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I am looking for other sufferers of Diastasis Recti, a post partum problem where the rectus abdominus (abs) split in two. Mine is very severe. It has been 16 months and no sign of improvement. I am looking for support or some help out there.
Thu. May 4, 12:41pm
I've got it. It doesn't interfere with anything for me, though. My sister-in-law also has it. She's a physical therapy assistant and a marathoner. Once I asked her about it--how long it should take to heal, what I should do if it doesn't. She said she never felt surgery was necessary for her. I figured with all the working out and running she does, if she doesn't need it, I sure don't.
Of course, this would be different if it was actually affecting what I could do.
Monday, May 08, 2006, 12:23 AM
(Same poster, here)--BTW, my youngest baby is 6 years old.
Monday, May 08, 2006, 12:23 AM
Are you completely torn? I am, from stem to sternum. If I don't wear binding undergarments, I look about 12 weeks pregnant. It all starts falling out. And I've had a hernia, which I managed to push back in. Do you have any of this?
Monday, May 08, 2006, 12:19 PM
No, I don't. No hernia...I do have a belly, and it will never be flat again no matter what I do. But as I'm about 30 lbs overweight it's hard to say how much of it is just flab and how much is the failure of the muscle structure.
Monday, May 08, 2006, 2:09 PM
Thanks for your help with this.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 8:38 AM
Here's an interesting article...
This article gives some exercises you can do and also adresses the hernia issue....
Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 9:15 AM
Saturday, November 11, 2006, 7:52 PM
I have had it for about three years now, and it is continually getting worse. I have been to countless doctors whom all say the same thing. It can only be fixed by a plastic surgeon, and they say insurance will not cover the surgery because it is cosmetic. All I have to say is if it is cosmetic, then why does it hurt so bad to pick up my three year old son, or a vacuum sweeper. All I want is my life back, and I can't afford it.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007, 8:39 PM
I'm pregnant now and I'm wondering when this happens. Does it happen while your pregnant or after?
Tuesday, May 01, 2007, 9:14 PM
It doesn't happen to everyone, so try to relax. It does occur during pregnancy. Most pregnancy-related diastasis recti heals of its own accord after delivery--there are some simple exercises to begin with (lifting one's head from the floor while lying in the position normally associated with situps or crunches is the first). As the body heals, a few light ab exercises leading into a normal ab workout will heal the diastasis in most people.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007, 10:45 PM
I too have diastasis recti and have been told the only thing that will take care of it is abdominal plasti which is not covered by insurance. I am a petite, phyically fit woman and have had 3 kids. With the last I actually worked out & lost weight. None the less, I can not get rid of the bulge which is left with diastasis recti. I was told that core excersises such as pilates, losing weight, etc will not get rid of this. Too make it worse, I am very small chested and now it seems the bulge can protrude as much as my chest...making me very self concious.
If there is anything anyone knows that can be done for this, please please let me know.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007, 7:43 AM
Hello ladies, I am a women's health physical therapist and pelvic floor specialist. I would like to offer some advice and suggestions for resolving a diastasis recti. For those with a severe separation, an appropriate beginning is lower level abdominal exercises with pelvic floor contractions (for example, abdominal isometrics with a pelvic floor contraction (also known as a "Kegel"). For those with a mild separation, you can begin with intermediate abdominal exercises with pelvic floor contractions. Abdominal binders are appropriate as a temporary solution, but should not be used long-term.
*** The very best solution is to seek out a women's health physical therapist who is also a "pelvic floor specialist" so that you can receive several different types of core exercises, be sure you are performing them correctly and get direction on how to advance your program to achieve long term results.
For more information on women's health physical therapy, you may visit my website at www.wfrehab.com. Hope this helps!
Sunday, May 27, 2007, 1:36 PM
i have had the condition for 6 years now, and have only known that ive had it for 3 years. my problem occured with my first pregnancy and was discovered during my second. i have recently had my third and i still have diastasis. people think that i am about 5 months pregnant, although my youngest is now 4 months old. i have tried the exercises that i have found on sites about the condition to no avail. the problem is still there, with no signs of going away. i have lost weight and pant sizes with these exercises, but i still look pregnant. sad to say, i think my only option now is surgery, which i cant afford. although, there is now a program called Doctors Say Yes, which is a program that allows you to make payments on your cosmetic surgery...if you qualify. the payments are $99 a month. you can find the ads for this program in any recent cosmopolitan magazine. the link for the site is www.doctorssayyes.net. i am, however, not encouraging anyone to go this route. i am simply sharing the options and information i have looked into. what you do with this information is your own decision. i have looked into many ways of helping my problem heal, most of which i cant afford. ive even looked into corseting. which, by the way, isnt cheap either. i think i, myself, would choose the surgery over the more drastic corseting. im just trying to help with information that i have come across. please dont take it out of context and find me a bad person for the methods i have considered. im just like the rest of you, trying to find a solution to one of the less attractive side effects of pregnancy that we arent told about. thank you.
Sunday, May 27, 2007, 9:42 PM
Mine was very severe as well. After the birth of my twins, 28 years ago, I noticed a separation in my abdominal muscles, from sternum to my pelvis bone. When I layed on my back and did a partial sit up I had an indented ridge about an inch wide. During my younger years it never bothered me. About 6 years ago I started noticing a big change. I was very active and in shape and just couldn't understand why the separation kept getting wider. I started to develope back and leg pain from it. After consulting many doctors and surgeons I decided to undergo abdominoplasty. (unfortunately not covered by insurance) Every doctor I consulted said it was the biggest "hole" they had ever seen in anyones stomach muscles. After my surgery the surgeon said he had never seen anything like it in his career. Not only had my muscles separated, so did everything else except the skin. My muscles were six inches apart from top to bottom. They were even separating from my leg muscles. A very large section of my skin had to be removed because the fat had separated also. It's only been 4 weeks since my surgery but it was the best thing I could have done. I already have feeling back in my right foot. The recovery has been tolerable. Oh, I was told by every doctor I interviewed that my muscles were so far gone that no amount of exercise would have helped.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007, 4:44 PM
please tell me the results of your tummy tuck! are you satisfied? how was your recovery? was it still worth it? i am having one done on august 20th and i am too excited! please let me know!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007, 6:58 PM
I have been researching as I was told my muscles tore but now I'm thinking they are just seperated really bad. Hopefully that is the case as having the muscles tear can be quite a serious issue.
Anyway I just learned about "lose your mummy tummy" written by an RN.
Here are some links
Lose Your Mummy Tummy by Julie Tupler
I've been e-mailing her and looking forward to getting some help finally. I hope the info will help others.
Sunday, July 01, 2007, 2:38 AM
My muscles had been split from the bottom to the top for 8 years and I looked 9 months pregnant. After doing a boot camp and exercizing with no results I realized that my only option was surgery. I got a tummy tuck and even though I got pregnant 1 year later it was and still is the best thing I could have done. It's amazing the things that you can do when your muscles are actually put back together, you walk differently and you finally have support for your back. My waist went from 46 to 34 in one day it was basically extra skin and muscle that was just hanging out. I'm 8 months pregnant and I can already tell that I have diastasis in the top portion of my muscles, I'm just praying that it doesn't undo the rest. Regardless of this, I would do the surgery again if I had to.
Monday, July 09, 2007, 2:13 AM
My separation is so bad I look about 6 months pregnant. I am 5'8", 115lbs and my son is 15 months old. It seems to be getting worse, and it is effecting my digestion/elimination...sorry for TMI. I am terrified of surgery, but it looks as if I have no choice. I have exercised day and night...Lose Your Mummy Tummy, yoga, a pelvic floor physical therapist...things are only getting worse. I am so embarrassed of my body, this is taking a toll on my self esteem.
Did anyone have digestive issues with their diastasis?
Thanks, and good luck to everyone suffering from this.
Thursday, July 26, 2007, 7:10 AM
I have been sitting at my computer reading these stories crying. I too have this problem. I am 31 and a mother of three. The two youngest are 11 months apart which my ob says was the primary cause for this problem. I look 8 months pregnant and it has such an impact on my life i hate to leave my house because i am afraid i will see someone i know. I hate to shop because everything looks maternity.My husband who is a very sweet and loving one says not to worry about it. It effects my every day life. I have a consult with a plastic surgeon tommorow. I was told by a general surgeon that if i caused "functional" problems insurance may cover a %. Has anyone had luck with that?? You girls do not know how comforting it is to know i am not alone in this>
Wednesday, August 01, 2007, 11:57 AM
I have 4 kids 9 -2 and while my stomach didn't look too bad after the first 3, even though it started while I was pregnant with my oldest, after the 4th. The last 6 months, no matter what I do, I look 4 months pregnant and I used to have the best abs. I have also started having pain associated with it. So out of desperation 3 days ago, I cut off the stomach band of a pair of "spanx-like" tummy to thigh shaper and wore it under my clothes from about 3:00 on and then slept with it on. It was like a miracle! Then I took it one step further and put a chest to hip binder over it and while I still have some excess skin I don't like at all, my stomach is back to flat, even after I take it off!!! And it's only been 3 days! I take it off to go to the gym, but I think I'll wear it from now when my clothes permit it.
I still think I'll have surgery to correct it one day, but I'd like to have one more baby. It's worth a try.
Thursday, August 02, 2007, 1:28 PM
Looking pregnant and constult with PS
I visited a PS this past week after being asked if I was expecting about a month ago at the gym. Everyone says just exercise it will go away. I do. I weigh 115 and am 5'4 and work out like 3-4x a week. But the stomach is there. I can deal with the little roll around the middle, but it goes up to the breastbone, which is what causes that preggers look. The PS said surgery is the only option. Exercise will not the the muscles together. Unfortunately I have 2 little ones to care for. I want to do the surgery but worry how I will care for them when DH goes back to work after a few days, plus that nasty ugly scar.
Friday, August 03, 2007, 6:12 PM
For anyone who is pregnant & is having a planned c-section, ask your OB if he/she is capable of suturing the muscles back together during the c-section. I talked to my OB about it during my 3rd (and last) pregnancy. I delivered in June & he sutured the muscles together & I can actually feel the tightness when I push my fingers through the leftover pregnancy flab. I just got approved for exercise this week at my 6 wk check up, so I don't know if it will actually make a difference. My OB didn't charge me any extra for doing that procedure at the end of my surgery. Can't hurt to ask about it!
Saturday, August 04, 2007, 1:10 AM
separation of the abdominals
ello! I am a Women's Health Physio in Australia and came across this chat when I was looking for a picture of the rectus muscles for a handout I am doing on this problem.
I agree with the previous Physio and suggest you all go to see a well qualified Women's Health Physio and she will give you appropriate exercises to do to strenghten your pelvic floor, deep abdominal and back muscles . By the way, looking at a video is not good enough and the info I read from a coup[le of sites was a bit ambiguous and not specific about correct way and timing of exercises.These exercises are proven to improve back pain as well as incontinence(lack of bladder or bowel control) No, it may not improve the look or feel of those big gaps but you will be helping to decrease your back pain and tone the deeper abdominals which will help you feel better. Unfortunately surgery is required for unresolved big gaps that worry you aesthetically.
A good Pilates class taken by a physio would also help your back pain, your general feeling of discomfort and feeling of helplessness, too.
Hope I have inspired you to get some qualified help if possible(don't know what its like in USA)
Monday, August 06, 2007, 8:44 AM
I wrote the other day about this problem. I have since seen a PS and they referred me to a breast reconstruction spec. who deals with ab muscles alot?? Why is this problem so hard to fix the PS said it was the worst case he had ever seen and would not touch it. Does anyone have any experience with the surgery? I would love to know how it went and what results you had?
Tuesday, August 07, 2007, 4:29 PM
What is the deal??? My HUSBAND has this!!!!
Tuesday, August 07, 2007, 4:51 PM
diastasis recti 4 weeks after abdominoplasty
About 4 weeks ago, I had abdominoplasty to correct my stem-sternum diastasis recti that resulted from my second twin pregnancy. I looked fantastic right after surgery - my upper abdomen (which previously protruded and made me look several months pregnant) was very flat. But now it seems my upper abdomen is more swollen and mis-shapen than it was at 1-2 weeks after surgery. I have followed my plastic surgeon's instructions (i.e., to not lift anything "heavier than a Sunday paper" for 2 weeks, and not lift my 14 month old daughter for 6 weeks), but I am afraid that something has gone wrong. Has anyone had a similar experience?
Wednesday, August 08, 2007, 2:44 AM
I agree, I'm 5'1" ad 115 lbs. I've exercised and used the
Flatten your Mummy Tummy techniques and still look about 5 months pregnant. I also have 2 young children. The only option I think that is left is a tummy tuck. I'd be interested in hearing if anyone has used the Mummy Tummy or any of those "special" techniques to close the separation. It hasn't worked for me yet
Sunday, August 12, 2007, 5:12 PM
My diastasis started around my 6th month of pregnancy. I really didn't know the degree that I had it until about 6 months to a year after my son was born. He ended up being 11lbs 9oz and destroyed my muscles.
My stomach is so bloated and solid. I have also consulted breifly with a surgeon and she has advised me that it is generally cosmetic UNLESS there are complications such as someone has previously put it digestive/elimination problems, BUT what extent of these problems would qualify you for it to be classified as a necessary procedure? If you are "lucky" enough to qualify, most insurances should cover (how much probably depends on your insurance). They highly advise to be sure that you are done with having your children, otherwise the chances of it splitting again is very high.
This is so demotivating!! I am so tired of people asking me when is my baby due. Not to mention that we have been trying to get pregnant for the last 3 years and its not happening, but I look in the mirror everyday and I look 6-8 months pregnant, depending on the day!!
I am pretty afraid of the sounds of the surgery, but when the time is right, I will definatly consider this option, the daily uncomfortableness outweighs the recovery period, in my eyes anyway!!
GOOD LUCK TO ALL!! HANG IN THERE!!
Saturday, August 25, 2007, 9:55 PM
I have thought, for several years (10), that I have this condition. I am 36 years old and have "digestive issues", as you. I recently had a colonoscopy and thank God I don't have any problems from all my years of being backed up. Prior to my colonoscopy, I looked 6 months pregnant, my stomach/abdomin was firm. After taking all the meds to flush my system for the procedure, I lost 8 pounds and 3 inches off my waist! When I read your posting a light bulb went off. My gastro doc said that, a lot of times, women who've had children are lacking the muscles that push the waste out, once it travels to the 'end of the line', if you will. It is awful! It really does consume your thoughts and time.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007, 7:25 AM
Diastasis Recti and SI hypermobility
My youngest is almost 3 and my diastasis has not improved despite following the Mummy Tummy excercises, Pilates, etc. and it is very frustrating and depressing.
I also have problems with my SI joint, specifially hypermobility as it goes out rotation often and is painful. Has anyone else had this combination of problems? I'm wondering if my SI issues are bad because I don't have the abdominal strength from the diastasis?? I"m considering the surgery, but wish insurance would cover it, esp. as I'm having constant back discomfort. I"d also like some encouragement that fixing the DR would help my SI issues. Does anyone know? Thanks!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007, 1:31 AM
Male bodybuilder with this issue
Hi ladies. I am a 35 year old bodybuilder and fitness fanatic. About 2 years ago I nearly died form a rare vascular disease in my large intestine. As a result I lost my large intestine, and ended up having 4 surgeries. After my last surgery, I developed this issue. My mid and lower abs now sit probably 5-6 inches apart. I know what you mean about being self conscious. I recenly dieted back dwon to 4-5% bodyfat for competition, and I still had the weird bulge in between my abs. It looks so strange. Anyways, I am going to see a specialist about this next week, and will likely get surgery to correct it. I was thinking I was the only one out there with this weird problem. I guess not. My prayers are with you all, and please say a prayer for me too!
Thursday, September 20, 2007, 9:17 AM
64 year old male with the same thing
I was just diagnosed today by my doctor with D.R. I noticed this bulge in my abdomen for the first time last night as I was working out, doing sit-ups. It scared the living daylights out of me. John, I'm glad to see I'm not the only guy that has this condition. Funny we both found out about it today. Best of luck.
If you find out anything encougraging plse let me know.
Thursday, September 20, 2007, 6:31 PM
I was also diagnosed today with DR. I thought I had a large hernia but after the ct scan ruled that out they say I have DR. Mine sounds much the same as everyone else's except that I get nauseated when I lift much weight or eat a little too much. The doctor said to just get used to it!!! I am a 60 year old male and don't want to put up with this the rest of my life. Does anyone else get sick at their stomach? Thanks Carl <><
Thursday, September 20, 2007, 8:28 PM
My stomach will be very tender depending on what and how much I eat and the different activities that I will do. It usually bloats almost immediately after eating a meal---I am not so bad if I eat only small throughout the day, but if I want to eat a normal meal--forget it. When it is tender, it hurts to touch it at all, mostly around the belly button area.
Thursday, September 20, 2007, 10:21 PM
I have no idea how long I have had my diastasis. It was pointed out to me by my surgeon in 2001. I am 64 yo, female, 4 kids, 3 over 9#, and yes, I'm diabetic. I have, over the years, developed constipation/elimination problems, my bladder doesn't empty completely so I have incontinence issues, I see my chiropractic twice a week. I have difficulties standing or walking for more than half an hour. After reading the posts here I realized that most of my problems are probably caused by the diastasis. I am overweight by about 40# and recently started an exercise program (walking/treadmill) in an attempt to resolve some cholesterol issues and regain the ability to to stand and walk as I used to do. After checking out the Aus PT's website I have now decided to talk to my urologist/gynecologist about Physiotherapy. Thanks, Fiona. I want to be able to buy my clothes off the rack again. I'm tired of looking like this and since I'm divorced for over 20 years this is something I'm doing for me.
Wish me luck (oh by the way, I quit smoking a month ago after 50 years of the habit).
Monday, September 24, 2007, 6:56 AM
DR and Abdominal Spasms
I diagnosed myself w/ Diastasis after doing tons of research a few years back, as I was doing 500 crunches 4-5 days a week and my belly would'nt go away. I bought the Mummy Tummy book and have'nt been very good about staying consistent w/ her exercises.
Mine is mild, the separation only being about 3", but what has been happening every so often is abdominal spasming if I strain my ab muscles too much. This can happen from doing simple tasks, like pulling something heavy or reaching for something, or bending over to touch my toes! I almost passed out at the gym once while stretching and this happened.
Has this happened to anyone else w/ DR??? You would think that insurance would cover something like this, I mean, our intestines are bulging out!
Monday, September 24, 2007, 5:11 PM
Tummy tuck was the best $8000 I ever spent.
Monday, September 24, 2007, 7:35 PM
i have this too. How bad was yours. Did they ever measure you. I am supposed to have surgery next week, but am afraid. What would happen if you never fix the problem. They measred mine a 4 4 4.lease write back to let me know.
Monday, September 24, 2007, 10:17 PM
I also a, working with this problem. I have had 4 children in the last 5 years. My youngest is 5 months and people are still asking me if I am expecting. I think i I got it during my first pregnancy and it has gotten progressively worse. I would consider surgery eevntually. Right now I just want to know if any one can recommend a kind of compression garment that will help uder clothes and during exercise.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 4:37 AM
Joe - I met with a surgeon who primarily works on athletes today. It was very enlightening. When I had a mesh put in due to some incisional hernias I had (due to the surgeries where I had colon removed), my abs were 6 inches apart. Instead of pulling my abs together and placing the mesh under or over the abs, my mesh was actually placed in between my abs. If you look up these mesh repairs on the internet, you read alot about how these meshes are stress free, and how doctors dont like to "pull things tight". The doctor told me that that was fine for people who arent real active, but if you are, you should always have your abs pulled back together, and the mesh should be underneath or overtop of your abs. He said he could correct mine, and that it was about a one hour surgery. He said it was a big deal, and not an easy surgery, but that could have been due to all the scar tissue I probably have that he'll have to dig through. Anyways, my surgery is 2 weeks from tomorrow. He said my abs would be flat again, and I would get the strength back. I'll let you know how it goes.
Thursday, October 04, 2007, 1:12 PM
I was diagnosed today as well after years of this abdominal pain that no doctor could explain. After a more detailed CT scan, they were able to diagnose it as DR. In answer to your question about spasms...yes, i have have these spasms...very painful one's that i can't breathe or talk through. I haven't consulted my insurance or the plastic surgeon i was just referred to, but after reading alot of these, its very discouraging that something like this, so painful isn't covered by insurance!! I don't really have a bulge, to me this isn't something cosmetic. Its too incredibly painful to do sit-ups and its just not worth the pain.
Thursday, October 04, 2007, 3:25 PM
I've been pretty bummed all day, I suspected that I had this. It makes sense, I delivered natural triplets a little over a year ago. After the scheduled c-section, everything that could have went wrong, did. In a sense, my uterus exploded and I lost 1/2 of my body's blood volume in a matter of seconds. After spending 2 days in ICU, an emergancy pt. hyster. and lots of transfusions I suppose that I should feel grateful that I only have DR but I'm still a little salty about it. My lower back hurts non stop, picking up babies all day doesn't help but my self esteem is suffering the most right now, I wear my husband's shirts to hide the "3 mos. prego" look. My main concern is long term effects, I'm 40 w/ triplet infants, I have a long way to go physically but I am very thankful that I found this board. Good Luck to all of you.
Sunday, October 07, 2007, 11:16 AM
One More Resource
I am a fellow suffer of diastasis recti. My muscles split after my first pregnancy. I didn't discover it until a few weeks afterwards, freaked out and called my doctor, who advised me that I should not do any abdominal exercises until the muscles grew back together. Well, they never did, and I just got to busy with a baby to follow through with it. 10 months later, I was pregnant again and with all my lax muscles I grew to astronomical proportions! My abdominal muscles are split to where I can fit four fingers between them, although when I tighten them, the separation closes to one finger width. I look about five months pregnant when I really relax my abdomen but if I suck it in, I can get that down to 3.5 months! :) Anyway, I wanted to share another resource that I have been working with: Carolyne Anthony's DVD of exercises for diastasis recti. The DVD comes with a booklet, and between the two there are probably about 7-8 different exercises to strengthen and stabilize the torso and hopefully draw the muscles back together. I have been doing these exercises faithfully for 2 months now and I have noticed some improvement (although not as much as I had initially hoped for, but I'm gathering after reading these posts that there are no easy answers). I am hoping that they will heal the diastasis; at the very least they are helping to reduce the pooch somewhat. I would like to have two more children, so I am also going to start saving for my tummy tuck for when I am all through. The information I have found here is very helpful; I hope we can keep sharing our stories and the new information we find so we can all help each other! Hopefully the information I shared is helpful. I certainly feel for all you women out there...body image is a powerful thing in our culture. I never thought that I would miss my bellybutton (it's completely gone...it sticks out like a little torpedo!). Someday I will get it back! I hope all of you will too.
Monday, October 08, 2007, 4:24 PM
I was reading these comments crying. My son is 3 years old now and I still look like I'm 5 months pregnant. I have been so bummed about my tummy because I used to have a flat tummy. I'm also overweight now. I used to be 125 now I'm 170! i was hoping that losing weight would help but now after reading these comments I have lost all hope. I'm not going to stop trying and Im going to start saving money for a tummy tuck. I cant live like this anymore.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007, 2:17 AM
I, too, have a diastasis. I'm sure it doesn't look too good, especially since the rest of me is in pretty good shape because of the amount of exercise I do. So because my legs are toned and I have slim hips but then have a belly that is not in proportion to the rest of me, people often think I'm pregnant as a result. I've dealt with this for awhile and have learned to live with it. However, as time goes by, the diastasis is affecting my everyday life more and more. In the last several months it has gotten quite bad. Things like sitting in the car driving my kids to school, sitting to fold laundry, standing in the kitchen to cook dinner all lead to extreme discomfort on a daily basis. It often feels like my intestines are bulging out. By evening time I am almost in tears from the discomfort (and some nights I actually do cry because it is that uncomfortable). During the night I have trouble sleeping because of this discomfort. I can no longer sleep on my back or stomach. If I sleep on either side, I have to hold a stuffed animal or pillow to my stomach because seems to give it some support. I cannot stand for anyone to touch my stomach because it is so sensitive. And of course all this abdominal discomfort has led to me having back pain as well. I also think I am having some digestive issues due to the diastasis.
I am usually a very upbeat, extremely active person, but lately this has been making me feel depressed and not at all myself. In the morning when I wake up I often feel a sense of dread at having to get out of bed because I know that by late morning this extreme discomfort will have kicked in. I saw a doctor today about this and the possibility of me having an umbilical hernia too. I have to go for some sort of scan of my abdomen this Friday and then return to the doctor I saw today in two weeks. I've discussed this issue with other doctors before but with no results. One doctor told me I need to do core strengthening exercises for it. The problem is, when I try doing pilates and crunches, etc., there is discomfort and pain so I can only do so much. Plus in the Lose your Mummy Tummy book, the author says that certain pilates moves and some types of crunches can actually make a diastasis worse.
I need this diastasis taken care of to improve the quality of my life so I can keep up with and enjoy my 3 and 5 year old children, and my husband for that matter! Why does it seem that insurance won't cover procedures to correct a diastasis? Do they honestly think people just want it taken care of for cosmetic reasons? I guess for some people that might be the case. But what about when the diastasis is totally disrupting one's life? Does any one feel that maybe someone like Oprah needs to do a show on this topic in order to shed light on this condition that plagues so many women? Maybe if someone like Oprah brings attention to this condition then insurance companies might reconsider covering procedures to fix diastasis. I, too, am going to start saving my pennies so that some day, regardless of whether or not the insurance companies will cover it, I can get this diastasis fixed and can once again lead the active lifestyle that I love and hopefully be free of this daily pain and discomfort (even though I am terrified of the actual procedure that would be required!). However, I know there are probably many women out there who suffer from this but even if they save their money will be unable to have their diastasis fixed unless insurance covers the procedures. In my mind, this is totally unacceptable. As women, I think we need to make our voices heard. And I am serious about the Oprah thing - what better way to have our voices heard, and let other women who are out there suffering from this know that they are not alone. When I came across this website tonight and started reading many of the comments, I finally felt like I wasn't so alone in all of this.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007, 9:32 PM
I think that you are right, this condition is really misunderstood!! Unless you have the condition, you would never know the effect that it has on ones life. I do think that going public would be a positive thing and that maybe the condition would get more recogonition.
I put my story out there on August 25 and I have had it for a while, but these last 6 months I have become so depressed. Everytime I think about losing weight, I think why, it would only make me look even more pregnant. Not to mention I still am (and have been for a few years) still trying for another baby. Therefore, I can't even consider getting it fixed right now. I am so discouraged I don't know what to do. I feel like giving up on having a baby so that I can get it fixed because I am so miserable and when I am miserable, everyone around me is miserable (you know how that can go :-)
Let me know, I think that it would be a good idea to get it out there somehow and Oprah DOES get the point across and she is passionate about most issues that concern health.
HANG IN THERE EVERYONE!!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007, 10:27 PM
One More Resource - Thank You
I did the Diastasis Also post in August of this year. I'm going to order the Carolyne Anthony DVD and see if it helps. Might as well since I won't be able to get a tummy tuck until the kids are old enough where I don't have to keep carrying them around.
The October 17, post at 9:39 PM, I so much relate to your post. The increased discomfort even at night and even standing begins to hurt my back. Even my neck is starting to hurt because I can't seem to stand up straight.
When I get a chance this week, I'm going to try the Oprah option!!!
Thanks so much everyone for making so many of us feel like we are not alone.
Friday, October 26, 2007, 1:30 AM
Please don't get too discouraged all of you. I have 65 year old women in my class that were NEVER diagnosed with this condition but have lived with it for over 30 years. Even at this late stage they are seeing improvement in their gap. It just takes time.
