Frequently asked questions
Eva Bajzik M.D., physician, doctor of rehabilitation, answered the most frequently asked questions about the Diastasis Recti and the Bellyy exercise program.
What is Diastasis Recti (open abdominal muscles)?
Sudden weight change and growth of abdominal circumference (meaning the period of pregnancy too) will cause the relaxation not only of the muscles, but tendinous parts as well, and the tendon tissue given its nature, will not shrink back completely after it stretched, just a bit, thus the abdominal muscles will move apart. A substantial opening is not formed, this we call Diastasis Recti (open abdominal muscle).
What are the side effects, if the abdominal wall does not get back its prenatal shape after giving birth?
The sagging of the abdominal wall, and the sluggishness of abdominal muscles mean medical risks as well as aesthetical problems. Due to the loosened muscles and tendons, the essentially constant and voluntarily controllable pressure ratio required for the functioning of the organs in the abdominal cavity will not be maintained.
How long after giving birth is it suggested to start the Bellyy exercises?
The first exercise can be started on the next day of delivery, laying on your back, in bed.
Is there any reason why Bellyy exercises cannot be applied (e.g. hernia, scoliosis...)?
If the obstetrician does not command full bed rest, there is no such reason. Exercise 1 can be done freely, Exercise 2 can be started after the complete healing of wounds caused by childbirth.
Can I do the exercises during pregnancy?
The exercises involve the flexing of the abdominal muscle, which might endanger the baby and the outcome of the pregnancy, thus these exercises cannot be applied during pregnancy.
Can I start doing the exercises even years later?
Exercises can be started in any long-standing condition of Diastasis Recti (open abdominal muscle), even decades after its formation.
How long does it take to finish with the exercises?
Exercises from 1 through 7 take only a couple of minutes at a time, the 8th is a 15 minutes long exercise series.
How often is it suggested to do the exercises?
Minimum once a day. Since some of the exercises take only a couple of minutes, for getting results faster, it is worth doing them several times a day.
How long does it take for me to be able to close my open abdominal muscle?
It depends on various factors:
– the severity of the opening
– the prenatal condition
– type of tissue
– the extent of exercise
Can I train while doing the Bellyy exercises?
Since the abdominal muscles in this condition (Diastasis Recti) don’t work properly, only those exercises are recommended, that do not require the tightening of the abdominal wall, until the condition is resolved.
Can these exercises be done while I have my child around?
The exercises were tailored especially to moms, thus exercises 1 through 7 take only a couple of minutes and can be done with a child around.
After I could close my abdominal muscle, will it stay in that condition permanently?
With the strengthening of abdominal muscles, a stable abdominal wall can be developed. If, for any reasons the tightness in the abdominal wall starts to re-emerge from the inside (pregnancy, weight change), the open abdominal muscle problem will manifest again.
How long after having a Caesarean section can the exercises be started?
If there are no complications, then even after two weeks of giving birth, the first exercises can be started, the second ones, that include belly press, 4 weeks after delivery.
Which abdominal opening can be called severe?
Around the navel and especially above it, the 2 finger long and 1 finger wide opening cannot be called severe. However, this condition also requires attention, and helps a lot, if the person performs targeted exercises.
How often the repetition of exercises is suggested?
Doing the exercises several times a day can mean visible result sooner. If you have the opportunity, the exercises can be done 2-3 times a day, but it is very important, that they are done correctly.
What should I do, if the possibility of umbilical hernia appeared?
If you have problems in your navel area and the possibility of umbilical hernia arose, I strongly suggest a visit to your doctor. They can refer you to an abdominal ultrasound examination, where it can be determined if indeed you have umbilical hernia.
Can the Bellyy training help my umbilical hernia?
If you have hernia, but symptoms do not affect you, the exercise can help to some extent: you can live a symptom free life, but it will not make the hernia eliminate. If you are found to have hernia and experience pain as well, be sure to visit your doctor.
When is it suggested to use Kinesiotape in the case of Diastasis Recti?
If the opening is wider than 2-2.5 fingers, or if the open abdominal muscle problem is present for many years, Kinesiotape might be applied. If you experience stagnation after you reached a certain level with the exercises in the case of 2-2.5 finger wide opening, it might prove useful to use Kinesiotape. It can also be used if you experience abdominal discomfort.
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We recommend you to visit the ‘Diastasis Recti’ page, where you can find a lot of useful information, but it is worth to take a look at our Blog as well!
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