My goals in the beginning were to bring more pelvic floor awareness to myself and into my pilates classes. What ended up happening as a result of working with Sarah is that I feel more confident in my own work as a pilates instructor and I’m excited about losing my “pooch” for the first time! Her programs are so motivating and made me determined to get through them, they’ve made me feel stronger both inside and out.Some of the best parts about working with Sarah are having access to her knowledge and experience in the Facebook group, and that she’s just filled with honesty and integrity. She so clearly wants to help others feel amazing in their bodies and this comes through in every video, blog, Facebook post and interaction with her.I am a firm believer in this program 100% and am so happy with it, I wouldn’t change a thing! I absolutely would recommend Sarah to anyone I know suffering with a diastasis or a pelvic floor issue. – Lois Pace, Pilates Instructor
Welcome to the Diastasis Fix
Every woman I talk to wants a great looking stomach post baby, no exception. What if I told you that doing a 100 crunches a day would make your abs look worse? Yes, those instagram and pinterest models are lying to you. The only thing more ab work is going to do to a postpartum belly is frustrate you from lack of results or worse, give you back pain and widen your diastasis. Yes, forward flexion abdominal exercises like situps, crunches, pilates 100s, roll downs, front planks, v-sits, etc. can make your diastasis worse and should be avoided at all cost until you have healed!
What if I told you that another popular method of drawing in your belly button for fixing your diastasis was not doing the trick either? Sure, if can’t draw in your belly button that’s a body control issue that needs to be resolved. You need to be able to draw in your belly button at least once. This movement selectively recruits your deepest core muscles but selectively recruiting these muscles for training the core is not always a good thing because it’s not how the body naturally functions. More on this later.
I Feel So Powerful In My Body Now!
“I’m a mom of 5 ages 7, 5, 3 (almost 4), 2, and 9 months. I have my hands full and I love it. I have had c-section with all of my kids too, so I’ve got some abdominal issues. I am SO HAPPY I found Sarah when I did.
I started working with her because my doctor told me that there was no way to heal my diastasis recti except for surgery. I had a DR that measured 4.5 fingers. Thanks to Sarah after only a couple weeks of work it is completely closed at the top and down to 2 fingers around my belly button!!
I feel so powerful in my body now, it’s strong, beautiful and fully functioning after giving birth to 5 BABIES. It’s all thanks to hard work, Sarah, and her amazing programs!”
-Laura Graefnitz (Mom of 5 and Fitness Buff)
Before we dive into what’s good and bad for closing your diastasis, let’s take a closer look at what a diastasis is and how to tell if you have one.
A diastasis recti is when the front abdominal muscle gaps at the connection point in the middle. I say gap because the muscle isn’t actually going to split apart, so no need to worry there, but it can produce a sizable space between the two muscle bellies, basically it’s a thinning or stretching of the connective tissue.
Why is it bad?
Aesthetics aside (yes, I wanted to look good in a bikini postpartum too) this connection helps transfer load through your trunk. When the gap is too big or too squishy in the middle it becomes an ineffective load transfer point, this can result in back pain and SI joint instability. No one wants chronic pain, especially pain that keeps you from picking up your child, playing on the floor or living life how you want to live it.
How do you know if you have a diastasis?
Watch the video below to find out step by step how to measure yourself and know if you are getting better.
Why is drawing or sucking in your belly button bad?
When you draw in your belly button you decrease spinal stability. Yes, you heard that right. You decrease stability. I’m always amazed at the amount of patients I see for back pain that draw in their belly button. Once we break them of this habit and get their core firing correctly, we get rid of their back pain. Along with destabilizing the spine, drawing in your belly button also stops proper diaphragm function and promotes a shallow breathing pattern. A shallow breathing pattern causes neck and shoulder tightness, among other things. and it shuts down proper diaphragm expansion, turning you into a shallow breather. Shallow breathing contributes to neck and shoulder tightness and tightness, TMJ pain, hip pain, back tightness and pain and pelvic floor issues. Wow! All this from breathing? Yes! So, please don’t cause your body more pain down the road by drawing in your belly button. It’s not a fix for diastasis, it’s a band-aid at best and your body deserves better!
Deep breathing provides a natural stability system for the spine but accessing this system requires abdominal expansion. When you draw in your belly button, you stop the expansion from happening and you shut down natural your natural deep breathing system as a result. Deep breathing not only provides the spine with stability but also a little bit of traction with each breath as well, no wonder it feels so great on your back!
