Pregnancy Tips

Illness & Remedies

Diastasis Recti & Postpartum Weight Loss

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  • December 4, 2020
  • MKB Team

What is Diastasis Recti?

The complex muscular system supports most of the body's movements, including sitting, walking, and picking up your child. The rectus abdominus is a 2 part muscle, running side by side from the sternum to the pubic bone. Diastasis recti abdominus is an increased separation of the layers of the abdominal muscle and weakening of the connective tissue that holds it together.

When a woman is pregnant, the weight of the child pushes downward on the pelvic floor and outward against these muscles, Diastasis recti occurs when a stretched midsection further separates the rectus muscle, just like "a zipper that's undone," 

While this condition isn't specific to postpartum women, it can occur with close pregnancies, twin or triplet pregnancies, a major weight gain, or being 35 or older. However, it’s curable with the right core-strengthening exercises, lifestyle changes, and physical therapy. 

Tips for Postpartum Weight Loss

One can reduce postpartum weight safely by breastfeeding, a healthy and diverse diet plan, and exercising. 

Do not skip meals

Within the first 2 months postpartum, don't skip meals or go on a diet. Have 3 square meals a day with snacks. Choose nutrient-heavy foods instead of empty calories. After 2 months, indulge in smaller portion sizes in meals and snack less. To lose weight, you need to have a calorie deficit, meaning you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. This can be achieved not only by less calorie consumption but also by increasing physical activity. Skipping meals deprive you of the essential vital nutrients, which could be harmful.  

Avoid highly processed foods

Consumption of fried food, beverages like soda, microwave meals, ready-made cakes, and potato chips increase the chances of retaining the body weight gained post pregnancy. Instead, eat protein-rich foods. 

The body automatically uses 20–30% of the calories in protein during digestion. In comparison, it only uses 5–10% of the calories in carbohydrates and 0–3% of the calories in fats during digestion.

  • The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Eat Fiber-rich foods 

Dietary fiber means parts of plants that the body cannot digest easily. Fiber absorbs water travelling through the digestive system, and this promotes bowel health. This carbohydrate cannot be broken down by the body, and fiber can make people feel fuller for longer. 

Exercise

Physical activity, alongside a balanced diet, promotes healthy postpartum weight loss.  

 

What are the benefits of exercise?

  • Tone up
  • Lose weight
  • Release happy hormones

 

Why are warm-up exercises important?

Warming up removes muscle soreness, increases blood flow, and reduces risk of injury. Here are 3 simple warm-up exercises, each to be done 10 times. 

  • Get up on your toes, stretch your hands and slowly come down.
  • Raise your hands keeping your feet a little apart. Put your hands down. Then squat down. Then, put your hands up hands up and stand up.
  • Upward Dog and Downward Dog- Bhujang Asana and Parvat Asana.

 

Full Body Workout Exercises to make Moms Slimmer

Take a look at the cool demonstrations on our YouTube video 

Squeeze in just 10 minutes from your busy schedule for doing these 7 exercises. Isn’t that awesome? 

  1. Leg Raises- Get those great looking legs for the summer by doing leg raises. 
  • Make sure your legs are straight while doing the raises. 
  • Don’t touch your legs to the floor for best results. If you need support, put your hands under your glutes. 
  • Do 15 reps.

 

  1. Lateral Leg Raises- This exercise is great for the hips, legs and glutes.
  • Make sure your legs are straight.
  • When you bring your leg down, don’t touch your upper leg with the bottom leg for best results. 
  • Repeat with the other leg. Do 15 reps each. 

 

  1. Alternate Ankle Touches- This exercise is great to get rid of those irritating love handles. 
  • Keep your legs close to your body as you lie down.
  • Touch ankles alternately with 15 reps. 

 

  • Jumping Jacks- Jumping Jacks is a cool cardio exercise to shed those extra kilos. Do 30 reps instead of 15. 

 

  • Squats with Shoulder Press- The squats are great to tone up those legs, calves, hips and glutes. Shoulder Press strengthens the shoulders. It will be great if you can do the squat and shoulder press together. 
  • Squat correctly with legs a little apart. Visualize an imaginary chair behind you that you’re sitting on. Your knees should be behind your toes.
  • Use light weights for shoulder press. If you don’t have weights, use full water bottles. Do a free hand movement to get the form right. 

 

  1. Front Raise and Lateral Raise- You can use weights or water bottles. Do freehand if weights are too much. Do 15 reps.

 

  1. Plank- Start with 30 seconds and increase gradually

Suck in your core, look straight ahead. Don’t go for a mountain pose but be as straight as possible. This is great for the core, arms and full body. 

 

Got some great exercises that can help shed that mummy fat? Do share your tips with us and we’ll be happy to pass them on to everyone else. 

People also ask

Q.1 What does a stomach with Diastasis Recti look like?

A bulge in the middle of your stomach can be a sign of diastasis recti. Rectus abdominus separation can lead to a stomach bulge, pelvic floor issues, unnatural posture, and stomach and back pain. 

Q. 2 How can I fix Diastasis Recti naturally?

Tighten those muscles and lift them up towards your belly button. 

Q. 3 How long does it usually take to lose weight after having a baby?

Plan to return to your pre-pregnancy weight by 6-12 months after delivery. Most women lose half of their baby weight by 6 weeks after childbirth (postpartum). The rest most often comes off over the next several months. 

Q. 4 How much weight do you lose 1 month postpartum?

After your postpartum checkup (6 weeks after birth) you can start to lose weight gradually. If you're considerably overweight, you may lose weight faster.

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MKB Team

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