Saturday, August 11, 2012

Diastasis Recti: Tupler Technique

So, it was a big bummer that Baby G split my transverse muscle.  After my first son was born, I was back in a bikini in six weeks, which I was pretty sure was because I was awesome.   After my second son was born, six weeks after the birth I was routinely being asked if I was pregnant.  Three months after the fact, I was routinely asked if I was pregnant.  It was beyond what I could handle.  Now, I realize that this is a first world problem.  I have two healthy children, and we are all safe and sound and well fed and I am obsessing about washboard abs and the perfect belly button.  My vanity is not lost on me.

Anyway, I spent the first few months after my pregnancy, just cranking my abs with post partum workouts.  I ordered a Tracy Anderson workout, which I did without fail every night to no avail.  In fact, I sort of thought my stomach looked worse.  So, I consulted a trainer who told me that all the pilates and ab work I had done post partum had totally made the situation worse.  She was right and it was a big bummer.  Why doesn't anyone tell you about diastasis recti immediately after giving birth.  Why does western medicine encourage us down these disterous roads?  Once diagnosed, I got sort of obsessed and began hours of research on diastasis recti.
I had a four finger (at least) seperation initially.  You check yourself by laying on your back, bending your knees with feet on the floor, and lifting your head and shoulders off the floor.  Then you see how many fingers you can get in between the gap right above your belly button.

SO, when you have abdominal wall separation, as in a diastasis recti, crunches and such wrench the separation further apart, allowing your organs and such to move through the gap and increase the chances of the 16 year old lifeguard at the pool asking you if you are pregnant.  Womp Womp.

The trainer at the YMCA taught me a good bit about it, but I obsessed over it and ended up enrolling in Julie Tupler's online course, wearing a splint, reading a textbook and watching videos.  There is a very good chance that I am going to go to New York later in the year and take her seminar personally.

The key to closing your diastasis recti is doing transverse pulses, some 500 or 1000 a day.  This is when you hold your belly button all the way in and pulse in and out while pulling your ribs together.  It takes about two minutes per set of 100.  It isn't that bad, you can do it in the car while you are driving.  You also try to wear a splint for at least 18 weeks.  I saw a dramatic difference in three weeks and even more in 6 weeks.

Now, however, I seem to have plateaued.  My stomach is flat, but my belly button is funny.  This is why I need to talk to Julie Tupler at Maternal Fitness.  She is the guru, and I want her opinion about my belly button.

10 comments:

  1. I am in the same boat. Same exact story. I have also plateaued and feeling very frustrated. I also have an umbilical hernia which she told me personally would be rectified if i closed the diastasis. I have yet to accomplish this and am starting to have doubts. Going to keep at it and stop doing any other activity including even running to see if that helps. Good luck on your journey.

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    1. Thanks. It is FRUSTRATING. So exciting that you talked to Julie Tupler personally. I don't really believe her about my belly button. Julie Tupler says in the book that the running biking and swimming is OK, and I would literally fall apart if I had to stop everything. Tell me how that goes for you. I really hate how my belly button feels. It is way too sensitive. On the upside, I the first episode of project runway this season, I could see Heidi Klum's belly button through her dress and it looked just like mine.

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  2. oh... and how frustrating is it when people say 2 fingertips wide is "normal".... I can feel the "pulsing" through my belly which Tupler tells us to watch out for (probably my guts throbbing UGH)... this cannot be NORMAL

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  3. You have written my story exactly...it's like reading my life story. First baby, everything was fine- after the second, not so much. I also exercised like crazy, and did Tracy Anderson's post natal workout. It made my stomach so much worse, and I started to get asked all the time if I was pregnant. No one could tell me what was "wrong"...kept getting told to try eliminating dairy & gluten from my diet. After hundreds of dollars and lots of doctors, I received my answer from my gynecologist...severe diastasis recti..she said she could put her whole hand through. I tried the mutu system recently but it didn't work for me. I'm very close to purchasing the Tupler system. Is that what you recommend combined with the pulses? I've never done the binding before and I look forward to trying it- I can't live like this anymore! I also have an umbilical hernia. That is the least of my trouble right now..I look 5-6 months pregnant. I also run..I'm hoping that is ok..I have to do some cardio! Thanks!!

