Diastatsis Recti Abdominis Update: What the Breath

Kara’s Story: Healing DRA with the Help of Breathe.

It’s been a few months since I began working with Molly at Breathe Physical Therapy. I’ve been (mostly) keeping up with the exercises and focusing on how I’m standing or the position I’m in when holding Shepherd.

I love that Breathe.’s approach takes practical day-to-day life into consideration. Molly has given me simple ways to do everyday activities more effectively to ensure I’m getting stronger rather than doing damage during routine activity.

I’m now 9 months postpartum and as of the last month or so I’ve had zero back pain! Now I know how to adjust my form when running to ensure I’m supporting everything properly and breathing correctly to optimize my running. I’m still doing some modifications during my workouts at Pure Barre as I continue to heal my diastasis recti but for the most part, I’m just living life but better. 

A few weeks ago we checked my progress and my upper abs had completely gone back together (cue happy dance) AND my lower abdominals had made progress too. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to hear that my hard work was paying off. 

Breath is Queen 

I mentioned earlier that I had diastasis recti with my second daughter but I never quite healed it. But to be honest, the work I’m doing this time around is so different and much more effective. I had an idea of what to expect going in this time around.

Something I’ve learned this time though that still blows my mind is the power of our breathing. So much of the work has to do with breathing. I figured it was just about getting your abs stronger but breathing deep and contracting the deep inner muscles of not only your abs but your lower transverse abdominis is so important as well.

But when do you do the exercises? 

I’m sure one of the common reasons why women don’t actually heal their diastasis recti completely is because they don’t actually do the exercises. And I get it. As a busy mom of three, wife, business owner, it’s hard for me too! That’s where habits come in! I’m a big believer in habits. Forming healthy habits is a big part of what I teach my 1:1 coaching clients. “Why?” you might ask – because habits are what help you make lasting changes.

The beauty of habits is that they take over and become second nature. You don’t have to think or put any extra energy into them. 

You don’t think about brushing your teeth in the morning – you just do it because it’s a habit. And you don’t have to think about stopping at a stop sign – you just automatically do it because it’s an ingrained habit. 

The same idea applies to exercise. You can’t just rely on motivation if you plan to make it a part of your life. And that’s when habit creation comes in and saves the day. 

So, how do you make sure you complete your DR exercises each day? Make it a habit! Find a time of day that works best for you and when you’re more likely to actually do them. Originally, I thought the evening would be best because then I could do them while I watch a show. But I found that I was too tired to actually do them, so it didn’t happen. 

Instead, I realized that in the morning would be best. I got even more specific and said I’d do them right after breakfast. After all, it only takes 15-20 minutes. Now, I don’t have to think about doing them. I just do it and it makes life so much easier. Plus, I’m reaping the rewards by healing my DR. 

When you create a habit it’s important to remember one thing: Get specific.

Don’t just say I’m going to do it in the evening. Pick the exact time and write it on your calendar or set an alarm on your phone. 

When we don’t get specific it’s hard to actually follow through and easy to let it slip by. 

The beauty of this trick is that you can do this with any habit you want to create in your life!

Guest Authored by Kara Swanson