Welcome to The Healthy Catholic moms podcast where we make moving and nourishing our bodies the priority so that we not only fulfill our vocations, but excel in our callings. I’m Brittany Pearson, a Catholic wife, mom, personal trainer, and I’m here to help you build healthy habits that actually fit your life. I am here to teach you how to get the results that you want and maintain the results that you want without spending hours at the gym, or meal prepping all weekend long. I understand I am right here with you getting my workouts done in the nooks and crannies of time, looking up recipes, while nursing babies and trying to prioritize my own health amidst everything else going on. But I have really good news for you, you can get the results you want. In less time without doing hours of cardio and restrictive dieting. I’m going to teach you how to use strength training and eating in a macro balanced way to get you feeling so good and your skin full of energy, and strong to carry out your life. Okay, on this podcast, we’ll delve into how to lose fat in a simple, sustainable way. What your workouts and nutrition should look like during different seasons of life, like during pregnancy and postpartum times. We’ll also discuss healthy quick meals and how to get them on the table make foods that kids will actually want to eat. Mom hacks for making your day run more smoothly and so much more. All the while with continuous encouragement to stay the course and live with discipline. This is a place where we’re striving to steward our bodies well in order to joyfully serve. I am so happy you’re here. Let’s dive in.

Main Episode:
Hello, beautiful friends. I hope you’re having a wonderful doing so far. And I’m so happy you’re here with me today. Thank you for joining me and for pressing play. Now today we’re talking about closing that diastasis recti diastasis recti die. diaster says, I’ve heard it said about 9 million different ways. So that Dr. I will from here on out refer to it as that Dr. Gap. Now I’ve talked about this a little bit on the podcast. And I know I’ve mentioned it in pregnancy and postpartum specific episodes. 100% of women have Dr. At the time of delivery, okay, you cannot make it the full maybe you know what that study. This was an actual study that of course, I can’t cite but I read the study while I was getting my prenatal and postpartum exercise specialist certificate. And
I don’t know if that accounts for people who go like into labor at eight months or something like that. But the general gist is most of us get to delivery with Dr. And I think there’s a big stigma around it. Anytime we talked about pelvic floor or Dr. issues or complications. I think there’s a little bit of like, shame around it. But we don’t want to talk about it. We think we’re the only one who has it. Not at all. So getting that right out there. Most all of us essentially have it at the time for delivery.

So it’s basically just a question of how long is it going to take for abs to go back together? Are they going to go back to their on their own? Do we need to encourage them to go back together? What does that look like? So in general, there are a couple ways you can check if you have Dr. I do have a YouTube video on this that you can go check out to kind of assess yourself, but everybody’s different and how long it does take for your hips go back. So for a lot of women, it will just go back together on you know, on their own, your abs will come back together and firm up just kind of following a timeline. Others it’s we sometimes need to work on it. Now my personal experience with this, baby number one, I was totally fine. After delivery, like checked myself, maybe a week later, was like great, I’m good to go. Abs are back together. I’ll talk about what that looks like in a second and kind of in the self checking. Then like moron of loving days after delivery. I wanted to see if I could do a chin up because it had been so long since I’ve done one and I just wanted to see if I could do it. And guess what that caused me to have for my abs to pull away from each other so that I had to go back about rehabbing my core and getting them together because I pulled them apart after delivery. So this is why now I’m so passionate about rehabbing your core the right way you know I was working as a trainer I knew better I would never have a client do that but I thought that you know I was invincible there and just wanted to test out if I could do it so very dumb have obviously not done that since babies to baby number two. I was that was great. Right after I was totally fine. I do I will say I also have a hernia like right behind my belly button.
A lot of us do, as well another common thing and that popped up right away with baby number one. So that was already there. But baby number two, I did not like I just gave myself that time, I took the first three months, you know, to really rehab my cord and do anything that I shouldn’t have been doing and look at that my abs went back together. I did notice, you know, one side perch protrudes, like a little bit farther out than the other because of the hernia, that’s all normal, that’s fine. And I’m not worried about getting that repaired right now, because so they tell me with subsequent babies, you know, you should just probably wait till you are done having babies is what I’ve heard when I’ve talked to doctors about this. But anyways, that was baby number two, baby number three.
Video number three, it took me like a full year to even get within that two finger range. Okay, so let’s talk about that a little bit.

