Episode 38: How to Heal from Diastasis Recti: Interview with Shelley DiCecco


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In this episode, I had the honor of interviewing my Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist, Shelley DiCecco. I met Shelley a month after having my first baby and she helped me in so many ways. She helped me heal from pain using the restroom after having a vaginal birth. She helped me heal from Diastatis Recti...twice, which is the focus of today’s episode. Also, I have an announcement...I am launching a monthly FYV newsletter that will recap the episodes from that month and a few other helpful resources about birth, postpartum and parent mental health. For those that sign up for the newsletter on my website, you will get access to a video of me demonstrating the ab approximation exercise that I used to heal my Diastasis Recti after both of my pregnancies. Sign up using this link!
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In this episode we discuss:

Shelley’s background as a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist

What does a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist do?

My story with a Pelvic Floor PT:

  • Helped me heal from pain using the restroom after having a vaginal birth
  • Helped me heal from Diastatis Recti...twice, after both of my pregnancies
  • Part of the program was visits to see a PT regularly and doing exercises comprised of ab approximations for 30 minutes a day

What is Diastasis Recti?

When a PT is checking you for how wide a separation you have they should be checking in 3 places

  • Above belly button
  • At belly button
  • Below belly button

Just wearing a splint, brace, wrap or doing ab contractions will not bring the linea alba close together enough to heal. Doing ab contractions and crunches will actually make your DR worse

The only true way to FULLY heal from DR is to approximate your rectus abdominus muscles while you do rehabilitation exercise. How to do this:

  • Lay on the ground, push your fingers down into the sides of your belly, then squeeze your fingers and belly skin/muscles toward each other, then contract your abs in and hold for 10 seconds
  • Repeat this for 3 sets of 30
  • Sign up for my newsletter here to see a video of me demonstrating this exercise. Including my adorable belly donut!

Exercises and activities to avoid when you have a Diastasis Recti:

  • Planks
  • Crunches
  • Ab exercises without doing an approximation first
  • Most mainstream forms of yoga and pilates

How to find a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist

  • You may need a referral from your OB, midwife or other practitioner, depending on your state and insurance
  • Ask for a referral at your 6 week postpartum visit
  • Go to www.apta.org to find a Pelvic Floor PT in your area

How to get in touch with Shelley

Thank you so much for listening and don’t forget to sign up for my monthly newsletter to see a video of the ab approximation exercise!

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/findingyourvillagepod?fan_landing=true)

63 episodes