Take 10 minutes a day to practice ‘mommy belly’
I admit it. I have a mummy belly, also known as “mother dog”. You know, baby’s soft jelly belly after pregnancy – it makes you look pregnant for a few months.
I tried to convince myself that the dog was a heroic badge of motherhood, but am I kidding? This dog bothers me. It has proved to be causing back pain.
So when I heard that the trainer and the doctor had come up with a technique that could quickly and easily flattens the stool, I thought, “why not?”
A few weeks later, I launched a yoga mat with a dozen other moms and pregnant women in San Francisco.
“We’re going to see a big change,” said the head teacher, leah keller.
“You can easily expect to see your waistline drop by two inches in three weeks,” says keller. “This is not an unrealistic expectation.”
Our patients can still benefit from exercise even a year after birth. ”
Dr. Geeta Sharma, OB-GYN, weill Cornell medical center.
Keller is a personal trainer from New York City wearing purple yoga pants and leather cowboy boots. She has developed a campaign to shrink her mother’s dog.
She says there is scientific support for this approach.
“A doctor at weill Cornell university and I did a study on exactly the same project we were going to do,” says keller. “And we found that 100 percent of women have reached a complete solution.”
NPR’s Talia Herman
Good! Wait a minute. In three weeks my stomach is two inches away? That sounds too good to be true. I decided to do a little digging for the mummy belly science and caleb’s story.
Put six back.
It turns out that the jelly belly actually has a medical name: diastasis recti, which refers to the separation of abdominal muscles.
This is very common. Last year, a Norwegian study reported that a third of mothers were finally on the alert after a year in childbirth.
“It’s a ubiquitous problem,” said Dr. OB GYN, of the New York Presbyterian hospital at weill Cornell medical center.
It’s not just a cosmetic problem. Diastasis recti brings another problem to the new mother: lumbago.
“People may start to feel lower back pain because the core is weakened,” says Sharma.
During pregnancy, the abdominal muscles responsible for “six packs” pull (left) to accommodate the growing fetus. After birth, the muscles don’t always bounce back, leaving a gap called mom’s dog.
Lie flat on your back when your knees are bent.
Place your finger above your navel and press lightly.
Then lift your head about an inch and keep your shoulders on the ground.
If you have a stretch recti, you will feel the difference between an inch wide muscle.
In rare cases, abdominal tissue is stretched and torn apart. This could lead to a hernia, Sharma says.
“If there’s a tissue defect called a day goose down, it can be passed,” says Sharma. “It’s more dangerous.”
A hernia may require surgery. “So I’m going to refer the patient to a surgeon for a CT scan, if there’s a real hernia,” Sharma says.
During pregnancy, pregnancy occurs because the growing fetus will separate the abdominal muscles – especially the abdominal muscles of the rectum.
“These are all six packs of muscle,” said Dr. Linda Brubaker, Ph.D., of the university of California, San Diego. “These muscles are thought to cross the abdomen, but in fact they are vertical from head to toe.”
The rectal muscles should be next to each other, on both sides of the navel, brubeck said. “There should be no big gap between them.”
But during pregnancy, a gap between the muscles is around the navel. Sometimes the gap will go away, but sometimes it will remain open.
Leave a point on your abdomen, where only a few muscles can hold your stomach and other organs, which can be one to two inches wide. This can uplift the organs and the tissue above – and cause the mother dog.
In order for the area to flatten, women must reorient these abdominal muscles. This is where the drill starts.
If you search online for a solution to diastasis recti, you’ll find plenty of exercise routines, all of which claim to help the abs come back together.
But the quality of most information is not good, says brubeck. “Some of them may actually be harmful.”
Even some exercises designed to strengthen the abdomen may exacerbate diastolic stress, including simple sit-ups, keller said.
“You have to be very careful,” she said. “For example, please stop doing cross-sit-ups or cycling sit-ups in your life and they will separate your abs in many ways.”
In other words, there are a number of soothing depression exercise programs supported by doctors and physiotherapists. These include Tupler technology, Keller’s Dia Method and the British MuTu system.