When you are checking for DR go check out the YouTube videos, it’ll make a little more sense visually, but you’re checking for the width of your abs separation, you’re also checking for the depth. So there’s three places you check, and there’s three positions you check in. So the three places are above your belly button. Like way above like upper abs, I kind of just sprayed onto your ribs, then just an inch or two above your belly button, and then below your belly button. So those are the three spots you’re tracking. And then I like to check in
a supine position lying on your back on the floor. Okay, you just curl up slightly to engage your abs and check. And then if they happen to check a or six week or eight, we clearance This is usually in my experience, how they do it, they just have you kind of curl up and check out of three kids, I’ve only had that check once. So you know, that is another kind of lapse, I think there could be a lot. I’m not gonna get down that rabbit hole right now. But most of us don’t get checked. So letting you know that you can do this and advocate for yourself as well. If you need, you know, some
not personal training physical therapy afterwards, or to do a course you know if that’s your next best option to do that at home, etc. But you’re going to check in on your back, you’re going to check it in a plank position, which is tricky to do on yourself, but can be done. And you’re also going to check it standing. Now, it can be different in every position. That’s why there’s no hard and fast like, yes, you have Dr. These are the five exercises you can do do them for 10 weeks, and you’re done. It’s very different. A lot of this is okay, if you are coding in this exercise, don’t do that exercise. But instead do this, etc. Now, you’re going to check in those positions, you’re going to take your two fingers and you check those upper abs and the right above your belly button then right below your belly button in those three positions. If it’s wider than a two finger gap, okay, if it’s wide, but it’s firm like your fingers bounced right back, your abs feel firm to the touch, we’re going to work on strengthening the rectus abdominus. So the very front of your abs, we are going to work on pushing them back in toward each other. And we don’t have to worry too much about the TAs the internal or external links, you’re really going to focus primarily on the front. So I’m going to talk about that a little bit first, if we’re looking at strengthening the front of the court and bringing those muscles toward each other. First and foremost, you’re worrying about breathing and posture, which I know is incredibly boring. But that is going to solve 98% of your problems.

The great news here is while you’re trying to maybe you’re wanting to get back in back into working out, and you can’t yet what you absolutely can do and where you should start anyway is breathing and posture, we want to get your ribs back over your hips, we want to get that pelvic tilt the right way. This is interesting.
A lot of times I can just by assessing somebody’s posture and advising them to kind of fix their anterior or posterior pelvic tilt, the DR will heal itself up then in just a couple of weeks because we can put a lot of strain on our core just by poor posture. And that’s like the 90 watt 9% of our day that we’re you know, up and around that we’re not sleeping. A lot of times we’re worried about our posture and our breathing in our workout but we need to be more worried about it throughout the day. So again, looking at strengthening the front of the core you are going to
work on your deep breathing. When you breathe, you should be feeling 360 expansion. So like your ribcage, your low back, your low belly should all go out when you inhale to take a nice deep breath. And when you exhale, it should come in because that can even shallow breathing can actually weaken your abs. So you might be undoing any progress you’re doing with exercises. And then you’re shallow breathing all day, and that’s gonna mess it up. So strengthening the front of the practice this is again if you have a wide over two finger
gap or for me, once I did get to two fingers, I just kept working this as part of my warmup to try to even more so encourage them to come back together.

So you’re going to work on breathing and posture, you’re going to work on some contract release on the floor, kind of like cat cow, you’re gonna work on dead bugs, glute bridges, I currently do not have a DR Program, this has been something already I’ve written out, I have considered filming a million times, it’s just a really hard thing to personalize. And I don’t want you know, it needs to come with a consultation. And that’s, you know, I don’t necessarily want to send somebody on their way with just a self diagnosis and have them be venturing down program. So for me, on my end, that’s kind of, you know, something I’ve kicked around for the past, honestly, two years, because I want to make sure it, I do it right, and I serve you well. But in general, those exercises I just mentioned are also the start of my postpartum program. But I do encourage you to not have DR when you are going through that program, just to kind of cover my bases there. But while you’re doing those exercises I just named if you’re trying to get ribs back toward each other, the dead bugs, the glute bridges, you are taking your hands and literally pushing your abs toward each other. You’re doing a lot of just AB engagements, I have that on my YouTube channel, where under how tos, where you’re just kind of curling up, you’re holding breathing, and you’re getting those abs toward each other things you are not going to do when you have a gap that is wider than two fingers, you are not going to lift to maximum effort. Okay, so heavy pull ups like exactly what I tried to do, you’re not going to do that. No, like super heavy overhead presses, overhead pressing puts a lot of stress and strain on your course you’d do a lot better to do lateral raises that are keeping things below the shoulders, you know, just to spare the core on that. No super heavy deadlifts basically, no maximal or maximum anything. And for any exercise that you experienced coning, I know it’s exactly what it sounds like. It is where your abs, whether you’re in a plank, you can see it in a plank, or whether you’re lying on your back, it protrudes out to the middle like you get a triangle where the middle of your stomach is the highest point or if you’re in a plank position, the lowest point right. So anything that you do that results in coning and that was a really frustrating year for me, the year after I had Junior my third, because I started feeling really good. I was doing all my exercises, it was just taking time to get them to go back toward each other, which is totally normal with multiple pregnancies, right not like have multiples but of your subsequent pregnancies, right. So it was frustrating. Some, like I feel strong everywhere else, I could do a heavy deadlift, but for the sake of my core, I can’t. And that’s just how it goes until we get that gap a little bit more closed or a little stronger. Now, if you’re doing this little check, and when you checked upper abs right above the belly button and low abs. And it was two fingers or less, but it was really deep, like you could poke your hands. And I know it sounds gross or weird, but it’s true, you could get into like the first knuckle or your second knuckle, you know, again, a little bit, it’s fine, it’s it doesn’t totally bounce back right away. But if you can get like two knuckles in there, we need to this also tactically Dr. But we’re gonna approach it a different way, you’re gonna work on your transverse abdominus muscles to strengthen that up into get the spring back to be a little more going on. Now, if it’s both if it’s pretty wide, and you can get you know, up to the second Oakland there, we’re just going to combine these, we’re just going to work on everything, we’re gonna work on the TAs, we are going to work on the rectus abdominus. And for both, if you do need to work on getting it to be a little bit more of a bounce back not as squishy, not as going as far and you’re going to still start with posture and breathing, getting the ribs over the hips, that 360 breathing, you’re still gonna start with pelvic floor contract release. But then you’re gonna work a lot more single sided work. So like a single arm banded row, or a single arm standing row, rotational band work, single leg work. And the reason for that is all of those exercises cause your obliques and your transverse abdominus to kick in. And that’s exactly what you want to be working. Now there’s totally ways to work up to this, you could be kneeling on the floor and then take it to standing because again, same rules as before. You just want to stop when there’s coning. If you’re experiencing coning on any exercise we back off how often are we do a lighter band, and if you need to stick with posture and breathing that’s honestly a lot better for you for your health in the long run to do rather than force it I have known ladies who have had
Dr but no pelvic floor issues. And then because they were so intent on lifting really heavy and their core couldn’t handle it. They would put the pressure somewhere else
and bear down on their pelvic floor, and then cause pelvic floor issues. So pelvic floor is another whole area we could go into, and I probably should and we can talk about. And
in my opinion, I think research to back this up pelvic floor issues can be tougher to treat, like to see progress in to improve progress. And I think in my experience, and in my, you know, with myself or with others, the DR is easier to kind of go about treating and improving. So you don’t want to cause more problems, right? We don’t we first of all, do no harm. Okay. So it is tough. I know that, as I said, Be patient. I was doing just really easy stuff for a whole year. You know, no Max weights.