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    1. Yeah, I think Julie Tupler would tell us that running is ok. Swimming is OK and Biking is OK, it is just the situps and sitting up in bed and lugging our kids at odd angles. I would say that after really following the tupler technique, my stomach is generally flat, but my belly button still does not quite look the same and I can't take it. Also, every time I get a cold and spend a good deal of time coughing and sneezing, I notice that my stomach goes right back. I have to start wearing the brace full time again for like 16 weeks. The brace and the pulsing really work, but I so wish that someone had explained this to me before I started all my Tracy Anderson. Sometimes I feel a little bit grump at Tracy Anderson about it. I do totally recommend the tupler system. I would love to meet with Julie Tupler even now, just to get her personal opinion on my level of healing.

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    2. Yes, sometimes I'm so angry at Tracy Anderson!! How could she market a post pregnancy workout that literally exaggerates diastasis recti?! But like you said, if I had known anything about DR before purchasing that, I would have known better. My doctor never mentioned a word. In fact it took me going to several doctors to find out what was wrong! I'm quite small, but my belly is so large- they kept thinking it was digestive related, I even had a colonoscopy and endoscopy done! Sigh. Well, I can't tell you how grateful I am to have stumbled upon your blog. I have hope! I ordered the Tupler System this morning. I've always lifted weights too- arms mostly, but I'm thinking those days may be over too. I'm surprised at how easy you say it can come back- that is discouraging! Seems like this may be a life long quest to keep it in tact! Good luck to you with your belly button- I have an umbilical hernia as well, I might end up in a similar situation if I'm able to heal my DR, who knows. Thank you so much again!!

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  4. Hi there!,

    I know you wrote this post almost two years back but that is great for new reader of your blog and new mom like me as I would like to know how the tupler technique results are holding for you since 2012. Do you have to wear the girdle all the time and if you don't does DR separate on and off and you are back to square one ( I really hope not). Are you doing anything more to flatten or rather get rid of DR and belly button situation you write about?. I am quitting Tracy Anderson post pregnancy workout after doing it for few weeks as at the best it is not doing anything and most likely worsening, can't tell precisely yet but it feels like abs are worsening internally. So while searching over the web for better solution i came across your blog. I hope you can reply I will appreciate it very much. Also wanted to thank you for being so honest about your trials and triumphs over your mom belly..I am sure there are many new and old moms who will benefit from information you provide having tried them yourself. Thanks!

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    1. Hi!! I have come a long way since I wrote that last post! I am thrilled to tell you that the Tupler Method works!! My DR is almost completely healed and I no longer look pregnant and can wear tight fitting tops again. It is a dedication of 18 weeks of exercises and wearing the splint every day all the time. The exercises are not difficult it is just a commitment. And so worth it, I started to see results after 3 weeks on the program. I feel like it has to be maintained or it will/could come back, not as severe, but you have to be careful. I maintain by occasionally wearing the splint and I try to do a few exercises daily. It really is nothing short of a miracle and the body truly can heal itself. I also run and do elliptical, and I also lift weights, but I make sure I'm always keeping my abs tight while doing so. Definitely stay away from any crunch or sit up type ab exercise it will make it worse and much more difficult to correct!!
      I really hope this helps, the program is fairly inexpensive and worth every penny!!! Best of luck to you!!

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  5. Hi,
    I have a problem like yours - diacstasis recti and umbilical hernia -. For what I could understand, it is useful to heal diactasis recti, but what about your belly button? Is the hernia really cured? Belly button returns normal?

    Thanks for everyone who will answer me about that
    My doctors say to me the only solution is surgery

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    1. Hi,
      The Tupler Method that I used to heal my diastasis recti does make reference that an umbilical hernia can be healed over time while doing the same exercises for DR. I personally have not experienced this, mine is still the same. I am still healing and maintaining my diastasis recti but do not forsee my belly button improving.

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