

    Count me in for the study! I suffered from diastasis recti after the birth of my daughter in early 2014. I’m just now understanding and dealing with the issue.

    I can tell you that I’m relatively thin, long torso-ed and a runner. My abs were always my favorite body part… until pregnancy and birth…

  • Leslie

    12.08.2016 at 19:01 Reply

    Another recommendation for checking out Katy Bowman’s book on DR! If you read it, a review would be awesome 🙂

  • Jenae Kuchman

    14.10.2016 at 09:48 Reply

    Can you tell me who your pelvic expert is in San Diego? I live in San Diego and am currently dealing with DR. Thanks!

    • Ben & Steph

      01.12.2016 at 19:40 Reply

      Hi, sorry for the delay. Renee Cinco at Function Smart is my pelvic floor specialist. Hope you can see her!

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