Sunday, November 11, 2007, 8:07 PM
It is so comforting to know that I am not the only one that has this not well known condition. When I was first told 3 months ago I was clueless and anyone I mentioned it to would say a (what?) Now finding this sight I feel a big relief. I am a mother of a 3 year old and 6 month old and we plan on one more child. I pray to god that this does not interfere with our plans. My Dr. says that with time it should repair its self I have yet to see a difference. Has this been a problem for anyone planning future pregnancys as far as medical risk?
Sunday, November 18, 2007, 11:46 PM
Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you who ever started up this forum. I thought I was the only "freak " in the world who had this belly that makes me look 5 months pregnant. After 3 children i also have a diastesis that I have been living with for 7 years now. I am tired of people asking if i am pregnant again. I have excersised, dieted, seen physios, chiropractors and consulted a plastic surgeon in desperation. I am with in my healthy weight range, so don't feel losing any more weight would improve the " Mummy Tummy". It is great to know I am not the only one with these issues. I have decided to have surgury when my youngest is old enough for me not to be picking him up all the time, as you are not aloud to lift or swivel for 6 weeks. I would love to hear from any one who has had an adominoplasy for a diastesis to know what there recovery was like and how happy they were with the results
Thursday, November 22, 2007, 4:51 AM
I am so glad I found this site. You are all amazing women--don't lose hope! I have a recenbtly diagnosed 7 yr old diastasis, although I am only 1 finger, and pretty lucky compared to some. However, the low-back pain, not being able to wear certain clothes or shoes, losing my relationship to my tummy being a sexy part of my body, more pregnancies in the future...there are a lot of considerations. The Oprah idea is a good one, and STOP DOING CRUNCHES!
I have in one month become more knowledgable about this, and its not a good idea to do any exercises that pull the abs apart further.
I sent an email to all the women I know about this condition, and I read somewhere on line that it may affect 1/3rd of ALL women! If that is true, that makes us a part of a community of 15% of the worlds population! What we need to do, besides get appropriate surgery for free so that we are not disabled due to our insides hanging out against our skin, and our backs having no support! We also need to WARN mommas to be! Give them all of the info we can get! Did you read about this condition in your pregnancy book? Why the hell not? It occurs in almost pregnancies, but doesn't ever go back for many women! Why aren't our Drs and midwifes preparing us for this, giving us appropriate exercises during pregnancy and after? Why aren't our bellies being wrapped as we grow into our 5th-9th months? We aren't we wrapped post delivery so that our abs knit back together? Why aren't we tested for this on our trips back to see our practitioner after baby?? Why are we rushed into exercise and lifting right after we give birth? My only advice to all of you, is that you are not alone, that infact as manu as 33% of the women in your life have this condition, diagnosed or undiagnosed--so TALK about it! Get them to do the home test, the crunch with your fingers in at the belly button. Tell all your health practitioners to become knowledgable in this! I have had so much bad advice its not funny! Who is our experts in this field? This is not only a women's issue, but it is 95% a mother's issue. Lets join forces and get the care we deserve, and also get the knowledge out there to moms to be!!! Julie Tupler is by far the most helpful person and site I have come across. Pilates-unless VERY basic, WILL make it worse. Also, BeFit Mom. Other than that, women and some men, it is up to people like us to transform this issue into a known, cared about and COVERED condition. The abdominaplasty for many of us health nuts, IS NOT SUPERFICIAL! Befit mom says if you have diastasis, don't lift heavy objects--like what? Your 3 month old who is now 20-30 lbs, thanks to your amazing ability to grow your child while damaging your tummy?
This issue really needs a revolution, because we should not have to stop having our children naturally, just because our culture has lost its wisdom on appropriate weight gain, appropriate exercise, appropriate back and tummy support wear, and especially APPROPRIATE RECOVERY TIME!! In the 40-50s women were kept in hospital for 10 days in bed wearing a corset! This wasn't just so they'd look good! It was about diastasis avoidance. At any rate, I hope this does 2 things for those of you that are towards the point of giving up. Get riled up, and get together with each other, and lets revolutionize this. We now have longer life spans, and I don't want to live another 60 yrs without being able to carry my groceries in from the car! I am in Canada so things may be different here, we now have a free surgery IF you have had atleast one hernia. WHY do we have to wait to get a hernia before we get corrective surgery? It is ridiculous. I am going to email Oprah, I've heard back from Julie Tupler, and from the Befit mom woman-lets all copy and fwd our emails to Oprah and see what happens. In the meantime, do research and start asking around. More women have this than you think!!!
With love, and health and best wishes! Maria
Thursday, November 29, 2007, 10:28 PM
Greetings - yes, wow! I thought it was only me as well. Older mother of 5 children; having full term, big healthy twins at the age of 40 did it for me; split my muscles right open . People are talking about insurance covering or not covering surgery - then there are the folks like me who don't HAVE insurance...So, what's the update? Did anyone find any reasonable exercise type things that helped? My twins are 19 now, so there is no hope of anything growing back together and I too am sick and tired of looking like I mainline Oreos or am pregnant.
Friday, December 28, 2007, 9:22 PM
I can't do this anymore.
The pain that comes with this condition is ruining my life. I can't remember the last time I lived a day without having to swallow pain medication. I can't exercise anymore. I can't have sex anymore. I can't play with my kids.
This is ridiculous. Nothing I try works to improve this.
What am I supposed to do?
Has anyone had successful corrective surgery for diastasis recti?
Saturday, December 29, 2007, 2:36 PM
How do you self-diagnose?
Hi, I'm a 25-year-old mother of an 11mo baby and I think I might have DR, but am not sure. I still look 5 months pregnant and have posture issues and back pain.
Doing crunches during pregnancy now seems to have been a bad idea :) - I wasn't aware of this condition. As a poster already said, no one tells you about this while you're pregnant.
The self-diagnosis as described on several sites I've read isn't clear enough to me. Where exactly do you put your fingers? Inside your belly button? Above it? Do you measure the width or the length of the separation? (It says if the separation is less than "2 fingers" you can do crunches again, but 2 fingers in which direction?
Monday, December 31, 2007, 1:35 PM
Help at last! Help at last!
I am so incredibly thankful for the many posts on this question on thsi forum-- I just went and joined Peertrainer just so I could post about this topic after finding it through a Google search tonight for Diastasis Recti. My new years' resolution was to finally do what I can do get rid of this belly which is an enormous embarrassment to me and I feel SO very alone with this problem. I can't count the number of times I've been asked if I'm pregnant since my son was born 3.5 years ago. I had two babies back-to-back (14 months apart) in my early 30s, which I guess I see now puts me at high risk for DR. I've known I had this since about six-months post-partum... I was skinnier than I'd been since college but still looked pregnant!! It was terrible! Now I have gained a ridiculous amount of weight (well, OK, 25 pounds) so I'm not even clear how bad the problem is at this point. First step: Lose 25 pounds. Second step: Do these very great exercises and get a physical therapist. If on Jan. 1, 2009, I stll look 4-5 months pregnant, I'm going to find a way to get this surgery. Even though I am not, at all, a vain woman, and do not care so much for appearances, and even though my husband clearly doesn't mind, and even though I'm 37 and will surely lose my body to age soon anyway, I just can't STAND looking 5 months pregnant for the rest of my life. It makes me want to cry!!
To the person who asked about muscle spasms: I have these, too. They are primarily in the way upper abdomen just below the ribcage in that region that indents between the two parts of the ribcage. It's a really freaky feeling-
After reading this tonight, I went and checked and my DR is thankfully only 2 fingers. I know for sure it was 4 fingers about 1 year post-partum before I lost control of my weight. I really belive the reason I started gaining weight was due to the DR-- I felt like I LOOKED so fat, I may as well BE fat. But a new day dawns-- I'm going for a haircut and getting a physical therapy appointment at long last.
Thank you so much to all the woman (and men) who have posted- it's so nice not to be alone! Someone should start a Yahoo group!!! :)
Wednesday, January 02, 2008, 2:57 AM
also, to wed. Oct. 17
Hello, you!! Look, I'm in your shoes exactly -- 3 year old and I look five months pregnant and I used to be 125 and now I'm pushing 150. I'd be to 170 in another year if I didn't STOP THIS right now and go back to square one. Don't give up. Let's lose the weight first-- I mean, really, it's not JUST the D.R. at this point (when I see photos of myself from this holiday season, I don't think, "Gee, there's a skinny girl with a weirdly fat tummy, obviously due to abdominal muscle separationg!"... No, I think, "There's a chubby girl ... with a particularly poochy tummy!l!").
Losing weight first is a really good idea for me anyway. I'd rather look like a pregnant thin woman at this point.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008, 3:07 AM
I can't believe I found all of you! I have been living with this condition for nearly 8 years, when I was pregnant with my first, and the o.b. while examining me asked me to sit up, and when I tried, my stomach basically looked like a pyramid. I freaked out on the spot and asked him what happened and he just calmly said, oh, it's an abdominal spllit, it happens in pregnancy, nothing you can do. Well, 8 years and 3 kids later, average weight over 9 lbs (yes, one was even 10.8 lbs) I am really upset. Every time I got to the gyn for a check up I ask what can be done and I am told that exercise might help the muscles back together, but seriously, doesn't happen! I feel horrible, I used to be a high school, college, and post collegiate athlete on a serioius amateur club team, up until I got pregnant. NOw I am 200 lbs. of sheer pain, immobility and depression. My stomach looks like I am having twins any minute, it just protrudes so much I am just beyond it all and in a daze.
Sunday, January 06, 2008, 11:09 AM
Newly diagnosed with Diastasis Recti
I just had twin girls a week ago and went to OB office yesterday to get staples removed. I happened to read my operative report (c-section #4 for me) and read that I was found to have a sever DR. No mention was made in the report about it being repaired. I asked the nurse if it had been repaired and she said I would have to ask the doctor at my next visit. After finding and reading all your posts, I'm certain that this happened after my 12yr old was born. Since then I have battled the pregnant belly look and all the associated emotional and physical side effects that go along with it. I'm wondering why it wasn't ever mentioned before, why they didn't mention it post op in the hospital and why it isn't the "Standard of Care" to fix it while they are there. BTW I also had bilateral tubal ligation so the question about having more kids was not valid. I'd love to hear from an OB GYN on the issue. As for the constant questions I've had through the years about whether I'm pregnant again - I just learned to look them straight in the eyes and say "No, that's just FAT left over from the last one." It shuts them up quickly and hopefully out of embarrassment they learn not to ask those personal questions again. Of course every time it happens I die a little inside. My self esteem was zip until I started reading these posts. Now I know it isn't just me and although my self esteem issues have contributed to the problems I have, there is in fact a physiological cause that started it all -- NOT a lack of self discipline!
Wednesday, January 09, 2008, 2:08 PM
I too have had unexplained back and hip pain. I have problems with my SI joint. I have seperation of the muscle. Despite having had x-rays, MRI, nerve tests...United Health Care will not pay for the surgery. They consider it cosmetic!! I don't have any excess skin to remove..I would just love to have the muscle tightened. I've met with 3 surgeons, the cost of a tummy tuck is between $8,000 and $9,200!! I can't afford that. The recover would be hell. I've had 2 c-sections and that was hard enough to recover from..Does anyone out there know of this being performed endoscpically?
Friday, January 11, 2008, 9:28 AM
Diastasis Recti & Never been pregnant
I have never been pregnant. My body shape looks like those that tend to get diabetes; but that is common in my family and diabetes is not. My upper, upper abdomen protrudes and has for quite some time. I see a lot of people describing the problem and so far other the 2 men, I think I saw that all of the other women “got this” from pregnancy. I am sure that we all could use more medical professionals or people who have found “treatment”.
I do exercise a lot. I play aggressive, very active sports more than 8 hours most weeks and some weeks take hikes up to 3 hours. My legs are fairly firm because I exercise them so much. But I am quite overweight and since my body shape (and genetics) have me carrying most of my weight in my upper abdomen - I think the DR is kind of a chicken and egg thing - of course you are not supposed to do sit-ups, which you would need to firm the abs. In fact it was because I noticed this large triangular protrusion when I did crunches that I asked my doc and he told me this was DR and not a hernia (which there had been in my family).
But I cannot lose weight - along with 8 to 11 hours of exercise a week I do a very low carb diet. (In the past while on 1000 cals a day for 8 wks. . .I gained 8 lbs! Another time after 2 wks on 600 cals I gained 2 lbs - I know 600 is "not healthy - but I actually had the endocin. tell me that if Iwas gaining on 600, I need to go to 400!).
I have seen mixed reactions on whether DR especially so high (a couple inches below the breast-just below the ribs) can be surgically repaired.
While I don't want to sound pathetic, I am (am have been for my whole life) phobic about vomiting; so the idea of surgery around the stomach (/upper gi tract) scares me. Can anyone tell me whether they’ve had the problem high in the upper abdomen. . .what kind of fix/surgery. . .and did it make them sick. . .if you know whether you can do this without general anesthesia?
Oh and if anyone knows what can make it impossible to lose weight – despite lots of exercise and low carb (or low cal) diets – I assume I am not the only person that would benefit. . .
Although to all of those ladies that wrote in who weigh 115 lbs. . ./sigh
I wish the best for all of you. Good luck.
Thursday, January 17, 2008, 6:28 PM
wow finding this site with all your comments makes me feel like an alien that has found its people, now all i need is to find the leader( a plastic surgen) and my misery may end! i too have a three finger gap from the breast bone down and beyond...i am slim in every other way but have a tummy that pokes out like a cadbury cream egg stuck on my gut! i look in the mirror front on and think hmmmm yall looking good gurl...then i turn side ways and i look like a bloody flamingo!!!! or a telly tubby with out the joy! or i could be homer simpsons twin sister....the freaky gap and poky tummy dissapears when i lay down so i have taken to going everywhere laying flat out on a giant skate board but i find shopping and driving impossible in this angle....still i have thought about living with the ridge of pain, the gap or ridge comes in usefull when watching tv as i can easyly place a veggie wrap on it and it remains in place, also holds good as an ash tray...or a weaner holder but i did not enjoy being an apperitser holder at parties...as for people asking if im pregnant it happened once, and i was so hurt i found my self reaching for a steel base ball bat and wiping the grin off the face of the woman who asked, but no i stood there apoligising for not being human shaped and explained my perents where an umpa lumpas crossed with big bird and so f*&&^$ right off madam....still i am going to search out a surgen as i feel its my right to spend the rest of life comfortable and not praying to jesus that low rise jeans never go out of fashion!
Tuesday, January 22, 2008, 3:08 PM
I too went to a plastic surgeon for a consultation and was told that this could only be corrected through surgery. I have a 3 1/2 year old and a 1 year old so I couldn't have the surgery until my youngest is more independent. I'm 5'7" and weigh around 115. I'm slender with very small breasts (after nursing two children) and so my stomach looks very pronounced. I decided to see a physical therapist in the interim to try and do something to help my stomach. In 2 months I've managed to get the gap down from 3 1/2 fingers to a 1 1/2 to 2 finger width gap. My stomach still isn't flat but it's getting so much better. My insurance covers the PT. It does take ALOT of work and dedication, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will work.
My sister had surgery for a diastatis recti and umbilical hernia two years ago. She still has pain from the surgery. They had to use mesh to help close the gap, which is very common. I completely understand wanting a flat tummy! I feel frustrated looking in the mirror everyday, but do try therapy first! It might save a lot of money and pain. Good luck!
Sunday, February 03, 2008, 10:31 PM
Who knew there were so many of us out there suffering with abdominal discomfort, digestion issues, back pain and embarrassment due to such an apparently common pregnancy complication? I am so happy that I found this thread, but really disappointed too to know that so many people are suffering the same as me and yet our ob's and preggers books don't warn us, and our insurers (if you have one) don't think it's worth fixing this condition. My son is 13 months old and my gap is only 2 fingers width, and maybe with time it will close more, but my husband and I are also planning for another child. I saw another commenter ask if having DR after a first child impacts future pregnancies, but didn't see anyone respond. I too have the same question. I can only assume if you have DR after the first baby, it must get worse with any subsequent pregnancy. But is there any risk to the baby or your other internal organs if you get preggers again with DR from the first baby? When I asked about this, my OB only told me that if I do get pregnant again, I should probably wear one of those tummy support things they sell for pregnant ladies. But does anyone else have any advice? Thanks for all of you out there... it helps to know I'm not alone.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008, 10:25 AM
Move over, I'm in this, too! 60s male. Developed a "beer belly" about 6-7 years ago, but I don't drink beer. Decided to work it off. My PT prescribed 4 weight machines that "crunched" the stomach muscles, I was up to 120 lbs., 3 sets of 20 on each machine when I noticed a second bulge popping out of my belly. It was my stomach! Sound gross? It is. Here I thought I was doing something good for my body when, in reality, I was making a bad situation worse. Yes, I also have lower back pain and digestive problems. Been to the specialists about those and no doctor has yet to connect the dots. Now my only exercise is wallking.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008, 10:33 AM
separated recti abdominis cure?
I had this happen after both my daughter, now ages 4 and 7. I read in a "What to Expect When You're Expecting" book that Kaiser gave to me how to correct this on your own. #1 is NO SITUPS, until it is corrected as this will make it worse. #2 Don't even do this until you are 1-2 weeks postpartum and you are not in any sort of pain from C-secton, etc.
This is what you do: Lie on your back on the floor, cross your hands across your waist and physically though gently pull your recti abdominis muscles toward each other. While doing this exhale and lift head and some of your shoulders off the ground, hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat exercise repetitions of 10 a few times a day until the muscles go back together. The longer you wait I would assume it is more likely to be permanent.
Mine were about 2 fingers apart. I can't fit my fingers in there now. But around my belly button never totally went back together. I think it's important to know this ahead of time.
Thursday, February 07, 2008, 5:43 PM
it is when your tummy is too big,
ie baby, or fried pork chops
Friday, February 08, 2008, 3:40 PM
Anyone have sugery that has insight to long term outcome, good (or bad). I was told sugery was the only way to repair/correct it, but could be disasterous
Friday, February 08, 2008, 3:51 PM
I just stumbled onto this thread out of curiosity, OMG I had no idea that something like that could happen, I hope all of you heal in whatever manner you can.
Best Wishes to all of you.
Friday, February 08, 2008, 4:19 PM
pregnancy after DR surgery
I am 16 weeks pregnant. I had a surgery to fix my massive diastasis recti 3 yrs ago, a yr after my twins were born. I have over 6 inches of permanent stitches holding them together. I recommend anyone with this "massive hernia" fixed asap before you permanently damage your back from not having your stomach muscles to hold you upright. The biggest BS I've ever heard of is that a DR is cosmetic!!!! The USAF fixed mine. I'm now terrified my stitches will bust the bigger I get, but I'd rather taking that chance than have back pain for the rest of my life!!
Saturday, February 09, 2008, 1:51 PM
I got my life back!!!!!!
I am a year and a half post surgery for DR and have gotten my life back!!!! I had 2 c-sections and 4 miscarriages that led to my DR. On top of that I had no idea about DR and was doing a ton of ab work to try and tighten up my abs. In other words I ended up with one of the worst cases of DR that my doctors had ever seen. I was having pain and was not able to exercise or do much with my family that I had been able to do in the past. We are a very athletic family and the DR that I had was completely ruining my life in more ways than one. My insurance did pay for the surgery because my healthy way of life was in jeopardy and I was in constant pain. I also looked like I was five months pregnant and had back pain and severe curvature of the spine. So I say that having the surgery gave me my life back! I am pain free and able to do everything I want to do including lifting weights and tons of ab work. The recovery was long and painful but I would do it all again to feel like this now! I have two boys one is 14 the other is 4 and I can now keep up with them! Anyway, I would encourage anyone who has tried everything else to have the surgery. Some insurance will pay if you and your doctors can show that you are in pain and that your way of life will be dramatically altered if you do not have the surgery. My insurance paid 100% so it is possible to have this done without paying a ton of money. Also, stitches ( I have double stitches) are better and safer than the mesh. Good luck to you!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 1:48 AM
Update & Answers
First of all, thank you to the lucky woman who got her life back and posted such encouraging comments on February 12th! While I am exercising "right" for my diastasis (I posted the earlier comment about the Carolyne Anthony videos as a resource), my hole is not closing up as I had hoped, although I do believe the exercises are helping to strengthen my core and prevent many of the problems that other people seem to be suffering with. I am halfway through my pregnancies. I have two girls, and I am hoping for two more children. Given my past experience with DR, I am anticipating that I will be heading for the surgery table when all is said and done. I am so thankful to hear a positive story after reading some of the previous posts that were obviously well-meaning, but somewhat discouraging and threatening (i.e. surgery for DR could be disastrous). And that's great that your insurance paid for the surgery. Although I would not wish to be in lots of pain and such, to me your story is a ray of light and hope in the deep, dark forest of insurance!
I can also answer the question a few ladies posted about being pregnant with a diastasis. That way my experience (unintentionally) with my second daughter. When my first was born, I discovered that I had a diastasis about eight weeks later. I had no idea what the hole in my belly was, freaked out, and called my doctor. He never used the word diastasis, but said the separation was normal and don't do any abdominal exercises until the gap closed. It was the worst advice of my life, but this was my first baby plus she was born in a foreign country where I didn't have the support network of moms who might know better that I might find in the States. So I did what the doctor said, forgot about the gap, did absolutely no ab work, and--surprise!--10 months later I was pregnant again. My diastasis was still there and caused no problems with my pregnancy. However, my belly grew to HUGE proportions. I believe that was partially my diastasis and partially my lax ab muslces. I was regularly asked if I was carrying twins or triplets. Even my doctor (new doctor) said he had never seen anything like it, and he was the head of the gynecology department at the hospital, so I believe him! This, of course, made my DR much, much worse, which I am now living with until life takes my husband and I to the point where we can start trying for baby #3 (hopefully within 6 months). So the answer to the can-you-be-pregnant-with-a-diastasis question is yes, you can, and you should have no side effects or problems with it, other than a potentially monstrous belly.
By the way, like I mentioned before I have been using Carolyne Anthony's "Healing Exercises for a Diastasis" DVD for exercises to try to heal my DR. Carolyne has come out with an updated DVD with new DR exercises, and she was kind enough to send it to me. It is great--20 minutes worth of exercises and everything can be done by yourself on the floor, no special equipment required. I feel like these exercises are helping to strengthen my core, and I do think they are closing my DR, albeit s-l-o-w-l-y. At least my stomach is slowly flattening out...in the morning it's almost completely flat and by the evening I look about 4 months pregnant, three if I suck it in. This is pure vanity speaking, but for my the flat stomach is just as important as the DR healing. :)
If there is anyone else out there with encouraging DR healing stories (surgery or otherwise), please post it! These stories give me motivation to keep coping with this condition.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008, 4:01 PM
What is the name of Carolyne Anthonys dvd, I can't find it for post partum DR.
Monday, March 03, 2008, 1:00 PM
where would one find the dvd healing exercises for diastasis from carolyne anthony? I would like to buy 2 of them!!!! any info....I would appreciate
Wednesday, March 05, 2008, 8:28 AM
I want to let you know that you are not alone...It has been 4 years since i had my son...I too suffer as you....My doctor has laughed @ me for how things turned out....I did leave that practice though....My stomach was so big and I tore so much that you could pick my stomach up and SWING it like A SACK OF POTATOES......I have pain + issues still.....I can do no sit-ups.....it is hard to deal with on a day to day basis, but I do not have the $ to have the operation right now......I too amlooking for something somewhere to help even a little wiht this problem......Just wanted to let you know you are not alone....I am new to this website as well...this is all new to me....I wish i knew abotu this web a long time ago just to get some support!!!! Best of luck!!!
Wednesday, March 05, 2008, 10:29 AM
Carolyne Anthony DVD
I bought Carolyne's first DVD on Amazon, but if you Google her center, The Center For Women's Fitness, they have a website and you can buy her DVDs through them.
Thursday, March 06, 2008, 3:38 PM
Diastasis recti-- correcting it!
I have this also, mine is about 4 fingers I also have an umbilcal hernia. I am schedule for general surgery. He will repair the wall and the hernia and pin down the belly button so it is once again an innie. He asked if I wanted a PS consult, reminding me that I will have excess skin but no buldge. We can not afford it so I am going to go ahead with the surgery for repair. I have tons of bloating and look preggo still. My daughter is 11 mos and son is 2 1/2 I have had my tubes tied so I am not worried about more kids. It is comforting to kow I am not alone. I am not thim by any means but have lost 40 pounds and still have the preggo belly. Wish me luck I am VEYR VERY NERVOUS!!!
Thursday, March 06, 2008, 4:22 PM
Thank you Laura for all your information on the dvd...I look forward to getting the dvd to see how well it will work for me!!!!
Friday, March 07, 2008, 7:25 AM
I feel for all of you young mothers experiencing pain, etc. in the simple act of picking up your children (which as I remember was oh so many times each day). I had my children 42 and 45 years ago with no DR problems at all. My tummy muscles were normal about 3-4 mos after delivery. Now that I am 67 years old and supposed to be enjoying the golden retirement years, one of my doctors prescribed a med resulting in a horrible adverse allergic reaction and fluid retention of 35-40 pounds. After one full year still no treatment or proper diagnosis, however, 6 weeks ago as I was lying down on the sofa, I said to my husband "look at this muscle protruding from my abdomen". We both nearly freaked out. It was gross! Several specialists wrote it off as a hernia and no one would even consider repairing it. NOW, that muscle looks like a huge pork loin roast running from the breastbone to the bikini line. Talk about pain - thought I would die until one Doc referred me to a pain management clinic for pain meds. Summary: I've seen every single general surgeon AND plastic surgeon in this town and within a 50 mile radius and not one will even consider repairing it. I had to spell DIASTASIS for some of them because they claim to have never heard of it. It's tough when you are young, but can you imagine how I feel when people give me that second look wondering "IS SHE"?
My last hope is someplace like the Mayo Clinic - they have told me someone will help me, so I'll be off soon hoping to have this mass repaired. All my life I was a 10 Petite - now I purchase my clothing at Catherines Plus Sizes. Yes, I cry a lot and my Doc says I'm being hysterical. He's the one who caused all this grief.
Good Luck and God Bless to each and every one of you, women and men. I will let you know how the surgery goes - I'm not frightened - what frightens me is seeing that person looking back at me in the mirror each day.
Saturday, March 08, 2008, 1:12 AM
DR/TT surgery success, ins coverage
I wish I had found this thread a year ago... at that point, I'd just had a set of twins and was completely freaked over the huge bulge in my stomach. First off, I have to reassure the pregnant members that a noticeable DR is not something that happens with all pregnancies... 3 year ago, I gave birth to a big healthy girl and I was back to my pre-pregnancy size/weight (size 2, 115 lbs) within two weeks of deliver.
After my first child, I had a 1-2 finger separation that I was able to close over time with exercise and patience. I believe a mild DR can be made virtually imperceptible through exercises that strengthen your transverse muscles (the ones that wrap around your torso) and avoiding exercises that require your recti muscles (the ones that are split up the front by your DR) to both contract and stabilize at the same time.
After my full-term healthy twins however, there was no amount of exercise that was going to close a 5 finger gap in the middle of my stomach. I did Julie Tupler's exercises religiously for months to no avail (I live in NYC so even went to see Julie Tupler... all she would committ to was that her exercises would "help" close the gap). I went to two excellent plastic surgeons in Manhattan, both of which told me that a DR of my size could only be corrected with surgery. Both doctors also told me that my insurance (United) would cover the cost of the DR but not the cost of the tummy tuck. True to life, United DID cover the cost of the DR (submitted by the doctor as a "hernia repair") and I covered the cost of excising the excess skin.
