Pregnancy is a challenging time for mothers, as their bodies undergo numerous changes both during and after pregnancy. One of the most well known of them is Diastasis Recti, which is the medical term for what is colloquially known as a ‘mummy tummy’. It is a very common occurrence, with up to 70% of mothers experiencing it during their post-pregnancy period.
Diastasis Recti is a condition where the abdominal muscles separate at the midline and weaken as a result of pregnancy, causing the protrusion of the belly. It is caused by various factors, ranging from weight gain from pregnancy due to reduced exercise and increased food consumption for the growing baby, the natural elastic stretching of recti muscles fibres and inner movement of organs to make space for the baby, as well as hormone production to facilitate increased muscle elasticity around the region.
Some factors that can increase the likelihood of diastasis recti is giving birth to twins or triplets, having a heavier-than-average baby, being over 35 years of age, as well as poorer muscle tone or back posture, amongst others. In addition, mothers who have had diastasis recti in a previous pregnancy are likely to see the return of the ‘mummy tummy’.
While diastasis recti could go away on its own during the recovery period, some mothers may find themselves experiencing increased discomfort and being concerned about their self-esteem and body image. Orchard Clinic offers a 10-14 week treatment plan that delivers fast and effective results for toning and sculpting your mummy tummy.
A combination of treatments if often recommended for most cases, with a focus on our HIFEM (High Intensity Focused Electromagnetic) Technology, Shockwave Therapy, Pelvic Floor strengthening and customised floorwork exercises. HIFEM is a non-invasive and FDA approved treatment method, which focuses electromagnetic energy to the treatment area. It enables supramaximal contractions that effectively re-educate your muscles to form healthier muscle memory, helping them safely and quickly restore your body to optimal function.
In addition to HIFEM treatment, Orchard Clinic also offers 1-to-1 floorwork exercises to develop body awareness and mindful movement while strengthening your muscles. Diastasis recti exercises engage and strengthen various muscle groups, with exercises such as abdominal compressions, pelvic tilts, toe taps, and single-leg stretches. Our specialists will guide you through the whole process, planning an optimal routine that is best suited to your exercise intensity while preventing injury. Generally, floorwork exercises begin six weeks after your pregnancy, giving your body ample time to recover from the strain of childbirth.
For a complete treatment, Orchard Clinic treats both muscle and skin that have been stretched out due to the condition. Our Exilis ultrasound and radiofrequency treatment stimulates collagen growth, remodels collagen and tightens skin; helping you to tone and sculpt your mummy tummy back into proper shape.
With help from Orchard Clinic, say goodbye to the unsightly ‘mummy tummy’ and take that step towards a healthier and more confident you.
Let’s find out more about Orchard Clinic’s method in this Q&A.
Q: How do I know if I have Diastasis Recti? What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms include back pain, weak core muscles, pelvic floor dysfunction and a stubborn bulge that is often accompanied with loose or saggy skin.
Q: What if I leave it on its own?
People who have Diastasis Recti often have a higher rate of lower back pain, stress incontinence, increased risk of hernia, postural instability and higher chance of injury due to weak core muscles.
Q: What causes Diastasis Recti?
Pregnancy is the leading cause. Non-pregnancy related Diastasis Recti could happen in women and men who performs any chronic or repetitive pressure on the abdominal wall that forces the abdominal muscles forward. These exercise-induced Diastasis Recti are typically shallow and less severe than in pregnancy-related causes.
In pregnancy, the growing weight of the foetus causes significant intra-abdominal pressure on the rectus abdominis. Coupled with hormonal changes during pregnancy that relaxes the joints and ligaments, a separation of the abdominal muscles may happen.
Q: How does treatment work?
A: We employ advanced devices to promote effective muscle recovery and strengthen the abdominal wall to activate the core muscles. Depending on the individual condition, we may recommend combining this with a pelvic floor strengthening programme or floorwork for a more complete programme.
Q: Is muscle activation the main focus?
A: We focus on activating the deep muscles first for recovery to strengthen the abdominal wall, and may recommend combining it with skin tightening, tissue regeneration and collagen remodelling treatments to bring the tummy back to its taut texture and shape. A pelvic floor strengthening programme is also beneficial towards aiding better core stability and strength which will improve a diastasis recti.
Q: When can I start treatment?
A: Not everyone is suitable for treatment as there are certain contraindications that needs to be assessed. We are also not able to take on cases that are either too severe or too mild. In general, we would recommend waiting at 2-3 weeks postpartum before the first treatment. The best way is to make an appointment for a screening and our consultants will be able to advise accordingly.
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Orchard Clinic is a new treatment concept offering a unique method that provides high-quality conservative solutions for women’s body from pre & post pregnancy to pre & post menopause.
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