How does this relate to healing your diastasis?
When you exhale by drawing in your belly button you prevent the little muscles under the ribs from contracting like they should. This causes the ribs to flare or simply fix into position. When your ribs lead the way for your exhale it knits the abdominal wall together in a way that drawing in your belly button never could. I’ve seen almost instantaneous diastasis closure by getting someone to exhale by closing their ribs instead of drawing in their belly button.
Take the belly button challenge in the video to the right now to learn more!
Diastasis is a full body issue, not just a stomach issue. I see skinny men with diastasis. Crazy right? It’s not just reserved for the postpartum ladies. When the front of your abdominal wall is being loaded incorrectly a diastasis is your abs way of saying I give up. If you fix the way the body is loading itself, it takes stress off this area and allows it to permanently heal.
What does stress on the front of the abdominal wall look like?
- Poor breathing habits
- Improper pelvic positioning (too much APT or PPT)
- Imbalance of core strength
- Great than 90 rib angle
- Poor overall posture (shifts weight into toes, forward head, etc)
- Decreased muscle integration in trunk
Basically, to sum it up simply, lack of diastasis closure is caused by how the body brings itself together and coordinates its movements.
It has more to do with how you carry yourself and how you move rather than how strong you are. That’s why 1,000 sit ups per day will not make your diastasis any better.
It’s a coordination issue, not a strength issue! All systems must work in balance.
How do you fix this coordination issue?
Step 1: Stop drawing in your belly button and get your deep breathing system working instead, this includes rib movement.
Step 2: Center your weight over your body, so your hips are not pressing forward and your weight is in line with your arches.
Step 3: Learn how to load your core correctly. The might be the most important. (check out the full diastasis fix program for effective exercises)
Step 4: Midback mobility. The more thoracic spine movement you have the less force your diastasis has to withstand with everyday movements.
Step 5: Fix pelvic alignment. Too much anterior tilt or posterior tilt is bad.
These are the exercises that I not only recommend for my clients but I used them as well to fix my core after two babies.
This picture was taken 9 months after the delivery of my second.
“After trying other programs to heal my diastasis and not seeing the results I wanted, I was skeptical that Sarah’s program would be any different. But my diastasis is almost completely closed, my belly has shrunk and I’m finally beginning to see muscle. I even sleep better, feel less stressed and have less back pain.
Sarah truly CARES, she’s constantly providing feedback and encouraging everyone. Her online presence and support is amazing and I think that is the best part of this program. It’s awesome to be able to post videos to the Facebook group and have Sarah correct form, it’s like having your own personal trainer!
Sarah teaches you to understand your body and how it’s supposed to function in daily life, because of that my lifestyle has undergone a huge transformation and that has improved my physical and mental well-being as well. I would recommend Sarah to anyone I know that is postpartum, experiences pain or has posture issues.
She has changed my life, I’m eternally grateful. I want others to feel the same.”
-Liann, Manitoba, Canada
Ready to reach your goals?
Then join us now in the Diastasis Program!
(If you are a health and fitness professional, please register for the Postpartum Corrective Exercise Certification. It will be a better fit.
This course is for personal use only, not for learning how to instruct others.)
100% Money Back Guarantee in the first 30 day
No contracts, no obligations. Stop at any time for any reason.
With this program, you get:
– 6 weeks of step by step tutorials and exercise instruction- Each week has between 5-7 videos to watch. These are not your normal exercises. It’s very different from the normal exercise recommendations.
– A large bonus section covering topics from getting back into regular exercise to the best way to do household chores. 17 videos in all.
– Life time access so you do not need to feel rushed and can go back and review at any time.
– Help and feedback from Dr. Sarah as you go through the series in the SECRET facebook group with free membership upgrade for one month at checkout.
– Downloadable PDFs for each video.
If you choose the membership option for gaining access to the Diastasis Fix Program, you also gain access to the entire Diastasis and Pelvic Floor Program, Happy Hips + Strong Glutes and Abs, the Banish Back Pain Series and a total body workout progression series that gives you new exercises each month. These are amazing programs that will give you access to incredible information and allow you to make lifelong changes in your body.
*You will also gain access to a private facebook group where you will get personal help while in the program.*