I had the procedure done last May and I could NOT be happier!! The surgery itself was a breeze and the recovery very tolerable (I will qualify that I have a high threshold of pain). The first 24-36 hours post surgery, I took my pain meds as prescribed and I never felt uncomfortable at all. After that initial period, I weaned myself off the meds as each day become exponentially easier. Oddly enough, the only body part that really hurt was my back from being hunched over for days... a cane is critical for early mobility. Once I was upright (5-7 days), I felt much better and was back to my office job in 10 days.
Immediately following, I looked 80% better. After two months of being slightly puffy/bloated (wear your compression garments and maybe try diuretic teas like dandelion tea), I look exactly the way I did pre-twins. The long and ugly scar is my biggest ongoing issue... I used Mederma post surgery and KeloCote now but the scar is still red and hypertrophic. There are still areas of my stomach wall that are numb (particularily around the scar site) but the nerves are very gradually coming back on-line. The only other odd and persistent problem is that my pubic mound looks swollen but that is something that not even my husband notices.
Sorry if this is a too long post but I just wanted to give you all the benefit of my experience... both as a successful "exerciser" and a happy surgery recipient. Best of luck to you all and I wish you equal and complete success!!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008, 3:50 PM
I have had this issue since month 6 or 7 of my pregnancy and I delivered an 11 lb 9 oz healthly boy four years ago. I have been waiting on repairing it and suffering with the pain in hopes of having another child. Living day in and day out with everyone asking me "when are you due" has been one of the most depressing issues in my life (I have not been able to) . Well, now my husband is divorcing me and I am stuck with this "look" I am so depressed between all the daily pain and the look of myself when I look in the mirror. I am meeting with a surgeon and hopefully they will be able to classify it where my insurance will cover the cost of the surgery. I have one issue, I have been told that I would probably loose my belly button. I know that sounds meaningless to most--I didn't care when I thought that I would be with my husband forever, but now that I am not going to be, the thought kind of bothers me. Has anyone heard of anyway of saving it? I guess overall it will not matter, I just can not imagine any one wanting to date someone who looks 5-6 months pregnant so I will go ahead with the surgery no matter what. Thanks for listening!! Shelly
Friday, March 14, 2008, 10:31 AM
Ive got it and I found a solution that works for me...
I am a 38 year old mother of two. I have Diastasis Recti.
I have been wearing a new product called Yummie Tummie. You can check out their website at yummietummienyc.com and it will tell you where to buy them. Let me tell you it works!! ...I am sure the creator and designer has DR (she invented it after her first pregnancy), but maybe she does not know it yet because she does not mention it on her website. I feel it is designed JUST FOR US!!
This is the PERFECT solution pre, post, or for those who go the route of No Surgery. I will have the surgery as my DR is severe, and causes me a lot of discomfort, but my last born is still only a few months and I need to be able to lift her so until then, I wear a yummie tummie EVERY day. It is comfortable, it is comforting, (my DR is very uncomfortable after eating or lifting), it has a hidden panel, in a normal tank top that covers, flattens and supports your abdomen. It really works! At $62.00 it is the perfect alternative to surgery.
Go buy this now!! It boosted my confidence and made me feel normal again!
I wrote into the creator on the comments portion of the website. Maybe if enough of us write to her, she will go on a talk show about us and bring awareness to this condition and get us the insurance help we deserve!! Write to her!
Hang in there and god bless you all.
Monday, March 17, 2008, 3:43 PM
I have a question for the girl who posted March 11 at 3:50pm.
I have 2 children 3 1/2 and 1 1/2, both were very large babys. I had a huge umbiliccial hernia repaired by a general surgeon apox. 8 Mo. after my first child. Not knowing at that time that I had this Diastasis Recti, I never questioned the general surgeon any further. I recently saw a Plastic surgeon about this sepration and he did tell me that he could repair it but insuance would not cover it. I would appericate it if you could tell me if it was a PS that did your sugery or a general surgeon, and how did you get the insurance to cover it. I just can not stand looking like this anymore! I hope that you can give me some advice on this. Thank you! And good luck to all that are going through the same thing.
Monday, March 17, 2008, 10:21 PM
Does anyone know how I can hide my belly. The yummytummy seems grade but what if I want to go sleeveless? I brought control tops and they just make me look smoother but my belly is still looking 4 months.
Thursday, March 20, 2008, 12:57 PM
In response to Amy (3/17 @ 10:21p) from Dez (poster 3/11 @ 3:50p)
My surgery was done by a plastic surgeon who submitted the diagnosis and expense to my insurance co under "Hernia Repair". I may have just been lucky but United Healthcare never questioned the necessity nor expense at all. However, the other PS I consulted told me that this would not be covered at all, under any circumstance so do not be deterred by what one PS tells you. My advice would be to find a good PS and have him write you an diagnosis and assessment to submit to your insurance company for pre-approval. It certainly can't hurt to try - if United covers it, other insurance companies must as well! Best of luck!!
To the poster on 3/20 @ 12:57p: Before I had my surgery, I had great success using these "Brazilian Waist Cinchers". If you want some industrial strength compression to completely disguise your belly, this will help immensely. They are not easy to get on but once you have finally done up all the hooks, they are surprisingly comfortable to wear. And when you look at your teeny, tiny waist and your flat stomach, you will be more than willing to endure a bit of discomfort to look that good. They are not expensive (~$50) and worth every penny. This is the one I got: ://www.galapagosboutique.com/Latex-Waist-Cincher-p/squ-26c.htm
Saturday, March 22, 2008, 1:59 AM
To Shelly re: Belly Button
I'm so sorry to hear about your depression over your diastasis and impending divorce... I really hope you and your son will be fine through this very difficult time.
If it eases your mind at all, I can tell you that you don't really "lose" your belly button with a diastasis repair and tummy tuck. During the tummy tuck, the surgeon cuts the belly button away from the surrounding skin, stretches the stomach skin taut, removes the excess and stitches it all up again. (I know it sounds gruesome but it really is not). Your belly button is really a "stem" and remains intact... the surgeon just needs to create a new hole in the stretched skin to attach it to.
Depending on the skill of the surgeon and the way your body heals, it could be a very subtle difference. I wore a bikini during a big family holiday about 3 months after my surgery and I'm sure no-one noticed that my stomach/belly button looked any different than before (or would have expected after recently giving birth to twins).
Best of luck to you/your son,
Sunday, March 23, 2008, 12:33 AM
diastasis recti and tummy tuck
In response to the feb 08, 2008 asking has anyone had surgery and what was the outcome, I had triplets via c-section 3 yrs ago. I was able to diagnose myself eventually after doing research to find out what the trench was going down my abdomen. Well, after going to the gym for 2 yrs I was able to get my abs pretty firm, but the gap continued with me constanty looking 4-5 months pregnant. I consulted a plastic surgeon who confirmed the dr and diagnosed an umbilical hernia. He told me that surgery was the only option for complete correction and no amount of ab workout could correct it. I had the abdominoplasty surgery with hernia repair on feb 7th 08. The surgery was much easier than I anticipated. My pain tolerance is pretty good. I took pain meds around the clock pretty much for 36 hours then began titrating it down. I never really felt any major discomfort from the surgery even the long incision. I had two drain tubes for about a week. Incision healed really well. My main complaint was some back discomfort from the bent over position due to tight skin. This resolved in about 1 week. I looked great first 3 weeks after surgery, and tummy was very flat and excess skin gone, however I began to notice a pooch appear. In the 5th week postop I felt a ripping sensation and pain above my belly button. My PS confirmed at dr. appt. that a stitch had come apart. Talk about disappointment! I feel that I took I followed instructions well. Now I have to decide if I want to correct it with another surgery or just deal with it. I am leaning towards having it corrected because it is causing me alot of discomfort and stress. I am still very happy that I had the surgery because my tummy looks so much better but I was not aware this could happen or had not heard of it. Has anyone had this happen or know about this happening postop? I am ready to have this resolved so that I can get back to being active, lifting weights and enjoy my 3 yr old kids and husband again.
Friday, March 28, 2008 11:40 pm
Friday, March 28, 2008, 11:49 PM
diastasis, pregnant after, tummy tuck
I just posted this, but I think it got lost. I'm sorry if it appears twice. I'd like to know how soon any of you showed in your pregnancies after already having a diastasis. I had a c-section 3.5 years ago. I've felt like a monster ever since. My diastasis is huge and I have hernia as well. My belly button sticks out half way. I have a small frame and look pregnant all the time. I consulted surgeons. I went to pt for a long time. I did special ab exercises with her and bought a surgical belly band. I think both would have helped if used during or soon after pregnancy, but not by the time I went to her. I didn't even know what was wrong for the longest time. I wear the "flowy" tops all the time or tops that are a size too big so they are not tight on my belly. I'm 9.5 weeks pregnant now and my belly is huge! I'm trying to hide it at work for as long as possible, but I don't think I'll be able to. The ob-gyn said it had nothing to do with the diastasis b/c the baby is lower down, but I think it does. I also have crohn's which causes abdominal distention, but this has only happened to me with this pregnancy and a prior miscarriage. Otherwise, my protruding belly is always about the same. The belly band would make it flatter when I wore it overnight, but it was only temporary. Depending on your insurance, the entire surgery or at least the anesthesia for the tummy tuck is covered if you have a hernia as well, which I do. Best of luck to you all!
Thursday, April 03, 2008, 12:11 PM
Does anybody from Canada have experience with surgery covered by OHIP. I have visited several doctors, nobody confirmed, what Maria is writing in her post from November 29, that in Canada is diferent and OHIP cover surgery, if you have at least one hernia. I have hernia, but I can not find doctor in my area, who can help. I can not afford surgery for $ 6.500, and I am very unhappy with my very bad DR.
Friday, April 04, 2008, 9:51 PM
young and not free :(
i'm only 22, andhave two babies, i have a really bad saggy tummy, ive tried excerise and lost weight and it just wont go away, i dred the summer because i ant wear what i want, i hav to wear horrible baggy jumpers and t-shirts, its depressing me so badly, and i cant aford a tummy tuck either. i wish i could just accept it but i can't. makes me feel so ugly.
Monday, April 07, 2008, 7:35 AM
pregnant w/ diastasis
To Fee, who commented on April 3rd:
I had an untreated diastsais from my first pregnancy, but by the time I found out about it, I was already pregnant with baby #2. My belly was HUGE with baby #2--I had to start wearing maternity clothes at 11 weeks, and my belly never stopped growing. By the end it looked like I was carrying triplets. People stopped me all the time to ask how many babies I was going to have. Even though your doctor says a large belly is unrelated to a diastasis, from my experience there is a direct correlation. I was nowhere near as large with my first child, and you can only take the "second child = bigger belly" theory so far.
Monday, April 07, 2008, 2:13 PM
diastasis in children
I am trying to find out about this problem in children. I live in the uk and up until today had not even heard about this. I have a 7 yr old girl and a 3 yr old boy I am still over weight after the kids so wouldn't in all honesty now if I had it (both my children were big born 9llb8 and 10llb respectively), but my concern is my daughter. She started complaining about feeling sick and having a constant pain in her tummy and she had a small lump above her belly button which I thought might be a hernia. Eventually I took her to the doctor who told me the lump wasn't anything to worry about but she had a split in her rectus abdominus muscle probably there from birth and that it would go away on its own. I've never heard of this, but my concern is how long is it supposed to take to go away from birth and what are the possible complications if it doesn't and why did no one pick it up before now. Obviously I know about hernias but if she got hit would it do any damage, that kind of thing.
I would appreciate any advice you could give
Tuesday, April 08, 2008, 8:43 AM
preganat with diastasis
Thanks Laura. Well, I know your pain. I'm 10.5 weeks and I'm in a maternity top today! I had a mis last summer and didn't even make it this far and my belly grew with that one too, but another dr told me back then too that it wasn't related to the diastasis. Great, I get to look forward to the triplet question. Ugh! I was hoping to stall for time at work, but I don't think I can get away with wearing my big fleece sweatshirt much longer, since it's April. And to the mom with the child with one - I would see a specialist. I remember seeing something online about it being there at birth in children, but I don't think it should take years to correct itself. Take a look online for diastasis in children and see what you can find out.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008, 3:49 PM
diastasis from pregnancy
To those of you who wear the belly bands to help keep it all in, where did you get yours? I too have done all the exercising to no avail. I've had my bodyfat percentage down around 10% and still looked pregnant! I will eventually have a tummy tuck, but I plan on having 1 more child first. I would love to use something like this in the meantime so I don't feel so self-concious.
Monday, April 14, 2008, 4:22 PM
Pending PS for Diastasis!
Hello Ladies! I live in London and was so relieved to find this site / thread! I developed severe DR after my second pregnancy (the gap is still a good 5 inches). This is on top of severe symphisis pubis dysfuntion (I was on crutches for the last 3 months of pregnancy and 10 weeks post partum!!). My second daughter is now 11 months old and I amd scheduled to have the DR and umbilical hernia repaired on 2 June on our National Health Service (my insurance would not pay up as the condition was caused by pregnancy!). I confess I am pretrified of the surgery! Both of my girls were c- section deliveries out of necessity so I think I have an idea as to how uncomfortable the recovery may be. My main concern is that I will not be able to lift my younger daughter for some time. I thought of postponing the surgery but I have been advised that you can more porblems the longer you leave it. I am eager to read more from those of you who have had the surgery, what the recovery was like etc. Do you think I will be recovered enough to go on summer holiday in Spetember (nothing strenuous - just lazing by the pool and being pampered)?
For those of you having surgery before me - BEST OF LUCK!!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 9:03 AM
belly band/recovery from surgery
I also had a c-section. Did most of you? I bought the belly band. It's called an abdominal binder and I bought it at a surgical supply store. As for surgery, I have not had it, but the dr told me to get it done right after my next is born. I don't know if it's possible to have it done during another c-section. Have any of you had it done that way? I think it requires different anesthesia. You can't lift anything heavy for a while, I think 6 weeks at least. Going back to my original post, my belly doesn't look that big when I first wake up, but after I start eating, it's huge. I'm not sure if this is from the diastasis or a digestive issue. For those who looked pregnant early on, did you also wake up looking smaller? I don't look pregnant when I first wake up, although it's obvious something isn't "right" over there, but it's just not a "showing" look that I have as the day goes on. Good luck with your surgery to the woman in London.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008, 10:27 AM
belly band / recovery from surgery
I too have a smaller tummy on waking up and it is softer too. As soon as I start eating, it gets bigger and I can see and feel the lumps in my intestines through the gap as my breakfast / lunch / dinner work their way down. The doctor said this is fairly common and explains why DR sufferers also tend to have digestive problems.
Thursday, April 17, 2008, 4:17 PM
Hi, I have been lurking for a few months, I too have this annoying condition. I am currently seeking out a surgeon who will repair it for under $4000! I am in Australia amd have no private health insurance. I also have an umbilical hernia which needs to be repaired at the same time. Apparently I can get it done publically but must wait 3 years plus... mean while my lower back gets worse and my digestion is apalling! I have bad flatulence and diorhea daily, worse in the evening and its not down to diet or good bacteria imbalance as I have addressed those to no avail. Its terrible, embarrassing and is affecting my quality of life! I have difficuilty lifting my 6 month old bub, and after vaccuuming or working half a day on my feet my back has alot to complain about. The pot belly on my skinny frame is demoralising too! That is enough of my complaining as Im sure you are all well familiarised with these problems. I will keep you posted on the surgery and outcome - I am quite scared of ending up with a big scar or a stitch poping or something... as others have posted, if anyone else has had the surgery, any reassurance would be much appreciated!
Friday, April 18, 2008, 8:50 AM
belly small, then big
Hi. I don't know which of you wrote that comment to me, but I'm going to assume you are also pregnant now. My belly didn't do that before. I've always had digestive "issues", but now that I'm pregnant, I'm so uncomfortable all the time. I don't see the lumps as the food moves down, but I can feel food just sit in my belly for hours. It's embarassing to tell people I'm only 3 months, when I look more like 6. My lower back is also in pain much of the time now as well. When I sleep on my side, I wake up with my hip in pain. I really can't wait to get the surgery. I'm so sick of looking pregnant all the time. I'm going for a consult soon and I'll let you all know what info I get. My last consult was 3 years ago and I wasn't done having children, so I never had the surgery. My friend is 7 months now and she thinks she has a DR too b/c she sees a ridge down her belly when she tries to get up from bed. It's funny how she's terrified that she has what I have. Who would want to look like this? Anyway, I never noticed anything until after the birth.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 11:37 AM
Belly bands / belly too big then small
This is in response to Fee's last post. You mentioned that when you wake in the morning having slept on your side you have pain in your hip. I too had this in my last pregancy and postpartum too. It turned out to be symphisis pubic dysfunction. Keep an eye on this pain and look out for any pain or heaviness around the groin, inner thigh, pubic area and discuss with your midwife or physio.
Regarding tummy bands, I have come across a fantastic waist cincher by Esbelt. Received it today and I looked great!! I went from looking 5 months pregnant to normal instantly. The cincher really does flatten the tummy but also provides much needed back support to those of us who tummy muscles are still miles apart! It is a compression garment so can also aid post partum recovery! Check out www.esbeltlingerie.com for their other goodies.
Saturday, April 26, 2008, 3:44 PM
pregnant with dr
I went to the doctor and I asked her why I look 6 months pregnant when I'm only 3. She said it's from the hernia and that it's my intestines that are "showing". Just thought I'd share that with those of you in the same boat. My new thing is lower back pain. It's very bad and the doctor wants me to go for physical therapy. Do any of you have this so early in pregnancy? I'm wondering if it's ok to wear the ab binder while pregnant. I really don't know how I will handle the pain later if I can't even take it now. I will keep an eye on my hip too. Thank you for the insight.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008, 7:53 PM
pregnant with dr
Oh Fee! I do feel for you. Your physiotherapist will probably give you some exercises to strengthen your back and may also give you some support bands which essentially pull your pelvis together and sit below your bump. They are a bit of a faf to get on and off but they really make a difference in giving you pelvic and back support (hence reducing some of the pain). Good luck at the physio!
Me, I have a follow up appointment this week with the surgeon who is going to fix my tummy. Only 4.5 weeks to go and I am getting quite nervous!! I can't bear the idea of not being able to lift my youngest daughter :-((
Monday, May 05, 2008, 5:03 PM
I have it all and after 9 and 7 lb twins and then an 11.10 lb singleton My abdomin is a wreck. I have chronic back problems adn trouble moving quickly, I can't run anymore and can not lay flat on my back or on my side with out a pillow under. It has been 19 months since my eleven pounder and I am still in maternity clothes tops and pants. People ask me evryday when I am due, I look about 8 months preg. My waist was five feet around for both pregnancies and I am not obese or I do not have a sugar problem!
I have an incisional hernia from my first c-section and had it repaired once already. I had a second section with the last baby.
After seeing my surgeon I am schedualed for repair May 20th. I will have a scar from my sternum to my pubis and they will put a screen from top to bottom to repair the muscles and then remove the excess skin. A general and gastrointestinal surgeon does it all and it is all covered by my insurence.
I can't wait, I will have a crazy scar and tough recovery but I will take it to be able to feel normal again.
One thing my surgeon said that he can not mention abdominplasty on the files to ins. or they will call it plastic surgery and will not cover it.
Good luck and look into it I don't find it worthy of living in pain and discomfort when it is a real medical problem. Excercise DOSE NOT repair Diastasis Rectis!
Wednesday, May 07, 2008, 8:43 PM
Diastasis Recti in Subsequent Pregnancy?
It's been 5 1/2 months since I gave birth my beautiful baby boy. I still look a few months pregnant.
The moment I started showing (which was sooner than I expected) I knew there was something wrong.
Like Fee, I looked more than 3 months pregnant and I asked my doctor why my stomach was so big and he said it was my intestines and not the baby. Go figure! But he never did diagnose the diastasis recti, which I find strange and makes me more than a little pissed.
Anyway, over the past few months I've had a couple of women say to me, "Wow, you're stomach is still so big!", or "My belly was big after I gave birth, but not as BIG as yours still is." Needless to say, I've felt really bad about my body. I LOVE being a mom and can't wait to have another baby. I plan on getting pregnant again later this year, after I've lost another 25 lbs.
Anyway, I did go see a general surgeon a couple of months ago, who was nice and told me that it's not so bad and to wait until I finish having kids. I have both diastatis recti and an umbilical hernia. I wear a hernia belt/band to hold it in so it doesn't look so bad.
My question is....will my diastasis recti and umbilical hernia get worse with subsequent pregnancies?
Thanks everyone and I'm so happy I found all of you.
Thursday, May 08, 2008, 1:17 PM
pregnant with dr/subsequent pregnancies
Thank you for the kind words. I decided against PT b/c I really have no time for it and from past experience, I know it's 3-4 times/week. I found some exercises from the PT I went to see after my 1st was born. She never bothered to tell me that the exercises would never get rid of it, but it did seem smaller at the time. There are special exercises for those ab muscles, which you can find online too. I know one is a plank. I also do pelvic tilts for the back pain and it seems to have helped, although one false move and it returns. I was told the dr gets worse with each pregnancy. It's really embarrassing to be this big at 14 weeks! My coworker is 20 weeks and barely showing and I look like I'm 6 months. I hate when people notice and ask me when I'm due. Then they say "It's cute!" about my belly. Little do they know that they are talking about my intestines and it's not the baby. To the person having the surgery with the gastro and general drs - how can they fully repair it without a cosmetic surgeon and why is a gastro involved? I was told if I only repaired the hernia (with a general surgeon), it still would look bad. Also, I have a gastro for other issues and I'm wondering if he needs to be a part of this procedure as well. To the woman having the procedure in a few weeks - how old is your youngest? I was told to wait at least 2 months after my next is born, but I don't know how long is too long that I won't be able to lift the new baby. Also, are you nursing? I'd like to know about the effects of anesthesia and pain meds on breast milk. I have to say I'm very relieved to have found other women with this condition. I have felt like a freak for too long.
Thursday, May 08, 2008, 2:22 PM
re: who knew?
Hi. I just found this website while trying to research diastasis, and I'm so glad that you guys have so much information.
regarding "who knew?" posted on Feb 5th, I only found out about this with the pregnancy of my 2nd child. I am currently living in Europe, and my current OB is very concerned about this pregnancy. My uterus is laying extremely low, like literally on my pelvic floor, instead of up a bit like it should be. I think she said my separation is about 3 1/2 fingers. I am in a maternity girdle 24 hours a day, except for when I shower. If I don't I can barely walk.
After my first pregnancy, my hips would "go out" all the time. I thought it was just that relaxin that they talk about in pregnancy books. I hurt all the time. I used to be a very active person (dancer, performer, actress) and I could barely walk through the park!
I also gained 45+ during my last pregnancy, and also blamed everything on all the extra weight I was carrying around. I spent 18 solid months working out and dieting and trying to lose the weight because I thought it would solve everything. I got to my pre-pregnancy weight, and BOOM! Pregnant again. This time I'm terrified of gaining that much weight again, and am watching it closely.
And yes, I had the gut but I was told by my mom, "it's just hereditary." I have all the same symptoms that she has/had and she's now overweight and completely sedentary and barely does anything. I refuse to be that person!
So yesterday I had a consult with an American Doctor (not an OB). I will be returning back to the US for delivery with baby again, like my first, but about all my questions, he starts mentioning "Csection", and the possibility that if I did have the corrective surgery I wouldn't be able to have more children. It depends on how bad it is, and what the dr. says. I am reeling that I might have to go through a Csection - that thought never crossed my mind. And of course, I won't find out until I get back to the US in another month.
Thank you all to everyone who has posted resources, websites and support out there! I am looking at all the information listed to learn as much as I can. I am glad that I've "caught" this before it's gone on too long.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008, 5:16 AM
Transverse exercise results?
Has anyone tried the Mummy Tummy thing by Julie Tupler or the DVD by Carolyne Anthony? I was curious if they helped at all if done faithfully. Especially for mild cases, which I think mine is. I can't afford surgery and this can't get worse. It's very apparent that this condition can create serious problems if left untreated. I honestly don't know why doctors are being so ignorant about it.
So, any success with the "home remedy"?
Thursday, May 15, 2008, 12:45 PM
I did not purchase those products, but I did go to physical therapy for over 6 months. This was a pt who specialized in pregnancy/post-preg exercises and she gave me the same types of exercises that are what you mentioned. It did look smaller, but did not go away by any means and after I stopped doing it, it came right back, especially now that I'm pregnant again. My separation is 2 or 3 fingers though and I have a hernia as well, so maybe it would work for you.
Sunday, May 18, 2008, 5:12 PM
Carolyne Anthony DVD
I have been using the Carolyne Anthony DVD for about a year now. I can say that it has helped. I'm not sure if my separation itself has gotten smaller (maybe by about a finger), but strengthening the stomach muscles has helped hold my intestines in and I don't look quite so pregnant (almost no stomach on a good day and about 5 months pregnant on a bad day). I have given up hope that the DVD would completely heal the separation and I'm planning on surgery after I'm done having kids. However, I have not had any of the super-nasty side effects that many people on this thread have mentioned, and I think that is due at least in part to strengthening my muscles by doing the exercises on Carolyne's DVD.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008, 2:37 PM
Tubes tied & abdominoplasty?
Has anyone out there had their tubes tied and their abdominoplasty done at the same time? I am just wondering if this is even possible.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008, 2:39 PM
Hello everyone -- I am a 52 year old woman who has suffered from diastasis recti long enough! Since bearing my second child at 41, I look 4-8 months pregnant on any given day. It has deeply affected my self esteem and prevented me from leading a full social life because I have to search through my closet for hours to find clothing to hide the condition or I have to hold my tummy in constantly for fear of complete embarassment or I just don't go.
I am quite small and the protruding stomach looks ridiculous. I am a competitive singles tennis player and in fantastic condition otherwise.. I wanted to put the effort in to cure my condition and not resort to plastic surgery.
First I summoned the courage to see a gastroenterologist years ago to run tests to rule out any medical condiition. I received a prescription for levbid (IBS drug) which does help somewhat to manage the horrible digestion I experience. Then I totally devoted myself to an intense ab program. Then I tried a colon detox program (it gave me a ton of renewed energy and did help with the bloating but you can only do the program for a couple months at a time, so now I'm back to square one.
Honestly -- the thing that helped the most is wearing SPANX!! I followed the Hollywood stars on that recommendation -- and bought a cami that truly gives me the support I need without the terrible constriction. However, I can't wear it under all my outfits (esp a bathing suit!), so it's not a total solution.
I am now facing the truth -- I need plastic surgery. I am going to set aside Healthcare Spending Dollars at my company (tax free money for health care) and get the surgery done in January 09. Can't wait to get my life back.
Good luck to everyone with this insidious condition that eats away at your self esteem.
