When Nell first contacted me back in June, she was approaching the 6-week mark after giving birth to her gorgeous daughter, Nia. Once Nell had been checked by her gynae and given the all clear for exercise, she was keen to get going straight away!
Nia is Nell’s second child and, like many mums, Nell found it more difficult to make the time to exercise during her second pregnancy. She ended up gaining slightly more weight than the first time round. Nell was determined to lose this baby weight as quickly as possible but she was also aware that her tummy muscles were not in the best shape!
Nell knew of Diastasis Recti (DR) but did not suffer with it much after her first pregnancy. Bryn, her 3-year-old boy, was a smaller birth weight baby and, at that point, Nell's body was pretty strong after years of exercise. Nia however was a larger baby at birth and like many mums, this made Nell’s DR much worse the second time around.
Diastasis Recti (DR) is a splitting apart of the outer abdominal muscles. It's very common in pregnancy, especially with larger weight babies or twins, and in expectant mothers who have previously given birth to at least one child. The muscles are forced apart by an intra-abdominal pressure created by the growing womb. In many cases, if the connective tissue which surrounds the deep inner core muscles is weaker, this can herniate through the gap, causing a mottled effect, which some people refer to as the ‘mummy tummy’.
It’s very important that DR is managed immediately before a new mum embarks on any type of vigorous exercise. Failing to do so can cause chronic lower back pain, pelvic floor dysfunction and a long-term lingering mummy tummy.
So, despite Nell’s desire to lose her baby weight fast, she knew we really needed to begin her programming at a low level, mainly encompassing DR recovery through inner core strengthening.
It took Nell 4 to 5 weeks to regain much of her inner core strength and in this time we did see a measurable reduction in her DR.
Nell took off to the UK over summer feeling stronger and happier in her body. As we’d taken the slow approach in healing her DR, it meant she was able to go jogging again without any lower back pain, or having to pee constantly! Returning to Singapore in September, she was now determined to lose the remainder of her baby weight before going back to work.
We had 6 weeks of training and she’s really given it her all! Nell’s programming has progressed from low level DR regeneration to encompassing full body strength and endurance exercises. We’ve even added elements of HIIT to her workouts to shrink those fat cells!
HIIT training is very difficult in the postpartum period due to weakened pelvic floor muscles but as we managed her DR correctly, Nell now has the inner core strength to support her pelvic floor muscles during this type of exercise.
Her overall body strength and particularly her abdominal strength has improved massively, allowing her to really push herself in our sessions. She’s lost a lot of her baby weight and inches all over her body. Usually this type of training and progression would correlate with an increase in energy levels and improve quality of sleep but you’ve got to remember Nell is a mum of two. Nia is still breastfeeding and waking repeatedly through the night and Bryn is a 3-year-old boy…enough said!!
Super mom? Yep, I definitely think so!
Well done Nell, you should be very proud of your achievements, you work hard, smile throughout and have really taken on the challenges of motherhood! Congrats from the team at Tangram Wellness.