Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tummy Team, Day 1

My first meeting with Kelly about my diastasis recti went well. She gave me lots of information about the anatomy of the abdominal muscles, what causes diastasis recti, and how to fix it. She confirmed that I have a diastasis (about four fingers wide, which is significant but not the worst ever), but she is confident that we can fix it. Yay!

It's not entirely clear what caused my diastasis, since I didn't have any of the normal pre-pregnancy contributing factors (doing lots of situps, being a gymnast or a swimmer, etc.). It seems like the diastasis developed at some point during my pregnancy with Arlo. The torpedo shape of my belly in this picture is indicative of a diastasis (the separation allows the uterus to stick way out). The diastasis may have contributed to my positioning troubles with Arlo during labor; when the uterus isn't held in by the abdominal muscles, the baby can go all sorts of weird directions, rather than just heading down and out. Hopefully we can fix that this time around.

We're using a three-pronged approach to heal the diastasis: (1) daily exercises, (2) wearing a splint, and (3) avoiding activities and positions that can worsen the separation. The exercises are easy and only take about 3 minutes at a time. I have to do them five times a day, but I've set reminders on my phone to help me remember to do them. When I have my next appointment in three weeks, Kelly will check my progress, and we'll talk about the optimal approach to pushing during labor. Hopefully I'll actually make it to the pushing stage of labor this time (I did push during my labor with Arlo, but we now know that I wasn't fully dilated and shouldn't have been pushing--I'm sure that didn't help my diastasis either).

In related news, I realized that it's been a while since I posted a belly picture (I hope baby #2 doesn't mind that his gestation is being so poorly documented compared to Arlo's!). I'll try to take a less artsy picture in the mirror tomorrow--I'm curious to see if my belly will look any different six weeks from now, when the rehab program ends (apart from being bigger because the baby has grown).

Baby #2 in Belly, 24 Weeks