Thursday, May 22, 2008, 10:22 AM
Surgery was a breeze for me
I posted on March 8th - finally had my surgery March 24th. After consulting several general surgeons, I learned only Plastic Surgeons would perform this procedure. Insurance indicated they would not cover my surgery ($13,000) but I plan to pursue that issue in the near future. A lawyer told me to ask for help from my local Congressman, and I plan to do just that. The surgery took 4 1/2 hours mostly due to the enormous DR (10 inches long 6 inches wide). Now its properly repositioned in the abdominal cavity as well as several other organs which were out of alignment after suffering one year of gross edema (35-40 lbs of fluid). The surgeon brought the abdominal muscles from either side of the DR and sutured them (twice) saying it was so tight if he sutured one more time I would have difficulty breathing. My incision is 20 inches long hip bone to hip bone. Umbilical hernia repair left me with a lovely new belly button and my former stretch marks from previous pregnancies are a thing of the past. All that excess tissue was excised leaving me a smooth and tight abdomen. Not bad for 67 years old. I had absolutely no pain, never even took one pain med and the recovery has been fantastic. I've had to take naps frequently - the surgeon says it is all part of the healing process - rest is vital. Was told not to lift anything heavier than my purse and be careful bending over. The first 10 days post-op my husband insisted I take it easy and he pretty much waited on me hand and foot - even helped me sponge bathe until drains and steri-strips were removed allowing me to take a long lovely shower. Its now 8 weeks post-op and I'm told I can resume playing golf as well as swimming and exercising. The time after surgery went by quickly, was uneventful AND pain free. Maybe I'm just lucky about having no pain - who knows. I highly recommend the surgery (which includes a mandatory tummy tuck) to cure depression and improve self image. I had to take a loan to cover the expense of surgery and am paying it off over time. I really hope to make some progress with the insurance company in that regard. I forget to mention the garment you MUST wear for the first 6 weeks to aid with healing. It gives you a wonderful sense of security that everything inside is being held in its proper position. I really didn't mind it, however, I'm happy not to be wearing it now since Florida is in the 90's this time of year. Good luck to those of you contemplating surgery - I highly recommend it. All surgery comes with risks, however, if you are young, healthy and pass the pre-surgical testing, I feel you have nothing to worry about. If this old girl can do it so can you. If anyone has questions PLEASE feel free to ask them. My name is Catherine.
Friday, May 23, 2008, 3:58 AM
I have diastasis and didn't know why my stomach wasn't flattening up even though I worked and worked at getting a trim tummy. I am not overweight and could not get rid of the pudge. My daughter is now 20 months and I am now 3 months pregnant with another. I spoke to my OB about the diastasis. I am having a c-section due to the fact that my pelvis is too small to deliver vaginally and she said that she would sew the abdominal muscles back up while they were in there for my c-section. So if you are having a c-section, talk to your doctor ahead of time and see if they wouldn't mind taking care of that too.
Monday, May 26, 2008, 9:48 PM
I have diastasis and didn't know the reason why my stomach muscles wouldn't tighten up. I am now 3 months pregnant and I have to have a c-section with the delivery of this child. My OB said she would sew my stomach muscles up while in there for the c-section. If there is a possibility you will have a c-section. Talk to your doctor.
Monday, May 26, 2008, 9:51 PM
i just found out 1 week ago i had diastasis recti. i got a little sad when they told me that the only way to get rid of it it's by surgery which my insurance won't cover. i'm only 21 years and just had my second child a year ago and people ask me if i'm pregnant again. My whole body is small except my stomach i was thinking on doing the surgery but i can't afford it right now and because i don't want to get open i'm a little scared. sometimes i get really depress just looking at my stomach. but hopefully if i keep on doing my exercises it will get better.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008, 5:52 PM
We should start a club. I too have Diastasis Recti. I noticed it after my 3rd child and it only became really large after my 4th. It's about 3" long and 1 1/2' wide. I also went to many doctors and even a plastic surgeon. They all said the same. Surgery and no insurance. I am 5'3, 112 lbs, wear a size 0 jean but have a 32" waist. Talk about looking pregnant. I just turned 40 and I have to wear the teeny boppers low rise jean because of my belly. My youngest is 3yrs and it has never gotten any better. But there is hope. I went to a new doctor in my Family Practitioners office for a sinus infection. He noticed in my chart that I had complained of a hole in my stomach muscles to another doctor (who could only suggest seeing a surgeon) he told me he could send me to physical therapy. I was stunned that all the other doctors I saw never said anything like this. So I started today with a physical therapy and it’s covered by my insurance. She said it’s hard to say if it will ever close completely because it’s so large but it’s worth a shot. I’ll let you gals know how it goes.
Thursday, May 29, 2008, 8:46 PM
DR/ muscles tied after c-section
I too have DR and I am prengnat with my 3rd. My Dr. said sh ewould try to suture my musces back after this c-section. I am wondering if anyone had this doen alread through the c-section and if it did make a difference. I do have a pretty bad DR- not sure how bad so I am wondering if it will get better after this 3rd child or just worse!!
Sunday, June 01, 2008, 9:27 PM
diastasis repair during c-section
my OB has agreed to attempt to repair my diastasis during the my c-section next week. I am a little nervous about it as it sounds like most of these repairs are done by plastic surgeons and with a longitudinal incision......my repair will be covered by insurance and will co-inside with an already planned sx so that will be nice. Anyone with this experience? How did it turn out??
Wednesday, June 04, 2008, 1:59 PM
Diastasis repair during c-section
THis is what my OB will do as well in October. She said she will attempt to suture my muscles if possible and I sure hope she can do it. That is great that you are getting it done next week. Please let me know how it goes and how it looks after a couple of months. My e-mail address is: email@example.com if you'd prefer to write me an e-mail. Good Luck!!! How bad was your Diastasis Recti. Mine is pretty bad.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008, 8:51 PM
I would do some research before having it repaired. Especially if you are having it done by your OB. I’m not sure I would trust them to do that kind of repair. The reason insurance won’t cover it is because It’s a separation of the stomach muscle not a tear. You have to retrain them back together. I’m in physical therapy to repair mine. Someone wrote earlier and said she wore an abdomen binder after her last child and it worked. I talked to my therapist about it and she said it might work but not to wear it all the time because it will weaken the other muscle. I just ordered one. It’s been 3yrs since my last child so I’m not sure if it will work. My insurance is paying for my therapy so if I were you, I would look into therapy before having it repaired.
Sunday, June 08, 2008, 10:02 AM
Please let us know how your surgery went. Also, how did your doctor's code the problem so that it wasn't "cosmetic?"
Sunday, June 08, 2008, 11:12 PM
The above comment is directed to the women who wrote in on May 5 and 7. I have DR and know that I will need surgery as well. I'm curious about how your surgeries went. My OB is discouraging it because she claims that people experience continual abdominal pain after having the muscles sewn back together.
Sunday, June 08, 2008, 11:15 PM
Question for woman who wrote in on June 8, 2008
I have mentioned my Diastasis problem to three OBs and have gotten little helpful feedback (I'm stunned by the general lack of concern--given the physical and psychological impact this has on women). Thus, I'm wondering how "educated" physical therapists will be about this problem. How did you find a PT to help you and did you have to have a discussion with your insurer about the problem to get preapproved for physical therapy?
Sunday, June 08, 2008, 11:22 PM
hernia vs. diastasis
Hi.... after hysterectomy, one surgeon said I had INcisional ventral hernia (large) and two others said "not really.....more like weak stomach muscle"........tomorrow I'm going to see about physical therapy to strengthen the muscles.......I'll try anything before another surgery
If you'd like to know results, email me
Good luck either way!
Monday, June 09, 2008, 1:09 PM
Yes, I've had digestive issues too!!
Monday, June 09, 2008, 1:58 PM
Therapy for Diastasis
When I contacted my insurance comp., they never asked why I needed physical therapy. I think because my doctor wrote a script for it, they are going to cover it. The therapist I’m seeing doesn’t have much experience with Diastasis but she did research and talked to other therapist. There is a therapist who works with patient with Diastasis but it would be about an 1hr drive for me. So she is telling my therapist what to do. They really can’t do much but show you what exercises to do and how to do them. I’m only going a couple more time because there is not much more she can do. The important thing is to learn the correct exercises and how to do them. If you do the wrong ones, you can make it worse. You might be able to find the exercise on line and do them at home. Or talk to your doctor to see if he knows any therapist. I really don’t think it matters much if they do or don’t have experience with Diastasis. Yes it helps if they do, but any good therapist, they will be able to help.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008, 11:45 AM
Repair of Diastasis
Has anyone else noticed that everyone who said they are having it repaired after their c said the same thing? Their OB said they would "try" to repair it. Doesn't sound to encouraging to me......Has anyone had it repaired? Did it really work? But please remember, we're not talking about a tear in the muscle. We are talking about the seporation of the muscle.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008, 11:56 AM
General response to several posts
Hello ladies! I have had the surgery and I am now the proud owner of one flat tummy and an innie! The procedure took about 2 and a half hours in all. They essentially extended my c section scar from hip to hip, lifted up m,y skin way up to the rib cage, sewed the muscles together from sternum to pubic area, reattached the umbilicus and removed excess skin.
It was pretty painful and I am still on meds, but if that is what is needed to aid recovery, then so be it. One thing is for sure - no more kids!! I confess, I do feel very optimistic about the recovery and end results. I will keep you all posted.
In response to some of the earlier posts:
Physiotherapy is a help but unlikely to bring the results you want if you have severe DR. My physio referred me to the plastics surgeons as this was her opinion. She used ultra sound to show me how far apart the muscles were and also to show how inactive they were as a result of being in the wrong place. The exercises do help to make the muscles stronger, and the Esbelt waist cincher has been an angel for me this past month (I am convinced it helped to reduced the gap too).
C section and dr /hernia repair - when I had my second daughter by c section, I did ask if they could tighted it all up whilst I was there on the table but they did say that would be best done by the plastics team. Also, the plastic team would normally wait for your hormones to return to normal as the presence of relaxin and other hormones could have an impact on your muscles moving together.
To Fee: my second daughter is almost 13 months old. I nursed her up until 1 June and went in the hernia repair and abdominoplasty on 2 June. Needless to say - I was was tearful at having to stop nursing. However, if you are going to be in hospital you need to be comfortable. The last thing you need is engorgement or mastisis on top of recovering from major surgery. Also, they give you alot of painkillers (morphine drip initially and then a combination of paracetemol, ibuprofen and codeine) which do pass into the breast milk. Not good for baby. Also, babies wriggle alot at this age and you would not want them to accidentally hurt you. So, if you plan to nurse up to the procedure, I suggest you reduce the feeds gradually to one feed every couple of days. Worked a treat for me!
To the lady whose hip has been popping out:
Please have this checked out as this may be more related to symphisis pubis dysfuntion than DR. Your women's health physio (those physiotherapists who deal with pre and post partum issues) would be the best to consult as midwives and doctors often dismiss the matter as "one of those things"!
To you all: this thread has been of great support to me. I hope my entries have been useful. I will continue to post to give you an insight into my recovery from surgery.
General comment: keep pushing back with your consultants and insurers. If the treatment is referred to as hernia repair you may stand a better chance of receiving treatment at a greatly reduced cost or fully covered. Be persistent as it can not hurt to ask!!
Good luck to you all
Wednesday, June 11, 2008, 12:13 PM
Physical Therapy for Diastasis
I went to physical therapy about 5 times, wore a stomach binders a couple of times and have already seen a difference. I try to do the exercises the therapy showed me every day but it doesn’t always happen. I use to be able to put two fingers in the split but now it’s only one. Now instead of looking pregnant, I just have a small pooch. One tip my therapist gave me was (which makes sense), don’t eat large meals.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008, 8:22 AM
Hi, my second baby 2 months old and I just found out that i I have DR. the separation is huge - 4 or 5 fingers. my doctors tell me that the only thing that might work (besides surgery) is wearing a girdle. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good girdle? I am planning to try some exercises too - are there any specific ones that have worked well for you gals?
I am a little pissed that they dont check for DR after pregnancies. i have a feeling i might have had a mild DR after the first pregnancy...
Friday, June 20, 2008, 7:20 PM
Diastasis Recti - some improvement
Hi, I posted 2 comments in October 2007 (17th and 26th). Since then I've been walking/running 2 miles 4-5 days a week. And I've been doing the stomach exercises on this website:
as well as the exercises in the Exercise after Pregnancy book. I've seen enough of an improvement that I no longer have people asking me if I'm pregnant anymore and I'm back to my pre-pregnancy size 4P. Realistically I still have a small bulge where my stomach is and a separation of the muscles, but it is much smaller and my intestines don't bulge out as much when I situp.
Sunday, June 22, 2008, 12:04 PM
I purchased my abdominal binder at www.bannertherapy.com. What's nice about it is, it's only 8" tall. Great for smaller people. And it was only $15.95. But don’t wear it all the time. You’ll get dependent on it and your muscle will become weaker. And never wear it to bed. One other thing my therapist told me was, crunches can make the opening larger. She taught me exercises using your legs to work your abdominal muscle. She also taught me some back exercises to straighten your entire core.
Monday, June 23, 2008, 1:11 PM
response to Diastasis Recti post June 20
I found the waist cincher by Esbelt (www.esbeltlingerie.com) was fantastic. I was 11 months post partum when I got it and I had been exercising regularly by then. My muscles were getting stronger but there was still a sizable gap. After wearing the cincher for a month, the gap was notably smaller. I still went through with the hernia repair surgery 3 weeks ago, but I know that they were able to pull the muscles together and close the gap without using a mesh. The previous poster was correct in that you should not wear it all the time. The maker advises you should wear it not more than 8 hours a day (I wore it when I went back to work as it enabled me to go straight back into my normal pre pregnancy clothes and boost my confidence). I also found that the exercises that I was doing became more effective as the muscles moved closer together so I guess there is a double benefit.
The cincher is a bit pricey at £50, but it also looks sexy - which let's face it, when you have DR pouch you need all the help you can get! I fully intend to wear it again every now and again as I felt fantastic (it also lifts the boobs too! Bonus!).
Re exercises, my physiotherapist advised Pilates as the best course of action. However, if you have a very large gap, the chance is no amount of exercise is going to close the gap completely (not my words - those of the surgeon!).
Tuesday, June 24, 2008, 1:00 PM
The doctors you consulted that told you the gab was big, did they examine you? What type of doctors were they? did they refer you to a therapist? i am very petite, i think i have it really bad, because i was able to fit both my hands in this gap. I noticed a difference after my first baby 7 years ago, but through excersize it didnt seem that bad, but i always stretched or pulled ab muscles, no one could help me figure it out. can you explain to me what kind of doctors seen you and how they examined you, so that i can get the therapy i need for the excess pain in my lower back and legs. plus i am feeling more and more like im pulling a muscle or a charlie horse in my gut.
Friday, June 27, 2008, 5:00 AM
I went to a general practitioner. I got lucky because he knew what it was and how to treat it. Every other doctor I went to said the only way to fix it is surgery. Ask your doctor to send you to therapy. I would print out a couple of these chats that say they have had success with therapy and bring them with you. As far as how you tell if you have it, lie on your back and do a crunch keeping your head up and your stomach sucked in. You should notice a gully or hole that you can put your fingers in and feel your insides and the sides of your stomach muscles. Then if you push your stomach out, it looks like a slug. At least this is what mine looks like. Since I started wearing a stomach binder and doing the correct exercises, I have seen a big difference. And I’ve only been doing this for about 2 – 3 weeks. To be honest, I don’t do the exercises as much as I should. I think it’s the binder that’s helping the most. My youngest just turned 3 and I have 4 kids.
Friday, June 27, 2008, 10:24 AM
I am a male and unfortunately I have this condition. Little is written that pertainins to me. Two surgeons advised me there is nothing that can be done to correct it. I have had it for two years and its effects are annoying and my shape is unlike anyone I know.
Thursday, July 03, 2008, 1:00 PM
Mommy with DR
Hi! Mommy of 3 here. My youngest is 15 months old. I too have DR which was diagnosed by my midwife (at my 1 yr PP papsmear) and then by my regular doctor (internal medicine specialist). Okay my midwife said just doing excercises will help it, thats all she said. And then my doctor said that I will definately have to get surgery to fix it. She did feel the gap, but didnt tell me exactly how big it was. I mentioned going to physical therapy, and she said that would definately NOT help, and I will have to have the surgery.
First I have to lose lots of weight. I have been working out for a while now, about 4 months. ((My daughter just had a liver transplant, so didnt have much time after she was born))
I know my stomach sticks out and it looks like I too am pregnant, about 4 mo's along! It is not so bad early in the morning, but after I eat throughout the day, it gets MUCH worse!
Just not sure what to do b/c I have my doctor telling me the ONLY way is surgery. Guess I need a 2nd opinion or something?!
Any suggestions? I
Thursday, July 03, 2008, 1:19 PM
Hi i m a mum of 3 and im 4 months post op following a tummy tuck and muscle repair, i was diagniosed with diastasis recti and diveration of the stomach in may 07.i qualified to have it done on the n.h.s. as it affected me very very badly but my results are not what i was expecting,my saggy " apron" of skin has gone but my buldge hasnt disappeared instead of looking 6 months pregnant like i did before i now look around 4 .im now waiting to get a reply from another p.s as i want a second opinion.when i went for my 1st check up following the surgery my p.s advised me to tone my stomach muscles up to which i started hitting the gym big style !! i even went on a calorie controlled diet aswell, all this training lasted for 11 weeks and i didnt lose a thing,nor did i see any difference with the size of my buldge,im very thin everywere else.
im still numb aswell following my surgery, and it annoys and upsets me so much when i look up other ladies who have had the same procedure done and got fantastic results, so i know it can be done,i didnt realise how common this problem is and it helps to know im not the only one,i wish everyone all the luck in the world into getting this heartbreaking condition fixed .
Tuesday, July 08, 2008, 5:49 AM
Surgery Before Next Pregnancy??
I've posted once before. Is it a good idea to get the surgery before getting pregnant again? Did this happen to anyone, and if so, what happened?
Also, I don't know why this type of procedure falls under plastic surgery. It's so more than that! Anyway, I'm so frustrated with my appearance. I can't really describe how I feel when I see other women who've had babies and they have super-flat tummies. There are no words for how I feel. To put it in the mildest way possible, I miss wearing clothes that don't make me look like I'm still pregnant or that I'm way overweight!
And, finally, can anyone recommend a good surgeon in Northern New Jersey? I would like to get a second opinion. Other surgeons I've been referred to don't even accept my insurance.
Thursday, July 10, 2008, 11:15 PM
Diastasis Recti Update
I started this thread in 2006 and have since done other things. Today, one of the peertrainer founders, who is in my team, told me this thread is #3 on google for the subject "diastasis recti," so I thought I should pop back in.
This is amazing. It is amazing to see how many of you have this problem and struggle with the same issues. It is encouraging to see a MAN on the list as well. And here is the next question: how do we get insurance companies' attention and start treating this like a real medical problem? It's so insulting to all of us that the insurance community thinks that we shouldn't need to fix this!
To update on myself: My daughter is 3 1/2. I have to wear a girdle every day or my guts fall out. The gap is not closing in at all, but I do not look pregnant or have a bulge any more. My belly button looks hilarious. And I still do not do abdominal exercises other than those prescribed by Tupler (www.maternalfitnes.com) . No chin ups or shoulder presses, either. I have terrible low back pain some days, I think because I have lost my musculature in my core. And I have a pinch in my hip, mostly because my alignment is off.
I hope all of you join my team and we can continue sharing and caring for this need.
Saturday, July 12, 2008, 8:16 AM
Hello everyone, I have just been diagnosed with this problem. I am in the beginning stages so i have not yet seen a ps. I am waiting for my doctor to write the referral. She basically told me it depends on the PS how he writes the codes into whether or not the insurance covers the problem or not. If anyone had a ps who knows what he is doing to get this cover please do post. DOES anyone have sexual problems because of this? I read self esteem, lack of motovation to do things, etc etc. But I do not want to be bothered half the time sexually.
Monday, July 21, 2008, 3:05 PM
I to have the same problem. I used to powerlift and over the last 6 years have gained roughly 35 pounds and noticed the bulge below my sturnum. Doctors first thought it was a hernia and then let me know the cause. Have you done anything yet?
Tuesday, July 22, 2008, 9:32 AM
Appealing Insurance on RD- thoughts to consider if you are planning on having the surgery
I too had the separation of the abdominal muscles- and went straight to Plastic Surgeon to have tummy tuck and ab repair when after five years from a pregnancy where I gained 65 lbs and delivered a 10 lb beautiful baby- I continued to have back pains.
I have been tiurned down, have appealled, have had my appeal rejected- and I am sending in my last administrative appeal this week. My next choice is to go into Federal court.
For those that are interested in surgery- and I highly recommend it- there were two things that my insurance company used ot deny benefits. First, I did not have a history of going ot the Dr. complaining of back and Ab pain. I knew what th eproblem was- and I was keeping the pian under control with over the counter (motrin, etc). Why waste money- I thought. Worng thought. If you are havig pain- start a history of reporting this to your doctor.
A;lso- my surgeon used a code for the "tummy tuck" which is removal of excess skin. IN his notes afterweards, he confirms the diastasis- but the indurace company kepts missing this. Talk to you Dr.'s billing person to make sure aproper code is used.
When men can get their torn ACls and meniscus fixed because they took a bad fall in abasketball game- but women cannot get their abs sewn back up because we are having babies- there is something wrong here.
Monday, August 04, 2008, 6:37 PM
Appealing insurance person;
Thank you. You are diving into a world that needs attention. Please keep us updated on your progress. We are thinking about doing an article on this for the fitness section. Perhaps you could help.
It's good to know that I need to tell my doctor about back pain, etc, because I, too, don't mention it any more. A paper trail would help, I imagine.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008, 1:45 PM
Can anyone explain further what/where exactly this "hole" or tear is? I've been reading these posts and I'm so glad to find that there are others with the same issues I've been dealing with. Mine came on a little differently...my youngest is 11 and my protruding belly came several years after she was born. I believe its b/c my stomach muscles were so damaged (terrible stretch marks, you wouldn't believe) and I kept trying to tighten my muscles with crunches and other ab exercises. I guess I just made things worse. No I'm 11 YEARS postpartum and look 6 months pregnant. I am having serious digestive issues and pain/spasms, esp. when i try and work my ab muscles. Not to mention the self-esteem issues related to it all. My husband is great and "loves me anyway" but it really does affect everyday life!! THIS NEEDS TO BE COVERED BY INSURANCE! Clothes not fitting, constant discomfort, digestive issues, ugh. PLEASE write your congressperson and tell them that insurance companies need to step up and cover these womens issues. I'm having the surgery, but I will probably have to work two jobs to do so. I can't deal with this getting worse. I'm going back to my GI doc and seeing if she can't help me get the surgery. Love to hear from others who've had success.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008, 10:23 PM
Glad to find you ladies!
I really can't thank you all enough for posting here. I stumbled on this board after a year of wondering what the heck was wrong with me after having my 8lb 7oz daughter. I am 5'3 and 118 lbs, I am a pretty small person but my stomach looks like I'm 4 months pregnant and sags like crazy. I work out 2 hours a day 5x a week. I have had horrible back pain and when my daughter (now age 1) stepped on my stomach and I had a pain that almost sent me to the hospital, I decided it was time to go to the doc. FINALLY I know what it is and oh my gosh, I want it gone. Does anyone else have stabbing pain when so much as the cat walks across your tummy?
My hubby and I have decided that I will be getting the surgery (unless of course the excersizes help) but will not be doing it until we are finished having children.
I wish you all the best of luck. I will be on here often to see how you are all doing.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008, 10:15 PM
Julie Tupler is THE authority on this. I sent her an email and she is supposed to call me when she gets back to the states (she is in Europe right now). If she can help me really understand all of it and then educate the public, we can hopefully start healing quicker.
Here's to hope. I'll keep you posted.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008, 10:09 PM
i agree with lady who wrote about this problem with the insurance companies regarding the diastasis recti (torn tummy muscles) i tooo have this problem and cant get no help to cover the surgery. i was with husband for 11 years and we finally started having kids 6 years in relationship. well he was killed in wreck and i was 3 months pregnant with second child. time has past and now thinking i need male figure in home for kids and for me. well it is hard to find new mate looking so disqusting. i have problems with going to beach or swimming with kids due to how i look now. i feel i am short changing my kids enjoyment of life due to this issue. i went last week on consultation regarding fixing this hideous problem and find that there nothing i can do till i done having babies thus i am suppose to find a man looking as i do and want to remain able to provide him with children if he desires after then i can have surgery. i not know a man that would want me looing as i do. i learned alot at this consultation. doctor informed me i can diet and exercise till i drop and will never loose the weight in stomach. he also say the stem cells in the tummy are working against my body thus u cannot loose the weight. these stem cells release chemical in body that works against the weightloss efforts. it slows pancreas ability to regulate sugars and so forth in the body. thus u will not loose the hideous tummy. i find tummy tuck is only to be performed once due to how much u can stretch the skin so u must have the babies done with before surgery. i feel i am soooooo scrrewed. with all this my depression has increased and i have quit even worrying with watching what i eat, and exercise, i mean why worry with it so for all insurance compnies guess what that means! more bad health and more health problems and more hospitalization etc. so it is more beneficial to cover this surgery. they would save more money in long run. also i have read in my research this problem can be fatal if intestine gets trapped in this tear in the muscle!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, August 29, 2008, 9:16 AM
i just found out that i have dr and i have had severe gastro intestinal problems, my lower back is always hurting, the bulge hurts when it is touched, i feel nausiated after i eat, and have had a couple of fainting spells since my baby was born a little over 2 months ago. i still look like i am 5 or 6 months pregnant. this is my 5th child and i don't think that i had it before this pregnancy.
we all need to stand up to these idiotic insurance companies. this is clearly not a cosmetic issue.
this is very disheartening to find all of these people that have had no luck with exercises and other methods of fixing this problem. i naively thought that it must be covered by insurance, because as someone mentioned my intestines are bulging out of my body!
if anyone has had luck with getting their insurance to cover it, let me know how it was done, because it sounds rather fruitless to try any of these videos or going to a phys therapist, when it seems it doesn't help
Saturday, August 30, 2008, 1:10 AM
pregnancy, surgery, pt, men too
Hi. I haven't checked in for several months. I am now 8 months pregnant. I cannot tell you how annoying it is that every single day, seriously, people stop me and ask me when I am due and when I say November, their eyes bulge out and then they ask if I am having twins. Long before I was ever pregnant with my first, 4 years ago, I used to work out a lot and I had a separation then. It didn't look like it does now. I had the 6-pack abs and my GI noticed it when I asked him why I get a little bulge in my rib cage after I eat. To the man with this - it can be from working out or also from being overweight. I have heard of the condition in men as well. With my first pregnancy and this one, I have looked further along than I am. This time is sooo much worse. It is a low hanging belly and there is no muscle protecting the baby, so he is easily felt with hands on the belly. I have had lower back pain since this pregnancy started. Walking is a challenge. I can't sleep at night. I've looked pregnant for 4 years now, but I know after this one it will be even worse. I have a hernia as well. My OB wants me to have both repaired by surgeons, not her. A word on doctors - I have been to both male and female OBs and the men have either not known what it was or just blew it off. From my experience, it was only women who could even tell me what was wrong with me. Even a male general surgeon didn't acknowledge the diastasis and pretty much laughed at my vanity. Someone asked about sex - well, I certainly don't wear anything that reveals my belly for the event. I have only been married 5 years and I have lingerie that I will never wear until it's repaired. I'm terrified to have the surgery. I was told to wait at least 2 months after I have the baby for the hormones to go back to normal. I will wait until I"m done breastfeeding, which will hopefully be a year. If you have a large DR or a DR and a hernia, no amount of exercise will get rid of it. My OB couldn't sew me back together during a c-section if I wanted her to b/c there is also a hernia there. I went to physical therapy for 6 months and wore the abdominal binder (from a surgical supply store) and although it went down, that only lasted as long as I kept up with the daily exercises. It is not permanent and once I stopped, it all came back again. It never even left completely. I would not be caught dead in a bikini. It has affected my life and my life with my child (as another person mentioned). Other than my own pool and only with my husband and daughter, I will not go to a pool. I won't have a pool party at my house. My daughter's friend is getting a pool and I don't know how I will avoid taking her swimming there next summer. I never did mommmy & me swimming with her and now she won't take lessons on her own. I can't wear anything normal when I'm not pregnant. I'm even relieved to be pregnant b/c at least I have an excuse for why I look like I do now. I do not want to tell strangers my medical history, so I deal with the constant questions about the due date and the twins. I was planning to start wearing my abdominal binder as soon as I deliver the baby (c-section). Has anyone done this? The maternity stores sell "postpartum support", which I have never used. Have any of you? I would think the binder might be better for those of us with a DR, but it is pretty snug and might rub on the incision. Good luck to all!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008, 1:41 PM
I first posted about a year ago when I first found this great site. I can so reate to every one. I also look 5 months pregnant 2and a half years after my last child. i am always being asked if I am pregnant again. My diastasis started 10 years ago after my first pregnancy and got worse after each pregnancy. I also developed an umbilical hernia, so my abdomin looked very strange. I consulted a Plastic surgeon and first had my hernia repaired which made my bellon button look better but made no change to my belly bulge. I am now booked for theatre in october to have my abdominal muscles repaired. I can't wait ! My biggest fear is that after the surgery I will still look pregnant. I live in Australia and this surgery is covered by health insurance. My plastic surgeon was very aware of this problem is women after pregnancy and was able to show me great results in other patients he had operated on. My advice to every one is to make a consutation with a plastic surgeon to discuss an abdominoplasty or repair of difacation of the rectis muscle. He said no amount of exercise would fully repair this problem. I will keep you all posted on the results and the recovery.