That’s why I didn’t do certain, you know, like, I wanted to do a Spartan Race, but I knew my body wasn’t ready for it. I knew I couldn’t be hoisting myself over walls, doing monkey bars, that kind of stuff. Because guess what is my third kid and I need my abs to go back together first. That’s just how it goes. Okay, so again, some of those videos that I referenced the exercises you can find for free on my YouTube channel under how tos, glute bridges, dead bugs, pelvic floor, contract, release, and then lots of single sided work. If it’s the TAs you need to work on. I really want you to think about your breathing your posture, that is the very first place you need to start what you need to be thinking about throughout the day. Also thinking about where you’re clenching, if you are a jaw clencher, a glute clencher I used to have so much low back pain from over clenching my glutes now like bringing in what the heck does that have to do with Dr. All all of the things that we do the little imbalances, bad habits, they affect our bodies, we’re always putting it somewhere else. So if you have tight glute muscles because you’re always clenching them, you have short, tight back muscles, you’re also having that little overarch. So you’re making your low abs long and loose rather than recruiting them and having them be working and be firing. If your hips were in a nice neutral position and your glutes were unclenched. So all good things to think about could do another whole episode on like letting go of your stress hold points. Just try to know what they are. Again, common ones are shoulders up by your ears, or jaw really tight or glutes clench. Those are the three most common places that I see. So just try to think about breathing into those areas and releasing and relaxing your stress is easier said than done. I know. I really thank you so much for tuning in today. Next episode, we’re happening to a q&a I have about five questions I’m going to try to plow through for you. And thank you all for submitting questions. You could submit questions anytime just to Brittany and healthy Catholic I get my full episode ideas for all of you, like a lot of the time or if they’re short enough answers, I throw them all into one and roll out a little q&a episode. So that will be for next time. Alright, hope you have a great rest of your day and I will talk to you then.

Time stamps:

  • Welcome to the Healthy Catholic Moms Podcast. 0:02

    • Welcome to the healthy catholic moms podcast.

    • Brittany pearson, a catholic wife and personal trainer.

  • Closing the Dr. Gap. 1:53

    • Closing the dr gap.

    • 100% of women have dr at the time of delivery.

  • My personal experience with baby number two. 3:50

    • Personal experience with baby one and baby two.

    • Baby three took a year to heal.

  • When you are checking for Dr. Gagnon, you’re checking for the width of your abs, the depth of your abdominals 5:52

    • Three places to check for dr gagnon.

    • Five exercises to do for 10 weeks.

  • How to strengthen the front of the core. 8:00

    • Focus primarily on the front of the abs.

    • Breathing and posture, improving posture.

  • The postpartum program needs to be personalized. 10:20

    • The postpartum program and how tos.

    • How tos, dead bugs, glute bridges, pull ups.

  • Work on your transverse abdominus muscles. 12:39

    • Upper abs, transverse abdominus and rectus abdominus.

    • Pelvic floor contract release and single sided work.

  • Stop when there’s coning. 14:27

    • Pelvic floor issues can be difficult to treat.

    • How tos, glute bridges, dead bugs, pelvic floor contract release.

  • If it’s the tas you need to work on, I really want you to think about your posture. 16:15

    • Breathing and posture are the first things to focus on.

    • The three most common imbalances.

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