postpartum recovery

When should you stop doing overhead movements during pregnancy and when can you add them back in postpartum?

There is no hard timeline- Do you have a strategy in place that will support the task symptom free? I sound like a broken record, but every woman’s journey is different. Dialing in your breathing and body alignment is key during this chapter. You already have a growing baby adding additional weight and tension to your midline and pelvic floor. Let’s not add to it by putting additional weight and pressure on those areas when it’s not needed. And is it really worth the risk? Working with me during your pregnancy to dial in strategies will help set-up you for your postpartum chapter.

Signs to look for

  • Coning/doming/tugging/pulling of the midline

  • Ribs flaring up- Causing additional pressure on the midline

  • Pelvic pain/pressure

  • Leaking urine

  • Diastasis Recti/Healing DR Postpartum

Scaling options for overhead movements

  • Floor press

  • Seated overhead press- monitoring your alignment

  • Incline push-ups

  • Static overhead holds- again monitoring your alignment

Coaching reminders

  • Ribs stacked over hips, weight midfoot, butt untucked

  •  Breathing option 1- Inhale (relax) then start your exhale (lift &engage), as you continue to exhale (lift &engage) through the full range of motion.

  • Breathing option 2- Inhale at the start of the movement (relax), then exhale through the hard part of the movement (lift &engage).

Together we’ll work on YOUR timeline to keep you working out safely during and after pregnancy.

-Coach K

Diastasis recti

Diastasis Recti is a mouthful, so I’m just going to call it “DR” for short. DR is the separation of the sides at the center of the abdomen and thinning of the fascia between these sides (the separation of the 6 pack muscles for short). This is a hot topic, but stay calm It’s normal to have a separation of the midline during pregnancy. Your body is compensating for your growing baby. It’s also normal to have a separation post-baby. Your abdomen may never fully close post baby and that’s okay too, as long as there is a strategy in place & your fascia is responding well. (it’s not just about the width).  This pro-tip on DR is not to scare you, but to inform you.

Where to start?

First step, find a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist (PFPT) that will listen to your story & goals (it may take a few PFPTs to find the right fit for you). Second step, find a trainer who can help you work towards your goals & that has continuing education working with pregnant & postpartum women. Third step, Connect the dots and implement strategies that work for you. It’s not what you are doing, it’s how you are doing it. There isn’t one way to breathe or one way you should stand & move. Everyone is different & so is your timeline. 

How do I check for DR?

  1. Lay flat on your back with feet flat on the ground
  2. Slightly tucking your chin to your chest, slightly lift your head off the ground, keeping your shoulders on the ground. **This is NOT a crunch, just a head lift
  3. Starting just below the sternum in the middle of your chest, take three fingers (horizontally) and walk them down the midline all the way to the pubic bone.
  4. You are feeling for how many fingers you can fit between your mid-section, how deep your fingers can go, & what your mid-section feels like. Is it soft like your cheek? Or hard like the tip of your nose?   
  5.  It’s great to give yourself a baseline and know how to check for DR, but I highly suggest finding a PFPT in your area for an evaluation.

Recap, it's not just about the gap. The way your fascia responds (tissue between the 6 pack muscles) is important to! Try to not obsess over DR & with the right guidance, try doing something different in your training.

“You have to stress, to progress”- Antony Lo.

-Coach K