Friday, September 12, 2008, 7:42 AM
My youngest child is 5 and I have spent the past 5 years trying to figure out why I have such severe back pain. I have been to ever doctor out there and still I am in sever pain. I was recently told by a Physical Therapist I have a Diastisis. The stomach exercises they prescribed don't seem to help. My back hurts so much all the time. Any suggestions? I am too young to be in so much pain. Help!
Saturday, September 13, 2008, 11:35 PM
Diastasis during pregnancy!
Fee I am SO GLAD you are updating!! I have been following your posts and I look foward to reading your updates!
I have DR pretty bad. Not sure of the exact gap..But anyways I have had 3 children in 4 years, and got it after my 3rd because A) 15 months apart from my 2nd, B) she was 9lbs 3oz! So here I am...17 months later after having her, and PREGNANT!
I am SO SO SO SCARED! I have looked about 3-4 mo's pregnant sinve i've had her and tried the right excercises etc, nothing worked. My stomach is rather flat in the morning but as the day goes on, WOAH it starts to poof out more and after I eat dinner, I have a little ache right around my belly button area :( I have never noticed really any digestive issues, but the BURNING and ACHING around my belly button at nite after dinner really bothers me. But I wake up int he A.M. and tummy is 'flatter' again.
I am around 7 weeks pregnant and feel big already! I am going to be just like you Fee I think, and I am NOT looking foward to all of the comments people will make! I am SO scared though that something will happen to ME or BABY during the pregnancy b/c of the DR...? I mean with your intestine protruding like that and baby not covered by as much muslce, couldnt this all cause complications?! I will see my OB for the first visit THIS Thursday. I am just scared they would suggest terminating the pregnancy if im putting our lives in danger at all?
Also, do you HAVE to have a C-section being pregnant with DR? I wonder if its required.. I had a csection with my first and two successful VBACS with my last 2. I really would not want my last and final baby to be a C-section :(
Anyways Fee, or anyone else if you have advice or any comforting words about this, i would appreciate it. I am terrified!!!
Monday, September 15, 2008, 10:18 PM
DR for 3+ years
I stumbled across this and am so glad that I did. I had my third child 3 years ago and still look like I am 6 months pregnant. I find myself looking at women with babies in the store and wondering how did they get their stomachs flat. Sit ups seem to do nothing and in fact, my stomach ends up hurting as a result of it. (not muscle soreness, but my actual stomach). Does PT really work? Anyone try the belly bands so far after the birth? I'm really starting to feel like this is rediculous!! I am shocked that this isn't covered by insurance?!? It seems to me that it is a complication from pregnancy and a medical condition not the result of poor eating habits or something like that.
Monday, September 15, 2008, 10:55 PM
DR & Insurance
I have been following this thread almost from the beginning and have, over the course of a year-plus, read every single thread. First off, some encouragement from Carly--I carried my second baby with a huge diastasis and now I am 18 weeks pregnant with my third and the diastasis is still huge and there. My gynocologist is one of the top 10 doctors in Washington State and she says it's nothing to be worried about. If your doctor tells you otherwise, go get a second opinion for sure and possibly a new doctor. And if your doctor even hints at termination because of the DR, drop that doctor like a stick of lit dynamite--there is absolutely no reason to terminate a pregnancy simply due to a diastasis. The worst thing that will probably happen to you is that you will get a really big belly while you are pregnant. That happened to me in my second pregnancy, Fee is experiencing it now, and I am coming into the "big belly phase" myself in my third pregnancy. People regularly asked me at the end of my last pregnancy if I was carrying triplets. And learned to fudge my due date so when people ask me when I'm due, I just say, "In a few weeks." Never mind that fact that "few" could mean eight weeks or more!
I also have tried the physical therapy exercises (I posted about the Carolyne Anthony DVD a while back). While I am grateful for all the work that Ms. Anthony has put into diastasis research, her exercises didn't help heal my diastasis. I would definitely not say they aren't worth doing, though, because I think that the exercises strengthened my muscles and kept the DR from becoming worse. I am noticing that my stomach isn't growing nearly as rapidly this pregnancy (meaning that I looks a week or two bigger than normal instead of a month bigger than normal!). Julie Tulper's exercises were the same for me--helped to strengthen, did nothing to heal. The women out there who were helped by physical therapy were very lucky, I think. I have resigned myself to having surgery when I am done having kids.
Surgery is actually the main reason I went to post. Like all of you, I think it is absolutely atrocious that medical insurance does not routinely cover DR repair. It's not that my stomach isn't as flat as the latest Hollywood starlet; my body is broken and needs to be fixed--that's why I have insurance! I went to see my gynocologist for a normal pregnancy check up, and she was out of town. A cosmetic gynecologist (or something similar) was taking her place and she was REALLY sympathetic and helpful when I asked her about her DR. As a doctor, she was really frustrated that insurance companies refuse to see DR as a problem that needs fixing. She told me that the key to getting my DR surgery covered by insurance was being diagnosed by a doctor as having a health issue due to the DR, and finding a plastic surgeon that will work with you and fight with you against the insurance company and will use a diagnosis code for the surgery that is covered by insurance. A regular "tummy tuck" diagnosis code is not covered by insurance; the surgeon needs to bill the insurance company with a different code for a procedure the insurance will cover. Several people have said similar things in previous posts and some lucky women have had no problems getting their insurance to cover their surgeries. If you are one of those women, could you help the rest of us out and find out what billing code your doctor used? Then we could pass that information on to our doctors and get these procedures covered by insurance as they rightly should be!
I am planning on having four kids (carrying #3 right now) so I won't be getting surgery for a while, but I am already trying to be as proactive as possible about gathering information, doctor's names, insurance information (like billing codes), etc, so that when the time comes I am as prepared as I can be to get the insurance company to cover my surgery. Previous posters have convinced me that it is possible, it's just that everything has to be presented just-so to the insurance claims department.
Hang in there, ladies! I believe hope is out there. :)
Saturday, September 20, 2008, 1:17 AM
Carly/Laura & all
Carky, I'm happy someone out there is interested in my story. Please, don't worry. Your baby is safe with the diastasis. It's weird. People think I have a huge baby in there and when I go to the dr and she feels my belly, she shows me where he is (since there is no muscle) and says he's small. This has been the most uncomfortable pregnancy. I would love to have more children. There are many reasons I probably won't, but I have also thought about how huge I would be with each additional pregnancy. Vanity is not one of the reasons, of course, just something I've thought about. Laura, I fudged my due date all the time. Even now, I say I have 5 weeks left, which I do, and people look at me with surprise. They say they would think it was this week. The other day, I bumped into a guy who used to work in my office building and he asked me when I am due and at first, I lied by only one week, then I told the truth, then I just started laughing. Then, I said "I'm just huge" and he laughed. Sometimes, if I get to know a person, I will explain my "issue", but it's not something I announce to every stranger or even aquaintance who asks me about the baby. Some people just yell out "That's a boy!" when I walk past them in the street. I swear, people have never been so curous about my life. It's nice that people want to talk to me when I'm pregnant, but I know when it's over nobody will ever ask so many questions about my life again. Especially now, looking the way I do, it's really a daily thing with people I don't even know asking me about my due date, the sex of the baby, how I'm feeling... I'm terrified to have the surgery, but I will do it after I'm done breastfeeding. The drs said it has to be at least 2 months after the birth. I'm hoping to nurse for one year, but we'll see how that works out. I'm hanging on to some of the maternity clothes in case I look ridiculous in anything else. There is a TV show here, Dr. 90210, about cosmetic surgery. Do any of you watch it? I watched an episode last night with a woman getting a tummy tuck. Her belly didn't look half as bad as mine. It was hard to watch the procedure. I've had a general surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon recommended to me by my ob-gyn. My previous ob-gyn recommended the same 2 drs. They all work at the same hospital. Other than that, I don't know anything about them. I don't know anyone who has had either surgery where I live (long island, ny). I really hope I choose good drs. I don't like the thought of having anesthesia and major surgery. Carly, you don't have to have a c-section. I am choosing to, but the dr said it was up to me. Also, my intestine protrudes too. At first, it was uncomfortable sometimes and I would have some tenderness in my belly button area. Now I don't. It's just been a very big, low hanging, heavy belly. I do get back pains, but I think it's also from the way I sleep. I end up falling asleep practically sitting up sometimes. I get groin pains when I get up from bed and sometimes sitting. I think it's from the weight of the belly and it being so low. Congratulations on your pregnancy! You have nothing to worry about other than looking even more pregnant after, which is what we are all dealing with here.
Thursday, September 25, 2008, 2:04 PM
i consulted a plastic surgeon and she said that if you have a hernia in addition to the diastasis recti, then insurance HAS to cover it. a hernia is considered a "medical condition", whereas diastasis recti alone is not.
Saturday, September 27, 2008, 1:24 PM
Diastasis repair during c-section
because a c-section is a low transverse incision, the repair can only be done below the belly button during a c-section. my ob was going to do my 'repair' too. but upon further examination, my ob and the plastic surgeon i consulted told me because of the severity of my DR(all the way up to my sternum) a full repair could not be done during the cesarean, it's not the right kind of incision for upper abdominal DR. however, if you have a hernia in addition to DR your insurance has to cover the repair because hernia is considered a "medical condition". after my daughter is weaned i am going to get the plastic surgeon to do the full repair.
Saturday, September 27, 2008, 2:39 PM
Laura & Fee
Laura and Fee thank you for responding to my post. I am so happy to have support here for DR during pregnancy! I am very nervous about the HUGE belly I am going to have.
Have either one of you looked into a maternity belt/suspenders at all? I know I have seen them online somewhere, and I KNOW I will need something to help hold my tummy up! I already have back pain anyways, and well SWAY BACK runs in my family, and I have a touch of that! So my back is already hurting half the time and I will be so bad off once my baby belly gets much bigger!
I too plan on having the surgery once baby is done breastfeeding. This is our 4th and FINAL baby! I am glad the DR didnt get bad until after my 3rd, that is the only UP side to this whole thing. That way we were able to have 4. But I too am worried about finding the right surgeons for the DR. Maybe I'll have some form of a hernia by then too so that way it can be put down as that and insurance will cover it!
Anyways, thanks again guys!
Saturday, September 27, 2008, 6:07 PM
Hernias and DR
Oooh, I never thought I would be happy to have a hernia, but I DO have an umbilical hernia...that may be my ticket, but I still maintain that it's important to find doctors who are sympathetic and willing to work with you. If you are choosing a plastic surgeon, make sure they are accredited and not another type of doctor who switched over to plastic surgery (apparently that is legal). Do a Google search for "plastic surgery" and you will find lots of good information. I am loving all the specific, clear, helpful information that everyone has posted lately. Thank you! For those of you who do have the surgery, even if it is a year from now, make sure to tell us how it went! Let's keep helping each other out.
Monday, September 29, 2008, 4:58 PM
hernias, DR, maternity
My ob offered to sew my muscle somewhat after my c-section. From what I've read here, it seems that won't be possible? My DR is pretty high up too, but she has seen it many times. She said it won't be the results of a tummy tuck, but it will be a little better. She also told me to wear my ab binder after the c-section. I guess I'll see what happens.
I'm glad to hear that insurance covers the DR with a hernia, but I was told (4 years ago) that it would only cover the anesthesia for both, but not the surgery. I will look into it further when the time comes.
Carly, I had back problems in the beginning too. They are not horrible now, but I still have them a little. I did buy a maternity belt, but it didn't do anything and I returned it. I've seen some with straps that are pretty big, but since it was summer, I didn't want to wear all of that. Plus, I'm almost done now (4 weeks left, so I'll just go without it). The problem for me is that my belly is soooo low. I lift it up with my hands to get comfortable. My back really isn't too bad, but it would be nice to have the belly higher. Everyone thinks I've dropped, but it's been low all along. My back hurt much more in the beginning for some reason. You can give a belt a try. If you look on the Babies R Us website, women review the products and you can see which they liked the best (it was the contraption with all of the straps on it). Good luck!
Sunday, October 05, 2008, 8:45 AM
Does anyone with DR notice a huge increase in Gas? I have had it for over a year after delivering my near 9 pound little boy. More importantly, does anyone know why this may happen? Then after some "release" of gas there is pressure relief. Could this be related to the DR?
Wednesday, October 08, 2008, 7:16 PM
DR and hernias - insurance coverage
I have two children - my last at age 41 - and I am now over 50. I wish my doctor had clued me in to the DR issue before the birth of my first, as I might have been able to take some preventative measures -- such as serious abdominal conditioning and weight control before and after both pregnancies. It's amazing how little attention is paid to this issue by OB/gyns. Yes, I know their first priority is the health of the mom and baby, but think of how many healthy babies are born to healthy moms (a blessing!) and how many moms are so grateful for this that they don't even think about things like DRs etc., because these have historically been thought of as minor issues that women should just deal with on their own.
But as we can see from this web site, a lot of us are suffering silently with this condition, while the male-dominated medical/insurance industry perpetuates the notion that correcting the problem surgically is 100% a cosmetic issue. I don't know about you, but if it were purely cosmetic, I probably wouldn't consider it, with or without insurance. It looks like pretty scary stuff compared to other types of cosmetic surgery. I think the term "tummy tuck" is almost an insult to those who elect to have it, as it understates the seriousness of the procedure and the recovery time.
All of this aside, the real reason for my post is that I was diagnosed with an abdominal hernia a few months back, in addition to the DR. When I consulted a reputable general surgeon (to whom I was referred by my GP) II was told that, while it is not mandatory to have the hernia repair immediately, it would be advisable to have it as soon as practicable to avoid the risk of complications that might arise from it, which could result in a medical emergency. However, when I asked if the hernia repair could be done at the same time as an abdominoplasty (scientific name for "tummy tuck") the doctor advised that he would rather "stage" the surgeries -- that is, perform the hernia repair first, and later refer me to a plastic surgeon for the abdominoplasty to be scheduled after the hernia repair had time to heal. I was also informed that, even when both procedures are performed at the same time, the plastic surgeon's fee for the abdominal work would not be covered by insurance. So the benefits to be achieved by combining the procedures would be that I would only have to undergo surgery and general anesthesia once (a big one!) and that much of the hospital bill would be covered -- but only for the hernia repair itself. For example, if the hernia repair took 1 hour, and the 2nd procedure took 2, then I suspect this would mean insurance might cover one third of the anesthesiology bill, and so on.
I know this is way too complicated, but that is what I was told. The bottom line is that most insurance companies will not cover anything outside the scope of the "hernia repair" itself, unless the DR correction can be proven to be medically necessary and not purely cosmetic. So back to what many have said in earlier postings -- do what you can to document the medical problems caused by the DR, and have your surgeon try to categorize and bill accordingly. But keep in mind that some companies are extremely stubborn on this point. Based on what people have said, it seems there are variations in how companies interpret this. But it is usually worth the effort to make your doctor aware of your symptoms, medications used, etc. Hope this helps.
My next step is to try and find a medical group that specializes in the whole spectrum of abdominal issues rather than to a general surgeon who only focuses on hernia repair. My concern is that the latter is the best person for the hernia procedure due to his/her experience and expertise -- that's why I think a medical center with plastic surgeons that work along with the general surgeons might be the best bet.
Does anyone have an experience to share about having a double procedure -- hernia repair plus abdominoplasty?
Tuesday, October 14, 2008, 12:40 PM
Exercise that improved my stomach
I made 3 previous posts, October 17, 2007, October 26, 2007, and June 22, 2008. Since then I have kept up my walking/running to about 3 times a week now, my diet is the same as in June, the only difference is that in the past 2 1/2 months I've tried Barry's Bootcamp resistance training. I have to admit that I was very skeptical and assumed my belly wouldn't go down anymore than from the cardio exercises and the stomach exercises I was doing before. My stomach amazingly has gone down another 2 inches!!! I think that the way it works is that so many of his exercises work your CORE. Even when you are doing upper body exercises you are working your ABS. I still have a little belly on me and I still have a diastasis, but its smaller. I have also been getting a lot of compliments by people who have not seen me for a few months on how good I look. If anyone is interested in trying it out too, I'd love to hear if you have the same results. I've tried several of the Mommy DVDs that specialize in post-pregnancy workouts and even though they decreased my stomach, the Barry's Bootcamp has made the most significant difference in just my ABS area in 2 1/2 months.
Please try it out and let me know. I purchased it after I watched it on TV. Here's their internet site:
Also, just remember what all the Mommy post-pregnancy DVDs had mentioned about the type of abdominal exercises to do and not to do when you have a diastasis. I took Barry's DVD and either skipped some AB exercises or adapted them for my diastasis so that I was not doing a twisting motion.
Please let me know if you've tried it and have success. I hope this helps other Mom's who have continued to have people ask if they are pregnant again when they aren't...
Thursday, October 16, 2008, 1:53 PM
I'm a circus freak!
I am now 37.5 weeks pregnant. I went for my final sono and check up. I saw a dr in the group who I've never met. First, the sonographer said she had never seen a belly like mine at the end of a pregnancy. Then, I saw the dr & a nurse who were both amazed by my belly and the fact that they could see not only the blood vessels of my uterus through my skin, but the baby himself! They were feeling around and said "there's his foot", "there's his butt"... Then, the dr called in a medical student to show him! She wanted to see if he noticed anything "unusual" about my belly. Then, the dr scared me and said I should not drive at all at this point and if I am in a car, I need to be in the back seat with a seat belt. She said the trauma to the baby if I get into an accident...(she never finished the sentence). She said there is nothing protecting him since there is no muscle there. Anyway, none of the other drs told me not to drive, but I can see why she said this. I thought I would share my humiliating experience with those who have been on here along with me.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 8:36 PM
Ouch! My heart goes out to all of you sufferers out there. I am a 50 year old male, and I was diagnosed with DR just last month after experiencing chest pains and ulcer-like upper stomach pains. A surgeon told me that surgery at this point would cause more discomfort than the condition (I have no pain), and that I needn't avoid heavy activities (I farm and cut firewood during my time off).
While I've since lost 22 pounds by abstaining from alcohol and eating much smaller portions several times throughout the day, my stomach still protrudes up to about the middle of my chest. Since I'm just a guy, I don't experience the same loss of self esteem that others may feel.
Perhaps because I've only recently been diagnosed, my condition is mild and not equivalent to the level of suffering many of you are experiencing. But I'm glad I found this site, and I wish all of you the best in finding your answers.
Thursday, October 30, 2008, 6:37 PM
DR and Hernia Repair
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DR and Hernia repair
I have just had an abdominoplasty to repair my DR. The result is fantastic! For 10 years now I have had this "Baby Bulge" that has made me look 5 months pregnant. I was regularly asked if I was pregnant, I have had to dress in clothes to hide my belly. I have had three children, the DR gradually getting worse with each pregnancy. My stomach is now flat. I have been wearing tight fitting tops and can't believe how I look when looking side on! I too had an umbilical hernia that was repaired a year ago. The plastic surgeon who did the abdominoplasty said the hernia needed to be done first as during the abdominoplasty they move the belly button and reattach it, so the hernia needs to be repaired and healed for the sucsesful resullt of the abdominoplasty. I have a wound that goes from hip to hip where they removed skin and gained access to the muscles to sow them up. (My DR was high so my wound is a bit higher than normal. won't be wearing a bikini, but haven't worn one in 10 years any way so don't mind !) Pain has been fine, controlled with regular oral medication. I am in Australia and both my operations were covered by Health Insurance as they both have item numbers. My advice to any one out there frustrated with the body image of their DR, if you have finished having babies consult a recognised Plastic Surgon and consider an abdomnoplasty. It has only been 4 weeks since the operation but I am over the moon with the results.
Monday, November 03, 2008, 1:41 AM
A Question for Mary Ann Who Just Posted
Hello Mary Ann,
Thanks for sharing your story - and congratulations on your success!
I am hoping to have surgery to repair my DR this summer. I am worried about the recovery time, however. My husband will be able to take 2 weeks off from work to help me. Then I am on my own with my son, who will be @ 25 months this summer. Do you think 2 weeks is enough? Can you tell me about your recovery and how it proceeded? Thank you!!!!
Monday, November 03, 2008, 9:47 AM
To the lady having an abdominoplasty this summer.
I think you will be fine having your husband for 2weeks. I found by 2 weeks I was coping well with running the family home with a little bit of planning. I was able to drive to get to the supermarket and could get the children ready for school and do light house work. My husband did the heaver house work on week ends ( Vaccuming and washing ). My 2 year old was aware that mummy had a sore tummy( I showed him my dressing on my tummy ) so he realised mummy could not pick him up. I found the hardest things changing his nappy and getting him in his car seat. As you know 2 year olds don't always do as they are told so you just need to plan to have pleaty of time to get in the car and to change nappies! The good thing now is he still says "mummy your tummy sore" and doesn't even ask to be picked up. He climes into his car seat by himself and doesn't struggle to much when I change his nappy.
It is now 5 weeks since the op and all is well. I get tired by the evening, and feel it will take a while to get my fittness back. I am back at work and moving really well. My wound has healed well. There is still a bit of swelling but the results look great.
You will be fine, believe me it will be worth the discomfort. One bit of advice is to take something for your bowels. With all the medication, lack of exercise, and change of diet your bowels can bind up.I had a bad case of constipation and because you can't use your abdominal muscles to push it can become extremely uncomfortable, infact that was the worst part of the whole experience for me.
Thursday, November 13, 2008, 5:08 AM
2nd abdominalplasty.. with d.r
hi there i last wrote on july 8 2008 telling you id had an abdominalplasty but the results wasnt what i was hoping for!! well ive just had another abdominalplasty 5 days ago as my last one when they tightened my muscles i was still left with a buldge.. that was because the stitches inside from my last muscle repair had snapped..so even now i can see a difference ,from last time..and hopefully it wont happen again as the surgeon said hopefully that it wont happen but theres always the risk it does..as my muscles were so weak, i totally agree with mary ann anyone considering an abdominalplasty with muscle repair get it done.. good luck..x lisa..
Sunday, November 16, 2008, 8:35 AM
had the baby
Hi. I had my baby 2 weeks ago via c-section. I was on the table for a very long time. The dr called in a surgeon to look at my hernia. He could not fix it at the time b/c he said it looked complicated and I should come to his office in 2 months. My ob-gyn sewed my muscle back together. It's only been 2 weeks, but I still have the bulge. She said the bulge is from the hernia, not the muscle. Well, I don't really know the point of sewing it back together in that case. The pain was horrible during the recovery. I'm dreading having the tummy tuck and hernia repair. I really don't think I can stand that kind of pain again. Is it worse than recovery from a c-section? I can't lift anything for 6 weeks. How long after that surgery are you told not to lift anything? I was given an abdominal binder in the hospital and I'm still wearing it at home most of the time. I was wearing it lower than my bulge, over my incision. Really, I think the bulge looks the same as before. Also, since my muscle has been sewn, I would think I'm not supposed to get pregnant again. I'm not planning on it, but I did turn down the tubal ligation just in case and now I'm thinking that I really shouldn't get pregnant anyway if my muscle has been sewn. Does anyone know if having this done already affects having it done by a cosmetic surgeon in the future? How would he sew it a second time? Thanks and I really appreciate everyone's comments on here. It's the only place I've found where people have this condition.
Monday, November 17, 2008, 3:39 PM
Move to canada
Im so glad I never have to worry about anything like this. I love our neighbour country america and Im proud to be neibours but man I could never live with the anxiety of the health system
Monday, November 17, 2008, 4:50 PM
Wow, this is so sad!
Wow! I just found out not too long ago that I have this condition also. The sad thing is I am only 25 years old and it makes me cry that I have to walk around like this. I have a 5 year old and that prgnancy went well my stomach went right down and now I just had my 2nd baby in June and she ended up being 9 lbs 10 oz (my 1st was 8 lbs 11 oz).
I wonder why no one ever told us about this. I feel so helpless because surgery is really not an option for me and after reading the majority of these posts exercising is not going to help with the flatness. I heard that the DVD (link below) is one of the best with helping this condition. I'm going to try it anyway and I will let you guys know how it works. At least I'm already married!
Good Luck Everyone!
Monday, November 17, 2008, 9:12 PM
HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN?
Hi everyone Im so sorry to hear about these problems, I dont have any children yet and im wondering how this happens? Is there anything you can do to prevent it?
Monday, November 17, 2008, 9:54 PM
Wow, I'm so glad I found this thread. I have it as well and my 2nd child just turned two. I've lost weight (and want to lose another 10-15 lbs) but my tummy!!!!! I've often been told that you show earlier in your second and later pregnancies...well that's b/c your abs never got back together from the first pregnancy (for some people). The "mummy tummy" thing did not work for me although I did not give it my all, admittedly. I will keep trying. If you don't have children yet, I would just say keep your transverse ab muscles as strong as you can NOW. I can't wait to finish reading the prior postings. Thank you.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 12:47 PM
I don't have this problem, but would like to provide a little food for thought:
While pregnancy is the usual cause of separation of the abdominal muscles, it can happen to anyone. My very thin bf had a small tear, that slowly got (a little) larger. He got it fixed. When I expressed surprise that his insurance had covered it, he said something to the effect of, "Of course it did! There was a little lump of fat sticking out!"
(Yes, I am talking about the United States, not Canada or Australia.)
LOL, right? ONE little blob. So how come insurance will cover this (certainly cosmetic, in his case) surgery for him, while so many women are expected to suck it up?
Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 1:04 PM
I've had this problem for some time now.
In addition, I have very poor digestion and abdominal pain and feel lots of pressure in the stomach area.
Does anyone else experience this?
I've been to a plastic surgeon and will probably have the surgery, but wonder if anyone out there can tell me if the pain improved after surgery.
Any responses will be welcomed. I really want to feel better!!!
Thursday, November 20, 2008, 10:31 AM
Mary Ann - Australia
Hi Mary Ann,
Where are you in Australia? I am in Melbourne...if you are too, would you please post the name of your plastic surgeon? I am ready for a consultation.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 6:40 AM
I have poor digestion too...I've had to do so many dietary changes to help my gut. I take probiotics and digestive enzymes daily, and I don't eat any grains or dairy. It's difficult, but otherwise I'm in terrible pain from food and my stomach is HUGE. It isn't as big when I eat this way.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 6:43 AM
Plastic Surgeon- Melbourne
Hi to person in Melbourne with DR,
I am in Geelong and my plastic surgeon only operates in Geelong, but I can highly recommend him. His name is Peter Callan. You can read about the procedure on his web site.
