Protecting Your Connective Tissue While Caring for Your Kids
I had a question today which I thought I would post as it seems it would be relevant to many moms. Here is the question and answer below.
“I have a quick question about carrying my baby. I just started the Tupler Technique®by doing all 4 recommended items. In the first 3 days I lost an inch! Holy cow! So exciting! However, I’ve stayed at just an inch, but this may be normal? Anyway, my question is about carrying my 3 1/5 month son. He’s a big boy…almost 17 lbs. I try to carry him on my hip while holding in to 5th floor, but he’s not strong enough yet to hold himself up very well at this position so I end up with him in front of me. I don’t use a carrier, but use my arms. I hold to 5th floor as best as I can and I put him in a bouncy seat or something else any chance I get, but at nap time and bedtime he calms best when I stand and hold him and give him a bounce. My question is, will my diastasis still heal with having to hold him this way?? Also, I have to bend over to put him in his crib. I try to squat and keep a straight back as much as possible, but I’m 5’1′ and 120 lbs so I’m a little short and pretty much have to lean over the crib to put him it. So, will I still be able to heal ok or will these 2 things prevent me from going any further?”
Before I answer the above question, I want to just give a review of the whole point of closing your diastasis so you will understand what you should do and not do when in the process of closing your diastasis. Then you will have a better awareness of how to modify your activities of daily living with caring for your child.
Closing a diastasis is all about healing your connective tissue. So you must be kind to your connective tissue in order to heal it! The Tupler Technique® heals the connective tissue three ways:
1.Positioning it in a better position to heal
2. Protecting it from getting stretched
3. Strengthening the transverse muscle
For the first six weeks I do not want you to do any other exercise program. You need to strengthen your transverse muscle while you gain an awareness and focus on how to use your abdominal muscles when doing all your activities of daily living.
This brings me to answering the question above. You know that you must protect your connective tissue from getting stretched. To prevent this you must wear the Diastasis Rehab Splint® all the time, bring your transverse muscle to 5th floor before you move and put your hand on your belly when you are bending over to prevent the weight of your organs from putting pressure on your connective tissue.
So let me start with picking up children. If your child is mobile, have them get up on the couch or chair so they are picking them up without having to bend over. As you know bending over is not a good position for your connective tissue to be in. Remember to bring your transverse to 5th floor of course before you pick them up. It is best not to have your child laying on the floor. But if they are and your child is not mobile, and not heavy, you can lower one knee down, lean over with a flat back, engage your transverse, bring your child close to your body and bring yourself back up. You may want to be close to a piece of sturdy furniture you can hold on to when getting up.
Now on to holding your child. Holding your child in your arms close to you does not put the same amount of weight on your connective tissue as does wearing a front loading baby carrier. A vertical front loading baby carrier where all the weight is pressing on your connective tissue will also stretch it going backwards. Holding your child on one hip is not a good idea as it will shortly put your body out of alignment and cause other aches and pains. Always best to hold them in the middle so the weight is equally distributed in your body.
If possible put the railing of the side of the crib down before bending over to pick up your child with a flat back and your transverse in at 5th floor. I talked about putting your hand on your belly when you bend over to protect your connective tissue. If you cannot use your hand try putting a pillow on the railing to protect it when you bend over to pick them up.
When your baby is in utero and you are walking around, your baby is moving from side to side. So this side to side movement is familiar to them. That is why when you are feeding your baby it is a great time to do the seated exercises. Your baby will love this side to side movement while they are dining!