Most of these classes are taught in New York, San Francisco and at least some other places each week for an hour, usually between four and twelve weeks, between $100 and $300. Some places offer online courses and video, which are much cheaper.
The American college of obstetricians and gynecologists also recommends abdominal exercises during perinatal periods. But the organization’s guidelines do not provide detailed information about which practices work best, or how often women should practice and how long.
In addition, ACOG is more concerned with preventing problems than solving them. It is recommended to strengthen the abdomen before and during pregnancy.
Keller (right) checks students’ progress after the last class. The fitness instructor works with the OB-GYN of weill Cornell medical school to standardize and assess her workout plans, focusing on abdominal muscles.
NPR’s Talia Herman
“The best way is to prevent it,” said Dr. Raul Artal of the university of st. Louis, who helped write the perinatal exercise guidelines for ACOG. “The best thing to do is exercise during pregnancy.”
But as Dr. Sharma, an obstetrician at Cornell university, points out, no one has really actively studied these different exercises to see if they have actually corrected the diastolic pressure.
“There is a general knowledge that sports will help,” says Sharma. “But no one really tested them in a standardized way.”
In fact, a few years ago, researchers in Australia said that a few studies that had been completed were of low quality and could not be reached.
Sharma hopes to change that. A few years ago, she teamed up with keller to start collecting some evidence of her technology.
“We did a pilot study to see if it would help women,” Sharma says.
The study was small – just 63 women. But the results are promising. Keller’s exercise 12 weeks later – 10 minutes a day – all women have identified their ease of stress, sharma and keller reported at the ACOG annual meeting a few years ago.
“Our patients don’t even have a year of birth, and they still benefit a lot from these activities,” says Sharma. “We like to see what we can do to help women.”
The key exercises are usually when you are crossing, standing, or sitting on your arms and legs. But in keller’s four-week course, she taught many versions of the exercises. Tania Higham (left) and Maeve Clancy made a version of their back.
NPR’s Talia Herman
Now sharma says she is working on a larger study to determine when exercise is effective and how effective it is.
Tight and tight
Back in San Francisco, keller led our mothers through key exercises. It’s very simple.
“Exercise is a very small, very intense exercise, almost imperceptible,” says keller. “Okay, we’re going to do one more.”
Sitting cross-legged on the floor, hands on our stomachs, we all breathe. “Let the belly unfold completely,” keller said.
And then as we exhale, we take our abdominal muscles — as far as we can — into the spine. “Now we’re going to stay near the spine and stay in this position,” she said.
And then we breathe. With each exhalation, we move our stomach forward.
“Tight, tighter,” keller sang rhythmically.
You can do it in a couple of different places: cross sitting, sitting on your lap, knees slightly bent, limbs placed, or placed on the side of the tire, Keller said.
The key is to make sure your back is flat, and you do 10 minutes of exercise every day, changing positions every two minutes or so. The rest of the time, your abdomen is pulled back to your spine.
“The fingertips on the navel are really important,” she said. “So you know you’re close to your belly, and you never reach your belly button.”
This is our fourth week, and we have been doing the same exercise for at least 10 minutes a day. So this is judgment day. It’s time to see if we’ve calmed our stomachs and solved the problem.
Keller pulled out a reel of tape and began wrapping it in the middle of the woman. She also lets us lie on the floor so that she can measure the degree of separation of the abdominal muscles.
One after another, success after success. Several mothers completely sealed off their abdominal separation. Many people lost a few inches from their stomachs.
A woman has amazing results. “Oh my god, you’ve lost the distance from you,” she exclaimed. “Great!
How about my ticket? So, three weeks later, I didn’t completely close my abdomen. My separation was reduced from 1.2 inches to 0.8 inches. * but my distance has dropped by more than an inch from my abdominal circumference.
I’m satisfied with the result. My abs are absolutely firm. Doing this exercise often has the added bonus: my back pain is almost completely gone.
* after class, I went on to practice. Three weeks later, I checked her measurements in keller, and I was stressed out. At this point, the separation dropped to 0.6 inches, which meant that I was no longer technically comfortable.