Monday, December 01, 2008, 3:05 AM
Which belly binder do you recommend?
I'm so glad I found this thread. I thought I'm the only misrable person with DR.
I tried physiotherapy for 4 months, and it doesn't seem to improve my DR. My belly grew more since I delivered (twins, 6 months ago). Now in good days I look 5-6 months pregnant
I would like to get a recommendation for a good belly binder. I tried some that were either too soft or firm, or ones that were too "high" and put a lot of pressure on my chest, especially when I sat. Any recommenation?
I do hope that at least it will put my intestines back so my digestion will be better
Tuesday, December 30, 2008, 2:04 AM
Yoga Therapy and Chiro helped my DR
I can completely relate to all of your comments.
I have a 4 and 2 year old with DR arriving in the 2nd pregnancy. And yes, I too still look 4 months pregos. However, I no longer suffer from the front or back pain, elimination problems, loss of energy when simply walking, etc. like I used to. I was part of a study that measured my gap using Ultra Sound technology at 6 months post partum, and then again after the study - I went from having a 4 finger gap to having a 1 finger gap. In addition, the ultra sound showed that my Uterus didn't fall back into place correctly after birth and ended up landing on the left side of my belly button causing severe pain whenever I did any activities such as walking fast.
My chiropractor/naturopath was able to get it back into place and immediately relieve the pain and corrected that issue.
The amazing thing about being part of the study and the training involved, was that I never did one ab exercise. The exercises were mostly visual where the yoga therapist would place her hands on the muscles that were tight (obliques) and have me breath and imagine the muscles releasing. Then she would do the same with the muscles that she want me to strengthen (transverse) and again have me breath and visual the muscles drawing closer. In the end, my body realigned itself and the muscles drew together (though not all the way) and most of my problems related to the DR diminished entirely. I wouldn't have believed these exercises would work if I didn't see the measurable results in the ultra sound scans before and after the study.
In addition, my yoga therapist also made me practice correct posture, ways of sitting and standing that helped to correct the DR as we often cause the problem to get worse through our day to day activities (lifting, pulling, pushing, etc).
Finally, I just found an amazing Chiropractor who adjusted my pelvis so that it now sits level instead of pulling forward and down (which became that way b/c of my weak stomach muscles). Any remaining back pain and neck pain was immediately relieved, I no longer have a sway back, and I instantly felt a surge of energy in my entire body and it no longer felt that my lower half of my body was a separate entity from the top half. For the first time in 20 months, I feel like my body is working as one whole unit. I sometimes even feel a need to run while walking which I also haven't felt since pre-pregnancy.
So my suggestion is: do not blame everything on the DR as I did which may stop you from looking for alternative solutions to what you may be assuming are the side-effects of the DR. Yes, i still have a belly, but I feel great which is more important and my depression over my bulging belly is gone. I will eventually seek surgery after having one more baby, but in the meantime, I'm back to enjoying my life and my family.
good luck to you all and don't hesitate to email me. I'd love to tell you more about the techniques that helped me, but we'd need more time than this post allows:
Wednesday, January 07, 2009, 6:55 PM
DR research study
For more info on the research study or to contact my Yoga Therapist... here's the info:
In Canada, British Columbia
Diastasis Recti Research Study
Physiotherapist, Diane Lee and Personal Trainer, Sue Dumais are looking for postpartum women to participate in a study on Diastasis Recti. Women should be between 8 weeks and 10 months postpartum with at least 2 finger’s width of separation of the abdominus recti muscle (down the centre line of the belly). Each woman will have 2 full evaluations with Diane Lee including REAL TIME ultrasound and 10 sessions of exercise rehabilitation with Sue Dumais. The study will start in January 2008 with 10 women.
If you know someone or you are interested in participating in this study please contact us at 604-266-6470 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, January 07, 2009, 6:58 PM
i finally broke down and went to see a surgeon, 1 because I DR, I can fit 5 fingers in the space, second because I have an umbilical hernia. The Doc is a good friend of mine (general surgeon) and he is going to fix the hernia but he said he doesn't know a single doctor in his right mind that would fix a DR. The risks of the surgery to fix it and all the healing time and risks after the surgery greatly outweigh just having a big belly. So, I am going to try to just forget about it, even though I can't fit into any of my pants except my pregnancy pants, (twins are almost 5 years old!)
Like i said he is a very good friend so I am going to trust what he said and just exericise the rest of my body down and see what that does for it.
Friday, January 09, 2009, 3:20 PM
Barry's Bootcamp Caution
I had mentioned that I purchased Barry's Bootcamp and it helped decrease my stomach...it did, but now they have been continuing to charge my credit card bill for things I did not accept paying for. Sadly it works, but its just another one of those dishonest infomercial companies that get your credit card and keep charging you.
Saturday, January 10, 2009, 1:13 AM
Barry's Bootcamp Caution
I had mentioned that I purchased Barry's Bootcamp and it helped decrease my stomach...it did, but now they have been continuing to charge my credit card bill for things I did not accept paying for. Sadly it works, but its just another one of those dishonest infomercial companies that get your credit card and keep charging you.
Saturday, January 10, 2009, 1:14 AM
Ok I went thru this surgery due to the same problem you have now. I underwent the surgery. My PS tightened my muscles fixing the problem, My groin and lleg numbness went away ,along with bladder weakness,and back pain. The biggest discomfort was not being able to straightn up for almost 2 weeks. and laying down in bed no way the pull to lay flat was out of the ?. But that passed in time. My hip bones at times hurt cause there is no fat from the tummy tuck so have to protect them at times. The other problem is it is hard to buy jeans that fit right. But the biggest reward is that adominal roll is gone along with the other problems. I was no spring chicken either I was 57 at the time, so exercise never helped me. I'm not sorry I went thru it cost wise it was $7500. up front.
Saturday, January 10, 2009, 11:12 AM
To the woman without surgery...
I am wondering what specific risks your general surgeon spelled out to you in regards to having surgery to fix a diastasis recti. To say no surgeon "in his right mind" would attempt to fix a DR is pretty strong language and it seems contradictory to a lot of the information and personal stories people have posted on this thread. So I am wondering if you can share the specific risks that your general surgeon mentioned. Were they specific to you, or are these general risks that all of us should be aware of? I'm not out to criticize your surgeon or yourself, but I am just looking for the best and most accurate information that I can so I can make the best choices for myself and my body (and help everyone else on this thread to do the same...we are all looking for answers and solutions!).
Thursday, January 15, 2009, 5:40 PM
I have my tummy tuck on Jan 20th. I don't have any friends that have this problem so it feels so good to read the comments. I know I'm doing the right thing now.
Saturday, January 17, 2009, 1:39 PM
I went to see the general surgeon the other day. I was told to have a catscan and then see the cosmetic surgeon. I have a huge diastasis. The doctor reached in and showed me. He grabbed both sides (the inner side) of my abs and they were on opposite sides of my body. The scan is to see if there is a hernia. I would kind of like the drs to know what is going on in there before the surgery by doing this. Did any of you have to get a scan prior to surgery? I also will have a ton of loose skin, but that is minor to fix. The surgeon said it's the diastasis that is the painful part and with the long recovery. It's 2 days in the hospital and 6 weeks at home. Is the pain horrible? I had my muscle sewn after my last c-section, which didn't do a thing for my appearance and hurt a lot after. Can someone tell me how bad the recovery is? Are there any long-term after affects? Can you exercise again once you are healed? Even abs? My surgeon said "you don't want to wait 6 months to have this done". It must look pretty bad to him. He, along with every other dr who has looked at me, said he has never seen anything like it. I have no abdominal wall at all. He said if I didn't have a hernia on the scan that I don't need him to be at the surgery, but I think I feel more comfortable having a general surgeon present in case something goes wrong. I'm very afraid of the pain and the idea of general anesthesia and surgery in general. I have young children and really don't want to be in the hospital or unable to play with them for so long. I've been walking around like this for 4 years already. It's worse now that I had another child. I feel as if I'm taking a big risk for my vanity, but then again, I'm not old enough where it doesn't matter to me how I look. I'd like to hear from some of you who have had the surgery. I've seen tummy tucks on TV, but still I've never seen a belly like mine. Is there any health risk to not have it done? Does it come undone eventually? When I went to see plastics 4 years ago, I was told that in 20 years, it might have to be done again, as with all plastic sugery. The general surgeon said it won't last forever, but it won't look as bad as it does now again.
Thursday, January 22, 2009, 12:03 PM
Diastasis Recti in Fit Men
Hi. This is the first post I read that is from a fit man. Nice to know I'm not the only one out there. I too am a fitness fanatic. I have about 7% body fat and too developed the condition from surgeries where they cut open my abdomen. I am considering plastic surgery. I would like to know if you had it done and if any one out here had plastic surgery to fix this.. the rusults.. any complications..cost etc...
It's a little frustrating researching this topic as a man. People seem to think only women suffer from this condition.
Friday, January 23, 2009, 9:02 AM
Diastasis Recti in Fit Men
Did you get the sugery done? I'd really like to know the outcome.
I'm in the same boat as you were in.
Friday, January 23, 2009, 9:13 AM
Umbilical Hernia the ticket?
I have DR and just found out I also have an umbilical hernia.
How is having the Umbilical Hernia the ticket?
I'ts my understanding that fixing an umbilical hernia is completely different than a tummy tuck and performed by different surgeon, one being a plastic and one a general surgeon.
Please explain. It would be great if my insurance covered my tummy tuck.
Friday, January 23, 2009, 9:32 AM
DR and Possible Hormone Link
I have read posts periodically, and I was so glad to learn that I'm not the only non-pregnant woman to be asked "When are you due?" My kids are 6.5 and 3.5. After my 1st, I got back to pretty normal besides the loose skin, but after my 2nd... I don't dare NOT hold in my stomach because it is truly disgusting!
But being the conservative that I am, I really have no desire to put my life at risk by having a tummy tuck. I know many of you have done it, but it seems so invasive, and I just don't think it is something that I will choose to do.
So I thought a better investment would be to get a personal trainer as I need to lose at least 10 lbs. And I figured I really shouldn't even consider surgery unless I could get to my ideal body weight and %fat. I have been training in a small group for 1.5 years. I have always eaten very healthy. For a while I wasn't doing much cardio, but now I've been doing cardio 5-6 days/week. Unbelievably, my body HAS NOT CHANGED! I mean, I can tell that I have a lot of definition underneath which has increased from before. No one has asked me if I'm pregnant in a while, which is nice.But my %bodyfat has gone down only 0.5% in 1.5 years!!! And my weight and measurements are all pretty much identical.
I went to my regular Dr. who said eat less and exercise more, and my blood work including thyroid & CRP is all normal. My trainer thinks my hormones may be out of whack, and he recommended that I get a saliva hormone test. I just attended a lecture by a nutritionist/hormone "expert" who said that progesterone levels may not bounce back after 2nd or subsequent pregnancies. Progesterone is low and/or estrogen is high, it could cause you to not build muscle and not lose bodyfat. Also, if Cortisol levels are elevated, it could cause abdominal fat. Anyone ever had hormone issues which contributed to the DR and umbilical hernia?
Friday, January 23, 2009, 11:20 PM
What to do...
Well, I'm so encourage to know I'm not the only one out there...not by a long shot it seems. I don't have a belly button either! I thought for sure I was the only one with that going on.
But I'm discouraged to see that nothing (besides surgery) has really helped anyone. I'm only 24, so I might want more kids down the road (I have two.) But, I don't want to walk around like this for the next 10 years. I don't know what to do. I wear Spanx everyday. That definitely helps with the appearance when I'm out and about. But at home, you know...I want to be a hot wife!
So, has anyone had serious issues with having more kids after DR diagnosis? During pregnancy? After?
Can anyone recommend a surgeon in CA? Thanks.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 10:52 AM
I am 51 year old woman and suffer with DR. I am wanting to correct it with a tummy tuck like many of you it is not for looks but for comfort.. I have always talked myself out of it because of my insurance not covering it, although after reading all your comments I am wondering if I can find a surgeon who will submit this as a hernia repair. Does anyone know of a surgeon they could recommend in the Columbia-Jeff City, Missouri area?
Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 11:03 PM
I read you comment and I have an umbicial hernia along with DR. The plastic surgeon that I went to told me that the tummy tuck is not covered and quoted me a fee, he said he would repair the umbicial hernia at the same time. You comment says that as long as you have a hernia insurance has to cover it. Who was the plastic surgeon you saw and were is his office
Monday, February 02, 2009, 3:58 PM
Just had the surgery
I had my 2nd child in August 08 and my DR had gotten much worse (I looked 3-4 mths pregnant). I went to see a plastic surgeon, who said it was the worst one she had seen. So she referred me to a general surgeon. He said it was medically necessary that it be repaired b/c my bowels were hanging out (ie. since my abs were separated they weren't holding my bowels back). So, 2 mths ago I had 2 surgeries at once, where the general surgeon repaired the DR and the plastic surgeon did an abdominoplasty to get rid of all the extra skin from having been stretched out for so long. My insurance covered 100% of the DR repair b/c it was "medically necessary", but I had to pay cash upfront for the abdominoplasty. As far as insurance coverage, I believe it is all in how they code it. If you just go to a plastic surgeon and they call it an "abdominoplasty" it will be considered cosmetic and thus, not be covered. Ask questions. The hardest part of the surgeries for me was not being able to hold my children for several weeks afterwards. Note: My older child was 23 months. I had to stop nursing my younger child for a week while I was on antibiotics. My surgeons were awesome and I would do it again. Now, my question is...could my DR have been caused by the c-sections that I had???
Tuesday, February 03, 2009, 1:08 PM
Re: Person who "Just had surgery"
Hello - I believe my experience is very much like yours. How did your PS know that your bowels were hanging out? I am concerned this is my problem b/c I find that as the day goes on and I take in food and liquids, by belly grows bigger and bigger. I believe it is b/c my DR is so severe that I have no muscle structure to contain my intestines. I will discuss w/ my surgeon.
Also, can you please tell me what your recovery has been like? I am wondering if 2 weeks is enough time to be up and about? Thank you very much and best wishes.
Thursday, February 05, 2009, 5:04 AM
alien in my belly :0
Ahhhhh! Just kidding- sort of. I'm so glad to have found all of you.... These posts have made me laugh and cry, and finally feel some relief- you really know what I am going thru.
I am a 35yr old mom of 2 little boys, 3yrs & 5yrs, both 9lb babies- both c-sections. Seriously, I do look about 5-7 mos pregnant. Almost everyday people comment on my pregnancy status. I have actually had strangers come up to me and hug me and rub my belly. Someone came up to me while at the park w/ my boys and said-- You're GLOWING, When are you due?......WTF? omg am I really Glowing? ;)
I do understand that it is human nature to be excited for someone who is carrying a child, but the next person who says one word about my due date is going to get a surprise. I'm going to dump some water on the ground, pretend to go into labor, grab the person and tell them that I need to get to the hospital. Or maybe I'll just keep telling them I have an alien in my belly that's been growing for three years now.
. I had an umbilical and a ventral hernia repair at the same time- by a general surgeon. He told me to see a PS for everything else. The hernia surgery was nine months ago- my belly button still sticks out ( thought the umb. repair would take care of that?), and the recovery time and pain was much more than I expected. Also- no CT scan.
Still have the diastis recti. Still have the Dreaded Mommy Flap. Still have an extra 50lbs. Still have scars under the flap and now above the belly button. Still have to come up with good lines for all the dumb questions.
Like when the grocery clerk who has rung up my groceries for 5 yrs asks my son if he's going to have a sister or a brother???? Hello, I have been this same size for almost 4years @#%$#$@! I gotta teach my 5yr old a good comeback line, too!
(Also, I totally understand about not wanting to leave the house some days because I feel like a freak and I'm not feeling strong enough or clever enough to deal with all the questions and comments from strangers.)
Sunday, February 08, 2009, 12:25 PM
to "just had surgery" and "fit man" also re: hernia/ins.
To just had surgery - I've been told by every doctor who has seen me that mine is the worst one they have ever seen. You are right about the insurance and how they code it. I need complete abdominal wall reconstruction. This is what makes it medically necessary. It's not an abdominoplasty. The problem I have is that only one cosmetic surgeon in my area takes my insurance. With the others, I would have to meet my deductible (so pay for consult - also a consult is not free if it is "medically necessary") and then pay 20% of surgery costs and ins pays 80%. That's still thousands of dollars. So, I am trying to find a general surgeon who can work with this cosmetic surgeon in a hospital that is decent and not too far from my home. Today, I went to a 2nd general surgeon. To "fit man" - he told me he worked with a cosmetic surgeon on a man who had a dr as bad as mine who was in a car accident. I've heard of men having it done before. Also, I'm a fit person. The doctor kept saying I have no body fat. Maybe that's my problem. If I weren't petite, it might not look so obvious. I have a small frame, so everything just comes forward. The surgeon said mine was caused by my children and nothing else. He said most women get a small separation and mine is just much bigger. Why me??? I have an umbilical hernia. To those with questions - this does not make dr repair medically necessary. The cosmetic surgeon has to submit documentation and then the insurance co decides if it is or is not necessary. Mine is, but do any of you really want to have something worse than any doctor has ever seen? I can't see any of you, so I don't know exactyl what yours look like, but I imagine it's not as bad as mine if no doctor has seen anything like mine before. I don't want to have surgery, but I can't live with this. I want to take my kids to the beach in a bathing suit. I want to wear tops that aren't from a maternity store. I want my 4-year-old to not ask me what's wrong with my belly. Also, I'm a little concerned about where exactly my organs are at this point. My husband doesn't want me to have it done b/c he's worried about the risks involved too. To "just had the surgery" - which state do you live in? No, it's probably not from the c-section, it's probably just from the pregnancies. How painful was your recovery? When could you walk, drive, leave the house, etc. Did you have any type of test prior to the surgery - MRI, CT scan...?
Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 8:28 PM
I also have this condition. My child is 19 months old. I have a belly and my belly button sticks out, but it does seem to improve a little bit with lower back exercises and with excersising the transverse ab muscle. Just suck in your stomach, count to 30 and do this ten times a day. I also run like your sister and work out often. I just get frustrated with how odd I look in a tight shirt. I miss my flat stomach
Monday, February 23, 2009, 4:44 PM
diastasis recti, umbilical and incisional hernias
I am 55 and had twins 16 years ago. I have been living with DR since the births, though my ob/gyn did push my lower abs together and sewed a mesh in them after my c-section, as well as tried to repair the umbilical hernia that developed during the 38 week pregnancy. The umbilical hernia returned within 24 months and nothing was ever done about the DR in my upper abs, which is where I'm carrying all my extra weight these days. In the past 5 years or so, I've developed an incisional hernia on one end of my c-section incision and lately this is causing me a good deal of discomfort. I was never able to get back into my full exercise routine due to pain and discomfort. Not realizing what was wrong at the time, I probably exacerbated the DR separation by trying to do crunches and situps. I have looked about 4-5 months pregnant since I gained about 40 pounds over the years. I went to a surgeon about the DR and umbilical hernia a few years ago and was told that what my ob/gyn had done to the umbilical area was ripping open again. It's only fat poking through so he said that and the DR would be considered cosmetic. I guess if I could get a chunk of intestine to poke through, I might get my medical insurance to help cover the cost of repair?! (not to mention risk infection, strangulation, etc.)! He also said he would not do surgery until I had lost all the weight so he could cinch it up tight, I guess. I have lower back pain nearly constantly and my chiropractor and another doctor have told me it's primarily from a lack of abdominal strength. I just don't see how this can be considered a surgery for only cosmetic reasons! I would like to find some exercises to help my back without further tearing or injuring the DR and hernias. It's getting to the point that my whole core is so weak that I cannot walk or stand for more than an hour without pain. I don't know if it's the spasms mentioned in some of these earlier posts but I sometimes get pains below my sternum and along my rib cage where it feels like the cartilage is being stretched or torn. Has anyone else felt such a sensation? I feel like my abs are coming apart just a little more each time I feel these pains and it's not a pleasant thought or feeling. My suggestion to those of you who are younger--do not wait to work on this problem. Whether it's exercise or surgery or whatever--do it before 16 or more years have passed so you won't end up like me! Good luck to all of us!
Thursday, February 26, 2009, 3:29 AM
news from Canada
Like a lot of the previous posters, I've got a large diastasis rectus as a result of pregnancy. I've also got a big flab of skin and fat hanging over my c-section scar. It doesn't matter to my 5 month old twin boys, but my 4 year-old girl thinks it's fun to see Mommy's tummy wiggle and jiggle. My husband is too much of a gentleman to say anything, but I feel a little nauseous looking at myself in the mirror. Reading these stories has given me a lot of hope and information.
My family physician referred me to a general surgeon who said that I had a diastasis rectus and that they were inoperable. I asked him if a plastic surgeon could fix it and he said that in his 15 years as a surgeon he had never seen it done. I'm so thankful that I had seen these posts and knew this wasn't accurate. I'm not sure why this general surgeon was so behind the times in his assessment - neither was my family physician nor the plastic surgeon I went to see last week.
The plastic surgeon told me it was fixable but that I would have to lose the extra 30 pounds I'm carrying in order for the surgery to "stick". Also, I have to tighten the abdominal muscles so when he stitches them back together, they will be taut.
Unfortunately, OHIP (the public health plan in Ontario) does not cover the $7600 fee plus the 5% GST. There is financing available through a company called Medicard, but the rates for fixed monthly payments start at 19% and their credit card rates start at 28%. That's insane considering I can get a line of credit at my bank for 3.5%
I'm hoping to have the surgery in the fall when my maternity leave ends. I'll post an update when things start rolling in the surgery department.
Thanks to all of you who have posted your stories. They have helped and encouraged me so much.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009, 11:18 AM
Not a "true hernia"
I went to see one general surgeon who wanted to do a ct scan to determine whether or not I have a hernia. I didn't get it b/c I couldn't use him for the surgery. I went to another general surgeon who said I do have a hernia (just by looking at it). I went to a plastics/general (does both) and he said I have a huge hernia, but said he wasn't repairing it b/c it's not a "true hernia" and would push it back in and do the abdominoplasty. Has anyone ever heard of this? I have a huge dr, 14-18 cm. I have loose fascia, seen during my c-section. Is "complete abdominal wall reconstruction" the same thing as abdominoplasty? The general surgeon said I had such a severe case that he used that term for the surgery. So, now I do not know what to do. I do not want a hernia just "pushed back in", but I do not know what "not a true hernia" means. I did not ask at the time b/c I was so overwhelmed and had so many other questions. I called to ask and the assistant spoke with the doctor and called me back. She said he would repair the hernia at the same time and that what I have is worse than just a hernia b/c it's weak muscle. I was going back and forth with her, telling her that the doctor said he wasn't repairing the hernia and she kept telling me that he is. Does anyone understand this? Thanks!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009, 7:47 PM
Man trying to get fit with DR
It's great to find so much information in this area about DR. I was recently diagnosed with an umbilical hernia and diastasis recti. As a man, I didn't know what DR was until I did more research on it and found how unusual it is for males to have this condition. I knew I'd always fought with my weight and felt that my belly always seemd too big, but didn't understand why.
I go in tomorrow morning for surgery for my hernia, and intend to ask the doctor more questions about DR now that I've done some research on it. I'm in touch with my personal trainer at our YMCA and going to get ahold of the Y's physical rehabilitation specialist for some tips on recovery from the hernia surgery and hopefully info about exersizes for the DR.
One thing I don't understand about DR, and maybe someone here can help me. I understand my umbilical hernia is a portion of the intestines has pushed through and is protruding from my navel. But how is DR different? From the description it sounds like a hernia all along the gap between the ab muscles? So why is it treated differently and not covered by insurance?
My doctor didn't seem concerned about it.
THanks for any info.
Thursday, March 12, 2009, 11:53 AM
Hi, Rodney and Fee
I think your questions overlap a bit.
From what I understand, there's a piece of gristle that runs along the centre of your abdomen and that's what holds your "six pack" together. A diastasis rectis happens when the muscle pops off this gristle. It's not technically fixable because it's not surgically possible to reattach your muscles to this gristle. That's what makes it different from a hernia.
Fee, according to my plastic surgeon, a full abdominoplasty can stitch the muscles together but he said it isn't worth it if the abdominal muscles are weak. The stitches won't hold well with loose or flacid muscles. He also said I had to lose a lot of weight because the fat would strain the stitches and would make the surgery pretty much useless.
Rodney, from what I understand, a diastasis rectis wouldn't be covered by insurance because it isn't a threat to one's health, although I think that is crap considering all the comments people have posted. A hernia is considered more threatening because if your intestine or bowel gets pushed out of a small opening, it could end up twisted or blocked.
Hope this information helps.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 11:40 AM
I had my surgery 8 weeks ago today and I feel great! I don't have lower back pain any longer and I finally feel like I don't have to be so skimp with eating. I felt like I was developing a eating disorder because I was always trying to lose this "fat" that turned out to be muscles and skin just hanging around. Recovery was so much easier than I thought it would be. I can honestly say the only painful part of the surgery was having the 3 drains removed about 5 days later. That was the most terrible pain I've ever experienced!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 4:03 PM
Same issue - Male and fit
I noticed I had the condition last summer. Two things happened in the weeks before that could have contributed, I think: I had a hard fall while I was cycling on a long ride falling backwards and perhaps straining my abdomen, although I didn’t notice anything at the time, and I had also had endoscopy for acid reflux. During the endoscopy, they inflate the stomach, and perhaps that is where the condition was begun. However, I can find no research to support this – my theory.
Anyway, I went to my GP; he said it was a hernia, “an easy fix – see a surgeon.” It took me a few months to get it to see a top notch surgeon, but when I saw her she immediately said it was diastasis rectis. She advised me to leave it alone. She said once they cut into the abdomen, you are inviting all kinds of problems with the repair, such as abdominal hernias etc. She also said it would be considered plastic surgery, a “tummy-tuck.” I am 55 an avid runner and cycler and kind of bummed out by the condition. But it could be worse. I does not interfere with anything, but I know it is there…
Monday, March 23, 2009, 8:40 AM
Hi! I have the bulging belly, recently lost 37 pounds with it still there. I'm not sure if I'll get up the nerve anytime real soon to have surgery. I'm 35. I wanted to say that my dr has told me on more than one occasion that insurance should cover this as it does pose a health risk.
It does make me feel a little better knowing people are out there with this same problem.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 2:25 PM
TRIPLET mom's 6 + inches of diastasis recti
I had triplets and carried them to 36 weeks, which is full term for 3. They came home with me but I suffered badly. Daily pain in my back and my doctor told me not to lift anything over 10lbs for fear of a hernia; however, insurance refused to cover it. I went ahead and had it done and I LOVE the results, the back pain is gone as well at 7 pounds of baggy skin. I had 6 PLUS inches of muscle separation and my surgeon could fit his whole fist in the gap!!!!
Kaiser Permanente is a CROOK, that is my insurance. My primary care doctor told me it was medically necessary and then they told me they would only cover it WHEN I got a hernia. They claim preventative medicine until it comes time to put their money where their mouth is. I am now in a battle with them to get it covered.
