This is the worse question any woman has to face when they aren’t actually pregnant! I have to say that I have experienced this a number of times, and its not fun.
I have a problem with my tummy – its a problem that started when I started my family. I wish I was told up front about what ‘could’ happen when a woman starts her family, because whatever I wasn’t told – it happened! I think it was also exacerbated some by the fact that I have needed to have c-sections to deliver my babies. Four c-sections and five pregnancies have not been kind to my tummy. Would it have happened if I delivered naturally – I will never know the answer to that question, but it is quite possible I could have had the same problems.
I have to admit that I am incredibly sensitive about my tummy and although I try to act as though I don’t care, but I do. On the inside I cringe and want to runaway whenever I am asked when the baby is due? Instead I have to deal with the conversation and act cool and controlled while inside I am anything but.
A couple of years ago I joined the gym for the sole purpose of losing my tummy. After 7 months of going to the gym 4 days a week and paying for creche, I certainly did have an improved backside, legs and arms, but not one centimetre left my tummy. I have to say that I felt and still feel really bad about how I looked and how much effort went into losing my tummy.
Over the last few years I have been looking into this disorder called Diastasis Recti. Its where pregnancy changes the shape of your stomach, as the two large abdominal muscles are pulled apart from each other.
I have found out that it is really important to do specific exercises that will not stress the abdominal muscles any more than they are. The other thing is that it is really important to wear a special band that will help pull the abdominal muscles together. Together, the band and the exercises, over about 12 to 18 months will help bring the stomach down into into a flatter position.
Now that I have heard about the belly bands to help pull the abdominal muscles together, I have also heard that years ago when women had babies, they were advised to wear a special band for about 6 weeks after birth. From what I understand, many of these women were not told why they had to wear the bands, but they did so because their doctor said so. I know for me, after 4 children – 3 obstetricians and many a midwife – not one doctor or midwife suggested to me that it would be in my best interest to use a wrap to help pull my tummy in. With the last stay in hospital when I had my little boy, a physio did come into my room for 5 minutes and gave me a sheet of paper telling me how to look after myself after a c-section, but said nothing to me about how I could improve my stomach after pregancy. She gave me an elasticized tube of stretchy tight material that one wears under clothing that does help give back support, but the physio did not speak to me about how long I should wear this thing.
I know that it was up to me to look into this information, but with 4 children to care for, I rarely have a minute to myself to investigate things in thorough detail. Hubby spent a couple of hours last night looking into the diastasis issue and told me about what he had learn’t this morning. I am starting the process of looking into it again. Hubby found a supplier of the Tupler program in Golden beach so I will be looking into that.
It seems that this Diastasis issue is more of an issue than I thought….for a while I thought it was something that affected me alone, and maybe a few others, but it seems that pregnancy has been quite nasty to many of us women and finally it is being recognised as an issue. Some call it a mummy tummy! I personally don’t care what its called….all I know is that I hate it!
The dreaded question (When’s the baby due? or Are you pregnant?) should never be asked again. Allow the person in question to tell you whether or not she is pregnant and go from there….but please do not ask another woman the question! I know for me, I am at the point of desperation. I want this stupid mummy tummy to go away. I am prepared to work on it and see what I can do – and when I feel that I have done all that i can do, I will look into a tummy tuck to complete the journey. In a few years time, I will be 40 and I don’t want this Diastasis recti issue to be a problem going into another decade of my life. I love my children, but it is time that I care for myself and do something for me. Mummy Tummy be gone!