Pelvic Floor / Rectus Diastasis

Pelvic Floor Course

Pelvic-FloorAs a young woman we have often heard about issues related to our Pelvic Floor. Very often we have heard that if we stop our urine mid-flow, this is our Pelvic floor working. In essence this is correct, however your pelvic floor has much greater task. It works as part of a group of muscles ( The Core), that help provide stability and strength to the spine and pelvis. During pregnancy your body adapts to the change in load that pregnancy causes. This load, and the role gravity plays, places an ever increasing pressure on the Pelvic Floor. In Labour the trauma suffered by the soft tissues surrounding the pelvic floor and the pelvic floor its self can cause a reduction in sensation and control of pelvic floor muscles. As a woman we know we need to work our Pelvic Floor especially after childbirth, however not many of us know how to do this effectively.

The Mumilates and LittlelatesĀ aims to teach mums how to release tight fascia, correctly engage their pelvic floor, correct some of the adaptations the body has made during pregnancy through the use of pilates, if not already resolved, and improve pelvic floor awareness, tone and suppleness.

There is increasing research to show that a weak Pelvic Floor also increases the chances of Rectus Diastasis, (Separation of Tummy Muscles). Pelvic Floor and Transverus Abdomonis (TVA) activation play an important role in correcting Rectus Diastasis.

This course may not suit all mums and where appropriate these mums will be referred back to their GP for appropriate follow up.

What is Rectus Diastasis?

rectus-diastasisEveryone is atomically made up with a group of muscles we call our Rectus Abdomonis, or simply know to many of us as our “6 Pack”. Although for some of us it may be hidden, effectively this is the window dressing on a group of muscles which provide stability and support for the spine and torso. These abdominals are separated by a connective tissue which runs down the middle of our torso. This tissue is called the Linea Alba. During pregnancy a large amount of the hormone Relaxin is produced to allow the body to adapt to changes occurring in pregnancy. The relaxin works by “relaxing connective tissues”. This allows the abdomen to expand and accommodate the growing uterus.

However pregnancy bumps come in all shapes and sizes, and for a small percentage of pregnant mums, the internal pressure placed on the Linea Alba can be excessive, this accompanied with inappropriate movement patterns during pregnancy can cause stress on the Linea Alba. When this happens the Linea Alba tears, causing a Rectus Diastasis – Separation of Stomach Muscles. This is not always obvious during the latter stages of pregnancy when pressure on the abdomen is at it’s greatest. It becomes more apparent 6 – 8 weeks postnatally when the uterus has shrunk and returned to normal size. Many mums notice this as a raised ridge of tummy (traveling from their rib cage down to their pubic bone), as the begin to sit up from lying. For many it will be worse around their belly button, as this naturally protrudes through the abdominal wall providing a weak spot.

It is possible to correct this separation with the correct guidance and exercises. A great way to start is to begin by building up pelvic floor awareness, tone and suppleness. The next step would be to begin by gentle TVA activation. This is not an overnight fix and progress will depend on the degree of separation and your ability to complete a set of exercises regularly. If you feel you have an Abdominal Separation or are unsure, please contact me to discuss.



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