HERE ARE MY BEFORE AND AFTER PICS:http://www.picturetrail.com/tripletmom08
Saturday, March 28, 2009, 6:46 PM
Same triplet mom poster as above lol
If you want feel free to email me after you see the pics at tripletmom08 at yahoo dot com
Saturday, March 28, 2009, 6:47 PM
Or tripletmombgb at yahoo dot com. I don't really check that other one that often to much spam, lol, I have like over 10000 emails so I just got a new one, how sad is that.
Best of luck fellow diastasis recti sufferers.
Saturday, March 28, 2009, 6:49 PM
I found out just last year that I had this crap!!!! I say that because that is what it is. I thought I had a hernia, but no....it has to be this condition. I look so terrible people I don't know what to say.
Is there anything I can do to Help myself take sveral inches off of my size? The bulge starts from under my ribs and goes to my waiste. It protrudes at least 8 inches and hangs around my middle like a big inflatted tire.
Can anyone give me some encouragement so I don't lose it!!!
I had twins when I was 33 years old. Full term and they were each 5 and 6 pounds. I started noicing the bulge 2 years ago when I tried to address the the unusual shape I was getting. Then I went to the Dr. last year and he said I had my twins to thank for this..... OK I need a solution... Help! Colleen
My email is....email@example.com
Thursday, April 09, 2009, 7:50 PM
to triplet mom & others (hernia, shape of belly)
I saw your pics. I looked like you pregnant with one baby in my belly. I see what you had looks mostly like loose skin. My belly protrudes forward still and my belly button is now an outie (was an innie before). When I am on my back, it all goes flat and looks like just a lot of loose skin. When I stand or sit, there is a belly that still makes me look pregnant. I am having so much stress trying to find a good doctor and not pay too much if he is out of network with my insurance. I don't know if I do or do not have a hernia. Every doctor tells me something different. I am not allowed (insurance) to go "doctor shopping", but I may need both a general and a plastics person and I so far have not found any I am comfortable with. I've seen 2 of both. I will eventually have to reimburse the insurance company for the consults for the doctors who I decide to use, since they will not be the first ones I've seen. Ridiculous! How do you know if you have an umbilical hernia? Anyone? I was told that a ct won't show it. Does anyone look like I do? My 2nd baby is now 5 months old and the other day a woman approached me and asked when my baby is due. Grrr! Has anyone had the procedure covered by insurance if they did not have a hernia?
Saturday, April 11, 2009, 12:12 PM
belly shape and hernia
Fee, your comments describe my belly exactly. I also looked at TripletMom's picture and war surprised that her belly was so flat if she had such a large diastasis. Until recently, I thought that an umbilical hernia was when your belly button transformed itself from an innie to an outie, as mine did. I can put my finger in my belly button and feel it go inside my body, through a ring of thin, soft tissue. I am seven weeks post-partum with baby #3 and when I went to see my O.B. for my 6 week checkup, I had her write down in my file that I had a severe diastasis, it was causing back pain, etc (I wanted to make sure that was documented in my file because some previous posters said insurance denied their surgery simply because there wasn't "documentation" of the diastasis being a problem). My O.B. said, "Well, let's just call it a hernia," and wrote down in my file that I had an umbilical hernia. I was too stunned to ask her what the difference was and she already had one hand on the door to leave anyway. So I am with you, Fee, on wondering where the line is between diastasis and hernia, especially if insurance will cover the surgery only if it is coded as a hernia repair. At least, having had a baby less than two months ago, I can blame my pooch on a recent birth. But that excuse is going to disappear soon as my little boy grows...I am investing in some looser shirts! Please keep posting what you learn from your "doctor shopping" and your experiences, Fee. The information is helpful for all of us.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 4:30 PM
To Laura & others re: hernia
Well, I'm sorry to hear that your belly looks like mine, Laura. I just bought a new maternity top (which doesn't look too much like one, just loose) because at the rate I'm going, I will not be having surgery before the summer starts. One plastics dr submitted a claim for a predetermination of benefits (he told me it would be covered) and it was denied. He did not mention the hernia b/c he said I did not have a "true" hernia. It is hard to find a doctor to trust. I am thinking of staying with the general surgeon who said I have an umbilical hernia just by examining me. He said the ct would not show a hernia. I do not know if this is true or not, but it is going to start to cost me a lot of money to go to another general surgeon and another plastics. He recommended a plastics doc who is the same one my ob's office recommends. I am just concerned that I will be opened and they will say "hey, there is no hernia after all" and then it will be cosmetic. Has anyone had any type of test (MRI, CT, etc.) to find an umbilical hernia or was it just determined by exam? I read online that an umbilical hernia is a weakness in the fascia (which is the same as the diastasis separation). I think I am going to have to stop doctor shopping and just stay with this general and his plastics person. I can't afford to pay for these consults, which are $300-$500 each. Insurance will only cover the cost of the consult for the first doctor I see. My friend does catscans and he told me he does them for hernias all the time. Maybe it's a different type of hernia? He is going to find out from someone the names of the best doctors here for me, but that person is on vacation right now. So, I will cancel the other appointments I have for consults and wait to see if any of the names he gives me match any of the doctors names I have. It's major surgery. We need to be careful who we use and the insurance companies don't make that easy. Laura, loose shirts are the way to go! I've been doing it for over 4 years.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009, 5:02 PM
diastasis recti repair
I've dealt with this condition for the last 3 years - I looked like I was still about 6 months prego. Last year I tried the various 'exercises' recommended by my gyno to help tone the muscles. Yes, I did notice improvement in muscle tone, but it did no good what-so-ever to keep the muscles together (when I was in a relaxed state). So this year at my annual exam, I told the doc things were no better and I wanted to know what my options were for surgery (I was NOT asking for a tummy-tuck). He referred me to a local general surgeon. The surgeon said it was a full-blown case (not technically a hernia because the severely stretched out membrane under the skin was still intact). The muscles were split, however, from about 2-3 inches above my pelvic to 2-3 inches below my breastbone. I had 'incisional hernia repair' about 6 weeks ago. As I said before, I wasn't looking for a tummy-tuck, so it ain't the most attractive repair, but I already feel 1000% better!! It was a painful surgery, but well worth it. I was also fortunate to have everything covered by insurance (again this was NOT a tummy-tuck - abdominoplasti). I wish everyone the best of luck - it is possible!!!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 3:00 PM
Try the Mary Tupler splints
Thursday, April 23, 2009, 9:46 AM
No, I don't have a recommendation. I just wanted to thank you for your thoughts because you echo my sentiment exactly.
Thursday, April 23, 2009, 9:50 AM
Billy banks and DR
I must admit I'm a little skeptical about boxing and DR. I have been told not to twist the torso, or the halves of my rectus abdominus will separate further. I WAS a kickboxing instructor before all these problems, but this research from Mary Tupler and my own problems have changed this. I think it depends on the circumstance and the extent of the injury. Mine is top to bottom.
Thursday, April 23, 2009, 9:53 AM
tearing after abdominoplasty
If you have been sewn up, then yes, you can and probably will tear the incision again if you get pregnant again. And, yes, every pregnancy makes it worse.
Thursday, April 23, 2009, 9:56 AM
I started this thread in 2006. It's been a while since I have reviewed it. I am pregnant with my second child and I know the tearing is worse. This pregnancy is much tougher because I don't have a rectus abdominus to help support my belly, which is ALL out front. My doctor has agreed to stitch me back together at the same time as my caesarian, and I am hopeful that it will work. Did anybody do it this way? If so, did it work? I also have a friend who had hers repaired last week and says the recovery has been relatively quick. I would love to hear more updates from you. And I will keep you updated on my journey.
Friday, April 24, 2009, 11:27 AM
OK, my situation is exacltly the same as Fee's. Fee and whoever else is on the same boat please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org sowe can bitch about our pain - LOL! We can also exhange pictures ...I was recently.. well 6 months ago pregnant with my 3rd one and I had to lie about my due day constantly because people were thinking that i was due any day now once I reached 6 months. I am 6 months post partum now and I am back to my pre pregnancy weight. I am very small 5 3" and 109 lbs and narrow part of the reason I have diastasis. I had 3 c-sections but thos 3rd one pushed the diastasis over the edge. I am 6 months post partum and If I do not wear a gridle or a spandex underwear I look disgusting and 6 months pregnant. I am sick fo not being able to wear what I want, my tight top s etc. And after wearing the spandex and control top underwear for a couple of houis I am in pain. I hate them.!! In any case I wanted to answer to the 'update' person regarding stiching after c-section. My OB did stich my muscles but only below my belly button. You can see the difference below that but above that it is terrible. MY OB did not want to do anything above the belly button. She said she does not operate above the belly button and she won't and I understood and respect that. In any case I am going back to my OB this week for a pap test and I will ask for recomendation for general surgeons etc. to start the procedure of my operation. I absolute have to have that fixed. I look weird... it is ridiculous. I will have that fix no matter what it takes. My parents said they are willing to help out wth the costs if the insurrance does not cover it. I am hoping the insuirance will cover it sine I am having terrible back pain and intenstine issues. I am so skinny everyhwhere else it is so freaky an weird to look at me naked.
Friday, April 24, 2009, 8:22 PM
Re: Diastasis recti repair 21 April 2009
I too have this condition and need to have the repair...not tummy tuck. I'm still fairly young (33) and am worried how it is going to look as i will be having a vertical cut. Mind you i'm under 9st and right now I look 5 months pregnant and my last child is 18months!! You say it is unattractive,please tell me how bad it is. Does the positive out weigh the negative? Thank you.
Sunday, April 26, 2009, 9:27 AM
DR and Fee
I am amazed at how long this BB is. I've had DR for about 11 years now, since my 1st PG. From time to time I've googled for something like this but haven't found anything till now. This is great, to see all these people who can comisserrate with me (though I don't wish this on anyone).
I have 3 kids and it got much worse with each kid; youngest is now 2.5. I have the ugly loose skin flap very low on my abdomen, a flattened out belly button and very rounded midsection. There's an indentation on either side of my belly button too. So pretty--not. Got the indigestion too but it got much worse after the last pregnancy. Had an ultrasound done and found out I have gallstones; wonder if that's related to the bad digestion from DR? Also had endoscopy to see if I had ulcers; turned out to be reflux and was put on meds for this for about a year. Wonder if that counts as medical history as backup for the insurance co.?
Also my internist said I have an umbilical hernia (between babies no. 1 and no. 2) and sent me to a general surgeon to see if i need surgery. He said i don't have to have that done right now but that i should keep a very close eye on it to see if anything protrudes, then go to ER immediately. But really, things protrude all the time w/DR. So gross, I can feel food and intestines i guess(?) moving around. Ugh. Also, so annoying, the surgeon was shocked (shocked!!) that I actually knew what DR had. I said, why wouldn't I know that; it's my body. Such a jerk. The the surgeon said, hey why don't you get your DR fixed? But i think it's typical of them to want to operate all the time.
Been thinking about the surgery for a long time but I'm so nervous about having all that done to me. Also the cost is a very big factor. Fee, I'm on Long Island too. Wondering if you could let me know which doctors you've seen? Thanks!
Sunday, April 26, 2009, 3:11 PM
It's Fee again - to thread starter and about LI docs & hernias
Also Marilena - I will email you directly (and anyone else who would like to). Please, I would like to see someone else's scary body - lol. Ok, thread starter...you have done us all such a huge service by starting this thread. I never thought I would find anyone else with this condition. My ob DID sew my muscle together during my last c-section. It hurt A LOT after the surgery. I was crying in the shower in the hospital. It also didn't do a thing to change how I look. I'm not sure exactly what she did. After I was home a while, I felt pins & needles inside and I think whatever she had sewn came apart and that is what I was feeling. I mentioned it to a general surgeon and he said what she did was only a quick fix. Actually, it was no fix the way I see it. Long Island doctors...well, I haven't seen anyone good yet. I've seen 2 plastics and didn't like either one. I am going to a 3rd in 2 weeks. He was recommended by one of the general surgeons and also my ob's office gave me the same name. I have a friend who works with a Radiologist who knows all the good doctors on LI and he is going to get me some names this week. I will let you know when I come across someone good. It was suggested to me to ask a doctor I trust for some names. Do you have one you trust? Are you in Nassau or Suffolk? I have a specialist for another issue who recommended a general surgeon. I called this doctor's office to see which plastics they work with and I was given several names, none of which I have seen (different part of LI). The insurance is the problem. I cannot afford to pay for consults that are not covered. I can't go from doctor to doctor. I'm not even sure if plastic consults are covered at all. I know there are no second opinions for them. Oh, I did find out that it is not the hernia that makes it medically necessary. I was told by a plastics office that they submit documentation and the insurance considers it on a patient by patient basis. The hernia is only covered as a hernia. For those who have a hernia.... did you have any sort of test to determine that you had an umbilical hernia? CT scan? MRI? Anything? Just by exam? I will keep you all posted. Please, do the same.
Sunday, April 26, 2009, 10:27 PM
Hi, Fee. I want to e-mail you privately. Is there a way to do that on peertrainer? Thanks!
~The other LI mom
Wednesday, April 29, 2009, 1:53 PM
I 've just been diagnoised with this horrible condition and I've never had any kids. I'm overweight so I look 9 months pregnant and the Internest told me that even if I lost all the extra weight I'd still look 6 months pregnant. All I've been told is NEVER do regular standard abdominal excersises because it will just make it worse. And over the year my stupid doctor just kept telling me to do more and more crunches so I made it a hundred times worse. Has anyone had any luck with doing Julie Tumler book Lose That Mummy Tummy excersises. Because of the stupid inept doctors we have here in Canada, I've made myself look like I'm about to burst. I could really use some support. I also have spinal stenosis with is a degenerative condition in my lower spine, so I can't do any kind of regular excersise either.
Monday, May 04, 2009, 4:51 PM
to LI mom
If you would like to leave an email addy here, I will write to you. There is no other way to do it privately on here.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009, 12:50 PM
Just had surgery
I'm 12 days out from mini tummy tuck and feeling great. Had umbilical hernia and minor case of DR. Insurance covered the hernia repair but did not cover the rest of it. I had the hernia repair via an incision in my bb then had my muscles sutured via my c-section scar. This mini did cost me $4500 with my plastic surgeon. I did not have extra skin so a full tummy tuck was not rq'd and I don't have the large scar, luckily. I feel great and was off pain pills day after surgery. Cannot pick-up my 14 mo old for a few more weeks so that it the hard part. Surgery is definitely scary but I'm glad I did it personally, as my muscles protruded out in my mid-section. It was purely a cosmetic choice for me. I live at the beach, am young and like to wear a bikini still so my self-esteem was being affected. Good luck...do your research and select the best route for you & your family!
Saturday, May 09, 2009, 11:47 AM
To the repair with NO tummy tuck person
Is it really painful? How painful is the incision down the middle? I have the exact same surgery coming up... Please let me know details. Does it make a big difference cosmetically? I will be having a small hernia and diastasis repaired with a reinforcement facshia inserted. NO tummy tuck. Tell me how it is!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009, 2:12 AM
Hi all - I never had kids (adopted mine) but I think I may have gotten the DR from having gastric bypass surgery? (The surgery was open, not laparoscopic.) Has anyone heard of this? I have a huge DR and an incisional hernia on top of that. It not only looks like I have an alien in my belly but that the alien's head is trying to pop out. And this is the second time actually that the hernia needs to be repared. Two general surgeons have told me they can fix the hernia but not the DR and that there is no successful long-term solution for the DR. (Their words.) However, I am seeing a PS next week recommended by my PCP and the plastic surgeon told her he seems to think it can be fixed...can't wait to hear what he says after evaluating me...and if it would be covered by insurance.
But I am curious in the meantime if anyone has heard of a link between the gastric bypass surgery and DR?
Thank you all for your messages on this bulletin board!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009, 11:39 AM
My mother is in hr 70's and was recently diagonised with Rectus Diastasis - she was in the best of health and condition prior to this. Has anyone had fluid retention as a side effect of this condition? Her stomach was getting larger and harder each day. She had a CAT scan and it showed there was fluid on her stomach. Today she had 3 quarts of fluid removed from her stomach. Has anyone else had this? Also, does anyone know of others her age that this just has shown up in.? Would an MRI show any thing more ?
Tuesday, May 12, 2009, 6:43 PM
"abdominal wall reconstruction", to beth, marcella & no tummy tuck reply
Has anyone on this thread had "abdominal wall reconstruction"? This is NOT a tummy tuck or even abdominoplasty. Marcella & Beth - I just heard the other day of people having a DR in those situations. One was a woman in her 70s who either had tumors or multiple hernias that reoccured, I forget, but whatever it was caused her to have a DR. I heard gastric bypass surgery can cause a DR. It seems the DR can be caused by many things. A ps I saw said mine could be due to scoliosis (which I also have) or that when I had my c-section, it came apart b/c of something that may have caused me to have a hernia and the hernia pushed it apart. I do NOT look like the tummy tuck people on here. I look pregnant in clothing and very, very odd without. The surgery described to me was not done the same as an abdominoplasty. It involves something like a skin graft (internally) and not mesh used. I was told in a case like mine, mesh would not hold it and mesh can get infected and then I would need further surgery if it did. Has anyone on here had this procedure done? I am now terrified. I was already afraid when I thought it was the same as every other abdominoplasty, but now I'm even more concerned. I started to tell my husband and he said he does not want me to repair this. He is afraid I am going to have a surgery that might lead to more problems and that I should just leave it alone. I was pretty disappointed to hear from my ps that of the patients who had this procedure done by him, none were resulting from a pregnancy. The two other ps that I saw said nothing like this and said it was abdominoplasty and they had seen it before and they would just do it the same as every other. Has anyone had a huge DR, like I describe and had their abdominoplasty not work? Has anyone had this other procedure? Do any of you have absolutely no muscle covering your belly to the point that doctors can feel your uterus and other parts just by touching your belly?
Tuesday, May 12, 2009, 8:38 PM
reply to Fee
Thank you for your information. Does anyone know of a specialist that would know more about this DR? I was thinking of taking mom to a gastronoligist but wasn't sure if that would be the proper type of doctor to go to? Any comments will be greatly appreciated. Thanks and have a good day.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009, 9:23 PM
I had the hernia surgery/DR repair
I'm so glad I did it! Just had surgery two weeks ago. Please feel free to send me an email for more info. I would love to share my situation and hopefully help someone. My story is so much like eveyone els. Thanks for sharing because its good to know I'm not alone. email@example.com
Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 11:54 PM
there is help...
I have diastasis recti -- all I did was read up on it, hoping I can fix it without surgery. I finally found a Physical Therapist who has worked with women that have it and she has done WONDERS for me. I can’t say that I have a severe case, because I don’t know what a real severe case is…. (I was just over 3 fingers when I was first diagnosed about a month ago)… but I’m definitely on my way to recovery. In fact, my PT told me that only in extremely severe cases should a plastic surgeon even consider giving the surgery. PLEASE, those of you who feel you have no hope, research PT’s in your area who have worked with diastasis recti patients before!! I have a 2 ½ year old and a 13 month old – I was terrified it was too late for me to fix it myself. Let me tell you, I have already improved my gap by more than 50%. With the correct exercises (and a PT with this experience actually showing you the proper way to do them) there IS HOPE!!!!!! Also, massage your belly daily and rub with different textures (wash cloth, soft bristle brush, lightly karate chop it), also keep it moisturized and your SKIN will get tighter by waking up those nerve endings!!!!!! I have seen a significant difference. Hang in there ladies!!!
Thursday, May 21, 2009, 4:12 PM
re: there is help
Hi, thanks so much for for ur post.
I have been having PT for the last 10 months and had seen some change but not much. However, Last month they gave me a new PT who specializes in DR and womens health. She showed me new exercise and already i can see a vast improvement, my 'bump' is not as big, however when at rest i still have my seperation. I was starting to get discouraged and was going to concede and have the repair surgery the surgeon has recommended (I really don't want it) but your post has encouraged me to keep on with the exercise (PT).....there is hope!! Thanks & good luck with your recovery xx
Sunday, May 24, 2009, 5:43 PM
there is help...
KEEP IT UP, Supamum!! Do your exercises every day -- make sure you do them correctly so they burn. I think I closed my gap completely over the weekend -- I have another appt next week and cannot wait to hear what my Dr. says!! I'm glad you are now seeing a PT who specializes in DR -- keep it up -- honestly, I have been doing my exercises without skipping one day and I feel like I'm basically there. Now just a little extra better eating on my part and I'll be good as new! Good luck!!!!!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009, 3:18 PM
abdominal wall reconstruction
I'm attempting to read through older posts on here, but there are just so many and I don't have enough time. I posted recently, but I will again, hoping that someone will chime in. I have a much more severe separation than a lot of you on here. No amount of exercise can heal this. I can fit at least one hand between my ab separation. I have no abdominal wall at this point. When I am on my back, it all goes flat and I can see my intestines. I do not have pain, surprisingly, but I am afraid of having it later as a result of my body compensating for the lack of muscle over time. I see in a lot of the older posts that there are people who sound like they may have had a very large separation as well and I'm hoping someone who had it repaired reads this. Has anyone on here been told that mesh would not hold there separation together and they needed something else done instead? If you did use mesh, did it hold? Was the term "abdominal wall reconstruction" used? Did everyone with a large separation go for a ct scan? I am speaking to those with very large separations and most likely hernias as well. I have been told I need "abdominal wall reconstruction", not a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty. More complicated. I definitely look pregnant in clothing and out of it, I just look like a freak. The doctor said there is a term for it and that from the side they say it looks like "Droopy Dog". My belly button sticks out like a nose and under the huge protrusion, I have loose skin, so from the side, this is how it looks...it's the dog. Hey, this should make those of you with the small separation feel pretty good. :) Anyway, as I mentioned in an earlier post, an uncommon procedure was suggested to me and I was told this is how it should be done, by one of the doctors I saw. The others said it was a regular abdominoplasty. I would like to here from someone with a huge separation who has either had it repaired or spoken with doctors. Thanks!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009, 8:07 PM
I'm the girl who has been able to seek help. My PT told me that she has helped a woman who she was basically able to stick her entire fist into (and thensome) -- she had twins, she has since closed the gap... but she sought help not long after she had her babies (unlike me)... To make you feel slightly better, my belly button will NEVER be the same -- it sticks out like the worst outie I have ever seen. I had an umbilicial cord hernia which I had repaired with mesh (and I wish I got a 2nd opinion on that one -- that's the dr. who said he would open me up "quick" to do the DR repair). That Dr told me that my belly button would look much more normal after the hernia repair -- NOT. I can't stand it. Oh well :( In any case, I've really been working hard on my DR (also wearing a brace given to me by my PT) and have seen a major difference. Definitely not saying surgery isn't for some, but I really didn't want to do it, and I was able to find a solution. Was your PT specialized in helping people with DR? That is extremely important... I wish you the best!!!
Gavins Mom (PS, I also had a c-section,,, 2 of them, actually!)
Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 12:16 PM
to the girl able to seek help
Thank you! I did go to PT for 6 months after my first child. It was a woman and she worked with pregnant women, as well as other patients. She gave me many exercises to do and I wore an abdominal binder most of the time. Is that what you have? At that time, the DR did show some improvement, but not much. Also, I found that I had to do the exercises constantly to maintain any type of results. My DR is much bigger this time. I don't know if my PT specialized in helping DRs, but she did offer a lot of info and gave me printouts of the exercises and told me what to buy (the binder, the ball to do the exercises on) and she gave me bands to work with at home. Still, here I am. Which state are you in? Maybe I can try your PT, but I don't know if it would help. I really am fearful of the surgery, but I can't see this going back together. I also supposedly have the 2 hernias. I really appreciate your input. I also hope some of the people who posted early on check in with their input on the surgeries they had for their very large DRs.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 7:45 PM
Hi Fee, I'm in CT. It's really really important that the person you work with has assisted in fixing DR. I was told to STAY AWAY FROM THE BALL!!!! unless you are sitting on it and rocking your pelvis back and forth... I am going back next Wed to see her again and will be asking her a ton of quesitons, I shoudl start making a list. She did tell me that it doesn't get worse once it gets better... I am hoping to work on making it look as close to 100% as possible when I'm standing around (right now even though I think my gap is closed, when I'm relaxing there is still a slight bump -- but I don't think anyone notices it but me). I know some more weight loss will help (although I'm tiny and have already reached pre-preg weight, but I would love to love another 10 lbs to hit pre-wedding weight! ha!). right now I feel as if i have closed the gap about 95% but that's just me checking. I"m hoping by next wed. she will tell me for sure that i have. The exercises that I have take me 10 minutes to do and I do them daily -- 4 types of sit ups for the transverse abdominals. I do 30 reps of each sit up and I'm done for the day. I was very sore after doing them the first few days because I really really concentrated on doing them correctly. I'm feeling much better now. Believe me, if I couldn't find someone to help I would hav been ALL over that surgery -- I had 2 c-sections, could it be any worse? seriously... in order to feel normal again I thought "it's worth it". I hope that you do find help and if you are in the area of CT then let me know and I'll pass along the info!!
Thursday, May 28, 2009, 3:03 PM
Followed this thread for a while
I have been following this thread for about two years now and I have read every single post over that course of time. Fee, it seems like towards the beginning and middle of this thread there were a bunch of women who have large diastasises like we do. All had them repaired via abdominoplasty and all were thrilled with the results. I'm going by memory, though--I haven't gone back and re-read any of the posts. I unfortunately don't have any advice to give you as to whether you should do the abdominoplasty or abdominal wall reconstruction. I am just biding my time and gathering information while I wait for my time to have surgery to repair my abdominal mess (three kids down, one more to go)! Physical therapy sounds great to me in theory, but 1) what do I do with my three kids during that time? and 2) I've had this diastasis through three pregnancies--I'm pretty sure my body is "stuck" that way and surgery is my best option to get back to looking like normal. I feel for you, Fee, and I'm really sorry that this whole experience is terrifying you. I hope you are able to find a doctor or make a decision that you are comfortable with soon!
Friday, May 29, 2009, 11:32 PM
To Gavin's mom & Laura
Thank you very much! Yes, I think the PT does help with a smaller diastasis. I have all of the exercises from the PT I saw here. I really don't think they would help, in my case. Plus, I have been told I have hernias, so they may be in the way of closing it. Laura, is your diastasis that big too? I did speak with another plastic surgeon on the phone (can you even believe someone would speak to me without an appointment?) and he was quite helpful. He said there are several ways to repair it (mesh, cadaver tissue, just manipulating the muscles) and he would not know which he would use until he was inside to see how bad it is. He told me there isn't necessarily and increased risk of infection with mesh (which is what the other surgeon had said). He also said there are breathing issues after the surgery. I had heard that before and much like after a c-section, I would imagine there are exercises to do in the hospital for breathing purposes and preventing clots, pneumonia, etc. I have an appointment elsewhere in a few weeks b/c I found another doctor through a friend and this one is on my insurance. I am hoping after this, my 4th plastic surgeon, I will feel comfortable enough with one of them and the procedure itself to do something. The doctor I spoke to on the phone did tell me it's not urgent to repair it, but that he did have one patient who had a rupture from walking around with it. I had never heard that before, but I can see why it would happen.
Sunday, May 31, 2009, 8:13 AM
Hi Fee. I am the one who posted earlier who got the DR after having gastric bypass. You had asked about CT scans.
My DR is huge with a large hernia as well although it is kind of high up and my belly button still is an "insy." My PCP (a women's health specialist) didn't think PT or exercise would help me.
