Diastasis recti is a very common result of pregnancy and birth. It means that the space between your left and right belly muscles has widened, and instead of being flat, the belly now sticks out. As WebMD says, Pregnancy puts so much pressure on the belly that sometimes the muscles in front can’t keep their shape. “Diastasis” means separation. “Recti” refers to your ab muscles called the “rectus abdominis.” While it is rarely dangerous, this “pooch” can cause pain or even a hernia, but more commonly causes those in the postpartum phase to feel self-conscious. Core exercises like 360 canister breathing can help strengthen the abdomen and eliminate or minimize diastatis recti.
What’s 360 Canister Breathing?
By using what we call 360 canister breathing, you can strengthen your pelvic floor. It is named 360 breathing because the goal is for the ribs and torso expand in a 360 degree direction. This means that we’re not just breathing into our chest or our belly, but also expanding into our sides and back.
Here’s how to do it: On your inhale, expand the belly, ribcage and pelvic floor. On a long, slow exhale, shush your baby by lifting the pelvic floor (think Kegel!), contract your ribs in and pull in and up on your abdomen. The 360 canister breath is the foundation of postpartum recovery, and adding a ‘shhh’ to the exhale makes it super-powered as it increases the contraction in your core. If you find yourself shushing for 15 minutes, that’s a solid core workout!
Bonus: You can strengthen your core and help heal diastasis while you shush your baby to sleep!
Kendra demonstrates 360 Canister Breathing here and you can read more about her below!
This tip comes courtesy of Kendra Fitzgerald – PCES, TBMM-CES, CPT, and CYT. Co-founder of Devoted Mamas, Kendra is a pregnancy & postpartum corrective exercise specialist, diastasis, pelvic floor & running coach, and mom of two boys. Additionally, Devoted Mamas is dedicated to helping mothers create the massive strength and steadiness needed to journey through motherhood confidently. Connect with Kendra on Instagram or Facebook!
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