I had my appt. with the PS last week. He said he could fix it, though he didn't call it abdominoplasty and he said he actually wasn't sure exactly what surgical approach he would use until he saw the results of my CT scan. I had a "CT scan with contrast" on Friday, which means they put an IV in me with dye. He said he would review the radiology report and then he would also discuss my case with a general surgeon because it would take both a PS and a GS. He (the PS) would take care of the abdominal wall defect and the GS would do the hernia repair. So, after he reviewed the CT scan, and after he talked with the GS, he said he would meet with me again and tell me how they would approach my surgery. Also, he said he would be astonished if it was not covered by insurance. They are submitting it to the insurance co. this week but that could take 6-8 weeks. I'm thinking if I go ahead with all of this (it will be a big surgery) I might get it done early August.
Please let's keep talking and sharing our experience with this problem as time goes on. It is very helpful!.
Monday, June 01, 2009, 11:50 AM
Thank you so much for posting. I think I mentioned that the last PS I saw said there will be a big increase in people having this surgery as a result of gastric bypass surgery. For me, I just wish I could find more people who needed it as a result of pregnancy. I think I would find it more comforting that I am not the only one who needs more than a tummy tuck after having a baby. I am glad you posted either way. Interesting that your CT scan was with contrast. The doctors who suggested I have one (3 of them), said without contrast. I have a baby at home, so I would not do it with contrast if they wanted me to (not safe to hold baby). I still didn't even have one yet b/c I'm so unsure about even doing this procedure since I am not crazy about the method last suggested to me to repair it. The doctor did tell me to have it done b/c they might see something on the CT that would help in the fight with the insurance company to show medical necessity. I guess yours had contrast b/c the cause of your DR is different than mine and they may be looking for other things. I don't really know. Did your PS suggest different methods of repairing the dr? It sounds very much like you have the same issue I have, regardless of the cause of it. You are right. This is very helpful. I really do appreciate the input from you and the others on here.
Monday, June 01, 2009, 9:50 PM
diastasis repair recovery ?
I am in my 4th week after surgery and still pretty sore! I was not quit prepaired for the recovery in my mind. I still have some sweeling and look "boxy" I am still wearing the binder and wondered how long you wore it and also are you worried about sun on your scars? We are supose to take a family vacation to Florida in 2 weeks and im nurvios? any imput would be apriciated im just getting scared after reading how many people feel great shortly after when I definatly dont feel great!!! Also I hace a 15 mnt old and wantt to know about lifting? Thanks so much, Hopefull Michelle
Tuesday, June 02, 2009, 8:13 PM
Appearance after surgery
Sorry for the delay and hope my additional comments will help.....the scar initially was pretty knarly, but has toned down a bit. Honestly, given the two options - looking like I was 6 months prego for the rest of my life, or have a scar from above my belly button all the way down, I'll take the scar. I'm clinging to the hope the scar will eventually fade enough as to not be too noticeable - as my c-section scar has done already. Unfortunately, you can't expect to be back to pre-prego conditions - I had a belly button back then. For me, benefits to my health and body condition outweighed the final appearance of my tummy. I'm less apprehensive about showing off the tummy now actually - makes for an interesting story. Hope this helps at least a little!
Wednesday, June 03, 2009, 1:30 PM
The surgery I had involved the muscles actually being physically sewn back together - no mesh. My case was too extreme for mesh. My surgeon told me the mesh would have been less painful (potentially even out-patient surgery). The worst of the pain I experienced was during the 24 to 36 hours following surgery. I had severe muscle contraction (ah, reminded me of labor!!), since the muscles were being forced to be in a location they hadn't been for 3 years. I was off work for a month with serious lifting restrictions - no lifting - no kidding. It's been about 3-4 months now and I can almost do the things I used to - I overdid it the other day and had some isolated pain, but nothing serious.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009, 1:42 PM
I'm sure recovery time is greatly affected by the severity of the surgery. Mine was fairly severe - I have about a 8 inch scar. I was home on medical leave for a month and continued wearing the binder for at least another month - it was a life saver. I gradually went longer times without it - during times I knew I wouldn't be doing much. I admit I did try lifting heavier things before the surgeons recommendations. After about 6 weeks recovery time, it really kind of comes down to common sense and your general physical condition to begin with. Ease into things, if it hurts, STOP!! If your 15 month old is heavy, you may want to wait. I have a three year old who weighs about 48lbs - I'm still using my surgery as an excuse not to have to carry that load. I actually started out giving him piggy-back rides instead. As for the physical appearance of my stomach - I have some exercising to do still to recondition the muscles - all in due time!
Wednesday, June 03, 2009, 1:55 PM
to "appearance after surgery" & "surgery experience"
Surgery experience - you had your muscles manipulated into position and sewn with no mesh? Was that decided beforehand or during surgery? To both of you - did you have ct scans to figure out the method of repair before the surgery took place? To appearance after surgery - you said you looked 6 months pregnant before surgery - what was used to repair your DR? Was your belly button removed and reattached? As I mentioned previously, I was told there are 3 methods of repairing a DR - 1. Mesh, 2. Manipulate the muscle and don't use anything, & 3. Internal skin graft from a cadaver (person or pig). Now, I am not crazy about the idea of anyone else's body parts in my body - be it person or animal. Has anyone had this done? I am also not crazy about what I have read/heard about mesh getting infected and needing to be cut open a second time. Has this happened to any of you? Did either of you have hernias? Were you told hernias could come back again if you did have them before? How long were you in the hospital? Was it difficult to breathe after the surgery? I had read that there is a risk of pneumonia. Were your surgeries referred to as abdominoplasty or abdominal wall repair? Did insurance cover them? To surgery experience - it sounds like you had a severe case, like I do. What were your muscles sewn with that can hold them in place? I had also read something about an "internal girdle" which consists of a mesh inlay & mesh onlay. Has anyone had that? I know, there are a ton of questions here. Sorry! I'm just trying to make an informed decision. The last plastics doctor I saw told me it hurts less than a c-section. What did you think? Thanks!
Wednesday, June 03, 2009, 7:49 PM
as to your ? about if it hurts less than a c-section... NO!!! At least not in my case, I had kinda expectid the same pain or like it and it was totaly diferent! The pain pill didnt reallly take much of the sharpness of the pain away just made me sleep and my back not hurt! I did not know anytrhing about mesh so im asumming that I was sewn back together they said most of the stiches are on the inside so that also makes me think so. Honestly I did not do any resurch other than the 4 dr's and pt"s i was deeling with so I am really learning as I read this blog, how wonderfull. I am just getting frustrated with not having alot of strengh back yet, getting tiered easily, and having to always ask for help. My advice is to be prepaired for a long road ahead! but wish for better=) The worst thing for me has been missing the closeness of holding & toting my 15mnt daughter around but knowing that my quality of life will be so much better soon helps> I also had many intestin/ bowl problems and major back isues including having to have shots in my back so I feel like I have been missing out on so much of my babys 1st year already. We live in a small town so after my Dr telling me I would be in a brace for the rest of my life and my fitness ability would never get better and just go down hill from here I first went into a depresion, then went to a specialist and found out there was hope. I know it is going to be great in the long run, I'm just nervious about if my recovery is going ok and "normal" I just expected to be closer to feeling & looking "normal" again ( not pre baby, just normal) Good luck to all of you! Hopefull Michelle=)
Thursday, June 04, 2009, 3:58 PM
Hi again Fee... My PS didn't really talk much about what kind of surgery he'd do on me because he said he wanted to see the CT scan first. But as soon as I see him again and he tells me how he wants to approach the surgery I will post again.
Something else I wanted to mention because you asked about it in another of your posts.... The PS's nurse told me that my CT scan showed multiple "defects" in the mesh from my previous hernia repair (6 years ago) with bowel penetration....so I KNOW that mesh isn't foolproof. The thought of getting this fixed and then having to go through it again someday is truly frustrating.
I love all the questions you are asking because it is making us all smarter...so thanks.
Thursday, June 04, 2009, 4:33 PM
Michelle & Marcella
Thank you both for the quick responses. I have not had my ct scan yet. I was waiting to see if the insurance agrees to cover the surgery before I go through that. If the surgery isn't covered, I don't know that I can pay for it. Also, I want to see what my final (hopefully) PS says when I go to her this month. Were anyone's surgeries covered and if so, why? Marcella, do you know if yours will be covered? Did you need the ct scan for more to submit to insurance to get it covered, in addition to the PS needing it? Did your doctor say it was anything more than a regular abdominoplasty that you need? Since you look like me, I'm wondering if you were also told you have no abdominal wall at this point. Michelle, I feel so bad for you that it is so painful. Honestly, when a doctor tells me it hurts less than a c-section, I have to question whether he is being honest or maybe just doesn't have any idea. I can't imagine it being any easier, considering what is involved. How long were you in the hospital? Did you have trouble breathing after? I have been lucky enough not to have intestinal or back issues, other than lower back pain if I lift my baby too much. I probably wouldn't have any pain if I didn't have the DR at all. I don't believe I've read anything on here about people ending up wearing a brace or getting shot in their backs. In fact, I didn't even think anyone with back issues wore a brace anymore. Marcella, I hadn't realized you had hernia surgery before. Did you have the DR at that time too? Did your PS say there were various ways to do the surgery, even though he wasn't specific in what he would do, or did he not even discuss that there are various ways to do the repair? My husband is really concerned about the surgery. He is afraid I will end up with more problems or that something horrible will happen during the surgery. It is making me more nervous than I already am. I've been seriously looking into this since January. It's now June. I think part of me is stalling, hoping to avoid the whole thing. I feel more comfortable after I read these posts, but I wonder if maybe I am just worse off than any of you were/are, since I was told I had no abdominal wall left. During the c-section, the doctor pointed out that I have a lot of loose fascia. As I've mentioned, when I was pregnant, the ob-gyn could see my baby's foot, etc. and feel the baby in detail because there was nothing covering my belly. Other doctors, students, etc. were all coming in the room to see my freakish belly with the baby in it. Thanks to all!
Thursday, June 04, 2009, 8:43 PM
Lost, don't know what to do?
I have been to different doctor about my diastasis recti. I keep getting the same respond on this, that this is cosmetic and that the insurance would not pay for it. I don't know how this is cosmetic this came from having my baby. this hole in stomack is getting worse my back and legs are in pain I am retaining fluid. I am so miserable.
Friday, June 05, 2009, 1:53 PM
Sorry! You probably had no idea what I was talking about in my last post. I had you confused with someone else on here. I have no idea whether or not your belly looks like mine, but I do still have pretty much the same questions for you. Sorry about that!
Friday, June 05, 2009, 7:24 PM
I have been diagnosed with rectus diastesis. It is severe and is causing digestive/elimination problems as well as the obvious physical symptoms which alone is horrible. I am stunned that women are having difficulty getting medical coverage. This is unacceptable and we need to try to do something about this. I have an appt. with a plastic surgeion this week and if i need to I will fight tooth and nail to get my surgery covered. If there is a medical diagnosis than there should be coverage.
Monday, June 15, 2009, 5:57 PM
Oprah should definitely to bring awareness to this unbearable situation and put pressure on enforcing insurance companies to puut this on the list of necesessary surgery to make it rightfully covered. They cerrtainly get enough money from us!
Monday, June 15, 2009, 6:16 PM
I'm not the only one!
Yes!!! I loved your email!!! I went to see a surgeon (in a public hospital) today and just arrived home so sad. I got connected and found out that…I‘m not alone! Thanks God I found this forum!!!
Anyway, the doctor said that I haven’t got a hernia (that is good!) but that what happened to my tummy is just normal (I wonder if such thing had happened to his wife or mother!) I tried to explain that I had realized the separation of the muscles after my first pregnancy and since I gave birth to my second son (another big baby!), four months ago, I haven’t been the same. I did not put loads of weigh on (apart from the massive pointed belly) and I’m already wearing my usual jeans. However, I look like I’m four months pregnant - certainly diastasis recti - have back pain, tummy pain, tiredness, plus a very uncomfortable digest and elimination problem. The only thing that makes me feel a bit more comfortable for certain period is the stomach band.
The problem won’t be covered by my private insure because is birth related (?). Therefore I have already decided to have plastic surgery and have even booked an appointment for next month - I will need also to get hid of the loose skin, by the way. If abdominoplasty is the only choice, I will go for it. Even if I have to get a loan…Can’t leave like that anymore…
Thank you for your email!!!! Let’s spread the word!!!
All the best to you all!
S.Facchin - UK
Thursday, June 25, 2009, 3:32 PM
Finally, an answer
Three years ago, I had a beautiful baby girl. I was a first time mother so I got down to take care of my little girl. At my six week check up I finally realized that my stomach had not gone down. My mother had been saying this to me repeatedly and to "band down" my stomach. In my native country of Belize this was traditionally done. My being a "modern woman" I ignored tradition and went free flowing. I regret this decision.
I had gained 45 lbs. during my pregnancy from bloating due to high blood pressure so my stomach was extra large (my daughter was only 6 lbs. 12 ounces). I asked my doctor about my stomach and as he checked my stomach he said this is only the second time he had ever seen this. He is the top obygn in Belize with over 20 years in practice. He let me touch my stomach and all I felt was skin. He told me all my muscles had torn and separated and could only be repaired through surgery. I was devastated. I thought my stomach would disappear to a tiny bump that I could work out.
I gave up on losing weight at that point and just used girdles for about two years. Did not bother about losing weight, focused on my daughter and work, barely had a sex life with my husband because I hated my body.
Finally, last year I started losing weight making my stomach look worse than ever. Now I'm at college doing my Master's and though this is a big achievement, the flat stomachs on campus makes my "preggie look" more outstanding. My arms and legs are toned, but my stomach with its faucet like navel makes me look like an oddity. Now, I've started having severe back pains and I'm sure I have a hernia.
If you have not suffered with diastais you cannot understand the emotional and physical pain. This is not only about appearance but it hits at the core of me as a woman.
I'm so thankful for this forum. I was getting increasingly depressed. I will looking into options to at least improve my core. The surgery is an option in the long, long future.
Friday, June 26, 2009, 12:28 AM
I also had the same thing. I also had umbilical hernia. I had to get repair by general surgeon for hernia and plastic surgeon to fix diastasis recti. I was never going to go back to normal with excercise!!!!! I was seperated 4.5 inches, over two years after giving birth!!!! Good luck. I was hoping to fix it with physical therapy. Every doctor told me in my case that it was not going to go back to normal!!!
Sunday, June 28, 2009, 3:31 PM
how was it repaired?
Can I ask of the last person to comment...What did the doctor use to hold the muscle together? Thanks!
Tuesday, June 30, 2009, 8:48 PM
DR in UK
Hi S. Facchin. I'm in the UK too and I was refered to a specialist by my GP. He took one look, told me it was a DR caused by my twins (doh, like i didn't know!) and said they don't treat it. When I stressed that I am having pain, he advised me that if he tried to fix it the result would not be great because my muscles are not toned, and he'd have to cut me sternum to pubis so i'd have a huge scar!
What type of procedure did you have and where did you go?
I'm so pleased I found this forum but still don't know what to do. I'd be happy to try to excercise first but don't know what excercises to do not to make it worse.
Any help/advise would be very gratefully received!
Wednesday, July 08, 2009, 4:44 PM
DR and umbilical hernia
Hello, I have found out I have DR and an umbilical hernia from a CAT scan. The reason I went was because i was feeling a lump in my stomach that would come and go. I was afraid maybe it was the hernia. After the results my doctor said the hernia is not that bad that the bowels shouldn't get caught in it. Does this mean that the bowels are getting caught in the DR. I'm wondering what type of doctor I would go to to make sure that the DR is safe for me. I dont' want it to cause harm. Does this occur for everyone else?
Monday, August 03, 2009, 11:52 PM
Tupler Technique for Diastasis Recti
Hi ladies, I am a prenatal and postnatal certified personal trainer and a mom of a 5 month old. I went from the best shape of my life to the worst, and have a significant diastasis. Please know that surgery is not the only option to close a diastasis. The Tupler Technique is a proven series of exercises that will close your diastasis and help keep it closed post-surgery if you choose to go that route. I am doing them now and already my physical therapist noticed mine is smaller. You can visit www.diastasisrehab.com for instructors in your area. I am in NYC - my website is www.fitnotic.com. Please feel free to contact me through my site if you have any questions about this or any other pre/postnatal health or fitness concerns.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009, 3:46 PM
DR and more
hi. I am also diagnosed with DR and I do also feel a lump in the middle of my upper abdomen. I never took it so seriously, before i read your post. Now i am scared that i have hernia. And, also, my stomach feels hard, bloated all the time and i m not able to clear my bowel. I feel that some amount of stools is left inside my stomach everyday when i go to toilet. I went for colonoscopy doubting that i might have polyp which might be blocking my bowel system, but doctor said there is nothing wrong after doing colonoscopy. I dont know what is going on with me. Does hernia or DR affect bowel system? Any ideas? I m so depressed since i had my baby, Why do women have to suffer like this after doing such a great job??
I will see my GP tomorow to ask about hernia, but i dont really trust them? Most of them dont even know what is DR?
I am pleased that i found this site. I am encouraged to do some exercise to improve my DR.
Good luck to all of u!!
Friday, August 07, 2009, 7:56 PM
Diastasis Recti, umbilical hernia
I am 63 years old and was just diagnosed with Diastasis Recti and an umbilical hernia. I thought I had a hernia, well a small umbilical one is true but the bulge is not a rupture?
Does anyone else have trouble breathing? I do with physical exertion, after eating even a small meal or drinking a soda. I have bowel system problems also, belching, and back problems.
I haven't read all the posts yet, I am glad I found the site. I certainly need help. Just lost my job, and am very limited as to what I am able to do for employment.
Sunday, August 16, 2009, 9:38 PM
DR in UK
Hi Fred! Sorry…took so long to get connected again.
I went to see a plastic surgeon at Transformer. Basically, he washed his hand. My case is not cosmetic and I would need to get the hernia repaired and have my muscles stitched and repaired. Then he sent me back to my GP. I booked with the GP (another one!) again…And that time I couldn’t hold anymore. Left the place crying. Yes, he said that I HAVE a hernia and DR. But that is absolutely normal!!! I didn’t go there looking for counselling, thank you very much. But that was what he tried to do to me. He said that I shouldn’t have any operation because I could have problems if I would have more kids - even is I insisted that I don’t want more children and that my husband had a vasectomy.. He said that I was fine and had just had a baby and the worse: that I should be happy for having to healthy kids and I have been very lucky so far. - I couldn’t believe that I was hearing that. I left (with my husband) and broke down. Forget it! They always ignore our pains, discomforts…let’s not talk about our self steam!
I tried exercise but I heard that depending on what you do, it can make it worse. Beside that I feel sick and tired after 10 min…
When I told that I would never find a doctor to help me…I found the men! He is a plastic surgeon specialist in abdominoplasty (and reconstruction). I have seen already and he reassured me and explained every thing I want to know. I will have a mesh to push the hernia in, have my muscles back to place and stitched together and the have the skin sorted. I will have a scar, (horizontal, like a caesarean) but at least in my case, it won’t be too big. To be honest, no scar can be worse than my current belly! I will even get hid of the strech marks! Which are all over my belly. I don’t’ know about the procedure you are talking about. Regarding the fact that your muscle aren’t toned, as far as I’m concerned, they can still be repaired. I’m not a doctor! But that was what I heard so far.
Anyway, hope this can help. I leave in Manchester. Where are you about? Let me know if you need more info.
Kindest regards and all the best!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009, 8:18 AM
Belize and a big belly
Hi. I've posted several times. My surgery was approved by insurance, but I'm not really sure I understand what is in the letter as far as what the doctor wrote and I'm not sure I want the procedure done the way he suggested. Has anyone had this repair done or been told to do it by a cutting of the connective tissue and releasing the muscles in order to bring them together when there is a huge separation? The plastics told me he would put in donor tissue from a pig or human. I do not like this idea at all. I have gone to several doctors. The last plastics I saw said the operation had to be done by a general surgeon and the general would repair the bulging (possible hernia) and also sew the muscle. He (the plastics) would only do removal of the extra skin. The other plastics who wanted to do the other procedure was going to do everything and a general would come in and repair hernias in whatever way (I guess mesh). I do not know anyone personally who has used any of the doctors I have seen. I've seen 6! I am going on recommendations from other doctors I know, but it seems they all just refer doctors they know personally. I don't understand why one plastics doctor says he can do it and another says it's for a general and another says it's a simple procedure, just mesh. I have a huge belly and the bulging belly button as well. I look 6 months pregnant. This is not the type of diastasis that can be fixed with exercise. I have no muscle left inside. To the woman from Belize, my friend's dad is from Peru and I remember after I had my first child he told her that I should wear something around my belly as well (which I was NOT given in the hospital) and I ignored him thinking he didn't know what he was talking about. There is a celebrity, Brooke Burke, who sells some type of binder and she says women should wear it for 40 days and 40 nights after having a baby. Wouldn't that have been nice to know about? Even after my last child, I was given a binder and told to wear it for several days. Had I only known how careful I should have been and what to have done. Also, is anyone here from NY and do they know of any good general or plastic surgeons? Thanks!
Thursday, August 27, 2009, 9:50 AM
Diastasis Recti and the Tupler Technique
I was told that I was mentioned on this site by a couple of clients so I decided to log on and invite everyone to watch a free dvd that is on my website under
ABOUT Diastasis. I have lots of info about diastasis in this section of my website.
I have been working with women with this condition for many years and have
always have results. I have the only research based program from Columbia University Dept of Physical Therapy. This research proved that my program makes the diastasis smaller during pregnancy.
I have seen many women undo the stitching of their surgery by doing abdominals incorrectly. So I recommend that if you decide to do surgery to correct this condition, learning the Tupler Technique is important to MAINTAIN the stitching of the surgery.
I have seen really severe diastasis close doing my program in 8 to 12 months.
A diastasis can close no matter when or how it was created.
My website is
Please email me with your questions.
Julie Tupler, RN
Friday, September 04, 2009, 8:39 PM
Re post partum diastasis recti: ask you doctor for an order to see a physical therapist and they will help you rehabilitate this before considering any surgical options. This occurs in all women during pregnancy and often persists several months to years if not treated. It can be associated with back weakness/pain down the road. However, in a nut shell, you need to work the transverse abdominals to bring this together and absolutely, do not do curl ups or sit ups unless supervised by a P.T. to make sure it does not splay apart.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 2:35 PM
wow, I too am surprised this thread is alive and kicking. I replied maybe a year ago. I still have my separation. I've been working out, losing weight but same mummy tummy. I ordered Julie Tupler's video but should bet the splint. I think I will also talk to a physical therapist - all before I look into surgery which very well may not be covered as I'm not having any pain or other issues. Does anyone know if diastasis gets worse if untreated over the years (absent doing situps, etc).
Saturday, December 05, 2009, 10:15 PM
I know how everyone feels. i have the same problem. I look like im 5 months. people ask me all the time when is your baby due!!!!!! That makes me feel like crap. My belly hurts all the time. I have been to many Drs. and they could not tell me what is wrong. I come here and im like hey found people like me. it really sucks. it is hard to get a job because they think that you are having a baby. im only 31 with 2 kids. i need help just like all of you. we need answers on how to stop tis from happening to others.
Monday, December 07, 2009, 7:38 PM
i made a post earlier does ur belly hurt all the time? mine does is that due to the diastasis recti? does anybody now? i think that it does get worse over the years. please let me know.
Monday, December 14, 2009, 3:21 PM
diastasis recti / tummy hurts
Yes mine also hurts. Just my kids barely touching it feels like someone is punching it. and forget lying on it.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009, 9:56 PM
Diastasis recti - causes and symptoms
I'm a guy with a diastasis recti. I am curious about how many of us have developed this condition due to laparoscopic surgery. In this type of surgery they insufflate your abdomen with cardon dioxide so quickly that studies show it frays the tendrils and fibrils of the fascia and leaves it weaker. In my case, it didn't help that I have a bad problem with suinus congestion and blow my nose forcefully mutliple times a day to clear the congestion so I can breathe. This intraabdominal pressure can also weaken the fascia and cause it to separate.
I have unexplained flank pain on both sides but I don't know whether or not it is due to the DR or if it is something else. It feels like stinging pains. Does anyone else experience this? What other symptoms do you experience besides the obvious separation? Also, those of you who have had great surgery experiences resolving your DR can you let us know what surgical technique was used and who your surgeon was and where they are located? I have been reading about a technique called Venetian Blinds but I don't know if anyone in this country (USA) does it. It seems to yield great results.
Thursday, December 17, 2009, 11:59 AM
Need advice too!
Hi! I'm so glad to see that people are looking at this thread again. I have posted several times, but haven't seen all of the answers I'm looking for. I have a SEVERE dr and several doctors have seen me and said they've never seen one like mine from pregnancy before (if at all). I had 2 babies and 2 c-sections. I have an outie belly button and a HUGE belly that can't even be disguised well by all of my contraptions at this point. I don't know whether or not I have a hernia/hernias. It depends who I ask. Did anyone have to get a CT scan? Does it show anything, hernias, muscle? I've heard so many conflicting opinions. My surgery was approved by insurnace, except for the cutting of the extra skin and reattachment of my belly button. So, it's still thousands of dollars, even though the repair of the muscle itself was covered. I have not heard of venetian blinds, but I looked it up quickly and I think I did see that it's done in the US. I will ask about it next time. I am going to start over and see a new general surgeon and make sure I get all of the information before going ahead with such major surgery. I am very afraid. I would like to hear from someone with a similar dr (not a minor thing) who had the surgery done. I would like to know the technique used to repair it. I would also like to know whether they had it done by a general surgeon, plastics or both. Was everything covered by insurance or did you have to pay part as well? Also, about CT scans and what it can and can't show in this situation. Thanks!
Sunday, December 20, 2009, 8:58 PM
Tupler Technique or Surgery???
Hi all. Has anyone had any success with the Tupler Technique? I doubt it will help my severe diastasis. I just gave birth to my daughter a few weeks ago (2nd child) and my diastasis is slightly worse. I really would like to get it fixed and I'm not too optimistic that any type of exercise will help. But I would still like feedback from anyone who has seen results from her method. Thanks.
Friday, January 22, 2010, 6:44 AM
HAD SURGERY!!!! My dr started after my third(4 years ago) and got worse during my fourth pregnancy (3 years ago). At first it was just the bulging that bothered me,but a year ago I started having GI problems. I was in the ER in august with a huge distended belly i looked 7 months pregnant, the worst it had ever been. They did a cats can and said I had a hernia and should see GI as they didn't know why I was so distended. (soooo frustrating) I saw GI and he said it was functional constipation, i was so upset, I know my body better than that. My pc said it was a hernia so I saw a general surgeon. He dx me with dr and said there was nothing he could do and that I would just have to deal with shoving my intestines back into my body. He also advised me that there was no surgeon "in their right mind" that would repair it. I went to boston and got a second opinion and the surgeon was wonderful. He said it was absolutly fixable and that it was the cause of all my GI problems! He has done many and had great success. I had surgery 2 wks ago tomorro. I had stitches and mesh and the hernia reapaired at the same time. It was very painful and i have a high tolerance. I wear a binder 24/7 and will have to for 2 more wks. the worst part as others have said is not being able to pick up my kiddos and back pain from hunching over. I sleep downstairs in a recliner becasue it is still uncomfortable to lie straight. I have a 13inch incision from sternum to pubic bone, but the scar is better than the alien that used to come out of my belly everytime I ate or worked out!
Sunday, January 24, 2010, 8:43 PM
diastasis recti and getting pregnant
i have this condition with my intestines hanging out and muscles are at my sides when i stand up. it happened with my last pregnancy (2nd child). i want to have one more child before i do the surgery and want to hear your comments on what it will be like in terms of my ability to support a pregnant body, what happens to the intestines when they are so used to being free floaters, can the uterus retain its heaviness inside my body, pain that i may have to deal with, etc. any assistance will be appreciated.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 1:06 AM